Best quarantine practices for new loaches

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Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Olesja » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:06 pm

Hi everybody, it's been some time since I have added new fish to my tank. And, I am wondering if anybody has a quarantine routine they can recommend when buying new clown loaches. Destination tank - 225 gallon with 4 large to XL clown loaches that been with me for over 10 years, 7-8 rainbows, pleco and 5 torpedo barbs. Filtration: fluval fx5, eheim, and wet/dry filter with 2 powerheads and 3 maxi jets. I've lost few loaches over the years and didn't really have much time to spend on adding new fish on. I think with holidays approaching I will have more time to dedicate to establishing quarantine tank and adding on. I haven't looked at what sizes of clowns local stores have, or if I will order online. I was hoping to get 5-7 clowns and couple torpedo barbs and possibly some otos to keep algae at bay. I think of setting 10 gallon fish tank as quarantine tank and get all new additions together? Any advice on what products to use? I've used some medicated flakes in the past with new fish. I imagine cycling new tank will not be an issue, since I can take some media from existing tanks.What works for you, how long to you keep fish in quarantine tank? Also, what do you think about how many to add, is 5-7 clowns too much? Or not enough :) Thanks in advance!
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Diana » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:09 am

Here is what I would do.

1) Set up the q-tank with bare bottom, a few rocks (perhaps a cave formation) are fine, but make sure they cannot totally hide from you. You can drift some live plants in it, or add some potted aquarium plants. If there is any way you can find out the parameters the fish are acclimated to, make the water match (GH, KH, pH, TDS). If you cannot find out ahead of time, then set up the tank with fairly soft water. Test the water in the bag when you get the fish. Add minerals as needed to the water in the tank to match the bag water.
Do whatever you want to share some bacteria. You can buy a bottle of product that includes Nitrospira species of bacteria, but it is better to share media as you are planning. Anything that has been in the filter for more than a month will have a good population of established bacteria in their biofilm, which are more tolerant of medications, and won't be killed by a UV.

2) I would run a UV for 2-3 days. This will kill off any Ich or other water borne parasite or disease that may come in with the water. Turn off the UV when you begin part 3.

3) Next, I would treat with alternating courses of antibiotics and antiparasite meds. You can read more details at this site by searching about 'skinny disease', and 'levamisole'. This is because bottom feeding fish have a very high likelihood of picking up internal parasites, and they can also get some bacterial infections when they are weakened by the parasites. Follow the directions on the medications you are using.
Here is a sample treatment:
Day 1-3 = treat with levamisole (if you can get it), or other antiparasite meds, such as prazi-pro.
Day 4 = 50% water change, and add activated carbon to the filter for 24 hours.
Day 5-9 = treat with antibiotic, for example Maracyn and Maracyn II. This combo includes medicines that act against both common types of bacteria, Gram positive (erythromycin) and Gram negative (minocycline).
Day 10 = 50% water change, and add activated carbon to the filter for 24 hours.
repeat:
antiparasite treatment
clear tank
antibiotic treatment
clear tank
antiparasite treatment
clear tank.
(total is 3 antiparasite alternating with 2 antibacterial treatments)
This seems like a lot, but it really helps. I have treated even very young Clown Loaches with these products, and they are fine with it, and grow really fast once they are cleared of possible parasites and disease organisms.

4) After clearing the last of the medicine from the tank monitor the fish for 30 days, watching for any possible problems. If you need to medicate for anything else, re-start the clock for 30 days.

5) While the fish are in quarantine, do water changes that include altering the mineral levels so that by the end of the 30 days the fish are in water that matches the display tank. Make these changes slowly, a little bit of change with each water change so the fish can adapt.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
Diana
 
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Olesja » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:34 am

Thanks, for a quick response, Diana! Would you recommend this for all fish I will get, I was thinking about adding couple torpedo barbs and/or ottos? I might just work on getting loaches and adding some other fish as another stage #2? Unless the same treatment could be beneficial for all...
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Bas Pels » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:46 am

I would never treat fishes which seam to be healthy with medicines.

Quarantine, yes - fishes cvan be ill. But if they are not, antibiotics could a) harm the fishes and b) help the bacteria learing how to deal with them. If they do, you'll be the first victim.

That's another rule I have: I never go into the water with my hands, unless I'm quite certain the fishes are healthy
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Olesja » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:23 am

Almost every time I bought new loaches, they ended up being sick and by the time i started treatment, i lost some... And based on what I've read over the years, looks like trend is to have some preventive treatment for new loaches regardless if they show any signs of illness. But I do understand your point of not treating fish that is not sick...

So my question is, if I did get a group loaches and kept them in a separate tank for 30 or 60 days, would that give enough time for any diseases to show? Or would stress of moving them again later to new home with other fish could bring some of issues out. My goal is to prevent bringing anything to 225 gallon tank that will be very expensive and hard to treat.
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Bas Pels » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:32 pm

Once I swapped half a tank with fishes from a friend. My fishes were health, his were healthy too. The swap was a swap indeed: his fishes were placed in the same tank as mine came from, and he did the same. The tanks were unchanged for months

But a week later, my Original fishes and his Original fishes became ill. That is, all fishes in the tanks which were not swapped were ill, and the swapped fishes were OK.

2 days later, the wapped fishes became ill, and in the end we both lost alle fishes in the tanks.

