New Loach Questions

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New Loach Questions

Postby carolgrn » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:57 pm

I Purchased my first clown loach on 'black friday'.
Been watching him and had become concerned from his behavior and I have not noticed any eating.
Found the loaches.com website and read. - - - Now worried about maybe I should find him a new home.
The information I have read states that he needs to be in a very large aquarium and also that he needs friends. - - - I was told that his 'kind(?)' did not matter toward the usual thought of 1" = 1gallon.
I have been feeding him sinking food that dissolves, but I definitely see food that has been on the bottom and does not appear touched.
Do not know the best advice for him and don't know who the best to ask would be.
Thank you.
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby Bas Pels » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:35 am

A clown loach which does noet eat is a matter of some concern. The reason it does not eat can be two: the water might not be good (they like warm water, around 27 C (=80 F), soft and clean). But the other reason can be lack of hiding places.

Please change water shortly, of the right temperature and add some hiding places. A few pieces of PVC tube could do the trick

Regarding your questions, they do grow large, and newed company. But that is something which does not have to be mend within a few weeks - they grow slowly.
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby redshark1 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:23 pm

Hi and welcome. I'd agree with what you have found out so far.

Could you describe the aquarium he is in at the moment. Is the aquarium cycled? (the most important consideration right now) What size is it? What decor? Any readings for temperature, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, hardness, pH?

Clown Loaches are notoriously fragile when newly purchased and can suffer from whitespot which can be fatal.

Once over the difficult acclimatisation period they become long lived and problem-free. Because of their bright colours (unusual in large fish) and interesting social behaviour they are one of the most popular aquarium fish (voted No.1 in Britain by readers of Practical Fishkeeping Magazine).

In my opinion they should really only be added to a mature aquarium, ideally in a shoal of their own species and ideally into the 120+ gallon one they will spend the rest of their lives in.

Please could you say what you want to happen from this point forward as this will influence the advice you receive?
6 x Clown Loaches, 1f10.5", 1f9", 4m6", 1995, 6' x 18" x 18" 400l/110usgal.
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby Loachloach » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:38 am

I bought "single" baby clown loaches a couple of times in the last two years and both times I quarantined them on their own(without the company of other loaches) for a couple of months. They had no problem eating and were out and about almost straight away and were very hungry :)..The issue as others have mentioned here is probably water conditions not being right. I've always used very established tanks for quarantine that have lots of cover, majorly plant wise, and small clown loaches do well in a well decorated tank. If your tank is bare, immature, etc..it may cause a problem. Temperature wise...mine were not affected by being in water 25C(77F) but that's just about the lowest you want and the optimum is 26C according to some studies on clown loaches.
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby carolgrn » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:09 pm

1. I checked this page today only from curiosity because I stumbled across the email I received when I was activated.
I am quite upset that I had no idea that anyone had replied in attempts to help. Nothing gave me notice on emails.

2. He was placed in an established 10 gallon that had been empty - yes warm water. There is a floating betta log in there he would hide in and he would hide behind some of the plants. Many many times I thought he was dead and he would swim off. He was definitely a strange fish.

3. I tried floating food, sinking food, seaweed softened and sunk. I never saw him eat or noticed any food 'gone'. He lived longer than I would think he could without eating.

4. He finally died, so I guess information re ph, etc is irrelevant.

I don't know if I will try another. He was a higher price fish for me and the whole time I had him all I did was worry about him and his actions.
I did speak and explain in detail the set-up he would be in to t0he store people and they seemed to think he would be fine for a little while. I had planned to move him into a 30 gallon shortly. Future plans were he might have been moved into the 55gallon.
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby redshark1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:01 am

Good to hear from you again, but sorry you had a bad (though typical) experience with your fish.

These fish are taken as youngsters from an exotic location (Rivers in Borneo) and travel a long way for a long time through many hands without feeding before we get them into our strange aquaria with such different conditions. They are notoriously fragile at this stage.
6 x Clown Loaches, 1f10.5", 1f9", 4m6", 1995, 6' x 18" x 18" 400l/110usgal.
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby ch.koenig » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:29 pm

