Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

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Crazyfishlady
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Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by Crazyfishlady » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:57 pm

Hello Loaches Online. Not too long ago I came across one of the threads here mentioning the possible availability of the Clouded Leopards....and I was fortunate enough to snag up a group that came into my work. I feel like I am operating with blinders on trying to ensure that I am giving them a good long term home and simply want advice on what you all think is the right/wrong direction.

I know they come from waters that are likely turbulent, and probably cooler. I've taken a 40 gallon breeder that has been around for quite a while, and reset it up special for these guys. I've got two working power-heads with sponge filters attached, a canister who's intake is on the opposite side(put purigen in the canister today). The sand is black, and I've got java ferns that have attached to wood to one side of the tank. The rest of the tank is slate/stones/larger smooth rocks. The back of the tank has a lot of green algae since the previous inhabitant was short tempered and didn't like water changes or me messing around in his water. Many of the slates sport algae. There is some thicker brush algae on some wood/plants. It seems like there should be more than enough for them to get a decent bite until they understand alternative foods. I'm trying to get them to learn that either Morning Wood Repashy, or Veggie Discs are good food.

I know I should probably try blanched vegetables but I'm at a loss at what to try first. Lastly, tank is sitting around 7.0 PH. I wish I knew what the usual PH is where they come from, but again kind of working with blinders on since there is not a whole lot of info out there. I've pulled the plug on the tanks heater, trying to lower the tank to house temp, which is around 74. I am assuming they require cooler water for higher oxygen temps. Advice? Thoughts?

Image is a good over-all view of the tank. If in doubt I actually have this exact species:

Image

]Image

I also have video up as well: https://youtu.be/B4TeiiOe4qs

It is worth noting the store I work at we got/ordered 12. Of the twelve 3 died upon arrival, and a further one has also died. It seems like the process of being shipped was rough and they literally starved to death with bothers me greatly.

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mikev
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Re: Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by mikev » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:20 am

Congratulations! Nice looking fish, hope they make it.

It appears that you are doing things right, and creating good environment for them (and your tank looks good, 40 breeder is a great type of tank too) may help their survival. Filtration is good, so is the setup. Gravel would have been better than sand but this is relevant to their initial survival. pH=7 is fine when you don't know the exact parameters, but hillstreams generally do not care all that much and going with neutral is prudent. (I tend to go with slightly alkaline, 7.1, for more stable water). gH usually is more important than pH, fish does not really sense pH, but they do sense gH.

In fact the main factor in their survival is not your current care but their health as of now, you don't have full control over it. Initial losses do not look good, hopefully the rest will make it. Things to watch for : are any specimens skinny? (lost lots of weight): the fish on the bottom photo may be, or this may just be the angle. If this is a factor, deworm, this is a common issue. Is any fish looks weak (cannot move normally)? (looks healthy on the photos). Next: are they eating? They may not be enthusiastic about any food for a few days, but unless they start eating, they will not make it ... and as for food, I'd try offering them frozen foods (bloodworms and/or frozen shrimp or even cyclopeeze)... I've kept v.hainanensis and they liked bloodworms. They may take algae wafers later, but you want them to eat something now.

Good luck, and looking forward to more photos.

and -- if I may ask -- which country are you in? Should we be looking forward to them appearing in trade?

Crazyfishlady
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Re: Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by Crazyfishlady » Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:08 pm

mikev wrote:Congratulations! Nice looking fish, hope they make it.

It appears that you are doing things right, and creating good environment for them (and your tank looks good, 40 breeder is a great type of tank too) may help their survival. Filtration is good, so is the setup. Gravel would have been better than sand but this is relevant to their initial survival. pH=7 is fine when you don't know the exact parameters, but hillstreams generally do not care all that much and going with neutral is prudent. (I tend to go with slightly alkaline, 7.1, for more stable water). gH usually is more important than pH, fish does not really sense pH, but they do sense gH.

In fact the main factor in their survival is not your current care but their health as of now, you don't have full control over it. Initial losses do not look good, hopefully the rest will make it. Things to watch for : are any specimens skinny? (lost lots of weight): the fish on the bottom photo may be, or this may just be the angle. If this is a factor, deworm, this is a common issue. Is any fish looks weak (cannot move normally)? (looks healthy on the photos). Next: are they eating? They may not be enthusiastic about any food for a few days, but unless they start eating, they will not make it ... and as for food, I'd try offering them frozen foods (bloodworms and/or frozen shrimp or even cyclopeeze)... I've kept v.hainanensis and they liked bloodworms. They may take algae wafers later, but you want them to eat something now.

Good luck, and looking forward to more photos.

and -- if I may ask -- which country are you in? Should we be looking forward to them appearing in trade?
You are right that initial losses don't look good. When they came in one was already dead, two dying (and did die). We put them into a tank and gave them a food source but only one really actively looked for food. Since then they were quite active initially. I am so confused right now.

