look what i found!

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Maarten B
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look what i found!

Post by Maarten B » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:38 am

Cute 5cm odd-striped clowns

here acclimatizing in a mixing bowl:
Image

browsed throug the lfs some more, to see an "unsellables tank" in the back, just 60*60*60cm, no decor, only sand, with various species of 20 cm and larger. in it, one lonely, incredibly stressed, pale and nervous clown. a little large for my 600liter tank, but me and my girl agreed that decor, friends, aeration, attention and good food would at least be an improvement for her. the small ones were 7,95 each, the big one 12,95. good value for my money i think 8)

so here, in a same mixing bowl:
Image


after a few hidden hours in the tank, she came out seeming to yell JEEEEEEEEEJ!!!!!!! in the store, she seemed to have given up life, and surely would have had a stressed death. that is how bad she looked.
but when she came out of hiding:
ImageImage
Image

for size comparison, in the low right corner one of the new small clowns:Image

the small ones are doing great, even having after dinner fights and making tiny clicks:Image

the "new big one :wink: " is still shy, only coming out with dimmed lights, missing main dinner time. she only eats meaty pills i place in front of her cave.
she runs whenever she sees the boss of the clowns.
also, i am a little concerned about her skin.
her slime coat was floating as strains in the transportbag, and i cant really see it recovering yet (after 5 days) although her coloration has improved.

now some questions:
should i trick her into learning clapping means dinner, by playing with the tanks lighting?
can i aid her slime coat?
can anyone make an educated guess about age?
how long before she stops fearing the clown boss?

i want her to become as healthy as the 3 resident clowns. any help/tip is welcome.

Diana
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Diana » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:08 pm

should i trick her into learning clapping means dinner, by playing with the tanks lighting?
If you normally clap then put food in, she will learn this, just give her time. No need to also play with the tank lights.

can i aid her slime coat? Is it still looking like it is coming off in strings or patches? This would indicate some sort of parasite or disease. If it only happened the one time, during capture and transport then just being in good, clean water is probably enough. Some Loaches shed slime coat when they are stressed, so she may still be recovering.

can anyone make an educated guess about age? Not me- someone else might.

how long before she stops fearing the clown boss? That may take a while. Usually the highest ranking fish will do a bit of chasing when a new fish enters his (her) space, so the new fish will understand her place in the school. The new one may come out when the higher ranking fish is busy elsewhere (playing, eating...). If the higher ranking fish does not chase her very much then she may be fine in a week or two.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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mikev
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Re: look what i found!

Post by mikev » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:42 am

can i aid her slime coat? Is it still looking like it is coming off in strings or patches? This would indicate some sort of parasite or disease. If it only happened the one time, during capture and transport then just being in good, clean water is probably enough. Some Loaches shed slime coat when they are stressed, so she may still be recovering.
Concurring.... actually a bit worried: did you quarantine her? It may be that the slime coat problem is temporary and will go away by itself, but it also may be caused by a spreadable infection.

As for the age: no way to determine really,....factors like how well she was fed, at what temperature she lived and how healthy she is all affect the growth rate. 2"=5cm=maybe a year, in very good conditions.

Good luck with her!

Maarten B
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Maarten B » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:29 am

