29 October 2015

ich gone

Successfully, I think. Saw the last spots twelve days ago, but treated a few days more to be sure (there were several days I didn't get a good look at the fish to be certain; the plastic sides are dim and I had to drape a black cloth behind the tub to get enough contrast). Then spent three days doing small water changes to remove the salt and gradually lowering the temperature, held it at norm temp (78°) a full day extra to keep observing. On the second-to-last day the fish were no longer hiding so much and began to take offered food- garlic-soaked pea bits. They were immediately anxious to escape into the main tank once I started floating in a baggie, so the picture is blurry.
They are already comfortable among the other fish, no hiding or clamped fins. Still have pale color, but the fins are nicely orange and they're already feeding with the rest. I think they will be fine. The others are looking better, too- pale patches and split fins disappearing.
I discovered I had a filter problem. The pre-filter traps so much fine debris I think it's why I had high nitrates the past few weeks, and fish were looking ragged. I rinsed the pre-filter sponge on the usual fourth-week schedule and amazed at the mass of mulm that came out. (Conversely, hardly any gets rinsed from the sponge media inside the filter). So I think I need to alternate differently and rinse it more often, every second or third week.

I didn't type out the daily notes on ich treatment this time, but here it is for the record:
I'm glad the treatment seems to have worked, but discouraged that I lost two established fish at the same time, from using meds. Two new fish minus two old fish doesn't get me any closer to a fully stocked tank. Bah.

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