One proven way to treat ich/ick


Staff member
MFK Member
Jan 14, 2016
South Africa
Don't know the brand but most saltwater products add more than salt, usually minerals and other ingredients that'll sway the water parameters
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MFK Member
Jun 30, 2018
Las Vegas Nevada
It never bothered my plecos. For me the only fish that seemed to bothered by salt treatments is a pictus cat.
He has had a few salt treatments and for some reason he keeps getting more and more rambunctious after every treatment.


Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Feb 2, 2020
thanks for sharing, still a very relevant topic. there are so many different answers out there. I am using salt ich treatment and increased heat. with daily water changes, finally seems to be working.
you also have to worry about cross contamination, dont use equipment from one tank to another, wait for it to dry for 24 hrs. i also put in a 10% bleach rinse of nets and lay outside to dry.


Feeder Fish
Jul 6, 2021
I just found out my betta has velvet or ich he was in with 3 African dwarf frogs that I have had a week. Do I need to worry about them getting it? I got a betta 2.5 gal tank and set it up for moving him and doing a salt and heat but now I worry about the af dwarf frogs which seem fine so far. also I cleaned all my tanks today but used the same siphon without knowing what the problem is, did I mess that up also?:cry:


Feeder Fish
Aug 14, 2021
Guppy has given excellent advice; a salt treatment works wonders in combating Ick.

It is my intent to add clarity and strengthen some of the points already made by Guppy. I get many phone calls on fish health issues and no mater how I explain the treatment some people, especially those new to the hobby, take shortcuts; for example they just dump in some table salt and hope for the best. As mentioned it is important to raise the temperature to 85 - 86 degrees to speed up the parasite's life cycle. If you do not already have an air stone bubbling in the infected aquarium it is advisable to add one as the dissolved oxygen level drops significantly when the temperature is raised and yes the fish can suffocate from lack of oxygen.

Unfortunately many plants do not do well with this salt treatment and may appear to be failing but will usually come back in time. Removing them to a salt free environment after a thorough rinsing may save them; however they must be kept at the high temperature as well. When the Ick capsule breaks up in the plant holding tank the small parasites will be unable to find a host and will die within 24 - 48 hours. Ick is easily transferred to other fish tanks so do not share nets, heaters and wet hands between infected and non infected tanks. Fish in treatment appear to do better with a reduced feeding regiment.

When you look into the pet shop / fish store aquarium their fish may appear healthy without any signs of disease. Ask how long the fish have been in the store and when the last time new fish were added to that tank. If it has been 2 weeks or more your chances of getting disease free fish improve.

Impressive looking Clown Loaches and young Oscars are notorious for getting Ick after they are home in your tank. These and many others can tolerate salt. If you are unsure about your fishs tolerance for salt look for answers in a reference book or ask an expert.

A salt test kit, available at your local fish store, will help you get the exact dosage. Something in the range of .2%, is where you want to be. For large aquariums that works out to about 2 pounds or slightly more than 2 cups of salt per 100 gallons. The salt I use is "Evaporated Sea Salt" available at Home Depot in 50 pound bags. Do not use salt with iodine added or water softener salt with "YPS" or any other chemicals added.
Great information. Thank you
I have 2 baby Oscars with ick. Did the salt and tank became very cloudy used API aquarium salt. Do I put the salt in every day? Take filter out?
Tyvm appreciate the help.


Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Dec 15, 2017
Philadelphia, PA
This is all good advice, known to be very effective since a long time, nicely formalized here. My mother taught it to me more than 5 decades ago.
I would only add that it is not true that regular table salt (containing iodine) is deleterious or cause any problems, at least for the absolute majority of fish. I have used it for decades with no issues, both for ick events, but also as a preventative of secondary infection when a fish has been physically injured (scratches, torn fins and the like).

I would also add that air stones do not add oxygen themselves. They don’t blow O2, but air which also contains CO2 and whatever else is in the air in the surroundings. What they add is water movement up and down in a circular manner, increasing gas exchange at the water surface. Anything that moves the water does the same, more so if it moves bottom water up and viceversa in a continuos manner. A well located power head will do the same. If out electricity, soda bottles as shown recently by Duanes (different thread) will do the trick nicely as well but the motor will be your own refilling of the bottles. Good for emergencies.
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Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Mar 26, 2008
Medina, Ohio
Check out the following 2 videos on Ich which was hosted by Chris Biggs featuring Dr. Denise Petty, DVM, a certified aquatic veterinarian

Understanding ICH Episode 1 and Treatment and Prevention of ICH-Episode 2

I found the info very informative and while I have not knowingly had Ich in my tanks, the videos do explain that identifying if fish actually have Ich is not as easy as we have been led to believe without taking actual samples from suspected fish and viewing them under a microscope.

I know duanes duanes has contributed mightily to using 3ppt salt treatment for Ich and Dr. Petty suggests 5ppt should be readily accepted by most fish we keep in our tanks with a few exceptions.

Let me all know what you think of the videos!
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