Black dots on clown Loaches

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MaryJ
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Post by MaryJ » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:35 pm

Since it`s my 4" ones that have it i`m calling it "Teenage pimples" :lol: I`m not worried over it,I think it`s just something some get and others don`t. My son has freckles but his sisteer doesn`t. :wink: My son`s freckles show more in the summer.
125 5 Clown Loaches, 7 Discus
55 3 Discus,polkadot loach,clown Pleco
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LoachOrgy
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by LoachOrgy » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:56 pm

after reading this, i just noticed something. i was out of town for a while. so the tds was really high in my tank when i got back. so i was trying to bring down the tds this week. i got some new kubotais i want to acclimate to the tank in a few months. the goal was to fatten them up for a few months and once i feel they are big enough introduce them into the large tank. but i started dropping my tds by doing an initial 15 gallon water change the first day. then a 5 gallon water change for about 3 days in a row. I have noticed these spots on my clowns a few times in a good 4 years or so. more recently since i bought this tds meter bc i try to monitor the tds regularly. so this is the first time i have done this frequent of water changes in the last 2 months and the spots came back.

interesting.
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LoachOrgy
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by LoachOrgy » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:15 pm

So i removed all the rocks from my tank to see if its causing the high tds.

the bad thing is im doing a 10 day treatment with an antibiotic so i believe this will make the test unreliable. but so far, the tds dropped 25 points when i removed all the rocks. as of half the day today its dropped another 20 even after the meds were put in the tank. so, conclusion so far is that the tds is raised quite a bit from the rocks in the tank. my loaches are very unhappy that i removed their pillows aka rocks. lol...


my alpha had the black spots in question after i did the daily water changes last week.

the black spots don't appear to be present now. but i was only dropping the tds about 10 per day with water changes. so only after about a week the spots went away. i only saw it on one loach this time, my alpha clown.
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Keith Wolcott
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by Keith Wolcott » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:55 pm

First, some background. My water company has said that they have started using chloramines rather than just chlorine. These are quite a bit harder to remove from the water prior to water changes so I wanted to be sure that my R.O. (reverse osmosis) filter was really doing the job. I bought a test kit which measures both free and total chlorine from Hach (model CN-70). The free chlorine is just chlorine and the total chlorine measures the chloramines too. I was surprised to find that in spite of what the water company says, they are not yet using chloramines. Maybe they will start soon. What really surprised me is that my R.O. system was not removing all of the chlorine. The chlorine is at the maximum allowable by law here which is 4 ppm and my filters were dropping it down to about 1.8 ppm. I was using two standard carbon pre-filters for the R.O. system and I now have NH2CL Blaster carbon filters from AquaFX at http://www.aquariumwaterfilters.com/. This has solved the problem. I will keep monitoring the water so that when and if my water company does really start using chloramines I will know if my filters remove them all.

Now, the reason that I am posting here is that I have also had intermittent black spots on my clowns. Over the last year I have become pretty sure that it happens when I do more water changes. It is not a TDS issue since my source and the tanks are very close and I only change 10-11% at a time. For several months I started adding some prime to the new water before I changed it to be sure that the chlorine was all gone. Since I still got black spots even after adding the prime (again when I changed water every day rather than every other day) I thought that it was not a chlorine issue. I was wrong. It turns out that even with the prime added it was only reducing the chlorine in the water from 1.8 ppm to .9 ppm. Now since I have the better carbon filters and there is no chlorine in the water when I change it, I have not seen any black spots on my clowns. This is of course only my experience and not incontrovertible evidence, but I think that small amounts of chlorine in the water may cause black spots on clowns. It is quite possible, and maybe even probably, that other impurities and other things, such as changes in TDS, may also cause the black spots.

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LoachOrgy
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by LoachOrgy » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:45 pm

interesting keith. i had done a water change using prime only, i have an upside down cat that looked like he was unconscious. he floated and i nabbed him with the net. and i have him in a small holder for now. hes doing better. but i felt that the prime i used did not remove all of the chlorine. so now ive been adding higher concentrations as well as a splash of water conditioner. kinda freaked me out a little bit. im glad you posted this information. thank you.
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starsplitter7
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by starsplitter7 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:15 pm

A caution with Prime is that it can also reduce the amount of oxygen in the water. I am a devote user of Prime, and I increase the oxygen when I add it to the water.

