my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

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sickfish
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my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by sickfish » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:28 am

I've had my 170 gal tank set up over 20 years and this pair of loaches have been in there about 20 years. all other tank occupants are well and are mostly tetra's (black, serpae, buenos airies, white clouds, a few small others) and 2 chocolate cats (also 20 years old) and 1 large silver dollar about 15 years old. No fish deaths except an ocasional small tetra, about 25 mostly small fish in tank,no new fish added in a few months and always quarentined first, water quality is good. lots of air, uv light, Fluval FX4 filter, charcoal bag in filter, hob filter, and under gravel filter, water temp always at 80 f, ph 6.8 6.9, no live plants, large stump also 20 years old, recently my large clown stopped foraging in the gravel and stopped eating the aqua dine flakes and the aqua dine pellets that I know he loves. He's the largest fish in the tank and he's getting skinny. is it old age? does he have parasites? does he have worms? no outward signs of fin, gill, skin, or eye disease. And his color still looks good despite his belly shrinking. The pet store recomended API Furan-2 for bacterial infections but most people on your forum think that it may be stomach related like worms or parasites. would Furan-2 cure these issues too? I've moved her into a 20 gal, tank for treatment but not sure if I should treat her with Furan-2 or something else. Any advise would be appreciated as I haven't had very many sick fish in my over 20 years of tropical fish keeping. Thanks, mike

Loachloach
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Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by Loachloach » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:29 pm

Do not treat with antibiotics. It is most likely parasite/worm related.

I'd suggest read FranM's recent enough thread below. It's rather long and derails a lot from the topic at times but the scenario is the same, a very skinny, older loach.

https://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=42183

sickfish
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:52 am

Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by sickfish » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:07 am

Thanks LL,
I've read the link you mentioned but my clown has no physical outer signs of any skin abnormalities or coloration. It looks fine except it is skinny and not acting normally.I moved her into a 20 gal. tank by herself and I started the anti biotics treatment yesterday before I went to work because I didn't know if it would help or not or if it would do anything for worms/parasites. I too believe it is probably something in the digestive track like parasites or worms but as I have read so many things about Levamisole I still don't know what to do with it, and where to get it, and how to use it. I've seldom had to treat sick fish over the years, and the access to medications for the fish are mostly things I would have to order online. API used to have a help line with advisors that you could call and get advise but now you call and leave a message and hope they will get back to you before you die of old age.

Loachloach
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Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by Loachloach » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:22 pm

Hey, I don't think you've read the thread or you would have not used Api Furan for a skinny disease which is not caused by any bacteria.....You're just making it worse for the poor fish as these meds aren't completely harmless....

The med you're using is absolutely ineffective against worms/parasites. In the thread I suggested FLUbendazole which is a broad spectrum anti parasitic/ a dewormer. Levamisole can also work. .....I hope your fish recovers anyway. I'd start doing large daily or every other day water changes for a while to boost the immune system of the fish...well, at least after the med treatment because I am guessing you can't now....Water quality is essential for sick fish...

sickfish
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Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by sickfish » Sun Apr 29, 2018 7:17 am

Thanks LL;
I'm sorry I missed that part of the thread when I read it. I'm new to forum posting and reading stuff in forums and didn't feel the scenario in the other posting was the same as my situation so I may have not read it that far. By the time you wrote me I had already started the antibiotic treatment as I had my doubts about it's effectiveness with worms to begin with and that is why I asked this forum for advise because all I had at the time was the local pet stores recommendation that the antibiotics may work. I did not know if Fluran 2 would kill worms / parasites. I will try to get some Flubendazole to treat her with. Thanks for your help and advise as I'm at a great disadvantage when It comes to treating sick fish and I'm not in an area with readily available fish experts with this kind of specialized knowledge. Thanks so much for your help I'll keep you all posted as to how things turn out. Mike

Loachloach
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Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by Loachloach » Sat May 05, 2018 7:29 am

Hope your loach recovers Mike.

FranM
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Location: Rhode Island USA

Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by FranM » Sun May 06, 2018 10:00 pm

Loachloach wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:22 pm
Hey, I don't think you've read the thread or you would have not used Api Furan for a skinny disease which is not caused by any bacteria.....You're just making it worse for the poor fish as these meds aren't completely harmless....

