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How To Treat Ich On Scaleless Fish Quickly!

Ich is the bane of many people within the fish keeping community with it posing a real risk to your fish, especially once it has been left to take hold and develop into full blow white spot ich.

With the popularity of keeping scaleless fish increasing, it only makes sense that we would see more and more people specifically reaching out to ask for advice on the best scaleless fish ich treatment on the market.

Unlike scaled fish, scaleless fish do not have the additional layer of protection against chemical ich treatments and although there are various dosing strategies you can implement, the best way to treat ich in scaleless fish is often to increase your tanks water temperature.

This makes the ich parasite unstable at certain stages of its life and can quickly deal with most ich strains in your tank.

Depending on the type of tank that you keep, you may also be able to take advantage of garlic flaked fish food as garlic is a natural anti-parasitic and there are a number of fish food products on the market that are infused with garlic that can reduce the risk to your scaleless fish of ich.

Garlic infused fish food is not suitable for all take setups though and can present a risk to other inhabitants of your tank in some cases, especially if you are keeping shrimp and snails in addition to your fish.

How Do You Treat Ick On A Scaleless Fish?

The two most common ways to treat an ich breakout in a tank with scaleless fish is to increase the water temperature of your tanks water or to use a chemical based ich treatment.

In some situations, you may be able to take advantage of both but in other situations, you may be forced to stick to one ich treatment over the other for your scaleless fish depending on your aquarium.

For example, even though increasing the temperature levels of your aquariums water supply slight is probably the safest way to treat ich in a tank with scaleless fish, it may cause problems for other inhabitants of your tank.

Before increasing your tanks water temperature, you should always check the maximum water temperature tolerance for the other fish, snails, shrimp, and plants as well as anything else that you may have in your tank to make sure it is safe for everything.

The same goes for the chemical treatments as planted tanks and tanks with shrimp in them should both use different treatments for ich similar to how tanks with scaleless fish in them also need their own treatments.

Although there are some half or even quarter dosing techniques for chemical ich treatments that can work with scaleless fish, they may still pose a risk to your plants, shrimp, and snails even with their reduced dosages.

Is The Heat Method The Best Option For Ich On Scaleless Fish?

The best method for treating ich on scaleless fish is probably “the heat method” where you tweak the water temperature in your tank to slightly increase it to levels unstable for ich.

Different strains of ich actually require different water temperature increases for this method to be effective with around a third of ich strains being immune to this method due to being able to tolerate higher temperatures.

This is why the heat method of treating ich in scaleless fish may not be the best option for your tank even though it is technically the safest option for your fish.

One solution to this is to put your scaleless fish in a separate, suitable quarantine tank to try and treat them with the heat method away from their tank mates that may not be able to take the higher water temperatures.

Although it is difficult to collect reliable data for this method, the fish keeping community are generally agreed that this is the best and safest way to treat an ich outbreak in scaleless fish with plenty of people having reported successfully using it.

As we mentioned, different ich strains will require different water temperatures with some of the rarer ich strains actually being able to tolerate higher water temperatures than most fish species.

Is Half Dosing Chemical Ich Treatments Worth It For Scaleless Fish?

One popular yet controversial way to treat ich in scaleless fish is to tweak the recommended dosage of chemical based ich treatments to a level where they are still effective against ich but pose less of a risk to your fish.

Even though many people do successfully use this method, we would never recommend it unless you are an experienced fish keeper as it is difficult to correctly dose your tank in this way.

Even though you will commonly see people on social media saying that you just half or quarter dose your tank for the chemical ich treatment, this is not correct and not a reliable way to tweak the dosage.

This is due to different ich treatments having different active ingredients that need to be in certain dosages per gallon of water to have any effect on the ich parasite.

If you do under dose your tank using this method and see no improvement in the condition of your fish then our article going over what to do if your ich treatment is not working may be worth reading but that article is aimed at tanks with scaled fish.

If you do know a more experienced fish keeper then they may be able to offer you more specific advice towards how you can under dose your scaleless fish tank with chemical based ich treatments to help treat the ich infection in your tank.


That brings our article going over treating ich in scaleless fish and we hope that we have been able to help you better understand that treating ich in scaleless fish is always going to pose some level of risk. There is a large amount of people on social media suggesting you just half or quarter dose a chemical ich treatment but this is not as safe as the treatment initially seems either.