On sunday, I purchased two very tiny clown loaches in the hopes of expanding my little loachy family. Today, however, one of the babies was showing some strange signs that I've never really seen. Seemingly blind. I knew the wasn't when I bought it. He saw well enough to go to his little cave and stayed there until I turned the tank on tonight to get my better half out of bed. Soon after, I did my usual of inspect everything and everyone seemed in check. Just a few hours later, the little loach that had been hiding was out in the open. He was feeling around with his front pectoral fins as if he couldn't see and didn't bother avoiding anything. I figured the best thing I could do was transfer these guys to my community tank with he best water conditions, but things went from bad to worse once the bag hit the water. Erratic swimming and no longer staying upright. Despite my immediate concerns, I waited for the bag to acclimate before releasing and slowly added water from the new tank into the bag. One took well to it, while the other did not improve. My matron stayed close to my hands as I fiddled with the babies and kept telling me what to do. The healthier clown left the bag on his own and landed on the bottom to catch his bearings while the other fell onto his side where he stayed, constantly moving his gills at a rapid pace. I knew what this meant. His colors had faded and it was obvious what was happening. I got to him too late to help him. All I could do was scoop him up and hold him near the aerated water in an attempt to get him going again. This went on for more than an hour before I curled my fingers around him to support him. His stripes grew very dark and his gills started to move very slowly and he stopped breathing moments later. I'd like to believe that his regaining his colors meant that he felt at ease just before his passing. Maybe comfort of being held, or maybe the pain just stopped. I'm actually pretty upset about it. I feel like I should have been able to do more, or if maybe I hadn't bothered him at all, he would have been able to recover on his own. I knew I was probably going to lose one if not both due to the health of the clown I left behind. Similar conditions as described. But it doesn't make me feel any better. Clown loaches are supposed to live long and happy lives and so far the current track record of where I've purchased these clown loaches is not looking good. This is two I've lost directly after buying the same breed of fish from the same place and I'm feeling a little down trodden.
Well, on a lighter note-- the other little clown is in tip top shape and my matron stays with him constantly and watches over him. She plays with him and has gotten a little mean with the others for coming to close to her newest baby. Maybe she likes his half saddle where she only has a stripe. He fits in really well and seems to be really happy with his new family.
I liek feesh. And yes, I drew that xD