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chefkeith
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by chefkeith » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:08 pm

Hard to believe that this thread is already 4-5 years old.

I think everyone has made some good observations in this thread and we've learned a few more things over the years.

Loachloach
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by Loachloach » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:39 pm

chefkeith wrote:Hard to believe that this thread is already 4-5 years old.

I think everyone has made some good observations in this thread and we've learned a few more things over the years.
I think I am going to revive it :D

Found it by accident and it was a very interesting read. I am thinking guys, is it possible the issue was that the ph in those affected tanks was fluctuating? It seems in all the scenarios you guys have very soft water, low KH which was possibly not buffering the ph enough over time as it gets used up in the tank over time and possibly dropping the ph. Then adding the new water causing osmotic shocks by buffering the ph back up?

I personally have been keeping my loaches for just over 2 years and have been doing 50% water changes weekly or 2x50% when I have time and I have never noticed any spot issues but my tap and tank water are nearly identical as far as kh, gh and ph goes and is slightly on the hard side, Kh reads 7 in fresh tap and goes down to 6 in the tank over time. So I never have ph fluctuations. My TDS varies because I also dose fertilisers plus I suppose organic build up by the end of the week but I haven't seen that causing a problem after large water changes when bringing it down.

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chefkeith
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by chefkeith » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:14 pm

Last year when I was treating my main tanks for ich, things went nuts, so I had to do a large water change. The result of all the chaos was black splotches all over my clowns. I documented this semi-disaster here: http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24777

Here's some before and after pics:
Image
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After this, I ran activated carbon in my filters for a few days and the splotches completely disappeared.
Image

There any many theories as to why to this happens.

Some people have even claimed that the dust from fresh activated carbon, which wasn't pre-rinsed properly, causes the spots. I'm not so sure about that, as in the past I've seen the spots crop up without using activated carbon.

I think the answer is all of the above. It's pH, it's chlorine, it's ammonia, it's activated carbon dust, it's leaching rocks, it's brass leaching pipes, it's large water changes, it's poor water quality, it's an old water heater, and it's TDS changes. It's something that causes clown loaches (pituitary gland?) to send melanin or black pigment to the wrong areas of their body. It's some kind of panic response. Maybe it's connected as to why they have black stripes? Maybe it's why some clowns have darker black stripes than others? Maybe it's why those black stripes sometimes fade during loach battles? Maybe it's why older fatter clowns have their stripes separate?

That black pigment is not permanent, as I've seen clowns completely lose their ability to produce the melanin, and turn albino shortly after. Here's an example:http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php ... 8&p=199444
Image
Image

Normally, clowns are constantly producing the melanin or black pigment, and it usually goes to where their stripes are, but sometimes when they are stressed it ends up someplace else. At least that's what I think.

Loachloach
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Re: Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by Loachloach » Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:48 am

That loach is very well fed nicely said :D Beautiful loach!

Thanks chefkeith. It's good to know. So it is some sort of stress response by water quality/intolerance to certain things...
I hope it doesn't happen to mine but at least there's information here how to "cure" it. Thanks.

Personally I actually use the TDS meter as a general water quality measure. If it increases too much, more water changes to keep it close to the tap at all times. Mine can vary but that's when I add fertiliser but not by much. When I do my large water changes I use water at the same temperature as the tank, normally I manage not to drop more than 1 degree. I never use cold water for water changes. The tap water has lower Ph due to co2 but I pour the water so it splashes into the tank which degasses the co2 as it enters. And I've never used activated carbon. I used purigen at some stage but I don't see the need anymore so I dumped it last year. Other than that my stats inside the tank have not changed at all in comparison to tap. Gh, Kh and ph are all the same all the time due to the large water changes.
I haven't yet medicated my loaches but one can never know I guess. The only thing I've done is feed them food soaked in 3% magnesium sulphate solution, supposedly gets rid of spironucleus vortens aka skinny disease which they may or may not develop depending on stress levels. Mine never showed any signs of it but I know hexamita may not show its ugly head until the stress levels increase and the fish succumb to it.

Here is where I got the idea from about treating with Epsom salts food. You may find that interesting if you haven't seen it.

http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forum ... ironucleus

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