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Posible Ich/Velvet?

Author Topic: Posible Ich/Velvet?  (Read 3690 times)

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Offline MichaelT

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Posible Ich/Velvet?
« on: February 23, 2015, 08:08:38 PM »
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I'm  getting a little concerned about my new guppies. They have been in my tank for just over a week now and a few of the seem to be rubbing the underside of their heads against things. They generally do it following a water change but I don't think it's to do with my water. I tested it after the change and have 0 ammonia and about 0.15 mg/l nitrites.

There are no obvious signs of white spots, but I have read that this behaviour is an early sign. Should I be concerned, or am I worried about nothing?

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Offline Sanjo

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 09:04:29 AM »
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Hello Michael. Just "bumping" this for you as I see nobody has replied.
I've only just joined so wouldn't offer you advice as I'm a complete newbie.

Hope somebody with more nowse comes along soon

Offline Sue

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 09:31:04 AM »
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Rubbing themselves could actually be a sign of ammonia and/or nitrite in the water, and you do report a low level of nitrite.

I am loath to dose a tank unless I'm sure the fish are sick. Most medicines do stress fish to some degree so adding a med just in case is not the best thing.
Keep an eye on your fish. You are looking for small white spots which look as though the fish have been sprinkled with salt. Or possibly a gold sheen which can be seen better by waiting till the room is dark and tank lights out then shining a torch on the fish. The white spots are ich, the gold sheen is velvet. Both are protozoan parasitic infections and are treated with the same med.
If your fish do get ich, now or in the future, there are a few ways to treat it. Some people refuse to use medication but increase the temp to 30 deg C. Some people use temp and salt. The majority use a medication as there is a heat resistant strain of ich around. If you do ever get ich and use a med, follow the instructions to the letter. This bug has a three stage lifecycle (on the fish, on the bottom of the tank multiplying inside a cyst, and free swimming) and it can only be killed in the free swimming stage. There must be some med in the water when the very last bug reached this stage.
There are a lot of meds on the market, they all work. But they do stain white silicone!

Offline Sanjo

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 12:02:44 PM »
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And some destroy your beneficial bacteria !!!!!

Offline Sue

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 12:06:09 PM »
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I forgot about the one you got from MA, Sanjo  :-[

Most of them do not harm the filter bacteria but some do. Read the pack before buying.

Offline MichaelT

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 07:39:10 PM »
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Having had a closer look, I think it may be velvet. I can't see any indication of ich, there are no white spots at all. I'm finding velvet harder to identify , however the two that were rubbing have some golden patches now. The problem is they are orange/yellow fish, so it's hard to know if it's usual colour or not. I've had a look at them in torch light and they do have a golden tint.

More of them are starting to rub, and they haven't suffered stress since Friday when the temperature fell during a water change  :( I've read that this is a very contagious disease, so I don't want to delay in treating it. I also tested my nitrites today and they are down to 0.1, ammonia still 0.

What would you suggest for treating this? Increasing temp and keeping the lights out or using a medication? If meds, do you have any recommendations?

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Offline Sue

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 07:57:18 PM »
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I know that whitespot can be treated with heat alone or heat plus salt, but I don't know if the same applies to velvet.

Looking at the makes I know of that treat velvet (Oodiniasis):
Protozin by Waterlife
eSHa Exit
King British Velvet Control
Interpet No 7 Anti Slime & Velvet


There may well be others too.


And some reading for you http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/oodinium



PS after a quick skim read, it seems that darkness is helpful for velvet!


Offline fishcake76

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2015, 08:15:32 PM »
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Hi!

You might find this site useful too.

http://www.fishyportal.com

Also, I always google images of the disease I am trying to identify, this is sometimes useful.

Hope you get it sorted.

FC76

Offline MichaelT

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2015, 08:21:28 PM »
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Thanks for the recommendations. I think I'll head to my LFS and purchase some tomorrow. I'm not 100% sure its velvet, but I don't want to leave it until its too late. If it turns out they didn't have velvet, and it was say the water conditions affecting them, would using the medication have any ill effect? I would guess not.

Your link says that turning out the lights for an extended period and aid in killing off the velvet. I have some live plants however, so don't really want to leave the lights off for too long. Its seems like meds is the best way to go.

You also mentioned that the disease has three stages and can only be killed in the last of these. Is there anything I can do to reduce the suffering of the fish while the velvet is on them and unkillable, or does it just have to run its course?

Thanks for the heads up Sanjo. I'll make sure I check whatever I buy doesnt kill the bacteria.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2015, 12:04:59 PM »
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Infections like ich and velvet do have to run their course I'm afraid. Turning the heater up speeds up the parasite's lifecycle getting it to the stage where it can be killed faster, which is why most meds say to increase the temp.  Now I've had time to read that link, it says that meds containing formalin and malachite green are the ones to look for, and some aquarists report success with acriflavine. I have a somewhat old article I saved on active ingredients, though it doesn't contain all the meds on the UK market.

Waterlife's Protozin contains malachite green, formalin and copper
Interpet no 7 contains Copper EDTA, Quinine Bisulphate, Formaldehyde, Benzalkonium Chloride
eSHa 2000 (not Exit, that's not on the list) contains Ethacridine lactate, Proflavin (an acridine closely related to acriflavin and used for protozoans (velvet)), Copper (used for protozoans (ich and velvet)), Methyl Orange



The med that Sanjo mentioned was odimor. It was from Maidenhead Aquatics - she was given it after some newly purchased fish died. This thread

Offline MichaelT

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2015, 01:03:12 PM »
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Ive picked up some Waterlife Protozin as it seem to have all the right ingredients. The pack says it wont do damage to fish, plants or filters, however the guy in the shop told me it would kill my bacteria. I guess hes just being cautious?

It says do a half dose for new aquariums, so hopefully it should be fine.

Thanks for all your help everyone, hopefully I can get this under control.

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Offline Sue

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2015, 01:20:46 PM »
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I have used protozin with no problems. He could well just be being cautious, though newly grown bacteria are more delicate than long established ones. It's because the biofilm the bacteria live in takes a while to become fully established and protective.
Keep an eye on your levels, though that could be a bit trickier than usual since protozin dyes the water blue, if I remember correctly. If you find yourself needing water changes, on dose days, do the water change then add the protozin; on non-dose days add enough protozin to treat the amount of new water you add back in.

Offline MichaelT

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2015, 02:07:15 PM »
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OK, I'll make sure I keep checking the water. Once I've taken out my carbon filter pad, should I keep hold of it or just discard it? Its about 3 weeks old now.

I was also advised to reduce feeding to once every other day while treating. Would you agree with that, or should I go with whatever it says on the bottle?

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Offline Sue

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Re: Posible Ich?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2015, 04:42:38 PM »
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Reducing feeding reduces the amount of ammonia the fish make so that if your bacteria do suffer a bit of a setback having less ammonia being made is a good thing.

The carbon pad will be full by now. I would discard it. But you need to put a new one in once treatment has finished to remove the medication. Wait a few days then throw that one away too as it will be full of med. Then put another new one in if you really want to use carbon, or a plain sponge in if you don't. You don't actually need carbon, it's a hangover from decades ago which is cheap to make and is a nice earner for the manufacturer as it is supposed to be replaced regularly. I don't use carbon routinely in any of my tanks, though there is a box or carbon pellets in the cupboard for occasions I do need to use it.

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