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Post by GRAMMYPAT » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:33 am

I had intended to purchase some zebra loaches or sids if I could find them but there were none to be had. So I took the advice of the clerk at the LFS (I know-stupid me) and I took home a skunk loach. I was assured that he was a commuity fish and would be ok in a 30G tank.
I put him in my 10G with some other fish I bought for quarantine.
Then I went to read up on the Skunk Loach and found out they are not good in communities,
A week later the skunk had eaten my 3 jelly bean tetras, 2 baby platies and 4 black neon tetras. To his credit he did eat about a billion snails which is why I wanted a loach in the first place.
I had to tear apart my 10G looking for bodies and to try and get out the rest of the platy fry. I took out my driftwood and rocks and set them in a tray on the floor. As I was taking the plants out I heard a strange noise and there was the loach flopping around on some newspapers. He must have beeninside the piece of driftwood.
Without thinking I scooped him up and dropped him in the nearest tank, which was the 30G.
The Zebra loach was originally supposed to go in this 30G, heavily planted tank with long finned zebra danios, a mollie and a dwarf gourami. I made lots of caves and hidey holes.
So now the skunk is in there and I can't get him out. I am afraid he will kill all my other fish and ruin about $200 worth of plants. I can't catch him.
I shouldnt have bought him in the first place. I should have thrown him out the window instead of in the good tank! (Not really)- he's actually cute when he's not on a killing spree)
I guess my choices are to move all other fish and plants to another tank and get him some suitable tank mates. What other fish can survive with him?
Or take everything out of the tank including most of the water and hunt him down and move him.
Any ideas????? :cry: :cry:
3 Planted tanks,

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Post by Piyush » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:56 am

You can try hard at catching the bugger...try luring with food in a jar, or stake out with a net in the water...

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Post by starsplitter7 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:18 pm

I am so sorry to hear your troubles with the Skunk. That is a terrible surprise. (I had a bichir eat many of my fish while I tried to figure out which fish was a fish eating fish.) If you want to keep him, get him some more skunks. They concentrate their aggressions on each other.

I have been very lucky with my skunks. I have five, and they do quite well. They live in a heavily planted tank with many caves -- many more than inhabitants. They do fine as long as no one messes with their caves. They live with 3 hatchets (a 4th that was being beat up is another tank), 2 Killies, 1 male sword, 1 Flying Fox, 5 Gold Tetras (although I am not sure what they really are), 2 farlowellas and 1 rubberlip. Except the Farlowellas all of these fish are twitchy and a little aggressive, so they balance each other well. All these fish have been together for 3 months to a year with no loses. Except the hatchet, these fish are flawless. No major scraps. The hatchet is fine. His fins have grown back out. No worse for wear.

To be fair, almost any fish will eat fry, so don't blame your Skunk. :)

Are you sure the Skunk killed the fish, or was he eating the dead? I ask because you mentioned "jellybean" Tetras, which is generally code for "dyed", and many fish die quickly after being dyed. (Jellybean [Usually White skirt tetras that have been dyed], tuttifrutti, raspberry, blueberry, . . . are frequently names of dyed fish). I wouldn't put it past a skunk to kill another fish, but it just seems like a lot of fish in a short period of time.)

I can't help you figure out how to catch him. I generally take everything out of the tank and use a big net, but your tanks probably are better planted than mine. I have been successful in removing loaches, by picking up their hiding place with the loach and putting it in a bowl, just the way you did accidentally.

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Post by tender » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:28 pm

I seem to reckognise my own first experience with skunks in this story. I bought 5 skunks, and were told that they where a peaceful loach - NOT SO!

After a month i realized that I had to get them out of the tank - they were housed with Clowns,Yo-Yo`s and SAE`s.

I put up a separate tank for them, and in my opinion the best thing to keep with skunks is...ehhh...more skunks :wink: Unless you have a large tank, then maybe you could have some Tigerloaches with them. I`m sure there are people here which successfully combines skunks with other types of fish, but in my opinion, unless one is quite experienced with loaches they are best of on theyre own. And let me tell you, a skunk-tank can be really entertaining :D Once they get used to the new tank (this actually took 2-3 months in my case) they are all over the place. All the time, fighting,chasing,clicking,digging etc. Great fun to watch!

As to cathing them: I ended up stripping the tank completely. It was the only way with these rocket-speed fish. Clowns and yo-yos I have learned to catch quite easily without to much rearranging in the tank, but skunks.... forget it!

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Post by GRAMMYPAT » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:26 pm

Thanks for the input. I guess I am stressed becasue I just got this tank perfect and the thought of pulling it apart just makes me crazy.

