Over the past week I have been treating an outbreak of ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis) in the 175 litre aquarium. The ich was introduced to the tank after I purchased a group of eight Chocolate Gouramis from a local aquarium store. Looking back, I did neglect to scrutinise the fish in the dealer’s tank before purchasing them. Careful scrutiny of fish in the dealer’s tanks is essential for any hobbyist but it is all the more vital when the hobbyist does not quarantine their fish before adding them to the main aquarium. I do not quarantine my fish before adding them to the display tanks as I do not have the space for a quarantine tank. (Hmm… seems I no longer hold that opinion – see: Quarantining New Arrivals – The Missing Link)
Treating the Ich Outbreak
I noticed the first signs of ich on one of the new additions less than 24 hours after purchase. The next day I visited another aquarium store and asked around about which medication I should use. The last time I had ich in one of my tanks (See: Treating Freshwater Ich: A Personal Account) I used the salt and heat method with almost no results (partly due to late diagnosis and under-dosing salt). This time I had reluctantly decided to explore medication options. Medication should always be a last resort, as there are often side effects and over-use of medication can cause resistance in disease. The staff at the aquarium store recommended Blue Planet’s, ‘Tri-Sulfa’, medication. They assured me that they had experienced success with this product in the past, so I purchased a bottle of 15 tablets and went home.
I had already raised the tank’s temperature to 31°C. This would facilitate the action of the medication, as well as, compromise the effectiveness of the ich parasite. I dosed the appropriate amount and waited three days as instructed. During that time only three fish died. This was a satisfying result, considering that the last time I had ich, almost all of the fish died. After the three days, I dosed a second time as instructed. Although fish died during the second dose, ich was not the cause.
Therefore, I would highly recommend Blue Planet’s ‘Tri-Sulfa’ medication to anyone. The only downside to this medication seems to be that the second dosage can compromise the effectiveness of your biological filtration. However, this is a common side effect of all medications. Despite this, I did not detect a decline in the biological filters effectiveness. Overall, this a great product.