Manic Panting

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Fat Albert
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Manic Panting

Post by Fat Albert » Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:53 pm

Hi, I am new to this forum, I am hoping it is more helpful and less egotistical than other aquatic forums that I have used... :?

I keep a variety of fish across 3 tanks in the house, a small bowl in the playroom for the kids (guppies, danios, corys & suckermouth loach), a lake tang shell dweller tank in my office and a 180 litre community tank in the breakfast room.

In my main tank I mainly keep cichlids and catfish along with rainbowfish & barbs. I also have 3 polka-dot loaches that I bought about 4 months ago, they are great characters, chasing each other around and skimming/nibbling the larger fishes flanks, the blue Gourami seems to enjoy it, but Fat Albert (8" Gold Severum) does not!

The point of the post is that I returned from a few days away on Tuesday to find one of the loaches (smaller than the other 2) up against the side of the tank, panting away with it's mouth wide open. It won't feed at all, but up until now had seemed to be feeding and behaving OK. I have searched through previous threads and can't find any mention of anything similar, unless it is related to skinny disease, because he is a lot smaller than the other 2.

Any advice would be gratefully received! :?:

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mikev
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Post by mikev » Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:03 pm

Could be a parasitic infection, polka-dots seem to be very heavily infected. I assume that you rechecked water params and they are ok (smaller fish may react first). If it is an internal parasitic infection, there are good chances that he is not the only one with the problem.

See my prev post
http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php?t=535
on one way to approach this.

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Martin Thoene
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Post by Martin Thoene » Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:51 pm

Hi Fat Albert and welcome to Loaches Online. Yes we're different from other forums. Here we manage to have huge egos AND be helpful at the same time :wink: Forgive my British humour, which still remains so after transplanting to Canada.

Botia kubotai are lively little monkeys. I can see that they might prove annoying to something as smooth and majestic as a big Gold Severum. From your Avatar, he looks like a beautifully coloured fish.

When a fish starts to breath very fast (and panting is a good description) it can be a sign of several things. Low oxygen levels would increase respiration rate, but as you've not seen other fish doing this I have to assume it's something else. Many Botia will work themselves up into a state of agitation and excitement and at these times the respiration becomes very fast as you describe. Is this fish still like this? I've had mine get involved in a fast swimming, virtual fight and they pant for quite a while after the conflict ends.

What is weird here is the fact you say the fish will not feed. I suppose it's possible it might have something stuck in its throat which might account for that and the breathing. Is it coloured normally?

Pretty much clutching at straws here I'm afraid. Sometimes difficult to be specific with a lot of fish problems. If the fish is just small, but does not look emaciated in any way, it's unlikely to be chronic wasting syndrome. Fast breathing would not be caused by that.

Anyhow, nice to here from East Anglia. I used to live in Brandon, Suffolk and often went to fish places around Huntingdon, such as Fishes Galore at Tacchi's Garden Centre. Are they still in business? Do you ever shop at Maidenhead Aquatics in Crowland? Emma who runs the place with Steve posts here a lot and you won't find a better loach shop anywhere.

Martin.
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Fat Albert
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Post by Fat Albert » Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:07 pm

MikeV,
Thanks, interesting post, I will look into that, I tend to shy away from treatments as I always seem to kill off 1 or more other fish, usually more valuable/precious than the one that you are treating....
I keep an eye on the fish condition and if I sense that there are health issues I do a good water change.
I tend to be a bit cavalier about water quality, but I do a 15% water change every 2 weeks, along with a good gravel and filter/pump cleanout.
I have just done a quick dip test and everything looks OK, and my Rainbow Cichlids are cleaning up some rocks ready for spawning...which is normally a good indicator (the plec is licking his lips...)

Martin,
I bought my main tank from Tacchis in Huntingdon (now a Frosts garden centre) and get most of my fish from there. I bought the polka dots from Crowland (My Wife's choice, one of the few that I have let her choose!)
I am looking to upgrade my tank this year and will probably be going back to look at some larger Loaches.
I have just had another look at the patient, his gills aren't enlarged, he is still coloured up, he is small but not thin, and he did swim off and look like he was rooting through the algae on the bogwood and backing before resuming his post vertically upwards at one end of the tank...I will keep an eye on him and see if anything changes, I will do a water change tomorrow as well.

