Treating ich without harming invertebrates
Many commercial Ich treatments utilize copper to kill the Ich parasite. This is fine in fish only aquariums, but copper is toxic to aquatic invertebrates like snails, crabs, shrimp and crayfish. So if your sick fish are sharing an aquarium with invertebrates, what's your best course of action?
Here are some suggestions:
- Remedy the situation causing your fish stress. Carefully consider water quality, water temperature, nutrition, and adequate cover. Most often, temperature fluctuations are to blame for Ich infections.
- Isolate and treat infected fish. Hospice aquariums, usually 10-20 gallon setups like the Eclipse System, help you target only the diseased fish. This allows you to dose with a commercial Ich treatment such as Cupramine or Rid-Ich+, while your inverts remain safely in the main aquarium.
- Help your fish fight infection from the inside out with a product such as Garlic Xtreme, an all natural and invert safe way to boost your fishes' immune systems and help them fight off Ich infestation.
Invertebrates are the "cleanup crews" in our aquariums, so it's important to take extra measures to protect their health while treating their sick mates. With a little prevention - and isolation when needed - you can ensure the best health of your whole aquarium.