Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

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Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby dioscuri85 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:35 pm

I've been noticing some of my loaches going up to the corners of the tank past few weeks and up to the surface then making the clicking sounds every so often. I've got a ton of plants, do regular water changes, and last I checked, 2 days ago I was at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 PPM nitrates, and about 7.5 for PH. I have two filters an eheim canister filter and aqueon filter on each corner. I was recently told that my spray bar needs to be positioned horizontally with the suction cups for enough water agitation, the way I had it previously was not the best way (I'll post link to video).

Then I noticed one of my loaches floating upside down towards the surface and it was like this on more than one occasion. I got very worried so I brought up an empty 10 gallon tank I had lying around, took the water from my main tank and put it in the 10 gallon tank. I had sponge filter sitting inside my current tank, so I used that for filtration. I put heater in and cranked it up to about 80 degrees. I put the sick loach in the 10 gallon, then observed the others for a long time. I saw another one that was displaying almost the same behavior. I also noticed that both of these loaches had what look liked stomach protroduing from their skin, wasn't sure at this point if it was skinny loach disease or not. I topped off my main tank and noticed what I've always noticed with my fish after water changes. The angelfish kept going up gulping for air. The loaches sometimes too a little more than often. I don't know if it is my water or what, but I just don't think it was large enough water change to even matter. I tested my water prior to anything and it was 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 nitrate, and about 8.2 PH. Water temperature was at 78 F. I put a tiny droplet of prazipro in the quaruantine tank. The next morning, I see nothing but the head of my algae eater. I was very disappointed, it looks like it couldn't handle the small water change. At this point, it must be something with the city water here I'm thinking that the fish are not liking. I got some peas, crushed flakes and fed them to both of my tanks.

About 8 or 9 hours later, at about 5 PM ET (present time), I see that one of my loaches seem to be more active in my quaruantine tank. The other loach is hiding. The good news is that they aren't gulping up for air like they were and aren't floating upside down on the surface. But when I look at my main tank, I see one of my loaches display rapid gill movement.

I'm very worried and I don't know what to do. Should I do a large water change with my main tank? What do I need to do with my quarantine tank loaches...should I keep them in there for a few more days? should i continue treating them with prazipro? how about a water change?
dioscuri85
 
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby Diana » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:48 am

If you have been seeing this behavior linked to water changes, then maybe something is going on there.

Can you test the tank and tap water with all the tests you have?
Test the tank water before a water change.
Test the tap water pH twice: Once right out of the tap, then let some water sit out exposed to the air for 24-48 hours. Then test pH.

Do you notice any bubbles on the glass or anywhere else after a water change?

What is the source of your water? (private well? municipal water source?)
Is there chlorine or chloramine added to the water? What brand and dose of dechlorinator do you use?
Are you using water from a water softener or any other filter?

Please list everything you do to the water to prepare it for a water change.

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Fish upside down at the surface with a bloated abdomen does not sound good at all. Does the fish have enough control to right himself, and swim elsewhere in the tank?
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
Diana
 
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby dioscuri85 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:42 pm

Answers in your quote below.

Diana wrote:If you have been seeing this behavior linked to water changes, then maybe something is going on there.

Can you test the tank and tap water with all the tests you have?
Test the tank water before a water change.
I did a tank water test before water change about 3 days ago, this was 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 nitrates, about 8.2 PH.
Also, this was a test of the tank water yesterday:
11 dKH * 17.9 = 196.9 ppm
17 dGH * 17.9 = 304.3 ppm

Test the tap water pH twice: Once right out of the tap, then let some water sit out exposed to the air for 24-48 hours. Then test pH.
I'll need some time to do this, will post when I have it.

Do you notice any bubbles on the glass or anywhere else after a water change?
I think so, but don't recall honestly. I did have noticeable problem before, but it stopped when I started topping off my tank.


What is the source of your water? (private well? municipal water source?)

Municipal. The following link will direct you to the my county's water quality report for 2014: http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilities ... R_2014.pdf .
The “For Your Reference” section on page 4 contains useful information that would pertain to water conditioners/softeners. Pages 5-7 contain County’s water quality data for 2014 in its entirety as well as our data from our regional water provider’s, Tampa Bay Water. You may find additional County drinking water information at http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilities ... source.htm and http://www.pinellascounty.org/utilities ... ations.htm. I'm hoping this answers your next question on chlorine and chloramine.

