Black dots on clown Loaches

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midman
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Black dots on clown Loaches

Post by midman » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:11 am

Hi everyone,

I have noticed in the last few days that a couple of my loaches have developed black spots of roughly 1 or 2mm radius. I have had a very close look and I am sure it is pigment. It is obviously on the orange parts of the fish. They are as dark as the black stripes when at full colour. has anyone experienced this? If so, is there a problem or is it just a character of the fish? They are only the odd one here and there. I don't think I am too worried about it. Someone will probably say that it is normal.

Any feedback would be appreciated. :D
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Graeme Robson
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Post by Graeme Robson » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:15 am

I've never known of any deaths or harm with Clowns having these. Just think of it as 'teenage' pimples. Some have more than others.
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midman
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Post by midman » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:43 am

So it is normal then. I was worried it may have been a sign of stress.Thanks
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mikev
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Post by mikev » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:26 pm

Seems to be normal, and indeed connected to melanin. I had exactly the same type of spots on one of mine; after a couple of months they became larger (>3mm) but gray rather than black, it felt like the same amount of pigment got distributed over a larger area.

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:41 pm

Midman- Can you please show us a picture?

My Clowns have had several outbreaks of these black spots over the past few years and they are having an outbreak right now. Many months ago I had had a few clown loach deaths, but I'm not sure if the spots are related.
I'm still trying to figure out the cause.

Metacercaria is a flatworm capable of causing black spots. It has a complex 3 stage life cycle which needs a bird, a snail, and a fish to complete it's life cycle. Problem is I have no birds leaving droppings in my tanks. The only way this lifecycle can reoccur in my tanks is if the parasitic eggs are in my tap water! I'm not ruling that out either.

I think driftwood might be causing the spots also. I'm not sure if driftwood tannins can react with the iron in my substrate and make an ink or staining agent though.

Midman- Have you added any driftwood to your tanks? Do you have a source of iron in your tanks?

I'm still trying to learn as much as I can about these black spots because they are bothering the heck out of me.

Here's a pic of one of my clowns-
Image

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:06 am

I'm starting to think the black marks are battle scars from fighting. It seems that the clowns that fight the most have the most black spots. The small clowns that never fight are black spot free.

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:14 am

Here's a link to a thread in the archives on this subject: http://aquaweb.pair.com/forums/archives ... read=92030

Emma
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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sat Aug 19, 2006 1:49 pm

Emma or anyone else- Do you have any pics of the clowns with these black spots?

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Sat Aug 19, 2006 2:29 pm

chefkeith wrote:Emma or anyone else- Do you have any pics of the clowns with these black spots?
Here's one of the larger Clowns that's been with me for some time:

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Emma
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midman
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Post by midman » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:24 am

The couple of loaches that do have these spots literally have only 2 or 3 of them. I will try and get a picture and post it. I was worried that it may be all the water changes I had been doing to get my nitrate down. It could of course be coincidence. They are all happy and showing no signs of stress. They don't even flick any more which they seemed to do constantly for about a 6 month period ( no whitespot present I must add).
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midman
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Post by midman » Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:27 pm

Ok - here is a pic of one loach with these spots. Most significant on the high part of its back. But also one on its pelvic fin. The other is just one of my nice big loach with his unusual tail and my Plec

Image

Image
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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:10 pm

Nice Clowns. It does look like the same kind of spots that mine had when the spots 1st started. If it is just a pigmentation, I wonder what causes it? Some of my clowns have it, but some don't. The black spots seem to more on the clowns that grey out or that have been fighting.

Here's another pic
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Here's a pic of Basil one of Bob's loaches after a fight-
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http://www.bobd.lunarpages.com/loaches/c054.html

My best guess now is if a clown loach has any kind of scrapes, bumps, or bruises the affected areas turn black. They can get the black marks from digging, getting squished in a loach pile, rubbing against rocks or gravel, and fighting,

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:36 am

Getting squished in a loach pile might actually be what's causing the black spots on my clowns. The gravel I've been using has jagged edges. I'm thinking if a clown loach is wedged between some slate and gravel, the jagged edges from the gravel can press into the body leaving an impression. If their are other clowns piling on, the clown at the bottom of the pile gets a prolonged gravel impression that turns into a bruise, and the bruise turns into black spot.
Here's a pic of my gravel.-

Image

Anybody have any thoughts about this?

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:33 am

I think the black spots are more like 'freckles' that some humans have. Little areas of darker pigmentation. When any of my fish have been spined by another, the area has never turned black. With the frequency of the water changes the tank gets, they heal up very quickly and leave no trace.

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chefkeith
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Post by chefkeith » Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:03 pm

I think this matter deserves further investigation.
Random freckles is too unscientific for me to end the subject.

I'll test the jagged substrate/loach pile squishing theory.
What I'll do-
I'll change the substrate in my river tank and shut down the water bridge to quarantine the tank from the rest of the system. If the black spots go away and don't reoccur in that tank, but black spots are still popping out in the other tanks, then maybe I have my answer that the substrate being too jagged is the cause.

I'll go get some pool filter sand. I think it will take 2-3 weeks for the black spots to completely dissapear. I treated my clowns for black spot disease in a similiar fashion about a year ago. Back then, I removed everything in the tank (sand/slate/driftwood), treated the water with a wide spectrum med, and the spots went away in about 2 weeks. This time I won't use any meds though. I'll also remove any slate that the clowns can wedge themselves under.

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