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Velvet or Ich?

Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 10:46 am
by SondraT
Hello Everyone, I have a case of something in my newly planted 55g., ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 15-20, PH 6.7, Coralife 9w UV sterilizer. The spots I'm seeing on my largest clown loach (5 total) look much smaller than what I remember seeing years ago with ich. This appears more like a covering, going up and over the head. Don't see any spots on its body so far. From what I've read, this sounds more like velvet? Can't really do the flashlight test as he's in for the night when it gets dark. From what I've read, I'm guessing this came from the plants I added to the tank approx 3 weeks ago. The UV sterilizer has done an amazing job clearing up green water, but from what I've read this isn't enough to kill ich/velvet. I turned up the heat to 88 degrees F and was hoping this would do the trick, as some have said. Would prefer not to add salt. After seeing it spread to my 2nd big loach and now a smaller one, I began using Rid Ich full strength last night. No idea what this will do to my new plants, but was afraid to want to wait any longer. I've had good results with Rid Ich for ich in the past as far as safety to the loaches. Would anyone know if this is sufficient medication to get velvet under control? Plants in the tank include 1 red melon sword, 1 amazon sword, myrio filigree, dwarf sag, java fern, java moss, bacopa, val. Thanks so much for the help!

Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 1:59 pm
by Wendie
Recently I had a bout with ick on my recently purchased polka dot loaches. They were scratching and flashing something fierce but I didn't see anything. I finally spotted a few small white dots on the tail and immediately began a treatment of Ick Guard II (recommended by Mikev) for scaleless fish. It took forever - only a couple weeks actually - to clean them up but it did and they are bouncing around happily again. No fish loses and the plants were fine. I have some cryp's, java ferns, and a sword in the tank.

Velvet would be more of a yellow coating and not spots. I usually look for spots on the tail or fins with ick.

Posted: Mon May 01, 2006 3:03 pm
by SondraT
Hi Wendie, Thanks for the reply! These are definitely spots, but are very small, only on its head for the moment, nothing on fins or tail. I remember in the past when I'd seen ich it was on the body or fins/tail as bigger, random spots. This is more a flushing of very small dots covering its head. Can't see a defininte color to it as velvet is described as having. I've had the two biggest of these beautiful fish for about 6 years, they are my favorite. I'm glad to hear you had good luck preserving your plants after treatment. I'm worried about the plants for sure, but they're not really well established yet, so the fish come first for me. Thanks again! :)

Re:Ich or Velvet? Need help!

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 11:59 am
by SondraT
Hi everyone, I've been treating my tank for what I believe to be velvet as it covers my largest clown's head as a light dusting of grayish, very small spots. He seems to be eating fine for now but is a bit grayed out. Other clowns are seen to be flashing as well. I've been treating for 5 days so far with Rid Ich from Kordon. This morning, the worst fish seems to have an even larger dusting of spots. Could anyone please make a recommendation as far as meds, etc. that they have used to treat this disease or am I on the right track? Does this typically take longer to get under control than ich? The minor cases of ich I've had in the past were years ago and seemed easier to treat. I'm very concerned for my loaches and don't want to wait too long if I should be going in a different direction? :( I would appreciate any and all ideas. Thanks! Sondra

Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 1:53 pm
by mikev
Wendie wrote: I finally spotted a few small white dots on the tail and immediately began a treatment of Ick Guard II (recommended by Mikev) for scaleless fish. It took forever - only a couple weeks actually - to clean them up but it did
Arrggh. I see what went wrong. I actually recommended and myself use Ich Guard at half dose (the package does say not to use with small or scaleless fish). Somewhere on the net there was a discussion of IG vs IG2 with complains that IG2 is too slow.

Still battling velvet! (really LONG, sorry!)

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 10:17 am
by SondraT
Hello Everyone,

I am posting again for advice as I still have velvet in my tank. My alpha clown loach's head is covered and I'm just about out of ideas. This started when I converted to a planted tank, you may remember. Nothing but disappointment since then :( I initially started treating sometime during the last two weeks of April by slowly raising tank temp to 88 degrees F. and my Coralife 9 watt sterilizer alone. I realized it was likely not enough to kill parasites in my 55 g. Started to get nervous using heat alone after a few days, so on April 31 I did a 40% water change then began using Rid Ich by Kordon. Completed 10 days of Rid Ich, no change to the fish. Another 40% water change, then moved on to using an old bottle of the original Maracide formula I still had. Was afraid to use an old bottle of meds, but didn't know what else to do. Had had good luck with old Maracide in the past getting rid of ich. Had just enough for the 5 day treatment. Noticed a *possible* lessening of spots, hard to tell for sure. Doing alot of reading through forums for info on treating velvet on scaleless fishes, not a *whole* lot of info there. I believe it was cybermeez ? who recommended Paraguard. Sounded safe, so ordered some of that and am on day 2 now. Don't see any changes yet. Can anyone please advise what I might try next if the Paraguard doesn't help? I am fairly certain I could never catch this fish in order to dip it, it is about 5 inches long and FAST. Wouldn't want to stress him anymore than he no doubt is already. I've been keeping the lights off during the day. I should also mention I slowly adjusted the heat back to 83 degrees F so far. Was this the wrong thing to do? I won't even mention what my loaches have done to the new plants I added (yes, I give the loaches cucumber or zucchini at least once/day)! That plus the lack is lighting is not pretty for the plants. Trying not to feel completely discouraged here. Can anyone help? Thanks and sorry for the super long post! Just don't know what else to do at this point :cry:

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 10:34 am
by Fishhead
I've never treated Velvet.

Whatever treatment you decide to go with, just be careful in the mixing of treaments.. Loaches are VERY sensitive to treatments to begin with and when you mix them, God knows what it could trigger.

I have heard of a product called "Coppersafe" from Mardel Laboratories that is supposed to be quite effective at treating Velvet if that is indeed what your Clown has.. I am not sure but I think "Coppersafe" may be an oxymoron in that whereas it is supposed to cure Velvet, it is also supposed to kill all biological filtration.

I've never seen Velvet "in the flesh" so to speak, but I'm thinking if you get a digital camera picture up here on a reply, it may help someone who has, to better diagnose what's wrong with your Clowns.

Good Luck,