When I brought them home they went into a tank that I had water changed several times leading up to bringing them home. They seemed okay in there, but were not actively looking for food. So I rushed to get the 40 turned into a suitable habitat, and yesterday they were quite active. This morning they were breathing quite hard, so I went ahead and unplugged the heater to let the tank cool to home temp. Home temp is 74, but the tank only went two degrees down, to 76. I checked PH, it hasn't changed. But several are now dead, the others are pale and look like they may die soon.

What is frustrating is that the source claims no losses reported on their end. I've gone from us ordering 12, to having 9 to bring home(three dead upon arrival), 3 died soon after coming home, 3 more are now dead. I think the rest will follow. I don't know what I could have done better. It may be as you say, their initial health may be key here. When they all settled in the pet-store tank, they did not make a great effort to move around. One or two did seem interested in foraging. Their PH was around 7, and their temp around 77.

When I brought the 9 home, they went into a well cleaned and water changed 29 gallon cube for holding. The temp in there is 78. The PH was around 7.0. They went in, everything initially was fine. They still didn't really try to eat, all but maybe one or two. I know that they needed to be alone to have the best chance, so I started preparing a mature tank into a brook/river biotope.

When it was ready, I temp matched both tanks, and made sure both had same ph, and moved them over. Initially they perked up though quite a few still didn't want to make an honest effort to eat. A few found a place to sit, and then never moved, until they died. A few did start to engage in active behaviors, but by this morning they were all just sitting again. I noticed they were breathing a bit hard. So I decided to pull the heater(turn it off) and see if letting the tank drop a few degrees would help anything along. Came home to 3 more dead, and the rest pale and nearly dead. I've turned the heater back on but I really doubt that caused any problem. It took a full day almost to drop 2 degrees, that's not going to shock them.

It all seems to go back to their initial conditions. They didn't want to eat. All the dead have less than full bellies. They are starving to death. The ones who came to the pet-store dead or almost dead starved to death. Each one since then seems to have gone the same exact way. I am so disappointed as I had high hopes for them.

I am in the eastern part of US so US residents at least can expect some stores to get them. I am now aware that perhaps one other store has them but supposedly hasn't reported any deaths. We had dead on arrival. I'm rather upset at this. If they came in this thin, they should have been nursed to better health before shipping out to pet-stores. They should not be shipped if they do not have fatten enough bellies to survive shipping.

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mikev
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Re: Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by mikev » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:57 pm

Use antibiotics immediately. Furan2, Kanamycin, Doxycycline/Minocycline, whatever you got. I listed the better choices first.

We'll talk later, hope you can save some.

You did everything correctly most likely.

Crazyfishlady
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Re: Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by Crazyfishlady » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:15 pm

mikev wrote:Use antibiotics immediately. Furan2, Kanamycin, Doxycycline/Minocycline, whatever you got. I listed the better choices first.

We'll talk later, hope you can save some.

You did everything correctly most likely.
I had brought my levamisole home that I had at the pet-store with the intention to dose them (and pull the purigen). After I wrote my above message I went down to check on the remaining, and they both passed. I've since contactr my work(I work at the pet-store that got them in). I'm going to be pursuing more dialogue with the distributor if I can.

Meanwhile, can look at what we have that matches the above at work, but is there a point to dosing the tank now that all the fish are gone?

Even if I did everything right on my end I feel terrible. First time getting these things in and I felt powerless to help them. In hindsight I should have hit them with anti-parasite meds from day one. Is that recommended here to be dosing all new loaches with anti-parasite meds?

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mikev
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Re: Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by mikev » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:27 am

Levamisole would have been useless in all cases.

What happened is one of two things: shipping damage OR acute bacterial infection. Not parasitic, no internal parasite kills this fast, but bacterial. You could not do anything about the first possibility, you could fight bacterial infection with an antibiotic -- but levamisole is not an antibiotic!

I'd assume that the distributor is responsible either way.
Meanwhile, can look at what we have that matches the above at work, but is there a point to dosing the tank now that all the fish are gone?
hard to say. Treating an empty tank against an unknown illness is pointless. I always toss the tanks where new fish died from unknown causes.... for 40 breeder is not the kind of tank one wants to toss or even nuke .... I'd be tempted to test the tank with something like danios for a couple of weeks just in case....
Even if I did everything right on my end I feel terrible. First time getting these things in and I felt powerless to help them. In hindsight I should have hit them with anti-parasite meds from day one. Is that recommended here to be dosing all new loaches with anti-parasite meds?
I do and so do all serious fishkeepers... but parasitic diseases tend to be slow, so I don't treat on day one with anti-parasitic. Let them settle, eat, and then treat.... few days later. Now, if there are reasons to suspect ich or bacterial infection, treat asap.

About feeling terrible -- I know the feeling. This has happened to me more than once. The very last time we even could not determine the cause (the supplier was very good, one of the best in the US, the fish was about as hardy as possible, and we still had the same scenario as with you: some DOA's and all dead within 48 hours).

