Jumping loach!

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Jumping loach!

Postby blue75 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:33 am

This is my first post, but I've enjoyed the site for a long time! On Sunday, I was lucky enough to purchase 2 blue loaches (modestas). I'm happy to say neither is dyed. They're both roughly 4", and seem well fed and healthy.
I added them to my 45 gallon tank, which they are sharing with 3 yoyo's about the same size, and 4 otocinclus cats. I've had the tank for about a year. Water parameters are all fine (by my test kit and the lfs). It's a planted tank with enough caves for each loach to have their own, which I guess isn't necessary since they sleep in a big pile anyway!
Since Sunday, one of the blues (Clipper) has been just fine. The other (now named Flipper) seems to be having a harder time with the adjustment. The moment he was released into the tank, he buried himself in the gravel for about 5 hours, with only his tail visible. Though some humorous photos were taken, it was cause for concern. The first night, I heard a lot of splashing, so I made sure the tank was carefully covered.
Yet, that morning, I found Flipper on the floor. He managed to jump into the filter (an AquaClear), knock the cover off that, and jump out. Fortunately, I found him fairly quickly and he recovered almost right away. But no lesson learned, as 5 hours later, he was in the filter again. So, I cut up some foam filter inserts, and filled every possible opening in the tank. This was 3 days ago. He's still trying to jump constantly (I hear the splashing and I'm watching him do it right now). By constantly, I mean at least once a minute. Clipper is being very well behaved, and actually seems upset at his friend's wrecklessness.
Sorry this was such a long read- but has anyone had this problem before? I've read that modestas can act up a bit when they're new, but this seems really extreme. I've kept loaches before (botia types mostly) but these are my first modestas. Aside from a danio that helped cycle the tank, I've never had a jumper, so I'm a little worried!
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Postby Katy » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:31 am

Hopefully the experts will weigh in soon, but in the meantime, could you lower the water level so at least he can't hurt himself?
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Postby Diana » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:47 am

Hi blue, welcome to Loaches :-)

No, I have not had a fish that tries so hard to get out of the tank. I have some fish that can jump (Hatchets and others) but they seem to stay in the tank unless something scares them, such as tank maintenance.
Once I had a Goldfish chase another so much that the other went overboard. Are any of the other fish chasing Flipper?
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
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Postby blue75 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:26 pm

Thanks, I don't believe any of the other fish are bothering him. He rests with the other modesta between jumping bouts. The youngest yoyo is a bit adventurous and likes to swim along side the other fish, but I can't imagine this scaring Flipper to the point of jumping out. The yoyo is certainly not being aggressive, I think he's just curious. I have lowered the water level, so it's at least much harder to get in the filter now. He's still at it though, I've really never seen anything like this!
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Postby cloudhands » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:05 pm

Maybe there was a good reward one other time he got into the filter: a lot of food. It's easy to imagine a hungry, smart loach wanting to repeat an experience of getting a big stash of food.

We had two little pangios in our aquaclear filter. I think they were very happy in there; easier than competing with the other voracious Q tank fish for food in the tank.
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Postby blue75 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:11 pm

He he, could be! I admit he didn't appear stressed in the filter, but maybe a little cramped. I used to have a red claw crab that refused to leave a biowheel filter. I eventually gave up trying to keep him out of it, and he lived there for almost 2 years.
Maybe I'm being hopeful, but I think Flipper is calming down a bit. He must be exhausted by now!
Thanks for all the advice.
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filter fish

Postby glenna » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:34 pm

I had an angelicus that INSISTED on living in the filter of the Qtank. It was ridiculous... I would try all kinds of techniques to keep him out and he would leap (despite lower water) into the filter. I wonder if wherever they come from ,some of these fish find refuge in the filter?
Anyway, the eventual solution was to put a piece of filter sheet ( like the thick blue and white kind) in the filter at the outflow. Even so, he was relentless for a couple days then gave up. It was when I first got him, then he calmed down. The other angelicus was found on the carpet, dry and hard, after he had successfully "escaped". I am still puzzled on how it got out. I have a well seated hood on the tank with VERY LITTLE wiggle room. It was a sad flush, becasue they are so beautiful. This was from a well cycled 10 gallon Qtank with very nice parameters. Who knows, maybe they did not like the medicine?
So long and short, not a lot of advise, but a fair amount of sympathy to your dilemma!
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Postby Sharkscott2 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:22 pm

The only thing I can think of is changing your type of filter to a sponge or maybe a canister so you can drastically reduce the chances of escape.

