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RE:Ich medicines and treatments in planted tanks
The garlic treatment is a new one. I have no experience with it, but
suspect that it's hogwash. Regarding your questions:
1. I've used straight malachite green in store settings on hundreds of
tanks, thousands of times-- in tanks with plants. It won't hurt plants. It
can color your silicone aquarium seams a bit-- especially with repeated
use-- though the color fades over time.
2. Salt won't cure ich, except in very high doses-- doses high enough to
kill plants. Again, my experience with hundreds of store tanks over the
years-- all maintained with 1-2 tsps. of salt per gallon AND live plants--
shows that neither plants nor ich have problems with that level of salt.
You'd probably have to triple the level to cure ich. Salt may help prevent
secondary bacterial infections.
3. Turning up the temperature does speed the ich life cycle, but warmer
water holds less oxygen. In severe cases of ich, where the gills may
already be seriously compromised by parasites, a fish may already have
enough trouble breathing. So it may be a bad idea to raise the temperature.
4. I never heard about the darkness treatment, but since the parasites
aren't photosynthetic, I don't see how it could help.
My favorite treatment is malachite green. It's quick. It's easy. It's
cheap. And the medicine doesn't degrade water quality to force a need for
extra water changes. Use it half dosage if you want to be extra cautious.
Mike Wickham (mewickham at compuserve_com)