How to treat ICH

How to Treat ICH (White Spot Disease) Ichthyophthirius multifiliis

  • Identifying Ich

Fish infected with Ich will have little white spots on their body and in my experience it starts on their fins but not always. The spot look like a grain of salt (up to 1mm) and can be seen with the naked eye. The infected fish will be seen rubbing (flashing) on rocks, gravel, glass or anything it feels will rub off the parasite.


  • Life Cycle of Ich

Ich is a protozoan parasite the typically transmitted by a carrier fish or by you ,if contained from another system and this includes nets and other equipment. My option is Ich is always present and a stress event will allow a outbreak. “The amount of time needed for Ich to complete its life cycle is temperature dependent. Ich commonly infects fish between 68o and 77o F (20o to 25o C), but infections do occur at colder temperatures (as low as 33o F, 1o C). Typically, Ich cannot reproduce properly at water temperatures above 85o F (30o C ) and  to complete its life cycle, Ich requires less than 4 days (at temperatures higher than 75o F or 24o C)  Robert M. Durborow, Andrew J. Mitchell and M. David Crosby



  • Heat

Most people have heaters in their tank or have access to them, as stated above Ich doesn’t like temps higher the 85f. That is the first treatment method I use


  • Salt (sodium chloride; NaCl)

One of the best treatments and preventives for Ich has been 2 to 3 parts per thousand (ppt) of salt indefinitely. This is usually a very effective treatment for tank. In one recent case, however, Ich was observed to tolerate 3 ppt salt, while in another case, Ich with- stood 5 ppt. Note- Invertebrate safe


  • Copper sulfate (CuSO4)

 Big box store sale copper based product, read and follow the instructions on the box. Note- Copper will kill all invertebrates. Do not use with shrimp or crayfish.  


  • Quick Cure

This is my go to treatment for fish. Note- Do not use with shrimp or any invertebrates.  

Please make sure you read the labels and follow the instructions for any treatment you use. It would defiantly make your life easer if you could treat in a tank with no invertebrates. There are other Ich treatments options that are more advanced and some of the medication is harder to access. Ich is very easy to treat and cure, theres no reason to panic but it needs to be treated as soon as spotted.