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Good Morning!

I am having trouble keeping fish. I am bringing them from the wild to stock my system. the last set started to get a creamy slime on their eyes, and then it showed up on their body. they act like they cant see. They wont eat commercial fish food, but will eat worms for a little while then they die. I am using a Hot Tub for a water tank and Barrels cut in half for my grow beds. Plants are growing a lot slower than everyone talks. ph 8.2, ammonia 0.25, Nitrite 0.25, Nitrate 0. I have had the system running for over a month, and this started when i added a little heat. 2 deg F rise from 66 to 68. I just emptied the water and put fresh in, and will get more bluegill. My Tilapia are growing nicely in my smaller system, and need to get this issue fixed before i introduce them to this one. I will not heat any more, thankfully the system is inside. Any info will help.

Thank You!

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Sounds like ick to me but I'm no expert. There are wonderful people on this forum who can help. Mine are dying too.

do you know of a plant safe treatment?

Dukie Dixon said:

Sounds like ick to me but I'm no expert. There are wonderful people on this forum who can help. Mine are dying too.

I bought channel cats that infected my whole tank with ich (Ichthyophthirius). At first, they had small white spots that kind of looked like bubbles on the skin. I've heard it described as white patches. Don't know about "creamy slime."

If it is ich, the general advice is to elevate salt to 3ppt and keep the water temperature as high as is manageable--they recommend 75-85°F. I don't have any way of heating my 275 gal IBC tote to that level, so I'm just going with the salt. The elevated temperature is to speed the life cycle of the parasite, because only parts of the cycle are susceptible to the salt.

Most plants can tolerate salinity up to 3ppt. Not strawberries or aquatic plants, though. I would not use the salted water to irrigate a soil garden unless you have a lot of rain or irrigate heavily with fresh water.

Is there a formula for calculating how much salt to add? Is there a way to test the levels? I have just added gold fish to my system from a friends pond. they are trained to eat commercial fish food so i can at least tell if they are eating, and get my plants growing better I hope. I can heat my tank but am concerned if that had an influence on the outbreak. I am beginning to wonder if i missed some of the Brominating chemical the hot tub was treated with and turning some heat on excited it again.By flushing it out this morning i hope i have eliminated that option for problems. Thank You for all of your help in advance.


eh, remember I'm not sure if ich is the problem--but my method is pretty straightforward. I'll use my numbers as an example.

Convert the volume of circulating water into liters. I have 1500 L. 1 ppt is one gram of salt per liter, so if I wanted 1 ppt, I'd go with 1500 g, or 1.5 kg of salt. Since I want 3 ppt, I'll need three times that, or 4.5 kg. The metric system does make things a lot easier.

Yeah that's a boatload of salt, and I find it fascinating that freshwater fish are okay with it. I hope my snails can handle it.

Did you put wild fish directly into your system?

Yes, is this a bad move? My thought was that the size of the fish and eating more would feed more nutrients to my plants. I live in a rural area where fish supplies aren't real available. I had to have my Tilapia Fed-Ex'd in, and atleast they are doing fine in my 30 gallon system. I hope i can figure my problem out in time to move them before they get too big. I am planning on building a 55gal system for breeding i can move some over to so they have more room if need be. If i use media from my existing system that is cycled can the problem follow? 

Alex Veidel said:

Did you put wild fish directly into your system?

For me it was the fish I paid the most money for ($3 apiece on the channel cat fingerlings) who are the most likely culprits. But I should have been suspicious from the amount of blue meds that were in the water when I bought them.

I'm a newbie so take this with a grain of salt, but if your system is 1 month old and you have zero Nitrates, I'm thinking your system isn't cycled yet.  Should be easier to keep the fish alive once the system finishes cycling.  Until then, feed sparingly and increase fish load slowly.

my system is several months old. I have had fish in it for over a month. Actually about 2 months. I have put the netted Gold Fish in and they seem to be doing great. they are eating and getting a little less shy. my plants weren't impressed with my water change, but they are picking back up. a little treatment for some white powder mildew on the tomato plants and hopefully things will be somewhat ok.

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