Curing Marine Ich (Cryptocaryon irritans) Using Hyposalinity
By: Annette Paulsen


Curing Marine Ich (Cryptocaryon irritans) Using Hyposalinity

So you didn’t QT and now you have Ich in your display tank (DT). The bad news is it’s there to stay unless you make it go away. Not all fish will show signs of Ich, but if even one does, you have to treat them all. Don’t be fooled into thinking it went away on it’s own, it’s true some fish can develop an immunity to ich, and never show signs of it again, but any new additions to the tank will be attacked with a vengeance.

  • A hyposalinity treatment will kill invertebrates, corals, and live rock so it’s best performed in a bare-bottom hospital tank of an appropriate size.
  • Prepare the hospital tank: provide the fish with some hiding place, PVC pipe works well. Use a seeded biological filter so as to avoid an ammonia spike. Don’t use a skimmer, they don’t work with lower salinity, skip the powerheads as well.
  • DO NOT USE AN ELEVATED TEMPERATURE, that’s used for freshwater ich, a totally different creature.
  • NEVER add medications to hyposaline water.
  • Do not mix cures, hypo works when used correctly and is the kindest cure for your fish.
  • Fill the hospital tank half full from water from your DT. Match the specific gravity, PH and temperature as closely as possible.
  • Over a period of about 36-48 hours gradually lower the salinity to 1.008 to 1.009. This sg is very important. It requires the use a good refractometer. Do not attempt to use this treatment with a swing-arm type instrument.
  • The sg must be held at this level for at least 6 weeks after the last spot has been seen. You should not see any more ich roughly 3-4 days into this process. If patchiness or spots continue to be seen, It’s probably not ich and hyposality will not kill velvet or brooklynella.
  • Since the DT must remain fallow (fishless) for 6-8 weeks in order to kill the ich, you may as well keep the fish in hypo during this period.
    Raising salinity. This process needs to be done very slowly, as this can cause major distress for your fish. This process should take a week to perform and the sg should not be raised more than .003 sp gr units per day. There you have it! The least stressful treatment for your fish. I personally am using this right now, and my fish are not showing any signs of distress.

Wasn’t that a lot of trouble to go to because YOU DIDN”T USE A QT PROCESS!

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