HI
Wild caught from Borneo are rare in trade. And fragile, when they arrive in Jambi/Sumatra. That's a problem of storage in Borneo itself. So they must be properly fed before export. From Sumatra itself there is traded a tiny quantity of wild caught specimen, less than 7 cm long. Larger specimen are hard to find (overfishing until 2000 and later) and specimen in spawning condition (at least 2 years old) are now not allowed to export.
I remember a remark of a catcher in Borneo, that he hadn't catched larger specimen for years.
The millions of C. macranthus in trade come from Sumatra, all catched as tiny fry in the main rivers, when drifting towards the sea and fed until large enough to sell.
I have never seen starving specimen coming in from Jambi and they are fed at the importers place right away. As the transports go to Europe, USA, Japan, China, Java and Singapur the direct way (within 24 hours), I guess, a food shortage is not common use. Importers won't risk losses by cutting down the food.
The problems start with a LFS, selling just one specimen at once. I don't have much confidence in the right treatment of fish - food included - in such a place. C. macranthus needs company. To cut down it's essential social needs is the best way to weaken it.
Cheers Charles
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby Loachloach » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:57 am

Interesting input ch.koenig. I always thought majority of wild caught clown loaches are from Borneo...

I recently purchased two new loaches to add to my group...about 3-4 weeks ago...I was deliberating it for weeks as I wanted peer sized company for my previous baby loach who is a lot smaller than my older ones. The reason being that when I went back to the shop all the baby clowns were in very poor condition, many half dying, emaciated etc...I've got a quarantine tank so I bit the bullet...but also got 9 harlequin rasboras. This batch of fish was very sickly. Two of the rasboras died 3 days apart and once I saw the second one, just before it died, it was clear it had columnaris...mouth and saddle rot.

The clown loaches were skinny, one extremely pale at purchase`(but has a nice round black marking on its side so I risked it), and weren't the usual boisterous behaviour I've seen in young clowns but hiding and not eager to eat. I since treated the tank with antibiotics and did as many large water changes as I could, every 2nd day the minimum...up to 70% each time.
They rest survived and are only now coming out of the woods...and I think I've passed the hardest period. Young clown loaches are fragile..but they do need pristine water in order to give them a chance..I've always relied on large water changes with young loaches and it seems to do the trick to keep them alive through the hard period. Once they get used to the conditions, they start bulking up and in...2-3 months, they get healthy and strong and the fear is over. My previous baby loach is about 3-4 months older than these two, and he's already a tail longer, twice the girth and deeply coloured, extremely active too. He now swims with the barbs and SAEs during light hours when the old loaches don't bother coming out...So I am eager to introduce the new ones to keep him company at this period of his life...but they'll stay in quarantine for another month or so to be sure
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby redshark1 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Hi Charles, how did you come by that information, it is very interesting thanks.

At purchase my fish were emaciated (very thin with the bones sticking out) and my LFS told me that they do not feed them in the shop because of the workload of cleaning the tanks. They also said that the fish are fasted before transit so that there is less ammonia in the bags. My fish all had whitespot within days of arrival in my aquarium and though I was able to effect a cure for all of them, extreme measures were required.
6 x Clown Loaches, 1f10.5", 1f9", 4m6", 1995, 6' x 18" x 18" 400l/110usgal.
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby Loachloach » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:09 am

I've seen food in the tanks in my local lfs but the tanks are extremely crowded. And the TDS of the water is over 550ppm...Assuming the hardest water they've used to fill the tanks is local tap, wé're talking more than doubling in ppm from organic waste and nitrates. Before the last batch of fish I purchased a bunch of denison barbs and SAEs. He only had them for a couple of days when I bought them and strangely they turned out were extremely healthy fish. The latest batch I bought had been in the shop for weeks because he doesn't carry the same type of fish(bar the clown loaches) and the harlequin rasboras were there for a few weeks too. One of the loaches I got is spotted, round circle on his side instead of the black bar. I saw him several weeks ago before I ended up buying him. He was white as a sheet, sort of light yellow, no orange on the tail but since he was still swimming, I decided to give him a chance. The second loach I purchased for company of this one in quarantine. He's in a bit better condition now but he's the one that refused to eat for days....They seem to be getting better now though the pale loach hasn't rounded the belly yet, though not sunken...Fingers crossed this abused fish make it fine....Strangely, white spot has not been my problem with clown loaches...
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby Diana » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:33 pm

Good luck with them.

TDS also rises when there is evaporation of the water, which leaves the minerals behind. Then top off with tap water, adding more minerals.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby ch.koenig » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:32 pm

redshark1 wrote:Hi Charles, how did you come by that information, it is very interesting thanks.

