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What To Do If Your Ich Treatment Is Not Working!

Ich is the bane of many fish keepers and depending on your aquarium setup as well as the fish that you keep, it can be surprisingly difficult to treat successfully even if you use the more reputable ich treatments on the market.

This is why we commonly see people reaching out and asking for advice when their ich treatment is not working but thankfully, in many situations, the ich in the tank is still relatively easy to fix.

The best thing to do if your ich treatment is not working is to double check the dosing guidelines and make sure that you are using enough of the treatment to deal with the ich in your tank.

You can also try to integrate a garlic flaked fish food due to the natural anti-parasitic properties of garlic as well as increase the water temperature in your tank if appropriate as some ich strains can’t reproduce in warmer waters.

One of, if not the most common problem that we see time and time again with people reporting that their ich treatment is not working is that they are not actually using an actual ich treatment.

As we covered in our articles on using Melafix and Pimafix for ich, both of these treatments are commonly recommended on social media for treating ich in fish but neither product is an actual ich treatment with this clearly being stated on the label.

If you are having problems with your ich treatment working, make sure that you are using something like super ich cure that has actually been designed to treat ich while having an excellent reputation amongst the community.

How Long Does An Ich Treatment Take To Work?

Ich treatments have no fixed time frame for working as there are a number of variables that come into play when treating ich in your aquarium.

The treatment you choose, the size of your tank, the sensitivity of your fish, and the severity of the ich infection all come into play but you should usually be able to start seeing the benefits of using an ich treatment in around a week.

This is another common problem that we see people have when reporting that their ich treatment is not working, they simply haven’t waited long enough to see the visible signs of the treatment dealing with the ich.

Even a reputable ich treatment such as super ich cure will still usually take around a week before you are able to see the visible signs of the treatment working on the ich in your tank even though it will start to treat the ich as soon as you add it to your tank, there are just no instant visual indicators that the treatment is working.

Unfortunately, due to the sensitivity of fish gills, ich treatments can’t be fast acting as there is a high chance of them harming your fish so they have to take a slow and steady approach to treating the ich in your tank.

Never double dose or add more of your chosen ich treatment than recommended via the dosing instructions on the label as it is likely you may cause problems with your fish so always wait around a week before expecting to see any visual indications of the treatment working.

How Long Does Ich Take To Fall Off?

Ich will usually start to fall off your fish after around seven days of treatment provided that you are using a suitable ich treatment product in your tank.

Some of the more robust ich strains or ich outbreaks that have been left to develop for a while can take longer than this though.

As we mentioned in our article above, just because it takes around a week before you are able to see any visual indication of your ich treatment of choice actually working, this does not mean that it does not get to work as soon as you add it to your tank.

The majority of the better ich treatments will start to break down the cells of the ich parasite in your tank as soon as you dose your tank with it but to prevent any potential risk to your fish, the process just takes a while before you will see results.

As we covered in our article going over treating ich in a planted tank and our article on treating blue tang for ich, some tank setups are not suitable for use with the commercially available ich treatments as they can cause issues with sensitive fish, plants, corals, and anemones forcing you to use a weaker ich treatment that can take longer to work.

As we covered in our article on shrimp safe ich treatments, the same can also be said for some species of shrimp although some shrimp species do tent do be fine with having some ich treatments active in their tank water.

Will Ich Eventually Go Away By Itself?

It is very unlikely that an ich breakout in a tank will go away by itself before it causes havoc on your tank so it is usually better to use some form of ich treatment in your tank to help deal with the ich breakout as quickly as possible.

Suitable treatments don’t have to be chemical based if you have sensitive fish or plants in your tank with garlic dosing and temperature increasing sometimes being able to help deal with ich.

As we covered in our article on how to treat a yellow tank for ich, non-chemical ich treatments can work for sensitive fish such as tang helping you treat ich without harming the sensitive fish or plants that you keep while also avoiding having to hope that the ich will go away by itself too.

This can be a very common way to deal with problems with ich if you are running a reef tank due to corals and anemones really not doing well with chemicals in their tanks.

There are also some creatures that you are able to add to your tank to eat the ich with coral banded shrimp often being the most commonly recommended one for marine tanks but this is not a realistic solution.

Even though the shrimp will eat ich, there is no guarantee that your fish will let the shrimp pick the ich off them and it is also very unlikely that your shrimp will be able to eat enough ich to deal with the outbreak in your tank.


That concludes our article going over what you can do if you think that your ich treatment is not working. We hope that we have been able to help you understand that many people who think that they are having problems with their ich treatment are not actually using a suitable ich treatment due to people on social media often just recommending random products. We have also gone over the most common reasons that your ich treatment may not work as well as how you are able to treat the ich in your tank too.