thanks Diana and Mikev
Also for your topics on this subject. very helpful info there.
Diana wrote:should i trick her into learning clapping means dinner, by playing with the tanks lighting?
If you normally clap then put food in, she will learn this, just give her time. No need to also play with the tank lights..
All fish know to present themselves when i clap. After that, they are fed on the other side of the tank. The tiny new clowns did it on the second day. The big one didn't or so i thought!
Yesterday, tried playing with the lights, but she wasn't fooled. So my girl fed, while i watched the big one. What she does, is actually a little sneaky: she switches caves, whitout showing herself, and just eats everything that fals in to that cave. Only after that will she come out to play. guess she fooled me :oops:
Diana wrote:can i aid her slime coat? Is it still looking like it is coming off in strings or patches? This would indicate some sort of parasite or disease. If it only happened the one time, during capture and transport then just being in good, clean water is probably enough. Some Loaches shed slime coat when they are stressed, so she may still be recovering.
i'm pretty sure it was caused by the transport and the poor conditions in de shop. no signs of disease or parasites, no slime commung off at all since she was in. the skin just looks a little "dry", so just want to help it heal as good as possible. would things like vitamins or spirulina grains help?
Diana wrote:how long before she stops fearing the clown boss? That may take a while. Usually the highest ranking fish will do a bit of chasing when a new fish enters his (her) space, so the new fish will understand her place in the school. The new one may come out when the higher ranking fish is busy elsewhere (playing, eating...). If the higher ranking fish does not chase her very much then she may be fine in a week or two.
they did the usual loachy-meeting-ritual. the (poor) photo above shows it. it took it from a little distance to not distract them. she gets along fine with all the other fish now. just the moonlight gourami (why are they called shy on every fishy site? he is the tanks absolute controlling dictator!) and the clown boss scare her. she flees back to her cave on the sight of them, without being chased. maybe they bit her, or she is just not accustumed to autority. guess, like you said, just takes time.
mikev wrote:
Concurring.... actually a bit worried: did you quarantine her? It may be that the slime coat problem is temporary and will go away by itself, but it also may be caused by a spreadable infection.
no, no quarantining. i never had disease spreadding. there are "anti-bacterial-bacteria" in the tank, and only a few new-bought fish died of what they themselves carried: two striata's from skinny, one clown within hours from ich. the gourami is responsible for more deaths than that. maybe just lucky.
but besides that, i am expanding the sump, in wich i will involve quarantining space.
mikev wrote:As for the age: no way to determine really,....factors like how well she was fed, at what temperature she lived and how healthy she is all affect the growth rate. 2"=5cm=maybe a year, in very good conditions.

Good luck with her!
the shop says they where wildcaught. may make guessing evenmore difficult

thank you for your help

Loachloach
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Loachloach » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:07 am

Bless them. The bigger one should recover with some proper care. When I bought one of mine he stayed paler than usual and not so colourful like my other ones for about 6 months, after that he gained great colour. It could be what they were fed before and also the severe stress they've gone through until they end up in a tank they are actually happy to live in.

I coincidentally bought a baby clown loach myself today. He's tiny, hope he makes it.

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mikev
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Re: look what i found!

Post by mikev » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:18 am

no, no quarantining. i never had disease spreadding. there are "anti-bacterial-bacteria" in the tank, and only a few new-bought fish died of what they themselves carried: two striata's from skinny, one clown within hours from ich. the gourami is responsible for more deaths than that. maybe just lucky.
Please consider quarantining everything you get, just that you did not get into real problems yet does not mean that the next time you would not end up with a full wipeout.

Putting a new even 100%-healthy looking fish with your older fish is a huge risk, putting a fish that shows some health problems is playing with fire.

Slime coat problems have many causes, including stress and ammonia but also protozoan (and other) infections. Protozoan diseases can be very difficult to deal with, even Ich (and it may be Ich that you don't see yet) is not always easily treatable even with the best meds, I can tell some "interesting" stories about it..... but there are also things like oodinium and chilodonella....

I passed on a great looking loach group last week.... very healthy looking, interesting to have, I have space in one of the big tanks for them, cheap... but inconvenience of setting up yet another qtank for yet another group killed this idea. :( Still feeling upset about this, but I'm not a kamikaze pilot.

Maarten B
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Maarten B » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:30 pm

I fully agree, and will do the in-system-qtank. Just switch of the returnpump, and the lowest sump will be a qtank. Just clean it after disease occurred.
But in this case, what size would such a temporary tank have to be? The fishy is 24cm. And would a month in it improve or worsen her condition?
I DO have wipeout preventing/slowing measures in place: 2 uv-c lights, the anti-bacteria, and most important i think, the 12point aerated water injection system.
I don't like to advertise, but look up aqua-crobes. It doesnt treat an infected fish, but it does stop the proto-something-bugs in their waterbourne stage. A good tip for any serious fishkeeper i think, loaches in particular. Nobody likes to use chemicals, because of the side effects, but this just has none.

Loachloach
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Loachloach » Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:10 pm

I know all of you are giving the correct advise. I would have quarantined the small loaches at least. But a big one? Where do you quarantine?, in a 20G tank on his own? He'll come out sick out of there would be my guess.

I did the same thing a couple of years ago, added a big loach to my existing group without quarantine. My reasoning is that stress is more dangerous than introducing diseases. A big loach must have overcome parasitic diseases already unless he's visually emaciated. Most secondary, pathogenic diseases develop in any tank, because of stress and nothing else. So I wasn't going to cram a 5-6 inch fish in smaller quarantine tank and I had no room for a large tank to quarantine one clown loach.

