View Full Version : How to treat Black Ick?

11/14/2000, 09:01 AM
Hi all, I'm new to this board so take it easy on me. I have a yellow tang that is developing pinhead size black dots on both sides of his body. A friend told me that he used garlic to treat his tank and it worked. I have been using garlic for about a week and have seen little result. I read many of the archives in this message board but still have a question. How long should I use garlic befor I can expect to see results? I am also treating the tank with Kickick. I want to throw everything at this that I can get my hands on. I have had this yellow tang for two years and it is the first marine fish I purchased so it means a lot to me. I am pretty sure I know why he has the parasite. I recently upgraded from a 75 gallon to a 110 gallon tank. During the move, I had to put him ina temporay holding tank for several weeks. I think all of the changes to his environment stressed him. Anyway, sorry about the long string. Any encouragement would be appreciated.

11/14/2000, 10:50 AM
im fairly new too, but IME i thought ICK was pretty much WHITE SPOTS...looks like salt was sprinkled on your fish...

tell us more about your setup and water params..other fish etc...

garlic may not be working because it may not be ick...
also, ive read KICICK and all NOXICH and those arent very good for the rest of your tank..only to use it when in quarentine...

11/14/2000, 11:08 AM
Stop using the kickich or any other over the counter ich remedy! This stuff DOES NOT WORK. Copper is the only packaged good that will cure Ich.

First thing is you don't have ich. As stated above Ich is white spots on the fish. Looks like salt stuck on the fish. While it is possible that the fish was stressed and was therefore more susseptible (sp?) to ich it is more likely it was introduced by new livestock perhaps? But in any event this is not your problem.

Search these threads for "black spots."

I found this description " Tubellarian flatworms leave the tell tale black spots leading to the name black ich and hence an easy diagnosis. Other symptoms such as rapid respiration and loss of color usually only occur in advanced cases.

Parasitic flukes often lead to rapid respiration and loss of color. Often cloudy areas are observed on the skin. If these cloudy areas are looked at closely they often seem to be undulating and slightly raised, these are the actually flukes. "

Unfortunately they didn't discuss a treatment, but maybe you can do more searching and find something.

If you do ever get Ich, I have found using the garlic oil soaked food for two weeks straight then twice a week as preventative is sufficient. Sometimes it may be a week or two before you see any results.

Good Luck.

11/14/2000, 03:32 PM
The black spots are know as "black ick", but it is really not ick at all.

Even worse, it is very difficult to kill. IME copper does not work.

You need to do a freshwater dip or use Formalin and malachite Green as medication. Of course you need to do this in a hospital tank.

This paracite is not terribly contageous, but will attack other fish if given enough time.

I would definately pull the infected tang out and treat him.


11/14/2000, 06:21 PM
I have not heard any reports of garlic working on black ich unfortunately. Also as jim mentions copper does not usually work.

The tried and true method is formalin dips, do a search on this board for formalin and you will come up with the directions for use. Another possible alternative is to treat using hyposalinity, I have used this sucessfully on a couple of cases of black ich and heard of a couple of other sucess stories. Of course either of these treatments are best done with the tang in a hospital tank.

11/14/2000, 06:54 PM
I also believe that garlic, in this case anyway, will not work. From what I understand, garlic induces a more powerful production of the fish's protective slime coat to make it more difficult for parasites to attach to the body. Because Ick's life cylcle includes free-swimming larvae that need to attach later but can't, garlic is an effective remedy. Because the tubellarian worms are already in the body wall, and do not detach after a few days, garlic will prolly be useless. I do however disagree that copper is the only thing that works, there are other alternatives. But most important for u, do not throw everything u can get your hands on at this, I'm sure the fish is not severely stressed by this now, but putting a bunch of medications for other various teatments is not a good idea. I have seen this many times in freshwater silver dollars, while I have not found a cure that works well, we usually let the fish fight it off themselves, they heal in a week or two, and no other fish have ever developed it. I'm not saying to ignore the problem, just don't panic. Freshwater dips may be able to beat it, but do them cautiously, and I for one have had bad experiences w/formalin, so it's not in my "medicine cabinet" anymore, but others do claim success. The choice is up to u, but I feel one of these 2 methods is the way to go ;)

11/14/2000, 07:37 PM
im interested in knowing what really works and what doesnt.
I have had 8 different fish to die for ich. (not at one time)and have tried just a bout everything there is save them NOTHING worked I had 4 or 5 fish to live with it a month or two but they did die.It looked like after they got rid of ich the secondary infection killed them .so tell me, what really works and does a U V sterilizer or ozonizer help any??

11/14/2000, 07:50 PM
Well, first of all, a uv sterilizer may HELP in minor outbreaks, but is not a cure all. Secondly, if indeed it is ick, I have had good luck w/Greenex (malachite green). But honestly, it is prolly better to soak their foods in selcon and zoe to prevent problems, as well as maintain good water quality. Healthy fish rarely sucumb to diseases. If u are experiencing ick (Cryptocarian irritans), then soak the food in garlic and monitor it for a few days, look for improvements. I don' like to add medications on the first sign of a problem, if the fish is strong, the added vitamin supps, and garlic should help its immune system and it can naturally fight it off. If u see a secondary bacterial infection set in, that one is tough. Preferably treat w/an antibiotic in a quarentine tank, as antibiotics can disrupt biological filtration. I use Kanacyn at half strength for marine bacterial problems. As always tho, maintaining a good environment is crucial, if the fish are constantly stressed, than it is unlikely they will make a full recovery.

11/14/2000, 08:34 PM
I really can't explain it, i had a little problem on my tang, i added a little to his food for a week, and it was gone. Kind of like medicinal remedies for humans, who knows if they work or not.

Thats all i have to say about that.


11/15/2000, 06:53 AM
A quarantine tank is the best investment you can make IMO. I have never experienced black ich, but have had ich introduced by stressed out MO fish twice. I treated with Sea Cure copper. I fed garlic soaked brine for two or three days until the spots dropped off. I continued the copper treatment for two weeks. The ich was eliminated quickly and easily both times.

I had a minor outbreak in my main tank once due to my screw-up and stressed the tank. I used Kick-Ich and would feed garlic only when I saw a spot or a fish scratch. It was cleared in 4 or 5 weeks. I have no idea if the Kick-Ich actually helped.

I do not use garlic as a preventative measure since I am unsure of any long term effects. I'm not saying it's bad, but since garlic is relatively new we have no way of knowing. To me it's like taking an aspirin in case you might get a headache. (Party nights excluded).

11/15/2000, 07:11 AM
Can you describe your quarentine tank to us? ill probably set up one up sooner or later...but what all do you have in it, how big is it etc etc...
i suppose you couldnt use your sump or anything...unless you stopped the overflow and return iguess....
what are all of you rquarentine setups like?
how long do you leave the fish in there etc etc...

thanks a lot

11/15/2000, 08:10 AM
Thanks for all of the great advice! I guess I have decided to pull the yellow tang out of the tank and treat him separately. Now the trick will be catching him without breaking down the entire tank.

11/15/2000, 02:54 PM
I had this on my clowns. It was ok until they stopped eating. I moved them to a Q tank. I used hypo and it worked to get rid of the spots on the female. couldn't get rid of it on the male. then i did a series of formalin dips for 45 minutes 3 times every other day. that seemed to do the trick.

11/15/2000, 04:08 PM
If I remember the directions correctly, the trick with formalin dips is to make sure you have a good airstone running in the dip - I believe formalin will suck the oxygen out of the water.

Good luck,