Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciated!

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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby mikev » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:54 pm

Very sorry to hear this.

Let's go back to basics: water parameters. It would be nice to see pH, kH, TDS, and also a copper test. Additionally, may I see a copy of the water report from your company? (this is usually open information and can be even found online).
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby Butterfly » Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:14 pm

mikev wrote:Very sorry to hear this.

Let's go back to basics: water parameters. It would be nice to see pH, kH, TDS, and also a copper test. Additionally, may I see a copy of the water report from your company? (this is usually open information and can be even found online).


Ph is around 7, just tested. Hubby is picking up a KH test on his way home from work. TDS and copper testing is not something we can find in a shop, so I will look elsewhere tomorrow (everything is likely closed here now). I will look into the water report you mentioned. Thank you mikev. I just want to stop this, whatever "this" is.
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby Butterfly » Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:16 pm

We checked the hardness. The GH is 100 and the KH is 30.
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby mikev » Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:07 pm

Have to go systematically. You either have a disease or chemical poisoning...

OK... I've been to a similar situation years ago.... it took a number of calls but I got the water department make detailed tests of tap water in the house and also in the main outside. Did not cost me anything and provided the solution to the mysterious problem I was having.

(Water dept. was not happy, but they could not really argue with me saying "since fish is dying, I may be at risk too, now come and do the darn tests before something really bad happened.")

Of course you can spend a load of money and have a private lab do this, but try talking with your water company.
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby Butterfly » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:07 pm

We are on a well, so no water company. We are having a full water test done - it is expensive, but I think worth the price. We will submit it tomorrow - hopefully we will have the results in a week or two.

I spoke with an lfs owner and he said it might be a parasite living in the sand, and suggested treated the entire tank with Prazipro. This guy doesn't sell this med, but we did find some at another shop. Thoughts on using Prazipro?
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby mikev » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:28 pm

Prazi--waste of time (IMO, others will disagree). If anything, Flubendazole, wider spectrum med.

Water test: check the water as it comes out from your faucet (the one used to w/c the tank), not from the well. It may be different... specifically if your piping is copper and relatively old (this is in fact why I suggested testing water.... #1 suspect, but surely can be something else too).
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby Butterfly » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:56 pm

We have the test kit now. We use water straight from the well for WCs, bypassing the water softener - so I assume this is the water we should test, makes sense, yes?
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby mikev » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:22 pm

Makes sense, and from the same faucet you use for water changes.
Also, all the tests on the tank water.
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby Butterfly » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:38 pm

The part that confuses me is that we currently have 10 tanks running here. No one else is having difficulties. If it were a problem with water, I would think it would influence all, or most, of the fish? Or, might it be specific to bottom dwellers? We do have loaches in another 55g, they are doing well, but we have only had them for just under a year. The weather loaches have been here much longer.

We were told water tests would be back by the first of next week...I dislike waiting that long! I am worried that this is a specific loach disease hitting this one tank. We use different hoses to change each tank. Despite all of that, I actually hope the water tests reveal something as I feel useless with regard to helping my loaches. :(

Sorry... Had to vent a little! Feeling so darn frustrated. :(
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby mikev » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:56 am

If it were a problem with water, I would think it would influence all, or most, of the fish? Or, might it be specific to bottom dwellers?


Or specifically loaches, or specifically weather loaches, both possible, or there is something specific to this tank.

Q: Loaches in 55g -- also weather or another type?
Q: please write a list of all the objects in the tank where the problem occurs. Skip the plants, but list everything else.

It is frustrating and there is no certainty that even with the best efforts the problem will be found. Still, it is worth trying, I think.
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby Butterfly » Wed May 27, 2015 6:50 pm

I would have gotten back sooner, but my dad had an accident and I have been staying in the city with he and mom for the last few weeks (hubby has been caring for the fish). I am home now and back to posting.

We lost Winnie, so that is the second loach gone. As of yesterday, a third loach is showing the same glazed over look on his eyes.

To answer your questions:

- in the 55g, we have kuhli loaches and zebra loaches.
- in the 220g, aside from live plants, we have 12 gold barbs, 11 denison barbs, 4 weather loaches, maylasian trumpet snails, two pieces of driftwood, one piece of 'swirly wood' attached to slate (not sure what you call it!), several additional pieces of slate, and a moss ball. We have two sponge filters running, as well as two canister filters (Rena filstar xp3).

