Can I get a hillstream loach?

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Rtessy
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:50 pm

Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Rtessy » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:06 pm

Hi there, I've seen some very nice things from this forum so I decided to go ahead and join! That, and the fact that basically no one on the other forums I'm on have ever had these loaches.
I'm facing a bit of a dilemma...
I keep seeing these gorgeous fish at, would you believe, PetCo. Just facing reality, most of these are going to terrible homes. My tank isn't really suitable to them, so I'd like some help to make it that way.
I have six main issues with my current tank (60g), that I'd like to fix.
1. Other inhabitants: a common goldfish (poor thing is stunted at 5", hasn't grown in a year). I have not had other fish with him, only shrimp and snails. Also, I know competition is an issue with these guys, but mine is primarily hand fed, so I feel I could keep him busy while the loaches eat. Is the goldfish a solid no for these guys?
2. Flow: realistically, I don't have the money to get a flow 15-20x the tank. I have a relatively simple set up, a Cascade 300 on one end and some HOB 150 on the other. I will be adding an overhead planter with a 130gph powerhead and will add that to the Cascade flow.
3. Substrate/decorations: large gravel, average of an inch, with 15 4-6" rocks scattered across the tank. Also, I have a small stack of slate under the Cascade flow that the amanos like. There's also a large pirate ship decoration with lots of nooks and crannies (again, the amanos like this), but I want to know if the loaches are known for getting stuck.
4. Feeding: I could supply shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, but I don't know if that would suffice.
I know these guys are social and should have at least three, what would be a good number for my tank? And I'm thinking about getting some white clouds, more mystery snails and amanos, would those work?
Oh and I've never had nitrates reach even 5 in my tank, too many plants, so there wouldn't be any risk of them being harmed by nitrogenous waste.
Sorry for the absolute wall of text, thanks so much if you made it this far!
I also have a tetra whisper 100 and a 3" airstone set up near the Cascade if that helps.

loachnoob
Posts: 138
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Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by loachnoob » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:49 pm

The hillstream loaches are cool, no doubt about it. I've stayed away from them knowing full well they appear to need a diet not composed of what we feed, but what your tank simply produces as part of the ecosystem. As you mentioned they also love current, and without it they are out of their "comfort zone."

They're pretty common in my area at most LFS, but I think you put it best when you assumed a lot end up in the wrong tank setups.

Bas Pels
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Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Bas Pels » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:44 am

I would think you would need to preovide more current than you are able to. But, I don´t have any personal experience with them - I think mny tanks are not really suitable.


I got one with a 10 times pump, but this tank gets too warm in summer. It´s Always 3 degrees C above room temperature, and room temperature can be as high as 30 C. Now it is 23

Rtessy
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:50 pm

Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Rtessy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:52 am

Darn, I knew it probably wouldn't work. When you say they mostly eat the stuff available in the tank, is that the small crustacians in algae? I'm not even really sure what those are to be honest, just something I had read. I have a decent amount of algae, not brown diatoms but the similar green one, and loads of small infusoria.
Would it be worth getting some anyway? I just feel terrible because I know half of them are ending up in teeny tiny little 5 gallon aquariums with like seven common goldfish...
I've been looking at maybe getting a 420GPH powerhead, which does make the flow 16x, but I don't know how my snails would fare.

Diana
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Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Diana » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:00 am

I think I would try it.
Make sure the filters are set up to help each other. Aim the water flow in the same direction, not toward each other. That just causes turbulence which does not enhance the flow.
Use the air bubbler to help out areas that may have poor water flow, perhaps behind or under some of the decor. Think of the air bubbler like another pump or powerhead, one that is permanently aimed upward. The rising bubbles drag a column of water with them. So, like the filters, set this in a spot that will further enhance the flow.

Skip the white clouds, the goldfish might eat them.

Try adding fresh or lightly cooked vegetables to the feeding schedule. The goldish and shrimp might like them, and maybe the hillstream loaches.

There are many species of hillstream loaches, do you know which ones you are seeing at the store?
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

Rtessy
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:50 pm

Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Rtessy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:17 am

Thank you for your advise, I really hadn't thought of the airstone like that. I'll be getting another bubbler, either 12" or 18", but the way the tank is positioned in the room, I can only put one HOB on either opposite end, so one would always be working against the other. Would putting a 12" across the length of the base to break up the flow from the 150 help? I feed some blanched kale, spinach, and peas right now, but I wouldn't have a problem adding cucumber and zucchini if they would like it.
Would the 420 powerhead be necessary?
And how thick are WCMM? My goldfish's mouth doesn't open more than 3/8-1/4". Obviously if they're in danger in the tank I won't add them, might go with rosy reds or something instead.
If I were to get them, the QT would probably be 10 gallons with a 150HOB, would this be detrimental to them?
And thank you everyone else for your advice as well.
Almost forgot- I don't know the species, but it looks basically all tan, but it's just a lot of little spots. I'll see if I can get a picture later today.

