Last night my clown loaches acted restless. Splashing at 3am actually woke me. So the first thing I did during their morning feed was take an extra close look.
What did I see? Spots. Ich. Or Ichthyopthirius multifilis.
|My fish don't look this bad, but won't stay still for a photograph.|
I found this image and useful information here...
Scale-less loaches are particularly vulnerable. And my desire to add a few Dalmatian mollies and albino guppies probably transported the parasite.
As the sun came up I changed out the usual monthly amount of water and replaced an appropriate measure of aquarium salt, actions supported by the various and often contrary online opinions. A bio boost additive went in, as well, again at the typical rate.
Then I nudged the heater up a little. Warmer temperatures are said to speed up the parasitic cycle. Now I’m watching and waiting, checking the thermometer. It was already around eighty degrees Fahrenheit and we don’t want it above 82.
Another common suggestion my husband and I both found was to add garlic to their diet. Garlic contains allicin, an organosulfur compound known to be antibacterial and anti-parisitic. There are commercial foods available, but I didn’t want to waste time. Raiding the kitchen pantry, I crushed several cloves for their juice and soaked fish food flakes in the stuff.
Two out of three clown loaches partook, as did much of the asymptomatic population. Tomorrow morning I will repeat the process.
As a last resort I’ll look into the chemical route. Those can be more dangerous than the parasite, especially for loaches.
Are you a garlic fan?