In my experience new fish often times spend alot of time swimming against the current. I don't know if they're hoping to escape the me tank or waiting for food to flow down stream to them, or if they've just been in low current settings for so long that they love the chance to stretch their fins. The fish that I've had do this all stopped after a week or so and settled into a more normal routine.
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Postby metzke » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:24 am

Your first post, my first reply - I had the same problem about a month ago, only unlike you I was ill-prepared. (I'm new at this.) Scratch one modesta. You say you are worried - BE WORRIED. I've had various other loaches for years without issue, but I certainly botched this one. Overconfidence. Anyway, keep on the lookout and stay vigilant. I have no idea whether the little beasties get over their tendencies with time, but I rather suspect it's best to presume they do not.

Unrelated question: As I said, my first reply. And I just noticed: This may be the Loaches forum, but the word "loaches" is flagged for spelling!! Weird.
Conrad von Metzke
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Oh yes, they Jump!!

Postby ram13 » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:38 pm

Can't resist sharing my experience after reading this thread...

My 3 zebra loaches live peacefully with my clowns for nearly 2 years now fully grown (about 4" and fat:-) ) leading a happy life in the tank. Last month when I was cleaning the tank, I was moving the bog wood around a bit with my hand inside the tank which must have scared one of the zebra loaches hiding underneath it.
The tank was full as I hadn't started siphoning yet, and he jumped right outside the tank. I didn't even see him jump, it happened so fast in a split second.
Now, my tank is placed on a heavy, lengthy cupboard placed against the wall with not enough space to insert my hand. His frantic flipping noise against some junk on the floor, brought my attention.
when I tried to look behind the cupboard with a torch, I couldn't see where he is, as the cupboard hasn't been moved from its place in years and the space behind has collected fair amount of bits and pieces like pens, bottle caps loose sheets of paper etc. (thanks to the toddler at the house) and due to the lack of reach I hadn't cleared the junk.
This sucker, even outside the water had so characteristically hidden himself, but I still could hear the movements down there as I tried to move things around from behind with a long plastic mop stick, very worried that i might hurt him. I finally spotted him, but didn't know how to fetch him from there. By now it must be already 5 to 10 mins and his initially frantic movements were gone and he was laying still.
I knew he wouldn't give up straight away, but I wasn't sure how long he can survive in that condition. While I could think of a way out I poured some water on him from the top, and he still moved. There's no way I was going to push him with the stick without the risk of injuring or worse killing him. So I momentarily gave up the idea and half emptied the tank and emptied the cup-board too as quickly as I can, in a effort to push it wide enough to put my hand in the gap. But with the tank still on the cupboard and the dead weight of the cup-board itself, was still too heavy for me and wife together to push.
so, after trying for a few more minutes, we gave up this approach.
I lost track of time, but by now it must have been at least 20 mins plus and I poured some more water on him. He wasn't flapping his tail or anything but I could see his gills moving. Having got nothing to loose, I tried to nudge him as gently as i could and somehow managed to land him on a piece of paper. I then pushed the paper with him on it, to one end of the cupboard and still not very optimistic, gingerly picked him up and dropped him in the tank again.
Within seconds he was back to his normal self!! I must admit I was so happy to see him swim again, the little rascal! I am not sure, how long the loaches survived outside water until now. I now know they can do OK, for half an hour at least - though I don't want to try it out again.

Sorry if the post was too long. I wanted to share this with someone.
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Postby cloudhands » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:26 am

I'm glad to hear your striata could do it, however they don't always manage. In our tank-cracking disaster the other week, nobody was out of water for very long at all, as far as we knew. One very nice kubotai died in that disaster from being in a puddle by the heater -- burned. In the aftermath one sidthimunki died in the new tank. From the remains it was hard to tell how long after the flopping-in-dwindling-puddles it lasted before dying, but it wasn't immediate. We also lost a cardinal tetra, but that's not surprising. Maybe Sidthimunkis aren't as good as Striata's. Surely it will vary by species.

Catfish, the kind that are wild here in Northern New England, called "hornpout" locally, can live in damp mud for weeks, with no water. Some fish are very good at being out of water.

(As an aside, a lesson learned: it's good to unplug a heater immediately during a tank disaster to avoid the hot-puddle problem)
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I've had jumping loaches

Postby heidi » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:36 pm

HI, I've had exactly the same problem, many years apart. About 17 years ago I had a tank with 2 female siamese fighters and two kuhli loaches. ONe night I heard a flipping sound to find both loaches flipping around on the floor. There was a small gap where the lid fitted onto the tank. I returned them to the water and they were fine. I closed most of the gap. A few days later, again, when going to sleep (when they would come out to play) I heard flipping and again (just) managed to save them as they were entangled in some hair that was on the floor. A few weeks later, I found two dried loaches on my floor. It was very sad.