Thanks for your help
Jeremy

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Martin Thoene
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Post by Martin Thoene » Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:20 pm

Hmmmmm...based on the first post (I did a litres/gallon conversion) I think your water-change regime needs to be less cavalier. An 8" Severum alone in that size tank will need frequent water changes. Your list of fish, though not specific still sounds like a very well stocked, possibly overstocked tank, and maintenance will be of primary importance in that case. Loaches demand good clean water and just because it's clear doesn't mean it's OK.

On my 6 foot Clown tank (13 Clowns, 3-5" long + 20 adult Tiger Barbs and 14 Corydoras aneus) I usually do between 1/3 and 1/2 capacity changes twice weekly.....and the tank is very heavily filtered.

Martin.
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mikev
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Post by mikev » Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:25 pm

I will keep an eye on him and see if anything changes, I will do a water change tomorrow as well.


Keep an eye on his anus specifically. If you actually saw a parasite *moving* inside him, it may mean nematodes, and then you will have to treat the entire tank in a serious way.

hth

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Fat Albert
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Post by Fat Albert » Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:46 pm

Martin,
I admit that my tank is a little overstocked, hence my eyeing up a 440 ltr tank at Wyton (100 imperial Gallons) with external filters, blah, blah.

That said I have been running my current one for almost 5 years, and some of my fish I have had since the tank was 2 weeks old...my rate of attrition is very low and have even (overly) successfully bred Malawis in it!

I put the success down to the excellent Juwell filtration (I have upgraded the powerhead) and the high quality fenland water :D

I have a friend nearby who has kept a pair of Clown Loaches for the past 4 years, firstly in a Juwell and then a Fluval filtered tank, with a more cavalier approach to water quality than I, but they are flourishing!

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Fat Albert
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Post by Fat Albert » Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:49 pm

mikev wrote:I will keep an eye on him and see if anything changes, I will do a water change tomorrow as well.


Keep an eye on his anus specifically. If you actually saw a parasite *moving* inside him, it may mean nematodes, and then you will have to treat the entire tank in a serious way.

hth
Yes, I hadn't realised how susceptible to internal parasites loaches were until I read this forum, I will watch him, and the other occupants closely, and treat if necessary.
They have had white spot in the past, which has gone with a water change.

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:51 pm

Hi Fat Albert, and welcome to Loaches Online! :D

I'm sorry to hear of the problem with your Botia kubotai.

Glad to hear that your water tests are ok, do you have the exact levels to hand? I am wondering whether you might have an elevated nitrate reading if you are only carrying out 15% water changes fortnightly. Your tank seems reasonably heavily stocked, and bigger fish such as the severum and the gourami are likely to produce fairly large amounts of waste. Botia kubotai are river fish, and as such, require clean well-filtered/oxygenated water - ideally you want to be changing approx 15% of your water a couple of times a week. Even weekly changes will be better than your current regime.

What sort of filtration do you have on the tank at the moment? Is it a Jewel aquarium? If so, do you have an external as well as the internal provided?

It is possible that the smaller of the 3 loaches is being picked on by the other 2. Whilst it is great that you have got a small group of them, some species of Botia can do better in slightly larger groups, say 5 or more (although this is going to be difficult to balance in a tank that is currently quite full). Having more will mean that the aggression is spread between the group, rather than just one fish bearing the brunt of it all the time. Whilst Botia kubotai could be described as relatively peaceful loaches, it is not uncommon for them to squabble amongst themselves.

