Quarantine for hillstream loaches

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Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby elr » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:49 pm

I’m fascinated by hillstream loaches! I have 3 sewellia and am planning on adding another 3 plus a small group of gastromyzon. I’m worried about feeding the new fish in a quarantine tank. The sewellia I have now show no interest in algae wafers or anything except grazing on algae. I have a light on my quarantine tank 24/7 trying to grow algae for when I bring in new fish but I’m wondering if there’s anything else I can do to feed them. I’ve heard of Bacter AE - does anyone have experience with using this product with hillstream loaches? If they’re hungry enough will they eat other foods?
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby Diana » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:57 am

More light to grow algae.
You can try fresh or lightly cooked vegetables, and if you can get the Repashy foods, a lot of fish will eat these when they do not eat dry foods.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby nhkg » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:52 am

Sewellia doesn't need algae. Mine Sewellia eat any food, that is small enough to fit their mouth and drop on bottom of tank. They are bold enough, to fight for this food with other fish.
I use: Tetramin, Sera discus, Frozen Brine shrimp, ...

Gastromyzon is more complicated. I have never seen them on the bottom of tank (I have akadama on the bottom of tank). They move only on glass and stones. I have never seen them eat anything but algae. I cant recommend you this fish. They are hidden during day and on rare occasions, when I see them, they are easily spooked by any move around the tank.
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby NancyD » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:50 pm

My sewellia & gastromyzon like Repashy Soilent Green gel food. They also eat flakes sometimes.
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby elr » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:51 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I got the 3 new fish and I saw one of them on an algae wafer - yay! I've offered Repashy Soilent Green but it dissolves before they show any interest. How do you prepare your Repashy for high flow tanks? Any way to make it firmer?
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby NancyD » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:23 pm

I do 3:1 boiling water to Repashy but I've seen 2:1, maybe on my latest pkg. I freeze it in smaller containers or bags but thaw it before feeding. It's supposed to stay intact for 24 hours IIRC. I sometimes offer small bloodworms & sometimes add small frozen foods to Repashy. Nobody liked a "seafood gel mix" or frozen brine shrimp much...Sera O'nips were not super popular with my hillstreams.

Different "algae wafers" (& other foods) have wheat or other non-fish, non-algae as the first ingredient or 2. Read the labels, some of the "big name" foods are not that great. & our hillstreams are not really algae eaters, they're auf wuchs grazers, they are eating the micro-goodies that live with/on the algae.

Do you have live plants? I have a fairly heavily planted "river-ish" tank (no manifold) & have seen sewellia & stiphodon gobies (but not gastros) grazing on leaves. The gastros (ctenocephalus) are pretty shy in my tank, they may do it too. My sewellia F-1s have bred at least twice so I assume they're pretty happy. My plants include bolbitus, java fern & moss, cryptocorynes, "jungle" vallisneria (probably natans or spiralis) & a couple unhappy stem plants under 2 T-5 bulbs.
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby elr » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:38 pm

Thanks so much for all the info! I'm new with hillstream loaches and really wanting to do things right for them. I'm aware they're not really eating algae but the presence of algae means there's aufwuchs - correct? I'm using Bacter AE, a shrimp food for biofilm, hoping it will feed the aufwuchs and help keep my little guys in quarantine fed.

In my main tank I have java fern, anubias nana, bolbitis and ... something that escapes me right now lol. The java fern and anubias are on a cholla log and that's a favorite hangout of the the sewellia - they might be nibbling on the plants.

Do you have a favorite wafer you feed? I have gravel substrate and I'm worried any loose food like bloodworms will get blown away or sink into the gravel where the sewellia can't get to them. I'm going to try Repashy again and see if it stays together longer.

Do you feed every day? What's your usual schedule of feeding what/how often?

I love that you've spawned sewellia! Congratulations! Maybe eventually I'll be able to do that too.
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby NancyD » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:23 pm

I don't feed every day, maybe 5 or 6 days/week, Repashy & Omega 1 flake are "usual". I have leopard danios in the tank too that eat flakes & Repashy "fluff".