Diana
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Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Diana » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:38 pm

Diet sounds good, see what they eat and what they do not.

If the small fish barely fits in the mouth of the larger, it might get stuck, killing both fish. Much safer to get a large enough fish that the larger won't even think about eating the smaller. There are quite a few barbs that do well in cool water. Rosy, Odessa, and others. Avoid the long finned Rosy, they cannot swim as well in fast moving water.

Here is how to check the water flow:
Make a stick (like a chopstick or longer), with several pieces of string about 3-4" apart. Let the strands hang down, several inches long.
Stick this stick into the tank in several places and watch how the strings flow. If the strings flip around all over then there is turbulence, not a good flow. If the strings all wave in the same direction this is much better waterflow.
Perhaps a water circulation pump would help to direct the water movement into a more organized flow. Good idea to try it in several locations in the tank.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

NancyD
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Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by NancyD » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:22 pm

I haven't kept goldfish but if you want to try hillstreams, I'd go with sewellia lineolata. They seem a bit more adaptable than some hillys & they 1 of the prettiest IMO. They seem to handle lower flow & higher temps. I feed mine Repashy Soylent Green gel foods mostly, it might be a bit too high in protein for goldie but it's good you offer veggies for it. My sewellia show no interest in any vegetables of any kind.
Image

Rtessy
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Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Rtessy » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:31 pm

I love the stick and string idea, that's a great one! I never would have thought of that.
And those are lovely hillstreams, but I'm probably just going to go with the ones at PetCo because the tank they're in is maybe three gallons and I just feel like saving them.
Thank you everyone for the replies, I've been letting the algae build up more so they can have some of their more "natural" food for a few days. Hopefully by that time they'll be eating other food.
Also, what medications are they sensitive to? I'd like to treat with PraziPro while they'd be in QT (darn, just realized QT, it would be a 10 gallon with 150gph HOB, is that okay for a few weeks?)

Diana
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Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Diana » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:54 pm

Q-tank sounds like it will work. Do you have some filter media you can share to add beneficial bacteria to this tank? It does not have to fit inside the filter, rubber band it near the intake if needed. Good water flow is important to the bacteria, too.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

Rtessy
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:50 pm

Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Rtessy » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:01 pm

Yes, I'll probably just pull the one from the main tank and put that on the QT, then replace it with an unused spare.
Also, do these loaches eat live plants? I have a decently planted tank, anacharis, java moss, dwarf sag, and water wisteria, would these plants be targets?
And would the loach be okay with my amanos and mystery snails? Basically everything I read said they would be, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
Edit: two more questions sorry.
Do I need three or six? I was thinking just three, maybe four...
Also, I'm looking now at a 600 or 800 water pump as there's a sale, but I don't know how the snails or shrimp would handle that flow. Would some kind of spray bar be necessary?

NancyD
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Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by NancyD » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:04 pm

My hillies don't bother snails or shrimp IME. The hillstreams don't eat plants but may graze on the surface for algae & auf wuchs.

You'll need to find a packaged/frozen food that they will eat, your algae will help them adjust but likely won't be enough long term. Some of mine eat flakes, all eat Repashy. Find what they'll eat before your algae runs outs.
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Rtessy
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Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Rtessy » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:35 pm

Good to know, thank you! I know they hardly eat algae, just the microorganisms in it, I feel I have a good selection of food, but I will definitely look into Repashy, thank you!

Rtessy
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:50 pm

Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Rtessy » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:20 pm

One more question, sorry. Will making a stack out of my 4 and 6 inch rocks work or do they need larger ones? If so, what type of rock? A lot of the aquascaping ones aren't really smooth, and my LFS mainly has volcanic and dragon rock, so I don't know where I would get smooth ones...
And is PraziPro safe for them? The PetCo just sucks and recently had like five different parasites including anchor worms, so I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Diana
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Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Can I get a hillstream loach?

Post by Diana » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:09 pm

You may be able to find smooth rocks at a landscape/soils/bricks... sort of store. They may call them river rock, cobbles or water washed (or similar name). Take several plastic bags with you and a marker. Take a few samples of whatever stone you think could work, and bring the samples home. Test them to see that they will not affect the water chemistry.

I think Prazi-pro is safe for Loaches, I have used it for quite a range of fish.

Very good idea to quarantine all fish. The PetCo around here (there are actually several of them) are so bad I do not even go into them for my other animal supplies (dog, cat...).
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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