Treating Ich in Planted Tanks

managing ich in planted tanks

Treating Ich in planted tanks requires a delicate approach that balances the need for effective medication with the preservation of the aquatic ecosystem. The presence of live plants adds an extra layer of complexity to the treatment process. While there are various treatment options available, each with its pros and cons, it is crucial for aquarium owners to carefully consider the impact on both the fish and the plants.

In this discussion, we will explore the different treatment methods, their effects on fish and plants, and provide valuable insights to help guide aquarium enthusiasts in their quest to combat Ich while maintaining a thriving planted tank.

Key Takeaways

  • Malachite green is a strong medication that is effective in treating ich, but it is not suitable for live plants and can harm weakened fish.
  • Coppersafe contains copper, which can be harmful to plants and invertebrates, but some planted tank owners use it in low concentrations without issues.
  • Formalin is safe for fish and plants, but it requires patience as it is not a fast cure. Regular water changes and a steady temperature are recommended.
  • Maracide is known to be safe with plants, but its effects on plants are not fully known. It is an alternative to formalin treatment and can be used for prevention rather than treating visible signs of ich.

Malachite Green and Its Effects

toxicity of malachite green

Malachite green, a potent medication commonly used for treating ich, demonstrates several effects that must be carefully considered in planted tanks.

Firstly, malachite green is not suitable for live plants. Its strong properties can harm and even kill delicate plant species.

Additionally, when malachite green is used, it turns the water a bright blue color, which may not be aesthetically pleasing for aquarium enthusiasts.

Moreover, there are risks associated with using malachite green in tanks with weakened fish. While it is an effective treatment for ich, the medication can further stress and compromise the health of already weakened fish.

Therefore, it is important to weigh the benefits against the potential risks before deciding to use malachite green in a planted tank.

Coppersafe and Its Effects

When considering alternative treatments for ich in planted tanks, one option to explore is the use of Coppersafe and its effects. Coppersafe contains copper, which has both benefits and potential risks in this context.

Some planted tank owners have reported using Coppersafe in low concentrations without any issues, finding it to be an effective control for the disease. However, it is important to note that copper can be harmful to both plants and invertebrates.

While Coppersafe may control ich, it may not do so as quickly as other treatments such as malachite green. Additionally, caution should be exercised when using Coppersafe in tanks with invertebrates, as they may be more sensitive to the effects of copper.

Further research and careful consideration are necessary before using Coppersafe in a planted tank.

Formalin and Its Effects

chemical properties of formalin

Formalin, a treatment commonly used in the pet trade, has shown to be safe for both fish and plants when used in low concentrations for a duration of about four days, with no adverse effects observed on the plants. It is an effective treatment for controlling not only Ich, but also other diseases such as fungus and external parasites. When compared to other medication options like malachite green and coppersafe, formalin proves to be a safer choice for planted tanks. Unlike malachite green, which is not suitable for live plants and can be hard on fish, formalin does not harm weakened fish and is safe for plants. Coppersafe, on the other hand, contains copper which can be harmful to plants and invertebrates, making formalin a better option for treating ich in planted tanks.

Medication Effect on Plants Effect on Fish
Formalin No adverse effects Safe for weakened fish
Malachite Green Not suitable for live plants Hard on fish
Coppersafe Mixed reviews with planted tanks Harmful to plants and invertebrates
Maracide Safety with plants not yet known Safe for fish, but turns water green

Maracide (By Mardel) and Its Effects

Maracide, a medication produced by Mardel, is one of the few treatments known to be safe for use with plants in the treatment of ich in planted tanks. Its effectiveness in treating other diseases is not well-documented, but Maracide has shown promising results in combating ich in planted tanks.

When compared to other medications, Maracide offers several advantages. Firstly, it is safe to use with live plants, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy and thriving planted tank. Additionally, Maracide does not turn the water blue like malachite green or contain copper that can harm plants and invertebrates like Coppersafe.

However, it should be noted that Maracide can turn the water green, which may be undesirable for some aquarists.

Treatment in a Planted Tank

aquatic plants in aquarium

In the context of treating ich in planted tanks, the management and control of the disease require a careful and strategic approach. Water changes play a crucial role in controlling ich in planted tanks, as dormant cysts can be present in the substrate. Daily water changes help remove these cysts and reduce the overall pathogen load in the tank. Additionally, low-level medication can be used in planted tanks to treat ich. This involves using medications such as Maracide or Coppersafe at lower concentrations to minimize any potential harm to the plants. It is important to note that not all medications are suitable for planted tanks, as some can harm or even kill the plants. Therefore, choosing the right medication and following a regimen that includes regular water changes is key to effectively treating ich in a planted tank.

Treatment in a Planted Tank
– Water changes are crucial in controlling ich
– Low-level medication can be used in planted tanks
– Choose medications that are safe for plants
– Follow a regimen that includes regular water changes

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe to Use Malachite Green in a Planted Tank?

The use of malachite green in planted tanks is not recommended due to its harmful effects on live plants. There are alternative treatments for ich in planted tanks, such as coppersafe and formalin, which may be safer options.

Can Coppersafe Be Used to Treat Ich in a Planted Tank Without Harming the Plants?

Coppersafe can be used to treat ich in a planted tank, but its effects on plants are mixed. Some planted tank owners use it in low concentrations without issues, while others find it harmful. Best practices for preventing ich in planted tanks include prevention and quarantine.

Are There Any Negative Effects on Plants When Using Formalin as a Treatment for Ich in a Planted Tank?

Negative effects on plants when using formalin as a treatment for ich in a planted tank are minimal, with low concentrations showing no adverse effects. However, alternatives such as Maracide may be safer for plants while effectively treating ich.

Is Maracide Safe to Use With Plants in a Planted Tank?

Maracide's safety with plants in a planted tank is not yet known. To effectively treat ich in planted tanks, prevention and quarantine are best. Daily water changes and low-level medication for at least 10 days can control the disease.

How Often Should Water Changes Be Performed When Treating Ich in a Planted Tank?

When treating ich in a planted tank, water changes should be performed daily to maintain optimal water quality. Additionally, alternative treatments such as Maracide can be considered as a safe option for treating the disease while preserving the health of the plants.


In conclusion, treating Ich in planted tanks requires careful consideration of the treatment methods available. While malachite green and Coppersafe may be effective in eradicating Ich, they can have adverse effects on live plants.

Formalin is a safer option for both fish and plants but requires patience.

Maracide by Mardel is known to be safe with plants, although further research is still needed.

By understanding the effects of each treatment method, aquarium owners can make informed decisions to effectively combat Ich while minimizing harm to their plants.

How can we strike a balance between eradicating Ich and preserving the health of our aquatic ecosystems?