Temp is generally steady at about 71-72 degrees. Official water tests showed that it is high in iron and manganese. Just tested with our kit and ammonia and nitrite are 0, while nitrates are 5. GH remains at 100 and KH at 30. PH still around 7 or so.
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby mikev » Wed May 27, 2015 9:38 pm

What were the readings for copper?
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby Loachloach » Thu May 28, 2015 5:35 am

I had to re-read the whole thread.
I am sorry for your loss and issues with the loaches.

You said you have 10 tanks. That rules out issues with the tap water and leads again with issues in this particular tank that are not spreading to other tanks?
Then I am afraid it is water quality issues, possibly an overwhelming of some sort of bacteria that finds the environment friendly with which the fish can't cope. Has there been any spike a couple or more months back? Have you maybe overwashed/removed a filter or anything that could have compromised water quality or missed a few water changes in a row? The trigger has happened in the past, now you are seeing the consequences. That's what normally happens and happens to the best of us.
I know it's a big tank but right now I'd be siphoning all the substrate well, clean all pipes and filters and start doing daily 50% water changes to get those pathogens out of the tank and relief the fish off some of them so they can cope on their own.

I know 220G seems big and 30% weekly seems feasible but in time with such average water changing the chemistry changes, making it a friendly environment for something unwanted sometimes and unpredictable.

Mikev asked for water stats? Can you post the tank's Ph, Kh, Gh and even TDS if possible and then also the tap's same parameters to see where you are at. Tanks develop different chemistry in time and I'd start with that. If there's much difference, the chemistry in the tank has gone in a bad direction.

The fact that the fish somewhat responded to antibiotics means there's bacteria involved and that's typical in a fish that loses balance. And happens most likely as a result of persistent water quality issues, old weak fish or fish with compromised immune systems, or as a secondary infection to wounds caused by parasites but you would most likely see other signs first if the primary pathogen is parasitic.

Certain parasites and bacteria live in tanks as non-pathogenic organisms but can attack fish with weak immune systems. Hence water quality and stress from environment, tank mates, improper food, are the number 1 factor, especially in tanks that haven't got any new fish or additions that may have introduced things that are either contagious or that the fish aren't immune to yet.
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby Butterfly » Thu May 28, 2015 3:02 pm

When solo was sick, we were doing daily 50% WCs in his 10g hospital tank. When Winnie got sick, we upped the weekly WCs in the 220g to 50%. I am willing to try doing daily 50% WCs in the 220g if there is a chance it may help - I am willing to do just about anything at this point!

We always clean filters individually and spaced out by several months, and we never do a thorough clean or replace the media (sometimes we add a bit more after taking a little out to start up a QT). We do WCs every Sunday, the only time this didn't occur like clockwork was back in September due to a family illness. For that month, all WCs were done every 9-10 days.

I just had hubby email me the water test results directly from the well - I never actually looked at them, just knew what hubby told me. Some of the results are slightly worrisome, especially as some differ with regard to my home water test kits! E.g. When I test PH it says a little over 7, but this test says 8.2! Also, ammonia always reads 0 in my aquarium water, but this says 0.05? Anyhow, I tried to get a clear pic of results - hopefully you can read them okay:

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Unknown problem with weather loach - any input appreciat

Postby mikev » Thu May 28, 2015 4:10 pm

I do not think 50% water changes will do much. I also do not think that 0.05 reading of ammonia in *new water* (the test you posted is from your well, right?) is significant, this amount will be eaten up by your biofilter very quickly... plus ammonia should not have a disproportionate effect on loaches. pH=8.2 is a bit more interesting..... check kH for both tank and well water, perhaps it is close to 0 and this makes pH drop?

The possibly significant number on your test is copper. <2mg/L ... well.... 2mg/l is safe for humans all right and safe for most fish, but not for loaches. This has not been studied all that well, but back in 1950s, Smyly showed that 2mg/L kills half of the loaches he was working with in 24 hours.... and it seems that even 0.2mg/L is fatal for many species albeit not overnight, but over time. So..... I'd like to know just what "<2mg/L" means, is it 2mg/L or 0mg/L ... this is a huge difference. It is entirely possible that 2mg/L is simply the detection level of your test the result means "undetectable" ... or maybe not.

Nothing else of interest on the test that i see.
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