How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 21257
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I bought a figure 8 fish and when it arrived, it had

Customer Question

I bought a figure 8 puffer fish and when it arrived, it had ick....I started treatment with
quick cure, upped the temperature in tank and added salt...its going on 5th day now, its still with us...and ok I guess, eats some,,,,but honestly seems bit disoriented like can't quite get food when it lunges for...I have to put in front of it....the ick isn't seeming to go away at all....can't tell if she has changed at all as far as worse or better other then the
eating thing. how long can it take to get better, should I try something else....
I don't want to lose her....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Have you checked your water parameters in the past 24 hours?

What are the nitrite, nitrates, pH, and ammonia readings?

Did you gradually put the temperature up? Does this fish seem to tolerate it?

Can you take a photo of the Ich for me? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket,Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

headed home now..will take and send and ck levels..thank you

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you,

As well, can you also check your tank specific gravity for me when you do.

Speak to you later,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Goodness, I only attached each pic once....I did 3 different ones..not sure why it put so many..

now on the tank..this is a temp/ quarantine tank...I put up and put her

in to its new water as of 5 days ago...doing a couple 20 percent water changes...and adding the salt 2 days ago...and heat raised it immediately..but yes it went up over a trying to keep it at 84or 85 now....I was going to do another water change tonite and change medicine maybe..she is hanging in there, but I feel terrible for her....she has to be miserable.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

No worries here.

First, I am glad to hear that it is your quarantine tank and I am grateful for the photos so that I could confirm that it was Ich you were facing. That said, I cannot see any information about tank parameters or the salinity/specific gravity. So, if you can check and post those that would be ideal.

In the meantime, I do want to note that at the temperature you have the tank at, Ich has a 5-7 day life cycle. Therefore,it is not unexpected that they are still present at this stage (and it can often look worse before it gets better). Often treatment courses need to run 7-14 days to clear all life stages of the parasite .

Otherwise I do have a few concerns at this point with your set up and treatment plan. First, the medication is reasonable to be using and again the lack of improvement is more likely related to time frame as opposed to treatment failure. That said, you do need to tread with care with that temperature setting because its actually outside the comfortable range for this species. So, if she is looking sluggish, we may need to lower the temperature and accept that we will need to treat for longer to ensure we clear all life stages of the parasite. As well, I can see that you still have gravel in the tank. This should be removed during treatment. This is because the parasite doesn’t spend all its time on the host and will be in that gravel. We always want to be hovering the tank bottom daily when treating for Ich (so we remove as much of the non-host individuals as possible) and that is much easier if the gravel is removed.

So, if you can check those parameters that would be ideal to make sure we don't have that getting her down. As well, they are worth a check since getting the salinity up to ~1.005 would help against Ich too. But also remove that gravel, hoover the bottom of the tank to give the treatment a hand in clearing this infection faster.

All the best,