Is there chlorine or chloramine added to the water?
As per the document linked above, it is treated with chloramine and chlorine disinfectant.

What brand and dose of dechlorinator do you use?
Seachem Prime

Are you using water from a water softener or any other filter?
My kitchen tap water has one of those filters built into the pipe underneath it, so drinking water is filtered. However, my water for both tanks come from my bathroom shower faucet. No water softener as far as I know. I live in a condominium.

Please list everything you do to the water to prepare it for a water change.
1. Turn the heater and all filters off.
2. Do a rinse of the siphon I have with water
3. Put siphon in tank, clean off any debris as much as possible, get some surface movement going as to not to disturb sand substrate and clean up as much debris as possible until my 5 bucket gallon is nearly full. Then put some of this water to use on my home plants and throw the rest away in the bathtub.
4. Repeat step 3 a few times until I get about 30-35% down.
5. Go in and take out anything that did not get picked up such as dead leaves or leaves that look like they were eaten and decaying.
6. Put my hand in water to make sure I get feel of temperature and go back to bathtub to fill water up as close to tank temperature as possible. Bring it back to aquarium, put half cap of seachem prime in the bucket, swirl the bucket around, let it sit fora bout 15 - 20 seconds, then pour it in very slowly into the tank.
7. Repeat steps 6 until I have it all topped off.
8. Turn all power on except heater, I wait a few minutes more for heater just because i feel like it needs to adjust to any temperature change. Then turn the heater on.
9. At this point, I'm done.

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Fish upside down at the surface with a bloated abdomen does not sound good at all. Does the fish have enough control to right himself, and swim elsewhere in the tank?
Yes, it does seem to have control. However, if you read above, I only do 30-35% water change and never more. The reason for this is because when I first started this tank, I remember my danios going crazy when I did a large water change of about 60-70%. Two of danios ended up dying, they were floating on the water and looked like they could not get control. I figured the reason for this was because the temperature of water was not close enough to the actual water temperature. I then lost an algae eater and danio again a few water changes later, this time I think it was due to temperature again, but not sure.

Here are some videos of both tank this morning:
Main tank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjnyfXCMBX8

Quarantine Tank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlXQ18AB91o
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby dioscuri85 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:27 pm

Just wanted to post another video of the QT in case anyone has thoughts on what is going on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFmWx3yk-c

I'm really not sure how much longer these guys will survive.
dioscuri85
 
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby Diana » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:04 pm

Comparing the water quality report to the current tank parameters the one thing that really jumps out is that the GH and KH of your tank are about double what the tap water GH and KH are.
This could really bother the fish when you do a water change.

Fish live in balance with the mineral levels between the water and the fluids in their body. All the things dissolved in the water is referred to as TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). This is on the 4th page of the water quality report. When there is a certain level of TDS in the water the fish get used to a certain amount of water entering their body through the gills and intestines. They get used to taking in certain minerals from the water, and excreting certain amounts of water and waste.
When the water keeps changing levels the fish have a hard time adjusting. More water enters their cells when the water they are living in is softer than usual. They have a hard time adjusting to getting rid of more water. They can adjust to small changes, but not to large ones, especially when the TDS in the water is less than they were used to.

One possible problem with these fish is that when you do a water change, and the new water has a lot less minerals in it and too much water tries to enter the fishes' bodies. They cannot get rid of the excess water, so they get a form of dropsy, the abdominal swelling. It may be that their swim bladder is affected, since this is carefully regulated by the cells. When the cells are trying to cope with excess water the fish cannot control the swim bladder so well, so you see them floating, especially on their side or back.

Easiest way to deal with this:
Add some Epsom salt to the water in the hospital tank. If this is the problem, then the fish ought to gradually get less bloated and less 'floaty'. It might take a day or so.