Can you move some of the plants to your Q tank? I forget which "algae wafers" I've looked at, Hikari is not so good, it may be the "lesser" Wardley's that is better, I don't recall. Ken's fish has some good foods...but read the ingredient list, not all are great. I'm getting ready to order from Ken, I used to live close to him. Diana likes Almost Natural or something like that, I hope she'll chime in here.

Like I said, my sewellia were first generation bred from wilds (F-1) so that may have made them both easier to feed & breed...but I strongly believe plants help a lot. How long are your lights on? What lighting?
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby elr » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:47 pm

They're in a 10 gallon quarantine tank with a Finnex Stingray. It's on 11 hours a day now. Can I stress them out by leaving the lights on too much? I plan on quarantining them for 2 weeks and not prophylactically medicating, only observing for problems.

I moved the java fern/anubias cholla into the quarantine tank and they're already on it. :)

I had to vacuum out most of the 2 wafers I put in the tank today. I'm trying not to mess with them too much so I might feed wafers every other day and vacuum the next day. Maybe I could put the wafers in a tray so it's easier to clean up? Hmm, I might try that with the Repashy too.
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby Bas Pels » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:20 am

I don´t think 11 hrs a day is too much, and most rapid flowing waters don´t have much cover to the sun. That is, fish from rapids will not be scared of 11 hrs of bright sun.

Still, they do need to have sufficient cover, and obviously, that is a bit in conflict with what you want to do in a quarantaine tank± observe in order to ascertain the fish are OK.

Personally, I would rather be certain the fish will remain good, than be certain they are OK. That is, I would provide a lot of cover, but I´m certain other think differently.

Preventing the need of vacuming would help too. I´ve no personal experience with Repashy, but as far as I know, it does have the advantage of being easy to remouve, if needed
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby Diana » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:12 pm

To provide a bit of cover alight a rock or something next to the front wall of the tank. When the fish wants to get out of the water flow or light they will be in full view where you can see them.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby elr » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:50 pm

I have a few small rocks in the tank for them to hide under. I spend time every day observing them - it's challenging to find them all! And they hide on the side of the powerhead and filter where I can see them through the glass.

Thanks for all the help!
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby NancyD » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:25 am

I think 2 wafers in a 10g QT for 3 fish is too much food, but like Bas said 11 hours of lighting may be good. I have had good luck offering a slice of zucchini with a slit & wafer bit, piece of pellet etc. inserted. To me, that's part of QT; watching for health & seeing what new fish will eat. But I tend to QT for 4 weeks with lots of water changes. Good luck!
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby elr » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:40 pm

Yes, zucchini - I'd forgotten about that and sticking food in it is a great idea. I'll cut back on the wafers. I fed 2 because I wasn't sure they knew it was there and I put them in different parts of the tank so they had a better chance of running across them. If I put in a little tray for feeding maybe they will learn to look there for food.

I'd like to make a rock pile in my main tank for them to hide in and for aufwuchs to grow on but I don't want it to tumble down on them. Do you have suggestions on how to "glue" rocks together to keep them from falling? Superglue doesn't seem like it's strong enough. Maybe acrylic sealant?
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Re: Quarantine for hillstream loaches

Postby NancyD » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:29 pm

I use several different rounded rocks of different colors & sources, mainly from the Great Lakes, ~2 x3 or 3 x4 inches. I don't glue or silicone them, I want to be able to move them on occasion to vacuum under them. I have Eco Complete substrate, mostly for the cryptocynes...but I rarely fertilize. I also have some wood for plants to attach to & in case it may grow different algae.

My tank is a 4 x 1ft 55g & I use 2 Aqua Clear 70s & a Maxijet powerhead (1200?) with sponge prefilters on the intakes. The sponges also grow "goodies" & keep big detritus, snails & possible fry out of the filters.

There are many "right ways" to keep hillstream loaches. Find a set up, water change schedule & foods that work for you & your fish.
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