Anyway, the jellybean tetras were not dyed fish. They are ... 50&search=

If I can't catch him tonight then I think I will move everyone to my 20G and 10G for a couple of days. I have to go out of town and don't want to come home to a mess.
Once I get him I can probably rehome him it's just catching him first.
3 Planted tanks,

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Post by newshound » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:25 pm

put an algae disk in a bottle with fishing line tied to it (making it eas y to pull out).
wait until the skunk goes in
pull out
this could take several tries over several days.
better than pulling your tank apart
live and learn
first lession
NEVER EVER trust advice from a LFS...double check on the net.
drain your pool!

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Post by starsplitter7 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:52 pm

GRAMMYPAT wrote: Anyway, the jellybean tetras were not dyed fish. They are ... 50&search=
What beautiful little fish. I am so sorry you lost them. Really terrible.

I am so sorry that your experience with the skunk was so horrific. I was lucky. I bought mine, along with two tigers, on a spur and never had problems.

But I have made every mistake while I am learning and it is difficult.

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Post by chefkeith » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:21 pm

The quarantine tank was over stocked also. As you learned, it's not good to mix some fish species in a small quarantine tank.
It's best to have a few quarantine tanks to prevent cross contamination of disease causing pathogens also.

Example- Let's say I get some Tetras from the Pet Store, then get some loaches from the LFS. I'd really need to put the 2 different kinds of fish in different q-tanks so that I don't cross contaminate any pathogens. It's just the smart thing to do.

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Post by tariesindanrie » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:51 pm

Sorry to hear about this Grammypat- I think that this has happened to a lot of us (even some including ME who should have known better :shock: )

And Starsplitters not just funning with you, she really does keep skunks with other fish that should have been skunk toast a while ago. Don't know why it works for her, but it does. I think she's the Fish Whisperer or something, truly.

If I were you, I'd take every thing out of the tank that the little bugger can possibly hide in, so at least he can't evade you completely, and see if you can net him that way. Then I'd take him back to your LFS and straighten them out- and at least get some replacements free, if not a refund.

They are cute, and it isn't the little punk's fault- but I do feel your pain--I had one massacre my entire shoal of black neons and some cardinals before his rampage of death was discovered.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”- Dr. Seuss

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Post by starsplitter7 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:31 pm

It's accidental and I am lucky. I call this tank my "Mini Grrr". All my mean little fishies. When I added two more skunks this summer, I expected fireworks, but they just perked up the resident skunks. So far no major issues. Chasing, clicking, but no damage to any fish.

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Post by Diana » Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:45 pm

Ditto Kate: When you catch him, take him back to the store and see what they will do.
It is VERY well known that some Loaches are NOT community fish.
For them not to know, or, worse, lie and say they are community fish is really bad.

The trap idea may work, but I have had to tear down tanks more often to catch escape artist types.

Since you are leaving soon, I would suggest moving all the fish you can catch to other tanks, just for the few days you are gone, then deal with catching him later.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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Post by GRAMMYPAT » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:59 pm

Well, after a week or so together everyone is fine. The skunk only chases someone when they come near his cave. The Gourami and the Mollie go in the cave and taunt him. So maybe everyone will get along for a while.
Thanks for the help. I did snag a 40G tank from Craigs list so maybe Jaws will get a new home with more suitable tank mates.
3 Planted tanks,

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Post by loachcoach » Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:46 am

I have occasionally (and innocently) purchased demon fish....yes, they look beautiful when you see them at the LFS, but the minute you get them to your tank......they turn :twisted:

Years ago, I had and African Cichlid setup. Things were going smoothly until I added a M. auretus into my happy little setup. Over the next few weeks, he bullied all the other fish to death. I was desperate to stop him, but money was tight and there was not much I could do.

One day I came home from work to find he had killed my favorite fish (Baby Blue). He had one chance....I called my brother....all of his tanks were room at the inn. So I resorted to the only option I felt I had left while blinded by grief and flushed him down the toilet.

Now I know this is wrong on so many levels, and I would never do something like that now, but I was young and emotional.....and would you believe that little killer swam against the current in the toilet and didn't get flushed......I told you he was a demon fish :shock:

I called my brother to witness this "fish possession" and he came right over. Flushed him a second time and, sure enough, he swam against the current again and remained defiantly leering at me from the toilet.

Well, I was at my wit's end and it had become personal......I grabbed his (not so) little body out of the toilet and opened my kitchen window and threw him out as I screamed, "Swim back, now, **&$**!"

You know, a little part of me did expect to find him swimming in the tank the next day.
There is no cure for MTS....don't waste your time trying to overcome it......join me, for the force is strong!!

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Post by GRAMMYPAT » Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:17 pm

Well I might have been tempted to flush him if I could catch the little bugger. He came out last night and danced around for a few seconds but then back under the log.
I did ge t my hands on a 40G tank. Unfortunately it has 2 goldfish in it that I have to rehome. But once I get it set up I will move the skunk there and get him some friends. Maybe then he wont hide so much.
3 Planted tanks,

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Post by Pilze » Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:36 pm

Are skunks bad with plants?

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