Your new big loach looks better than mine when I got him.

Mine looked pale initially when I first got him. It's not that he greyed out, his colours were just off. My other loaches always had deep solid colours so this one looked quite different amongst them at first, hence I noticed and I think I even asked here. His yellow was more like pinkish rather than good yellow colour. You could notice even with the lights off.

Image

The below one is about 6 months later than the above picture which was April last year. It took him that long to actually get good colours.
Image

Now he's way larger and is growing steadily. That's him today a year after pic2 above

Image

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mikev
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Re: look what i found!

Post by mikev » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:35 pm

I know all of you are giving the correct advise. I would have quarantined the small loaches at least. But a big one? Where do you quarantine?, in a 20G tank on his own? He'll come out sick out of there would be my guess.
Judgement call here.

I have a near absolute rule: I do not endanger the fish I already have, and putting new fish with them is endangering them. This rule is only broken if the new fish comes from a breeder whom I know personally and whom I trust as much as I trust myself, there are a couple of people like this.... and the rule has been broken twice so far (I bought fish hundreds of times). Not endangering old fish also applies to totally worthless, even old fish that will likely die from old age before long... simply the house rule is that old fish always has more rights comparing to new fish.

In no case I will put a fish from a store with my fish, I'd rather not get it.

Having said this: did I not mention the size of the tank I used to quarantine my new clowns? 10g. Yes, not the best solution, but better than taking risks. Both fish and me hated this month.... fish is probably obvious why, me -- because I had to change water daily. Both fish and me are fine now. :D I would not suggest anyone else doing the kinds of things I do .. so 20L, or plastic tub (cheaper than tank) is what one should do.

Maarten B
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Maarten B » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:39 pm

Image
Now THAT is a good looking clown! WOW! Exactly how they should look. You must be proud. :D
Loachloach wrote:I know all of you are giving the correct advise. I would have quarantined the small loaches at least. But a big one? Where do you quarantine?, in a 20G tank on his own? He'll come out sick out of there would be my guess
Yes, all this advice comes from experienced loachkeepers, so all worth a lot. I only keep them since 5 years, and learn from every bit.
Loachloach wrote: I did the same thing a couple of years ago, added a big loach to my existing group without quarantine. My reasoning is that stress is more dangerous than introducing diseases. A big loach must have overcome parasitic diseases already unless he's visually emaciated. Most secondary, pathogenic diseases develop in any tank, because of stress and nothing else. So I wasn't going to cram a 5-6 inch fish in smaller quarantine tank and I had no room for a large tank to quarantine one clown loach.
I too feel stress is the most important factor in starting disease, and that in these cases, the fish would PROBABLY show disease in the shop. But, like Mikev said, makes it all the more dangerous for the excisting group, since we cant be sure. It might carry somthing it has overcome, but might be a threat to other fish.
loachloach wrote: Your new big loach looks better than mine when I got him.
Mine looked pale initially when I first got him. It's not that he greyed out, his colours were just off. My other loaches always had deep solid colours so this one looked quite different amongst them at first, hence I noticed and I think I even asked here. His yellow was more like pinkish rather than good yellow colour. You could notice even with the lights off.


Now he's way larger and is growing steadily. I must take a picture because he's a monster, or she :D
the photos where made with my telephone. Good camera, but still a phone. Mine has that pinkish too, mostly on the head. But after a week now, it seems to "yellow up" . Also, the pale colouring you speak of is improving. And no, deffinently not grayed out. Just like a red car left in the sun for years, or an old photo, the colors are "faded".

I was going to say she is still skittish, but right now they are clikking away. She is standing up for herself, finally, but does still stay near hidyholes, never in the open swimming space. I would love a big&small photo with the small ones, who never hide themselves. They seem never to be scared. They must be eaten by the thousands in nature.

Loachloach
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Loachloach » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:58 pm

I was going to say she is still skittish, but right now they are clikking away.
She'll come around. I am sure. It won't be overnight though.
Some of them are more skittish than the others.
My large female from my original 5 I had purchased was non-existent for a long period of time. She hid the most and avoided me too like the plague, even as soon as I opened the room door. She's now the most outgoing of all. She totally turned around, I don't know why and how. And she doesn't seem to see me anymore :lol:

My common pleco used to make a storm of fear in the tank when I approached even a little bit....well no wonder. I had moved him to 3 different tanks prior to that while he grew. In about 2 years after I stopped moving him, he eventually got so docile he comes to my hand for food and lets me touch him. They need to learn the are safe and to trust the feeding hand.