Easiest way to test this:
Test GH, KH and TDS (buy a TDS meter on line, I think they are about $20 including shipping, here in the USA) of both tank and tap waters. (Tap water quality report is old enough that the water might be different)
If these are really different then do more water changes, but small ones. Not more than about 10%, every other day for a week, then 25% every other day for a week... then gradually slightly larger water changes so that the water in the tank will become more like the tap water. The fish will adapt to this because the change is slow, over perhaps a month or more.
Then, stay on top of the testing, and do water changes that will result in a net change in TDS not greater than 10% less than what they were used to.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
Diana
 
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Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby dioscuri85 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:56 am

Diana, seriously thank you for your detailed post. I went ahead and ordered this TDS from amazon - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HAK ... ge_o00_s00 and will be receiving it this Saturday.

For epsom salt, I found online that my local costco may have two pack 6 pound epsom salts for about $7.99 which is pretty cheap compared to what I've came across online. I'll stop by there tomorrow.

I ended up doing a 40% water change with the 10 gallon before I read your post. Both loaches seem to be hiding now and have been for a very long time. I checked to see if they were alive and was able to see them hiding real well with their tails moving. Will see how things are tomorrow.
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby Diana » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:22 am

It won't take much Epsom salt. If you have a dollar tree or 98 cent store you might find more than enough for just a dollar.
There are other uses for it, (non aquarium uses) so if you want the larger volume, go for it.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
Diana
 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby dioscuri85 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:43 pm

I put in half teaspoon of epsom salt about 2 hours ago. I took yet another video, more close up. As you can see, both are not in their best color. The smaller one is the one that is floating upside down more, its gills are very red. I feel really bad, its been surviving this long, I am going to continue to do whatever I can. The other one still goes up in the surface, but doesn't float upside down as much anymore. It's color seems gray too, but not as bad as the other one.

Link of video. This is about half an hour after epsom salt was put in tank.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQKni8r8eVg


How often should I put in epsom salt in the 10 gallon?
Is there anything I should feed them or not feed them?
When should I do my next water change?
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby dioscuri85 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:15 am

Both did not look so good last night. Has been hiding the whole time, breathing rapidly with red gills. I did a 45% water change last night, used regular water instead of aquarium dosed with prime. I check them this morning and they both look to be moving around, seemingly active, without actually floating upside down. Still showing some of the going up to surface and gasping behavior, but they seem to both be playing around with each other, curious looking at everything around them. They do not look well physically, still have what looks like stomach mid section protruding and red gills, but for the first time I am seeing the little one actually eat. I just fed them some blanched peas, carrot, and flakes.

Still not sure what it is that they have causing their problem and how to properly treat it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqVDqs6CrKo
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby Diana » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:16 pm

The Loach in that second video looks a lot healthier. The amount of upside down swimming and his transitions to various other orientations are looking normal.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
Diana
 
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby dioscuri85 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:06 pm

How much longer do you suggest I keep them in there? I don't think they have their color fully back yet. Also, back to my main tank. I've been noticing something very very odd. One of the loaches seem to actually go after the angelfish, as if its about to bite them. I have never seen such behavior with clown loaches before. It does it from time to time.
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Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby Diana » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:01 am

Test the GH, KH, pH and TDS in the main tank and the hospital tank.
If these parameters are the same, then move the fish back to the main tank.
If the parameters are different (The GH and TDS will probably be higher because of the Epsom salt) then do this:
SMALL water changes with RO or distilled water so the GH or TDS drop just a little bit each time (not more than 10% drop with any one water change). Do 2 of these water changes per week until the hospital tank = the main tank. Then move the fish back.

Clown Loaches can harass the other fish. Is this on alone (no other Clowns) in the main tank? Most fish that are social with their own species can become a bit of a pest when kept in too small a social group. When kept in a proper group they will expend their energy engaging with each other, and leave other fish alone.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
Diana
 
Posts: 4589
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Clown Loach Problems - Need advice!

Postby dioscuri85 » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:18 am

Just wanted to provide an update and say that both seemed to be doing a lot better. I figured it was time for them to go back. I moved them back to main tank 2 days ago. They seem to fit in fine, I don't see anywhere close to the surface breathing as much as I used to. Hopefully they also start looking physically better too with time. That's not to say that they completely stopped doing it, but do it every once in a while.

By the way, I took TDS of the main tank with the meter that finally came in. It was 318! I am going to do all tests this weekend as you've recommended.
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