What Temperature Kills Ich? The Correct Answer Is Here!

Ich is a fish disease that is very common in the aquarium world. It significantly affects fish, even death, if not treated promptly and adequately. So knowing the treatment and prevention of Ich is essential for any aquarist.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to deal with Ich in your aquarium is to increase the temperature of the water. But to treat ich effectively without harming your fish, you need to know, “What temperature kills ich?

What Is Ich?

ich on fish's tail

Ich is one of the most common illnesses that your fish will run into

Ich, or Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, is one of the most common illnesses that your fish will run into. This illness comes from a protozoan parasite, and the white spot on your fish is the immune system of your fish reacting to the parasite.

Ich can be highly damaging to any fish. In addition to negatively affecting your fish’s immune system, it can result in slow suffocation, damaged gills, skin immune loss, ulcers, and death in individuals with weak systems.

What Temperature Kills Ich?

To kill ich, we recommend increasing the temperature to at least 86°F (30 °C) from its current state but avoid exceeding 90°F (32°C).

Ensure your fish can stand with this temperature before proceeding. Most tropical fish can only withstand temperatures around 86°F for shorter periods.

We recommend increasing the temperature to no more than 2°F every twelve hours.

Once you reach your desired temperature, leave it at this temperature level for at least two weeks. Then, slowly lower the temperature back to its normal state.

Remember that some Ich will not be significantly affected by temperatures of 86°F. In this case, 88°F or 90°F may work better.

If you own a quarantine aquarium, you can transfer your tank inhabitants. Then you can push the tank temperature much higher (96°F +) and leave your tank for four days.

This solution might be the most optimal, but not always possible. It is also only possible if you are sure that none of your inhabitants are showing signs or carrying the disease.

Some Effective Ways of Curing Ich

ich on fish

Ich is easier to prevent than to cure


Prevention is one of the most effective ways to make ich never expose itself in the fish tank. It will significantly reduce the need for curing ich.

The following are some tasks related to ich prevention:

  • Use a quarantine aquarium: Even healthy-looking individuals can carry protozoans and parasites. So you should keep your new fish quarantined for about two weeks to minimize the spread to your tank.
  • Quarantine all live plants: You should isolate your new plants for at least three to four days. Like fish, plants can also introduce disease into the aquarium.
  • Minimize transport of new fish: It will reduce stress, the number one precursor to ich.
  • Be careful when buying fish: Avoid buying fish that have been in the same tank as other dead or diseased fish. Never purchase individuals that look unwell, breathe rapidly, and show signs of itching.
  • Regularly water changes: Keeping nitrates level low (and nitrates and ammonia at zero) will reduce stress on fish, lowering the likelihood of disease.
  • Buy live plants from aquariums without fish: Ich can’t survive without a host fish that carry the disease, meaning tanks without fish are much less likely to have ich.

Adding Salt to the Aquarium

There is still a lot of controversy about using salt to treat Ich. Salt is considered a great additive for freshwater fish diseases.

In our opinion, salt has a negligible impact when curing Ich. More importantly, some species like Cories can be sensitive to salinity changes.

So unless you have had prior experience using salt, we do not recommend salt for curing Ich.

Use Garlic

Garlic can help boost the immune response of various animals, including fish.

It is okay to add Garlic Guard to food for your fish for a few weeks to help boost their immune system to fight off ich.

This way is probably not effective for severe ich. Making a DIY garlic guard is possible, which usually takes a day.

Use Medications

Medications sometimes are the only method. If you use medications for curing ich, you need to remember the following three key points:

  • It is never wise to cure your display tank.
  • Consult the directions carefully and avoid overdosing on the aquarium.
  • Get rid of carbon and other chemical absorbers from your filter.

Here are some products that effectively beat Ich: Kordon Rid Ich, Fenbendazole, Melafix, and Para Guard.


What are the Symptoms of Ich?

Here are some common symptoms of Ich:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Small white spots
  • Redness or bloody streaks on the fins and the body
  • Fish scratching against décor, rocks, or gravel.

What Causes Ich?

Common possible causes of Ich disease in your fish are:

  • Stress
  • Newly introduced plants
  • Newly Introduced fish
  • Undeveloped immune system

So reducing the stress on your fish is very important. Ich is easier to prevent than to cure.

Can Humans Get Ich?

In some rare cases, it can. You can carry ich from one aquarium to another as it can live on your wet skin. It isn’t a parasite that humans can be a host for.

Can Ich Go Away on Its Own?

In some cases, ich can go away on its own. But it is rare and requires treatment.

Is Ich Fatal?

Ich can lead to fatality in fish, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems.


Above is all you need to know about treating Ich by increasing the tank water temperature and other effective ways.

Ich disease is so prevalent that the chances your fish has not come into contact with it are slim. So knowing how to prevent and treat it is essential for aquarists.

Hopefully, this article has brought you helpful knowledge!

Thank you for taking the time to read this!