We came to the conclusion that my fishes must have had a disease among them, for which they were not vulnerable, and the same for his fioshes for another illness.

Another tim e I put Mesonautus which I had had for half a year into the - large - tank in the livingroom. All Geophagus in that tank died in the end, while the Mesonautus remained healthy

Regardless how long you keep fishes in quarantaine, there is still a risk
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby NancyD » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:19 am

I strongly believe in the benefits of quarantining new fish...But I do allow for a bit of "squish factor" when I don't have QT space for fish I believe are healthy & can't resist getting. This is very rare for me. While I'm not as big into pretreating most fish as Diana, I often treat botias & similar for internal parasites with flubendazole or something like it (levamisole, metronidazole or praziquantinil). I know other countries don't have easy access to some drugs we can get in the US. Even just a separate tank for a month or 2 can keep some diseases out of the main tank. Not everyone has that option.

It can also be dependent whether the fish are from a shop or another hobbiest that's had them for a good long while & what tx they may have undergone already. I don't usually use antibiotics unless I have a good idea what I'm trying to kill.

There are some diseases that don't show up in otherwise healthy looking fish, until they are put under the stress of capture, rehoming & possible very different water conditions...& may never be figured out in time to treat them effectively.

OP, If the clown loaches are fairly small & you have a spare temporary tank you can house them in, yes, QT then for a month or better, 2 months. I'm not sure what tank dimensions are available at reasonable cost to you but a 55g (4ft x 1ft) would be ok short term. Much easier & cheaper to deal with any disease in a smaller tank & not risk you display tank fish. Good luck!

We'd love to see your tank!
Image
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Olesja » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:59 am

Thanks for your response, Nancy! I have 20 and 10 gallon tank available for temporary housing. Probably not the most ideal size, but I am thinking 1 month or 2 if loaches are looking good with a lot of water changes. I also have couple sponge filters and a lot of media that I can can use to cycle new filter quickly. I haven't checked local stores yet, on what size of loaches are available, I was hoping to get 5-7 small to medium size to add to my current group of 4... I've lost some of my loaches during my vacation, a friend was feeding them, but she didn't know fish well enough to see that they decided to ignore pellets, and water got way out of control. So, I am finally getting some time to spend on adding on and I want to make sure I spend enough to make sure it goes as well as possible. And, I have made some arrangements for professional to take care of my fish next time I am away.

I am testing my heater, filter, powerheads to make sure everything works well, and I hope to start fishless cycling over the weekend If new filter arrives.

I will post pictures of my current tanks tomorrow, I have 225 gallon clown loach tank with rainbow and torpedo barbs and 72 gallon room temperature tank for 3 weather loaches and albino plecos.
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Olesja » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:59 pm

Pictures came out pretty dark tonight.... This is a clown loach tank:Image

Image

Weather loaches:
Image

Image
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby NancyD » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:17 am

Both tanks are very nice!
Image
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Loachloach » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:06 am

Lovely tank. Good luck with the addition.

I would not treat healthy fish, just quarantine in a very established tank if possible. Plants and hiding places are a must to make feel the fish at home. I believe the key is in providing the best initial conditions and never quarantine in a tank that may not be able to deal with the bioload well.

I bought clown loaches 4 times over the last 4 years for a total of 8 loaches now. Only one time I got what I thought was white spot on a single baby loach but I never saw actual white spots. I treated with salt and heat. That was 1.5 years ago and the loach is perfectly fine now. I recently acquired a new loach. He went through 5 weeks quarantine in a very old established tank without any issues to a few inhabitants with it and is now in the main tank with the bigger ones. I only treated him with NLS hex shield for spironucleus/hexamita and gave a round to my other fish too at the same time.

If your new fish always get sick, its either the source or the destination tank water conditions. Healthy fish in a healthy tank with plenty of clean water and good food resist almost everything.
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Olesja » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:05 pm

I am going to take all media from one of existing filters and add it to new filter that should be arriving next week + sponge filter is going to quarantine set up , it should have enough bacteria to handle new fish, and I will do daily tests and small daily water changes to keep water fresh. I can add some ammonia and run tests to make sure it is cycled before I get new fish. My hopes were to get about 5-7 clown loaches depending on the size, is it too many? I wanted a good size group, so that they could keep each other company. I will post updates, hope I will have better luck this time.
Last edited by Olesja on Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Olesja
 
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Olesja » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:22 pm

A little better shots from today...
Image

Image

Image
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby NancyD » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:03 pm

I'm surprised you sword etc looks so good. My clowns loved to punch holes in them especially if I didn't feed romaine or zucchini 2-4 times a week, lol. What do you feed with the spoon? Is it a veggie weight?
Image
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Re: Best quarantine practices for new loaches

Postby Olesja » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:52 pm

Well, my sword looks good because it only been in my aquarium for one week, always optimistic that it will grow faster then loaches eat it. So, we'll see how long this one lasts... :) Two mother swords are helping me to keep nitrates under control in addition to frequent water changes.

I am feeding my loaches cucumbers, so that's what spoon is for, I am hoping that they find veggies more appealing then swords... My loaches been known for eating everything that grows, from anubias to Java ferns, and torpedo barbs always eat my vals. They not too thrilled about other veggies, they did like watermelon... I haven't tried given them romaine yet, do you just give them fresh leaves?
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