FW dip or Formalin dip for immediate ich relief-- which?

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That's the question. If a fish needs immediate relief from a heavy ich infestation, would one be better off FW dipping or formalin dipping for 30 min?
Or are there any other methods for immediate relief? Not talkng permanent here, I know that it would be a temp. solution. Hypo or copper would be the only "permanent cure...
I wouldn't dip the fish. The stress will most likely be worse than the ich, unless it is really bad. If there are a lot of open wounds/ich do not use formalin. That's like disinfecting a large wound with bleach/peroxide. Does more damage than good.
If I would dip I would do a FW dip. This means cathing the fish in a bag not a net. previously having a few gallons of equal temp buffered FW floating in the tank for equal temp and so the buffer has reacted. Then catch the fish with another bag or tupperware container. Then place it in a bucket with some of the tank water frim the bag. Then slowly over a period of time lower the salinity by adding FW from the floating bag. Lower the salinity no lower than 1.008-7. Lower won't really help much for ich but can severely stress out the fish. Then leave the fish at 1.007-8 for 45 min to an hour. Put a drop of amquel in the bucket for ammonia. Then after the treatment is done scoop the fish out with a container and transfer it. Meanwhile it is a good idea to lower the SG in the tank to 1.018-6. This will help with your ich and improve waterquality. But won't kill the ich and hopefully any other inverts and life on the rock. I suggest moving the LR and doing small waterchanges with dechlorinated, buffered FW, with excess amquell for the ammonia. Lower the SG to 1.010. You can easily prepare cycle the existing filters to handle the new bioload in that time. If money is an issue, I'd simply get some brilliant filtersponges for powerheads, if not get a large fludized bed filter. Maybe a large 600 or 900 Rainbow lifeguard, whicch will be a good investment for the large new puffertank. try finding a seperate container to quarantine the angelfish, since they will react much worse to these bbad waterconditions.
93! Heinrich
Heinrich-- here's the solution I came up with for now:
The puffer is currently undergoing hyposalinity in a 55 gallon q-tank, with 4 large biowheels (cultured) for biofiltration. He was not bad enough to dip, but I was just curious as both of those options were suggested by Marine Center.
The 90 gallon, now containing just 3 dwarf angels and a purple tang, is down to 1.015, and will be finished being lowered by tomorrow night. I have a large homemade fluidized bed filter that I need to get sand for and fire up. Is regular silica sand okay to use in SW or should I use aragonite sand?

[This message has been edited by Ophidia (edited 12-06-1999).]
Hi Ophidia.
I know you've gotten a lot of advice for the treatment of your puffer. I recommend a UV sterilizer for you main tank and less affected fish. This has helped me after my puffer had a repeated outbreak of ick. The only thing that helped him (QT tank) was a copper preparation. The others in the main tank seemes to shrugg it off (4 weeks +) with the UV sterilizer. I lost no one, though the ordeal lasted months. The puffer seemed to be a magnet for spots.
I don't know how long your fish has been affected, but everybody gets sick of being sick. If you've tried hyposalinity or have doubts about it's effectiveness, then it might be time to get more aggressive.

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