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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, All!

I'm new here and semi-new to fish-keeping. I've had fish before, but back then, my mom would worry about all the cycling stuff and meds and whatnot, so it's really my first time around.

So I was cycling my 10g with some guppies I saved from the jaws of much larger fish. Everything was going fine but then I noticed that one of the had a pretty bad case of ich. It seemed to pop up overnight. That night I did a 10% water change (the first since I had set the tank up 2 1/2 weeks prior due to me wanting the cycle to go faster).

The next morning, I went to the local mom & pop's pet store and asked the fish expert what he recommended. He handed me a bottle of SeaChem's Cupramine and instructed me to follow the directions on the bottle and I should be fine.

Here are the instructions verbatim:
"Remove all invertebrates. Turn off UV sterilizer; remove chemical filtration. Use 0.5mL (bottom mark on enclosed dispenser) per 40L (10.5g)the first day, wait 48 hours, then repeat. Final cu conc is 0.25mg/L. Leave at this concentration for 14. Do not redose without testing."

Here's where things started to go wrong. I thought I had followed the directions, but the problem is that I didn't realize that chemical filtration meant carbon, so for the first 3 days, I left my whisper filter cartridge in the filter.

On the first day I added 0.5mL and turned the temperature all the way up on my heater (don't worry, because my house is so cold due to me being a poor college student living in VT, the temp has never been above 80F) and turned the lights off. I read that leaving the lights off disrupts the ich cycle, making it easier to treat.

On the third day I added 0.5mL assuming that I was good.

When on the fourth day, things only looked worse (it had spread to the rest of my fish) I decided to check out the website for the meds to see if they had any other suggestions. On the website, the instructions were listed again, but this time it clearly stated "remove carbon filtration."

Great. So I removed the filter and added a drop of the cupramine (0.1mL) each day for the next 3 days (because I knew that the cu had not been close to what it should be. I planned to go out and buy cu test strips in order to gage where my copper levels were. But here's the catch: I couldn't find any. I checked 4 different places and found NOTHING!

Some of my fish look better, but some have gotten much worse. Two of my females have gone very pale in their back halves and lay on the bottom all day. When they do swim, it appears they have very little control over their movements.

Another problem is that because I took the filter cartridge out, I've lost most of the progress I made while cycling. My Nitrites and Nitrates are both high. My pH is very low (6.2ish) and my water is very hard.

Does anyone have any advice of what I should do? I can't really afford to put any purchases on my credit card right now which is what is keeping me from buying cu test strips online.

Help please!
Julie
 

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Hi Julie, I hate to say it, but I think you can't do more than you did.
The strongest fishes will survive and the weakest die. It happens often in a new tank when the fishes are stressed by transport and the new invironment.
Or the fishes could be sick already when you buyed them, who knows?
When you have no medicin anymore I would go on with the water refresments
to lower the nitrate levels and raise the PH.

Sorry

Maybe someone else jumps in with an idea.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, but I'm fairly certain now that the two girls not doing so well are suffering from nitrite/ammonia poisoning so I plan on abandoning the cu treatment and going for a salt cure seeing as most of the ich is in fact gone.

The fish have been very healthy since I saved them back in Nov. They were in a small bowl heated by an incandescent bulb placed close, but they were getting very cramped very fast hence the new tank.

Thanks for all your help!
 
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