It was not your fault, either your supplier's fault or just bad luck.

Let me ask you a couple of questions: local distributor or mailed to you? if local you can check if their remaining fish is doing well... if mailed, were any obvious problems with the packaging?

also, would you mind telling me who is the distributor? (perhaps in a PM?)
I definitely would like to obtain this fish too... perhaps from a *different* source. Fish that goes through the NY transshipper is often...hmm....problematic.

Crazyfishlady
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Re: Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by Crazyfishlady » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:54 am

mikev wrote:Levamisole would have been useless in all cases.

What happened is one of two things: shipping damage OR acute bacterial infection. Not parasitic, no internal parasite kills this fast, but bacterial. You could not do anything about the first possibility, you could fight bacterial infection with an antibiotic -- but levamisole is not an antibiotic!

I'd assume that the distributor is responsible either way.
Meanwhile, can look at what we have that matches the above at work, but is there a point to dosing the tank now that all the fish are gone?
hard to say. Treating an empty tank against an unknown illness is pointless. I always toss the tanks where new fish died from unknown causes.... for 40 breeder is not the kind of tank one wants to toss or even nuke .... I'd be tempted to test the tank with something like danios for a couple of weeks just in case....
Even if I did everything right on my end I feel terrible. First time getting these things in and I felt powerless to help them. In hindsight I should have hit them with anti-parasite meds from day one. Is that recommended here to be dosing all new loaches with anti-parasite meds?
I do and so do all serious fishkeepers... but parasitic diseases tend to be slow, so I don't treat on day one with anti-parasitic. Let them settle, eat, and then treat.... few days later. Now, if there are reasons to suspect ich or bacterial infection, treat asap.

About feeling terrible -- I know the feeling. This has happened to me more than once. The very last time we even could not determine the cause (the supplier was very good, one of the best in the US, the fish was about as hardy as possible, and we still had the same scenario as with you: some DOA's and all dead within 48 hours).

It was not your fault, either your supplier's fault or just bad luck.

Let me ask you a couple of questions: local distributor or mailed to you? if local you can check if their remaining fish is doing well... if mailed, were any obvious problems with the packaging?

also, would you mind telling me who is the distributor? (perhaps in a PM?)
I definitely would like to obtain this fish too... perhaps from a *different* source. Fish that goes through the NY transshipper is often...hmm....problematic.
Having raised multiple batches of loaches, I have found higher survival rates treating young with anti-internal parasite meds early. That is is why i brought the med home.

Don't bacterial infections coincide with redness on the bodies? Never saw anything on the bodies to suggest bacterial. Anything is possible at this point though.

At this point the tank has been given another good waterchange and i returned the tough weed of a fish that previously called it home. I will have antibiotic meds on hand. If ge catches something I will know what happened to the loaches. He is a very sturdy fish though...not prone to illness really.

I know what you mean. Not a local that I am aware of. Boxes were delivered on time, no damage. The were early actually. Nothing else in that shipment had issues. Yes you can pm me. Sorry for short responses, using mobile.

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mikev
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Re: Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by mikev » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:56 am

All kinds of things are possible.

I've seen rapid dieouts (like yours) due to bacterial infections without any symptoms (they were diagnosed by lab tests, aeromonas) and other instances of deadly bacterial symptomless diseases with no redness or any other signs.

If you really want to track this down you can perhaps find out which other store got the fish from the same supplier and see what happened there,
I am now aware that perhaps one other store has them but supposedly hasn't reported any deaths.
this will give you an idea.

(Among several episodes like yours I had one with hillstreams shipped from Louisiana.... the supplier initially said that I'm the only one reporting the problem... I was able to track one other recipient, talked to him, and he had identical outcome and also was told that he is the only one who has the dieout. In that case it was apparent that the supplier did not do things right and in fact the supplier is out of business for a couple of years now.... better for everyone this way.)
Boxes were delivered on time, no damage. The were early actually. Nothing else in that shipment had issues.
Delivered how? Local pickup or mail/carrier service?
If it is local pickup (say 2-3 hours drive at most) then surely the fish had problems still at the distributor... if it is by mail (even overnight)... well, things happen, could be their fault or not.

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Jim Powers
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Re: Vanmanenia crassicauda (Clouded Leopard Loaches)

Post by Jim Powers » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:15 pm

I agree with mikev. It seems that you have done things right, but unfortunately the fish did not survive.
I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me over the 15 years I have been keeping hillstreams. I lost my first gastromyzons and my first sewellia in the same manner. In cases like this it seems that the fish are starved before shipment, oxygen deprived or both. Or sometimes it may be an infection. Fortunately, it seems like this kind of thing happens less often than it did 10-15 years ago. Its too bad it happens at all though, particularly to such rarely available species as this.
Hopefully, you can find more that are in better shape than these were.
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