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Treating Yellow Perch for Ich

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#1 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 18 August 2015 - 03:40 PM

This morning while feeding my juvenile Yellow Perch I noticed that the lone YOY Bluegill in the tank with them (that's only half the size of the perch) was really beating on all of them and biting at them quite aggressively. Because of this, I moved the 'gill to its own 10 gallon to let the perch recover. Upon inspecting the perch now though, I just noticed that they all have several white spots spread all over their bodies. I'd been wondering why they've been acting weird for the last week or two and now I think I have my answer. I originally took home 16 perch to split between me and a friend after I quarantined them but in the past week and a half I'm down to 12 perch. The ones that died all did so overnight and symptoms the day before included freezing in the water column nearly straight up for several minutes at a time. My theory is that the Bluegill bullying the perch lowered their immune systems which then led to ich taking over. So now I have a dozen sick perch I need to treat for ich, one of which is already close to death and showing the same levitating behavior as the ones that died did. All of the perch share these characteristics now though, they're covered in white spots, the area that I believe would be right behind their stomach looks sunken in, and the ones that are about to die float vertically and motionless in the water column. They're all together in a 10 gallon with a sponge for filtration and get fed twice a day (either frozen bloodworms, mysis shrimp, or daphnia), water changes are every 2-4 days and are 50% with new water being around 68-72° (the coldest I can get in the summer). They're all still feeding well and acting fine (except the one) but I can clearly see the white spots on their bodies. The Bluegill as of now seems fine with only the tinyest white spot on the bottom of his caudal fin that is probably just a nip mark if it's anything at all. So how should I go about treating the perch? I'm afraid to take the heat approach since perch are cool water fish and their water already sits at 74-76° in the summer. I also don't know how much salt this species can tolerate so right now I have half a tablespoon of salt in their entire 10 gallon tank. Any advice or help you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated as these are awesome fish with great personality that I'd hate to lose.

Thanks for the help!

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Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#2 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:14 PM

Any of the copper based "ich meds" from the LFS should be fine for them. Heating the tank just speeds up the lifecycle of the parasite and makes treating them faster. But you can certainly treat them at the cooler temps they are currently at. You'll just have to do it longer.
Nick L.

#3 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 19 August 2015 - 02:51 PM

Today I added another 1.5 tablespoons of salt (to the 0.5 tablespoon I added during the water change yesterday) and already the fish are more active and the one that was close to death is acting normal again. I'm just going to change water every 1-2 days and use 1 tablespoon salt per 5 gallons until they get better. If it gets any worse again I'll go buy some meds.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

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