What I would do is plenty of water changes, good food and minimal fiddling with the tank otherwise, to let the fish settle and feel safe. Yours probably dreams huge nets now wrapping around her throat :lol:

Maarten B
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Maarten B » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:29 am

Loachloach wrote:
I was going to say she is still skittish, but right now they are clikking away.

My common pleco used to make a storm of fear in the tank when I approached even a little bit....well no wonder. I had moved him to 3 different tanks prior to that while he grew. In about 2 years after I stopped moving him, he eventually got so docile he comes to my hand for food and lets me touch him. They need to learn the are safe and to trust the feeding hand.

What I would do is plenty of water changes, good food and minimal fiddling with the tank otherwise, to let the fish settle and feel safe. Yours probably dreams huge nets now wrapping around her throat :lol:
:lol: must be it! i am the evil pair of hands that put her in evil buckets with different evil waters. she just has a better memory than the little ones :lol:

Loachloach
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Loachloach » Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:32 pm

Oh, they remember these things for sure :wink: One needs to make them forget the bad stuff....

Maarten B
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Maarten B » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:20 pm

Loachloach wrote:Oh, they remember these things for sure :wink: One needs to make them forget the bad stuff....
seriously, i also think they remember. While we where in indonesia for 3 weeks, my father fed them every 2 days. A machine fed a bit every day. So less food for the fishies. The minute we came home, all fish were begging at the front of the tank. Dad, who drove us home, said this never happend to him.
visitors in general never receive the same attention as the feeder does.
They must remember human faces, shapes or footsteps of the One-who-feeds-us. So why not remember the human who put me in buckets?

Maarten B
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Re: look what i found!

Post by Maarten B » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:00 am

So, after a week of intensive feeding for the new ones, nitrates were at 60-70ppm. Changed half the water, and cleaned a cannister in the afternoon. Skipped dinner too.
After daylights went off begging stopped. They know not to expect food in "twilight time". Then all the botia turned attention to eachother. The fresh water and better flowing cannister had triggered something.
After lights dimmed, one of the yoyos started flashing on the sand, making a big cloud, and they immediately started a 4-way yoyo swirly fight, lasting about 10 min. Later they argued with the skunks, boes males and the labeo. An hour later, normal behaviour again.

Meanwhile, the new big clown came out. On the sight of her, the leading clown raced to the other side, to start flashing on all the rocks near their sittingspot. I expected a fight, they always fight on a foodless day. Especially now the big one is coming out more and more. But no, the big one flashed on the same rocks, in the same spots. Clown #2 then did the same, and #3 aswell. No clicking, no greying out. Just flashing the same square inch, one rock after another, one clown after another. It happend in sessions of 1 to 3 minutes each, after which they would sit in caves, rest, and start the game again. The small ones didn't take part in this, just squabbled amongst themselves.

all that at the same time was good fun for spectators. But why is there so little info on this social/territorial flashing? I searched forumtopics for flashing, randomly read trough a few and found just 2 persons telling (over) concerned loachkeepers that flashing is not necessarily a sign of a deadly disease. Only 1 person told about the social flashing.
Because of me learning from other topics this week, i paid more attention to the flashing. It happens a lot. But no fish scratches himself continiously, or show any other discomfort. The clowns flashed at least 200 times all together. No flashing at all when the "display" was over.
I dont have much experience with disease, but i figure that a fish with a few parasites on the skin would scratch himself very frequently. One scratch doesn't mean the fish is contaminated with "waterfleas" :P . Just like i do scratch on a muskitobite freuquently, but one scratch not meaning i am bit by a moskito. Please correct me if i am wrong.
Also i think a different word should be used for "itchy flashing". How about scratching? Or a term must be found for the "social flashing". They clearly look different. Flashing already sounds like a "showing-of-to-others". Of course this is just my personal opinion.
having said all this, i do NOT wish to promote carelessness around the fishies, just point out the difference, to help in judging loach's conditions. The search showed 15 pages of topics, of which probably half were panicking over nothing.
I think flashing may need a topic of its own, or even an article on the main website. For that, i would need help from more experienced loachkeepers though.
Anyway, next w.c. i will have the good camera charged for use in case they do it again. It was good fun to see.

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