Ich is a nasty disease that affects freshwater fish. It is characterized by white spots on the fish’s scales. While ich is treatable if caught early, it can spread quickly and kill your fish tank inhabitants.
If your fish tank has been attacked by ich and you have lost all your stock, you will have to start your fish tank over again. It is not as simple as purchasing new fish and introducing them to the aquarium. Careful planning and attention to eradicating the ich must be considered.
Restocking Fish Tank After Ich – Two Methods
There are two methods for dealing with ich in your fish tank. The first method is to use medication to try to get rid of all the ich. Ich medications can be found under various brand names at any local pet store. You can also treat ich with raised aquarium temperatures and aquarium salt.
The other method for dealing with a massive ich breakout in your tank is to break down the fish tank, clean it, and start over again. This method is recommended if the ich breakout killed all the fish and other organisms in the tank.
Restocking Fish Tank After Ich – Cleaning the Fish Tank
After removing the dead fish and siphoning off all the water in the fish tank, it is time to take everything out and give it a good scrubbing. Begin by removing any plastic plants and ornaments from the tank. If you have live plants, they must be treated vigorously with ich medication if you want to use them in your newly set up tank. Remove all the gravel and substrate as well.
Everything that was in the tank should be replaced or cleaned thoroughly. Boiling items is a good idea, as the heat will kill the ich organisms. You can also soak items in strong solutions of ich medication, or scrub them vigorously with hot water. Using bleach is possible, though you must be very careful to rinse all items well before using them again.
The fish tank itself, all hardware such as the heater and filter also need to be cleaned and treated. Throw out any filter media and scrub it out well.
Restocking Fish Tank After Ich – Introduce New Fish
Once every item in the fish tank has been cleaned completely, you can set your fish tank back up. Of course, the processes which killed the ich infestation will also kill the beneficial bacteria in the gravel and on ornaments.
When restocking the fish tank after the ich attack, you must start at the beginning. Use fishless cycling or hardy fish varieties to cycle your fish tank before introducing new fish. Watch for any signs of ich carefully before fully stocking the aquarium.