I have 7 kuhli's that have had a drastic personality change in the last day and a half. They are swimming all over the place and don't seem to be thinking of stopping.
I immediately did a 50% water change - in case something was awry - which didn't help. There is no sign of ich or any abnormality on their bodies.
The next morning I tested all parameters and ammonia, nitrites were perfect and my ph was 7 - which is a little lower than normal.
So I changed 80% of the water and they are still at it - I've never seen them so active! Even at night! The only other time they came close was when I had a problem with high nitrites - and once the water was changed they went back into their cave.
I also have about 15 assorted guppies - who seem fine. There are a few who have a mystery disease but they have been in a q-tank for a week and are all recovering.
The only things I have done differently are:
I switched to Seachem Prime water conditioner 1 week ago and did my first water change with it 4 days ago. I thought maybe I had used too much conditioner so I double checked that I had the correct amounts and did the 80% change mentioned above.
I also put a bit of fresh garlic juice on an algae wafer 2 days ago for parasite protection since the guppies in my q tank had responded well to it. Maybe Kuhli's hate garlic??!!
Any insights would be great. They have been the most low maintenance fish I've ever had - so I'm worried that they are acting up!!!
Have you lost any fish lately? I thought that maybe my khulis were happy because they were the only fish left.
I could be totally wrong, but that is what my experience was. I am fairly sure that there is nothing to worry about. I have some unidentified khuli's that do that race around during daylight hours even now in my 55 gal for no obvious reason other then having fun stretching their fins.
I am not famliar with the chemicals or the garlic. From the information here and on "Loaches- A natural history" I have not read about any negative results to garlic being used. One thing I have read about here; be careful with huge volume water changes close togther as it might cause osmotic shock.
Good luck in any case! I am sure others will be along to give a more professional opinon or advice very soon.
You did what I'd do, change some water & wait to see what, if anything is going on. The only bad kuhli reaction I recall is to Pimafix & Melafix
Oh, and welcome to loaches.com!
I've watched my kuhlis behave this way on occasion. Usually, it's been after a large water change. I think they are enjoying the fresh water. Also, sometimes they seem to get active when the weather is changing, but I've noticed that mine don't always react to the weather, so maybe it was something else that prompted the behavior change in them.
I've been amazed sometimes at how long they can swim without seeming to tire. I wish I had that much energy!
I did lose 2 guppies about a week ago, and 5 of my 20-ish guppies are still in a hospital tank until i can deem them in perfect heath. so maybe the extra elbow room got them excited - or the garlic fired them up? i don't know. they seem to have calmed down now but are still more active than normal. their bodies look totally normal - except that they are a bit chubby, little piggies! maybe there had been some kind of impurity build up in the water column that had been getting them down and the water change got them excited.
Hmmm, I did just remove some plant eating snails about a week and a half ago - maybe there was some kind of chemical released from the chewed leaves that was bugging them? The plant most affected was sunset hygrophilia - does anyone know if this plant releases anything upon destruction?
Once they are totally back to normal I will try a teeny dose of garlic on a aglae wafer again to see if that was the cuprit.
I also have seven kuhlis; three Oblongas and four Pangios. When I first got the Pangios, they were quite active, and seemed to be excitable. Most of the time, either in the evening or after a water change, one or two of them would do their wiggly swim up and down in one corner of the tank. Then after the first couple months, this stopped. Now they have become very retiring and go into a total panic and gray out if I turn the lights on or while I'm doing maintenance. No fish have been added to the tank. My Oblongas do the same little dance every so often, though they are in a different tank. This also seems to be either in the eveining, or after water changes. Their dance has never stopped, however, and they seem to be a little bolder than the Pangios.
My first suggestion would be that the weather is changing and your Kuhlis can sense it. This would cause the overactivity you have observed. I also have Weather Loaches, and I thought I had seen the Kuhlis react to smaller more sensitive changes in the weather. That was until it dropped nearly thirty degrees in less than two days. My husband caught the two adult Weather Loaches swimming so hard they were bumping into things and coming right up out of the water. The next day I plugged every Weather Loach-sized hole, for fear they would end up on the floor.
I would try not to worry about it too much, because Kuhlis do seem very prone to these bursts of activity. If it makes you feel better, you can try to write down when your Kuhlis are overactive, and note the things in, outside, and around their environment. These observations might prove to be very useful to you in the future any time they are acting strangely.
I have a few more questions to ask about kuhlis and other loaches but I will start a new thread to address them. Thanks for the great welcome!
This from the Book LOACHES: A Natural History and Aquarium Care:
(about Weather Loaches)
The Weather Loach and its cousin...are named because of their sensitivity to changes in barometric pressure. The swim bladder is reduced to a size at which it has lost its hydrostatic function and become a sensory organ. Its outer exposed surface is connected with the skin through a channel between the bands of muscle, conveying thermo-barometrical impressions to the auditory nerves. During major changes in the weather, these fish become agitated and may dart about the tank.
This book was collaboratively written by many of the people on this site, and has a wealth of great information about loaches. I have not read anything about Kuhlis being sensitive to the weather, but I have seen quite a few threads here where people have suspected their Kuhlis are reacting to the weather. I have also seen it myself, and could find no other explanation for their sudden bursts of activity.
They are interesting little fish to watch.
Bye for now
Kuhlis would definitely be happy in a 29 Gallon tank, but Weather Loaches would only be happy in a 29 as juveniles. Once they begin to grow, they would have to be moved to something larger. Kuhlis stay fairly small; most only grow to around four inches or so, and those who do get longer stay fairly narrow. For this reason, they do not put a large bioload on the tank and filter. A 29 Gallon would be great for Kuhlis throughout their lives, depending on what other fish you choose to house with them. Weather Loaches, on the other hand, can get as long and as thick as a footlong hot dog, and while moving around need a lot of room. The good thing is that they are both very peaceful and have lots of personality. Loaches are fascinating and there are so many to choose from, that for many of us, they become an addiction!
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