The med you're using is absolutely ineffective against worms/parasites. In the thread I suggested FLUbendazole which is a broad spectrum anti parasitic/ a dewormer. Levamisole can also work. .....I hope your fish recovers anyway. I'd start doing large daily or every other day water changes for a while to boost the immune system of the fish...well, at least after the med treatment because I am guessing you can't now....Water quality is essential for sick fish...
Look at this pic. Yes my clown had some skin issue but I attribute that to the non existent KH reading. Take a look at this pic and maybe you will take the suggestions you’ve been given. Before and after.

https://s26.postimg.cc/om3qa5int/A10_B0 ... _B06_E.jpg

sickfish
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:52 am

Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by sickfish » Fri May 11, 2018 6:57 am

Update; 5/11/18
After 5 days of flubendazole treatment and subsequent water changes my clown loach is starting to become more active and eating frozen blood worms. Last night I fed her 2 small clumps of the frozen blood worms that I thawed and she aggressively gobbled them up in a short amount of time . I have hopes that if she continues to improve I'll be able to move her back into the main tank again soon. Thanks for all of your advise, especially "loach loach"your help and knowledge are greatly appreciated. mike

Loachloach
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Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by Loachloach » Fri May 11, 2018 1:13 pm

Thats really good news Mike. I am delighted to hear your loach is ok.

I would suggest one more dose now before moving back the loach from quarantine. Consider also that your other fish may have the same even if they are asympomatic. Flubendasole is very safe to be added to the main tank and for any sensitive fish but will kill inverts.

sickfish
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Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by sickfish » Wed May 16, 2018 10:24 am

Hey loachloach; It's been 5 days now since I finished her 5 day treatment and everyday I'm still vacuuming up clear worms with a black head about 3/8 's of an inch long from the tank. How long will it take for her to expel all the worms that were in her? I've vacuumed up at least a few hundred so far and still more are there every day. Also if I treat her again with the flubendazole do I do the full 5 day 2 dose treatment again? Also, if I would have to treat the main tank I would need a lot more flubendazole as it is 170 gal. and even if I removed 1/2 the water it would still be 85 gal. do I treat it the same way with a 2 dose 5 day treatment? But I don't see any other fish not eating well and getting skinny, it may have been just her getting worms/parasites as she would dig in the gravel and bull doze large amounts of gravel to find stuff buried in it. thanks, Mike

Loachloach
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Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by Loachloach » Fri May 18, 2018 3:07 pm

You can add another 5 day treatment, especially if you're seeing that amount of worms. With flubendazole it is safe enough to do so. Flubendazole works by slowly starving the worms so it is a safer treatment as the worms try to come out instead of dying in the host and rotting. Treating again prevents any eggs from hatching. After the treatment is over make sure to do plenty of water changes and don't rush to transfer the fish back. Damaged tissue from where the worms were may needs repairing and water quality is essential in preventing anything bacterial to develop subsequently.

As for the other fish not showing symptoms, they don't until they do..... Fish are quite capable of controlling worms and parasites for some time. In nature they can live full lives being infested at the same time. .In a small space such as a tank you can't let that continue. If one fish has worms it is very likely more have, and you don't want re-infection. I know it will take quite an amount of flubendazole. My tank is 240 G so one pack is not even enough for a repeat treatment. But you'll be glad as you'll have robust fish after that....Parasites and worms weaken the fish and make them susceptible to secondary diseases even if the main issue doesn't kill the fish.

On another hand, are the worms segmented or round? Can you magnify one and have a look. If they're segmented, they're flat worms and those need intermediate hosts such as inverts to actually re-infect. Such worms will be confined to the individual that has them, unless your tank has the type of inverts to complete the worms life cycle.

If the worms are not segmented, they're most likely infectious.
as she would dig in the gravel and bull doze large amounts of gravel
If you think she's got it from the gravel, then the only way is by ingesting poop from infected fish, etc...So again, treating the whole tank will prevent that completely....In a few months you can re-treat just in case and then treat every time you add new fish.

sickfish
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:52 am

Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by sickfish » Fri May 18, 2018 6:56 pm

