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Desperate for help with hard to treat parasite probably ick

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HI, I have posted this in the disease section as well but thought I would repeat the story here because I know there are a few very experienced goldfish keepers who post in this thread. I think my goldfish have ick and in 10 days of treatment I have not been able to get rid of it. I obviously need to do something different and would be grateful to hear people's thoughts.

Here is my other thread

So I'm having a problem with my goldfish tank and feel like I've reached the end of the road. I don't know what else to try.

300 litre tank - four fish, one new ranchu added 3 weeks ago after a 10 day quarantine without any issues. Tank is mature, water parameters good, 2 cannister filters

A week after I added the new ranchu, I woke up one morning to find my black moore bottom sitting badly - when it swam it was flashing and swimming erratically.It had been fine the day before. Looking very carefully at its tail fins I could see faint grey.white smudges and thought I was probably dealing with ick. Have not seen any spots on any of the other fish at any point.

I sought advice from a former Brisbane fish vet who kindly emailed me with a treatment regime - 6 days of formalin/malachite green with a water change and redosing of the medication after three days, and increase the salt to 5g/litre over 2 days and maintain while treating and for an extra 7 days.

I inadvertently put in a half dose of formalin/malachite to begin with so have treated for 3 days at half-strength and then 6 days at full strength, with water changes and a medication redose every 3 days. Also salted to 5g/litre and am now on day 10. Tank temp has been at 28-30 degrees. After 12 hours the moore was up and swimming again. The faint grey/white spots appeared and disappeared and appeared again and currently there is quite a large white smudge on it's tail. If this is ick the treatment has not worked. The other fish seem fairly ok but are going to the surface more often. No spots that I can see.

So my questions are:

From the history and the picture is this ick or another parasite?

If it is ick how can I eradicate it? Is the formalin getting bound up by organics in my tank? I use Prime and have read that prime can reduce formalin and inactivate it? Any suggestions for a different/better treatment regime ?

And lastly if anyone has a microscope and knows how to do scrapes for parasites and would let me bring my fish over I would be eternally grateful (and bring your favourite brew by way of thanks)

I don't want to kill my fish with endless cycles of formalin but I don't want to lose them to ick either.

If I don't do something different I think I'll end up losing all my fish.

Thanks in advance,



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I see you've thought of a scrape. I'd go into UQ and visit the biomedical science facility - I'm sure someone there would give you a slide and instructions on how to collect a sample as well as diagnose it for you upon your return. Here are the staff you might like to talk to: UQ Researchers


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The temp was high because of the weather. I drained half the tank with a dry siphon, refilled with buckets - prime added to each bucket. The water was pretty much the same temperature out of the tap. Used prime at about 4 x the dose in each bucket - comes out at about 2 x in the total volume of the tank. I had the replacement salt predissolved and added that in bits along the way. Waited 30-40 minutes after filling then put the formalin back in.

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If you did keep the temp correctly over 30 for the last 10 days with the correct amount of salt....oh, how much salt in kg did you put in and the size of your tank in Littre? As I remember many people did not realize that you would need a lot of salt for the whole tank. I reduced my tank water to a half before to maintain the salt level, and still needed too much salt for my liking.

If you believe that every thing was done correctly and only one fish left with suspected symptoms, I would separate it into a hospital tank, put salt, high temp, give some direct sunlight and some plants and dont touch it, worked for Goldies all the time with me, and there is no needs to put other fish in stresss. Btw, fish love salt. Hope this help.

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I wasn't trying to use the heat method to kill the ick - it just happened to be hot. The temp didn't get under 28 but it hasn't been at 30 the whole time. In terms of the salt - you're right it was a lot - came out at a bit over 1 kg in total. Mostly on the net people advise to go to 3 g/litre - this is 5g/litre as per the advice I got from the fish vet.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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