Hi
Basic informations go back to articles In AMAZONAS by Hans Georg Evers in 2009. Nowadays there exists an English version of the magazine, but not for this issue. As far I know, the situation has not changed much since. But of course informations in trade are updated now and then, but not for "common" use.
A general remark: the cracks on loaches live in Germany and publish in German magazines. On top is Gerhard Ott. His book on loaches (2000) is now revised and supplemented, should be available this month. Seems, there is a market in the German speaking parts of the world.
H.G. Evers has reported the only known spontaneous spawning in an import-tank, followed by pics of the developpement of egg and fry.
We try to keep profiles updated here
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/ch ... racanthus/

redshark1 wrote:At purchase my fish were emaciated (very thin with the bones sticking out) and my LFS told me that they do not feed them in the shop because of the workload of cleaning the tanks. They also said that the fish are fasted before transit so that there is less ammonia in the bags.

When an order comes in, an exporter may stop feeding two/three days before shipping. But this makes me think, they were not fed at all for weeks. What a shame.
Cheers Charles
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby redshark1 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:12 pm

Thankyou Charles, I'm very grateful for your reply. Its very nice to have your information.
6 x Clown Loaches, 1f10.5", 1f9", 4m6", 1995, 6' x 18" x 18" 400l/110usgal.
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby Loachloach » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:08 pm

Thanks Diana....I hope they make it fine long term. I am really hopeful. If something happens to them now it will be my fault as I've had them for over 3 weeks now. I keep up with the large water changes as I am seeing improvements every day. The spotted loach is now under observation to make sure he's not carrying any worms I need to worry about because he hasn't put on much weight...But he's acting fine, is not skinny, and is slowly but surely recovering his colour..and is inquisitive enough for me to think he just needs good care...

By the way, I went back to the shop today out of curiosity. There were two baby clown loaches in the the clown loach tank in the shop... curled on the substrate, lying on their sides and still breathing...I wanted to take a picture but they would have seen me....

Thank you Charles for the reply too.

And sorry about the mistakes in my previous post(or all of them). I was typing on my phone and I can't be bothered with the small buttons/letters :(
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Re: New Loach Questions

Postby Loachloach » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:04 pm

Hey. I just wanted to let you know my baby clowns are doing better and better every day. They are now very eager to eat and venture out with the lights on quite often. The paler loach is still paler than the other but the colour is improving every day. He is acting and eating fine, and is as active as the other one. The other loach today appeared to bully him at feeding time so I consider moving them in with the rest of the clown loaches pretty soon....as soon as I get the desire to start chasing two small clowns in a tank full of plants....The bully will be put in place by the group hierarchy :) I still keep up with the water changes but getting tired of it now :lol: as I've been doing it the bucket method to avoid cross contamination due to the columnaris the rasboras introduced. I think that fear is gone now from what I can tell. The rasboras are also doing very well.

For anyone looking to take care of weak new small clown loaches...my advise at present would be to put them in a well established tank with lots of hiding places(mine are planted), preferably a tank with snails they can snack on. Small clowns seem uninterested in shrimp(shrimplets jumping all over them and they don't even look at them) but get to the snails quite fast. I'd suggest to feed high quality food and do large water changes, even if you think they are doing fine.

So far I've done this with every small loach I ever got and these last two make it up to 10 clown loaches so I think the method works for majority of small clown loach pretty much. I've had white spot just once out of those purchases and it was done and dusted pretty fast so they don't seem to be as prone to it as internet suggests. I do acclimate them to my water very slowly in a bucket, via drip acclimation. I think this is very important(for any fish) to avoid disease outbreaks because the shock makes them weak and vulnerable to pathogens, even those they carry themselves. I don't think temperature matters much as long as its not extreme in both directions but my loaches are generally kept in tanks with temp 25-26C and my water is medium hard.... That's what I've always done. Someone may have a better way...

And this is a picture of them two together below...See the contrast difference in colour between them two....But the pale loach was paler than that when I bought him, you couldn't even see the black well, and he was bony enough...only his markings made him buy... I just didn't happen to take a picture of him at the time as I was more worried about the columnaris on the rasboras...and I was expecting any of the loaches to jump ship as well to be honest...

Sorry about the algae on the glass...There's no algae in the tank actually, just the glass and I leave it there because the shrimp do snack on that all the time, sometimes legions of them covering the glass and I've used this tank for quarantine mostly over the years..not to show off.. :mrgreen:

Image


And this below is the baby loach I've had since end of last September. I think I've had him for about 4 months now. Their condition improves with good food and decent water.

Image



A picture of one of the rasboras just before it died from columnaris in the first wee around Christmas.

Image





And the rasboras now after treatment and water changes

Image
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