1) Set up the q-tank with bare bottom, a few rocks (perhaps a cave formation) are fine, but make sure they cannot totally hide from you. You can drift some live plants in it, or add some potted aquarium plants. If there is any way you can find out the parameters the fish are acclimated to, make the water match (GH, KH, pH, TDS). If you cannot find out ahead of time, then set up the tank with fairly soft water. Test the water in the bag when you get the fish. Add minerals as needed to the water in the tank to match the bag water.
Do whatever you want to share some bacteria. You can buy a bottle of product that includes Nitrospira species of bacteria, but it is better to share media as you are planning. Anything that has been in the filter for more than a month will have a good population of established bacteria in their biofilm, which are more tolerant of medications, and won't be killed by a UV.
2) I would run a UV for 2-3 days. This will kill off any Ich or other water borne parasite or disease that may come in with the water. Turn off the UV when you begin part 3.
3) Next, I would treat with alternating courses of antibiotics and antiparasite meds. You can read more details at this site by searching about 'skinny disease', and 'levamisole'. This is because bottom feeding fish have a very high likelihood of picking up internal parasites, and they can also get some bacterial infections when they are weakened by the parasites. Follow the directions on the medications you are using.
Here is a sample treatment:
Day 1-3 = treat with levamisole (if you can get it), or other antiparasite meds, such as prazi-pro.
Day 4 = 50% water change, and add activated carbon to the filter for 24 hours.
Day 5-9 = treat with antibiotic, for example Maracyn and Maracyn II. This combo includes medicines that act against both common types of bacteria, Gram positive (erythromycin) and Gram negative (minocycline).
Day 10 = 50% water change, and add activated carbon to the filter for 24 hours.
(total is 3 antiparasite alternating with 2 antibacterial treatments)
This seems like a lot, but it really helps. I have treated even very young Clown Loaches with these products, and they are fine with it, and grow really fast once they are cleared of possible parasites and disease organisms.
4) After clearing the last of the medicine from the tank monitor the fish for 30 days, watching for any possible problems. If you need to medicate for anything else, re-start the clock for 30 days.
5) While the fish are in quarantine, do water changes that include altering the mineral levels so that by the end of the 30 days the fish are in water that matches the display tank. Make these changes slowly, a little bit of change with each water change so the fish can adapt.
Happy fish keeping!
Quarantine, yes - fishes cvan be ill. But if they are not, antibiotics could a) harm the fishes and b) help the bacteria learing how to deal with them. If they do, you'll be the first victim.
That's another rule I have: I never go into the water with my hands, unless I'm quite certain the fishes are healthy
So my question is, if I did get a group loaches and kept them in a separate tank for 30 or 60 days, would that give enough time for any diseases to show? Or would stress of moving them again later to new home with other fish could bring some of issues out. My goal is to prevent bringing anything to 225 gallon tank that will be very expensive and hard to treat.
But a week later, my Original fishes and his Original fishes became ill. That is, all fishes in the tanks which were not swapped were ill, and the swapped fishes were OK.
2 days later, the wapped fishes became ill, and in the end we both lost alle fishes in the tanks.
We came to the conclusion that my fishes must have had a disease among them, for which they were not vulnerable, and the same for his fioshes for another illness.
Another tim e I put Mesonautus which I had had for half a year into the - large - tank in the livingroom. All Geophagus in that tank died in the end, while the Mesonautus remained healthy
Regardless how long you keep fishes in quarantaine, there is still a risk
It can also be dependent whether the fish are from a shop or another hobbiest that's had them for a good long while & what tx they may have undergone already. I don't usually use antibiotics unless I have a good idea what I'm trying to kill.
There are some diseases that don't show up in otherwise healthy looking fish, until they are put under the stress of capture, rehoming & possible very different water conditions...& may never be figured out in time to treat them effectively.
OP, If the clown loaches are fairly small & you have a spare temporary tank you can house them in, yes, QT then for a month or better, 2 months. I'm not sure what tank dimensions are available at reasonable cost to you but a 55g (4ft x 1ft) would be ok short term. Much easier & cheaper to deal with any disease in a smaller tank & not risk you display tank fish. Good luck!
We'd love to see your tank!
I am testing my heater, filter, powerheads to make sure everything works well, and I hope to start fishless cycling over the weekend If new filter arrives.
I will post pictures of my current tanks tomorrow, I have 225 gallon clown loach tank with rainbow and torpedo barbs and 72 gallon room temperature tank for 3 weather loaches and albino plecos.
I would not treat healthy fish, just quarantine in a very established tank if possible. Plants and hiding places are a must to make feel the fish at home. I believe the key is in providing the best initial conditions and never quarantine in a tank that may not be able to deal with the bioload well.
I bought clown loaches 4 times over the last 4 years for a total of 8 loaches now. Only one time I got what I thought was white spot on a single baby loach but I never saw actual white spots. I treated with salt and heat. That was 1.5 years ago and the loach is perfectly fine now. I recently acquired a new loach. He went through 5 weeks quarantine in a very old established tank without any issues to a few inhabitants with it and is now in the main tank with the bigger ones. I only treated him with NLS hex shield for spironucleus/hexamita and gave a round to my other fish too at the same time.
If your new fish always get sick, its either the source or the destination tank water conditions. Healthy fish in a healthy tank with plenty of clean water and good food resist almost everything.
I am feeding my loaches cucumbers, so that's what spoon is for, I am hoping that they find veggies more appealing then swords... My loaches been known for eating everything that grows, from anubias to Java ferns, and torpedo barbs always eat my vals. They not too thrilled about other veggies, they did like watermelon... I haven't tried given them romaine yet, do you just give them fresh leaves?
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