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01-17-2016, 11:41 AM #1
About ich treatment, carbon filter and beneficial bacteria
Hi. I'm new to this community and a second time (after many years) fish keeper. Things (or at least the information available) have changed since I last kept an aquarium. I feel overwhelmed reading everything on-line, and I could use some help, please.
We set up my 9 year old's 29 gallon tank after Christmas. It's got a Whisper EX filter, and an Undergravel Filter (the tank was purchased used).
We used Tetra SafeStart Plus to get the cycle started, and she chose 4 platys for the aquarium. Since then she's added a few more platys, danios, catfish, and a frog. Ammonia has been 0 for 2+ weeks. Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate <20 (using Tetra EasyStrips). We test every day.
Here is where I need some help. 2 days ago we noticed some white dots on a couple of the fish. First we assumed they were air bubbles, but when the dots didn't move off of the fish, we think it's ICH. After some online research, we bought Kordon Ich Attack Treatment. Instructions say to remove carbon filter when treating. I removed the filter from the Whisper EX and the carbon from the undergravel filter. And now I'm concerned about the beneficial bacteria. Early last night, except for the danios, the fish were all at the bottom of the tank. Similar to when I "wake them up" in the morning, but unusual behavior in the early evening. Today they're active again, but I'm worried that I've done something wrong.
What I'd like to know is what I should do about keeping the beneficial bacteria alive while the bio bag carbon is out of the filter??? I didn't think about squeezing the filter into the tank, and I just threw it away. Probably a mistake, but I didn't read that online suggestion until it was too late. I've thought about adding SafeStart to the tank again, but I'd like experienced help before I do anything.
Any advice you can give me about what to do going forward, is appreciated. I know fish loss does occur, but my daughter is already quite attached to her new friends and I'll do anything I can to help her keep them safe and healthy. Thank you very much.
01-17-2016, 01:18 PM #2
Now (3 hours after "waking up") most of the fish are on the bottom of the tank again. :(
01-17-2016, 01:37 PM #3
You can take the carbon out of the filter without throwing your filter out. Too late now as you've tossed it, but right now I would either get a new filter where the components are separate, or put in a cartrdige with the carbon portion cut out of it, if you want to continue doing the ich treatment.
those strips you are using aren't very reliable, I would get an actual test kit instead.
Now my own personal thoughts - I would not be treating for ich with chemicals. I would be doing daily water changes and increasing the water temperature to treat the problem, rather than the chemicals. In my own experience, I haven't had any positive results that I can confidently say was attributable to meds when it comes to ich. Good tank maintenance, careful acclimatization when adding new fish - these are the best treatments for preventing and treating ich. After one instance each of saltwater and freshwater ich - both of which were recovered from successfully, I haven't seen ich in my tank for years - and I am one of the few long time fishkeepers who doesn't run a QT.20gal long planted community
01-17-2016, 01:40 PM #4
oh, and that safestart stuff isn't helping - that throws your water testing off. I wouldn't be using it. It IS a good idea to test your source water tho - its good to know what your baseline readings are.
Likely your tank never cycled properly in the first place, it takes weeks to populate a sufficient growth of BB.20gal long planted community
01-17-2016, 01:57 PM #5
My daughter was probably too aggressive in adding fish, and added too many at one time. I do agree that is likely part of the problem. She added the cory cat, dwarf frog, 3 small zebra danios and a few platys. I really thought up until 2 days ago they were all doing so well. There is a moss ball and one of those combo plants in the tank.
The Whisper Filter cartridges come with the carbon inside, BUT the folks we bought the tank from also gave us some bio bags with carbon separate. They don't fit perfectly, but I was able to fit one into the holder for the Whisper filter. So, I've put that in place. We will watch our feeding more carefully.
01-17-2016, 02:53 PM #6
01-17-2016, 03:23 PM #7
This is one kit a lot of people use, including myself.
01-17-2016, 03:28 PM #8
Welcome to the AC.
You've been given great advice above...have a look at the 10G journal in my signature below, I started out in fishkeeping in much the same way you did, and I was offered some great info to get me going.
01-17-2016, 03:37 PM #9
01-17-2016, 03:57 PM #10