A few weeks ago my daughter got a tank. She has 3 guppies, 4 zebra danio's and 2 leopard danios and a pleco. She also had a loach (Spirit). The tank lid fits well and the only small opening, about as wide as the loach's body, was where the air tube entered the tank. Well, Spirit jumped out and I found her on the floor, dried up. My daughter is devastated and wants another loach. I think its a bad idea.

I recall from 17 years ago, the gap between glass and lid was reduced to a very small gap and with my daughters tank the one hole is about 5mm by 3mm, yet this loach found the opening and somehow managed to get out. I can;t figure how they can jump and still make it through such a tiny hole.

I've just read that loaches should be kept in groups of at least 3 and that they should only be introduced to an established tank. Perhaps this is our error. Please address any comment to Spirit. I don;t know how this forum works and hope I'll find any answers that are posted.

Spirit is in a matchbox waiting for a proper burial.
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Re: Jumping loach!

Postby FlickBob » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:02 pm

The last two weeks I have had 2 incidents where I have found a loach outside of my tank. It is 120 litres with a fitted lid. It has a how less than 4cm wide where some leads and tubes go in which must be where they escaped. The filter is quite close so I think they must jump from the top of there. The first time I came home and saw my weather loach very still half way up the tank. I thought 'How is he floating like that?' I looked closer and was shocked to see that he was outside of the glass! Lying on the dado rail on the wall. I assumed he was dead. I used a net to reach down behind the tank and when I poked him he moved. I splashed him with water and he woke up more. After some consideration, and a little stress as I live alone and it was 11pm, so I knew I could not move the tank. I wet him more and encouraged him with the net to wiggle to the end of the tank where I caught him in a plastic box. He is fine now. A week later I got up one morning to find a different loach on the floor a couple of meters away from the tank. God knows how she got there! She looks a little bit worse for wear but seems to have survived the ordeal.
Am I doing something to upset my laoches? or is is just the stormy weather we have been having recently?
I have put masking tape over the hole for now... they are cheeky, naughty fish.
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Re: Jumping loach!

Postby hstem1 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:20 am

Hi, I recently added a pair of yoyo loaches to my tank to resolve an issue with snails (I am aware that they are supposed to be kept in larger groups, but my tank is too small for any more and I want dwarf loaches and have arranged with a local pet shop to potentially trade the Yoyos back when they find some dwarf loaches), and before long I noticed one of my loaches attempting to jump into the filter outlet. My tank has an inbuilt filter with only a small outlet, so he/she was unable to succeed, but the thought occurred to me that, since this seems to be a common occurrence, perhaps it's a sort of breeding behaviour similar to that of Alaskan salmon: wherein they move against the current to a higher catchment (possibly to avoid predation of the eggs/young) before dropping their eggs or offspring. I understand little is understood about the breeding behaviour of these fish, and the reason this thought occurred to me was that only one of the pair was behaving this way. I don't have the right setup to test this theory with an artificial waterfall and raised catchment area, but if anyone decides to give it a try, I'd love to hear how it goes! Also, if anyone has any additional thoughts on the topic I'd love to hear it.
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Re: Jumping loach!

Postby Diana » Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:39 pm

I think it is mostly fish from rivers that try to swim upstream. As suggested several years ago (this thread was started in 2010) they may be orienting for food, or, as you suggest, swimming upstream to spawn, or perhaps just orienting for maximum oxygen and most efficient swimming direction- highest oxygen is in this water coming from the filter, and fish are most efficient when swimming head first into the current.

I have had a problem with some Gobies recently. They got into an overflow on their tank, then they oriented in an upstream position where the water spills through a sponge.

I have not actually had a lot of trouble with fish getting into filters.

When my Clown Loaches were younger they would get into the flow from a powerhead. I had it oriented along the front of a 6' long tank, and they would surf about 4' before the flow slowed down. They they would swim back to the PH and jump into the flow again. Sure looked like they were having fun!

As for 'fish overboard', I did have a Dojo Loach jump out of a tank. I was not there, but a friend came in, saw the fish on the floor, and put it back in the tank. I have no idea how long it was out of the tank, but it did fine.

When a fish jumps overboard, the sudden shock of landing can injure the gills, also, the gills of most fish are not built to support themselves in the air, nor to get oxygen out of the air, so the fish quickly dies. They do not understand that they are in a tank. They think they are in a river or lake, and have landed on the shore. A lot of flopping around will usually move the fish downhill, and back into the water. Not so, in a tank!

Figuring out why they jump is important so they do not jump again.
Water chemistry problem.
Social problem.
Or, it is just the nature of the fish to swim upstream, and the filter becomes the route of escape. I would add more water movement from a powerhead, perhaps keep the fish interested in swimming upstream this way instead of through the filter.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
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