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[APD] Re: Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 23, Issue 32

To try and defeat an ich outbreak in my tank I am in the 3rd week of an
'every other day 50% water change' regimen with temps up around 85-86.

The recommendation to raise the temperature does little good. I put it in the class of aquarium myth because, though it does speed the life cycle of the ich parasite, it also decreases oxygen levels in the tank. If the fish's gills are loaded with ich parasites, decreasing oxygen may kill them when a longer cycle of infection won't.

I was unable/unwilling to use any medications for fear of losing/harming my
plants/shrimp/botia. In the process I did lose a Cory or two but others
(including Neons) have made it through the spots unscathed.

Straight malachite green ich medications work very well and very fast. Treat every day until the dots are gone, and then at least one extra day, as the parasites can only be killed in the stages where they've dropped off the fish. Typical treatment is 3 or 4 days. Be sure to remove carbon from the filter during treatment, as it removes the medication. Malachite green will slightly color the water for a few hours. Repeated use may slightly stain silicone seals in aquariums. But, properly dosed, MG won't hurt your plants/fish/inverts. It's recommended to use half doses for tetras and scaleless bottom fish. No additional water changes are required.

Malachite green is very safe. When I was a retailer with up to 700 tanks, we'd use it to treat all new arrivals, and sometimes the entire store systems. We never found it to cause problems, and that was using it on just about every fish/invert/plant species known to man.

I would avoid the formalin/malachite green formulations, though. They are supposed to work better for killing ich-- working synergistically together--but the formalin can be tough on plants (depends on the dosage) and water quality. Plus, it messes up the accuracy of some ammonia test kits.

Mike Wickham

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