Ich attacking my Rams

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Tpowers

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Nov 23, 2017
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I started up a new tank about two months ago, I started with mainly plants at first then after a month or so I started adding different types of Ram cichlids. I started noticing Ich on my gold rams a few days ago and ended up loosing two. I figured that was the end of it but I noticed this morning it was on another one of my gold rams and on one of my electric blue rams. I am relatively new to the hobby, I have just started seriously keeping fish a few years ago and this is the first time encountering ich in one of my tanks. Does anyone have any advice? I was doing some reading and I'm trying to figure out what is stressing my fish in the first place.

My set up
-40g tank
-Cascade 500 canister
-200 W Aqueon Heater
-Drift wood and Anubis and Valnesteria plants

Stock; All my fish are relatively young and not full size
-Was 4 gold rams, now 2
-3 Bolivian rams
-1 Blue ram
-1 electric blue ram

-Synodontis Eupterus
-3 upside-down cats
-African Butterfly

Water perameters
PH 7.4
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nirate 0

I use Aqueon water conditioner during water changes, API CO2 booster every day, API leaf zone one weekly, and I was using Microlift nite out 2. I am now using Herbtana to try and ward off the Ich.

Thanks, Tom
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Tom, welcome! Good info..

It's unusual to have 0,0,0 water parameters unless you did have some nitrates and did multiple large water changes and then tested.. What test kit are you using??

The ich parasite is typically introduced into your tank any time you add a new fish. The easiest way to deal with it is to crank up the water temp to as high as your stock will tolerate. If you can get to 86-88F and keep it there, this will speed the life cycle of the parasite. It's not a bad idea to feed lightly, increase aeration during this time, and of course increase your gravel vacs and water changes to rid the parasite from the substrate and water column.

You can add aquarium salt, which I'm told acts as an irritant to the fish, causing a nice, extra slimy, slime coat, which also helps them shed the ich parasite. I've not used salt. Only heat and that worked for me. It can take a week or two.
 

tanker

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I agree with Freshy. Your Nitrates cannot be "0". What is your temp currant. Upping it to 86 or so till all the ICH is gone. Rams like a higher temp anyway. 80-82 is normal for them.
 

Tpowers

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Original poster
Nov 23, 2017
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I picked up an adjustable heater today at work. I'm going to try setting the temp to 85 and see if that helps my electric ram is looking a lot worse today :(.

I use api test kits, I was using the strips but I was always getting zero readings too and I thought I was doing something wrong. The attached picture is water from the center of my tank and sat for about five min.

I'm a bit weary with adding aquarium salt to the tank because of the plants. Should I do it anyway? Is herb Tana not the way to go?

Thanks for the help

IMAG0398.jpg
 

OrionGirl

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Planted tanks can easily have 0 nitrates, so that's honestly not that unusual.

I use heat, but salt can be added in the necessary levels without causing a problem for more plants since it's only maintained for the period needed to kill ich (at least 2 weeks, plus a week past the last visible infection on the fish).

Ich is not present all the time, waiting for fish to be stressed. It's a parasite. It hitches a ride, unseen in the gills of fish. Quarantining fish for 10 days before adding them to your main tank will help, as will reviewing where you are getting your animals. Good shops will quarantine before selling.
 

FreshyFresh

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Planted tanks can easily have 0 nitrates, so that's honestly not that unusual.
^ I'm with you there, but on a 2 month old setup, it's unlikely the plant mass is such that it would eat up all the available nitrates IMO.
 

OrionGirl

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Depends on what size and how many are used. I've seen lots of tanks that have plenty of plants on day one, especially if using fast growing stem plants and lightly stocked. a few small rams won't produce much waste (although long term, I don't think that many rams will share a 40 gallon tank, and will end up beating the crap out of each other in addition to pairing up in odd combinations).
 

FreshyFresh

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True on all points!

At the end of day Tpowers needs to get the ich parasite licked first anyway. Not literally of course.
 

Tpowers

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Nov 23, 2017
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I took a photo of the tank so far to give everyone a better idea of my setup. A lot of the plants came from friends who didn't want them anyone and they had a good amount of roots to them.

I appreciate all the help so far.

IMAG0400.jpg
 
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OrionGirl

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Definitely not heavily planted, but decent. I'd say the true cause of the nitrate level is the low stocking levels.
 
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