As for internal parasites, all the loaches purchased from our shop (Maidenhead Aquatics @ Crowland) are kept off sale and observed for 4 weeks before putting them on sale. During this time, we treat them for internal parasites with Levamisole hydrochloride, to minimise the chances of Chronic Wasting Syndrome aka 'Skinny Disease'. They are also intensively fed to ensure that they are strong and healthy before they leave the shop. So I think it would be safe to say that you probably shouldn't be too worried about internal parasites at this stage. :wink:

One other question. What are you currently feeding your fish on? Have you seen this fish eat anything at all over the last few days? You could try feeding after lights out to see if this will encourage him to eat, and observe for a little while to see what happens.

I hope this helps, and sorry about all the questions but it will help us to build up a picture of what is happening.

Emma
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Fat Albert
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Post by Fat Albert » Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:27 pm

Emma,
thanks for your reply, they have seemed to split into the larger 2 as a pair, but I haven't noticed any undue bullying, but I will watch out for it, and when I do move up to the 400 ltr Rena (April hopefully) I will add another couple to the community.

I currently have a Rio 180, I replaced the powerhead for the newer model last year, as I had the old style which constantly stalled and got blocked (we have 1 or 2 powercuts over the winter out here). I also have the aerator attachment which made a huge difference to water clarity and oxygen levels (The Rainbowfish are good indicators of O2 levels)

My Nitrates are always high by normal standards, but are currently low by mine (50mg/l), Nitrites are 0, PH 7.2

In terms of food, they have dry: Tetramin flake, Tetra prima, and their favourite; Sinking Cichlid starter pellets (they stake out the part of the tank floor where they land and sit and nibble them noisily!)

I also give them the Tetra squeezy packs of Blood worm and brine shrimp, which the healthy 2 devoured tonight.

lastly they also get frozen food once or twice a week; bloodworm, white mossie larvae, cichlid chow, etc

I took a close comparitive look at the gill area tonight between the ailing 1 and one of the healthy ones (when he was still long enough!) The sick one is very red between his gills under his chin and I noticed 2 tiny white spots, the healthy one was just normal yellow colour.

I have administered 15ml of interpet No.6 to the tank, which I know is a proven, safe treatment of white spot, and I will do a deep water change on Sunday once it has had time to work.

Interestingly, as soon as the medication went in, he left the area at one end of the tank where he had been, and went to his normal hiding/sleeping spot at the other end of the tank in the rock pile....

I'll keep an eye on him and let you know...

PS, my friend bought a beautiful harlequin shark from you at the weekend!

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Fat Albert
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Post by Fat Albert » Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:20 pm

Just an Update, the redness has gone down a bit, bit there is still a white spot there. He seems to have calmed down a bit, still panting, but will now swim around a bit.

I tried feeding a mixture of frozen Bloodworm, white mossie larvae and daphnia tonight but he wasn't interested (the other 2 have pot-bellies!)

we'll see how he goes...

AmbersGeo
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Post by AmbersGeo » Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:06 pm

HI Jim,

Thanks for introducing me to this forum :D

Being familiar with your tank and its history all I can suggest is a thumping big water change now and again 4 or 5 days from now.

How are the Brevis :?:

Mike
Up to my arm pits in water again

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Fat Albert
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Post by Fat Albert » Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:03 am

Mike,
No problem, no Brevis babies yet, but I have a male and female fiercely guarding their shell.

The Patient took some flake this morning, he is still panting, but not has fast, he is sat atop the bogwood stump minding his own business.
I will re-treat today (4th day) and then do a large water change in the week.

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Fat Albert
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Post by Fat Albert » Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:14 am

Just a note to say that having done the second treatment, he seems to have perked right up, chasing the other 2 around, he is out at feeding time and has a good appetite.
I will do a big water change tomorrow to start clearing the treatment out.

Thanks for the help & advice :wink:

Still no Brevis babies in the small tank, and the Rainbow Cichlids are still prevaricating in the big tank, which basically cuts the volume by half as they won't let any other fish into their spawning area, the rocks are very, very clean though.....

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Emma Turner
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Post by Emma Turner » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:46 am

Glad to hear that your loach is looking a lot better! :D
Remember to start carrying out a few more water changes, and they'll be happy. :wink:

Emma
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