Loachloach; thanks again for your help,I have a few more questions. My loach in the 20 gal. hospital tank is doing much better. she quit expelling worms about 2 days ago just after my last post. The worms were about 3/8" long clear to opaque whitish color, with a black head on the end, seem to be dead and not moving, I sucked up some from the bottom with a baster and looked closely at them and saw no segments. I vacuumed up the gravel every day and changed about 5 gallons every day until all were gone. She is pooping black poop and she is eating frozen blood worms and brine shrimp and some sinking pellets too. She's digging up the gravel in the hospital tank now too just like she did in the main tank. I'm fairly confident she's going to be fine but I'm going to leave her in the hospital tank for a few more days or even a week or 2 until she puts on some more weight and won't have to compete with the others in the tank for food.
I now think that 2 of my chocolate cats in the main tank that are also 20 years old have stopped eating and may also have worms/parasites too.
The rest of the fish are eating just fine now but I may have to treat the 170 gal. tank too. BTW, I have no inverts in my tank.
1. should I take out 1/2 the water in the tank? (it has an undergravel filter and water pulled through the gravel goes to my hagen FX4 canister so the lower water level wont affect filtration.)
2. since I used almost 1/2 teaspoon of Flubendazole for each of the 2 treatments for 20 gallons in the hospital tank. I figure I will need about 2 teaspoons for 85 gallons per treatment (if it is half full), but I don't know how many grams that is of flubendazole I need to order. any idea?
3. I have always quarantined new fish for a month before adding them to the main tank but never dewormed them, but I guess all of them should get dewormed from now on before moving to the main tank. what do you think?
I ordered my 10% Flubendazole from inkmkr.com and bought 25 grams for $27.25 he also has 50gram $42.50 and 100 gram $65.00 pkgs too.
how much do you think I will need. Thanks for your advise and all your help. Mike in Pa.

Loachloach
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Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by Loachloach » Fri May 18, 2018 9:35 pm

Loachloach; thanks again for your help,I have a few more questions. My loach in the 20 gal. hospital tank is doing much better. she quit expelling worms about 2 days ago just after my last post.
Sorry for the delayed reply. I actually don't have the habit of checking this part of the forum and never saw you posted.
1. should I take out 1/2 the water in the tank? (it has an undergravel filter and water pulled through the gravel goes to my hagen FX4 canister so the lower water level wont affect filtration.)
2. since I used almost 1/2 teaspoon of Flubendazole for each of the 2 treatments for 20 gallons in the hospital tank. I figure I will need about 2 teaspoons for 85 gallons per treatment (if it is half full), but I don't know how many grams that is of flubendazole I need to order. any idea?
3. I have always quarantined new fish for a month before adding them to the main tank but never dewormed them, but I guess all of them should get dewormed from now on before moving to the main tank. what do you think?
I ordered my 10% Flubendazole from inkmkr.com and bought 25 grams for $27.25 he also has 50gram $42.50 and 100 gram $65.00 pkgs too.
how much do you think I will need. Thanks for your advise and all your help. Mike in Pa.
It seems you do need to treat the main tank so until its over, I'd leave the loach in quarantine.

To answer your questions.

1. No,why would you take out half the water? That would affect water quality during treatment although it may save you on on flubendazole. I personally wouldn't.

2. It's hard to say without a weight scale but quick google search reveals the following:

table salt is approximately 6 grams per teaspoon (18 grams per tablespoon); ground cumin is about 2.5 grams per teaspoon (7.5 grams per tablespoon).
Furthermore, for some powders, how tightly they are packed--this is especially important with flour--will make a large difference.


So I'd personally go by the powder/salt measure providing flubendazole is powder and consider it 6 grams per teaspoon...

3. Yes, definitely deworm with flubendazole. It will give the fish a much better chance as they can struggle with those for ages, plus prevent secondary issues and also a lot of fish owner anxiety issues. It is worth it considering flubendazole is also very safe.

On the last question see the teaspoon measure. Depending on your financial abilities you may want to have some in excess for that impulse fish buy :) Consider also that you may want to re-treat in a few months to catch anything you've missed. Additionally, it is safe to overdose flubendazole and better to overdose than not dose enough.....

Good luck.

Loachloach
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:11 pm

Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by Loachloach » Fri May 18, 2018 9:49 pm

Also, a personal request, any pictures of these 20 year old loaches? :D It is quite rare to come across such old loaches, congratulations on great fish keeping job. And some of the the cats too if possible. Thanks :) No rush, whenever you feel comfortable about it.

sickfish
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:52 am

Re: my 8" clown loach stopped eating, getting skinny, help!

Post by sickfish » Sat May 19, 2018 6:47 am

Thanks Loachloach; Your experience in this matter is very assuring to me because in my 20 some years in fishkeeping I've never had to treat the large tank before. I have always had good luck with the fish I get from our local pet store, the owner has been in the pet store business for 40+ years and has been a friend of mine for almost that long too. But medicating fish may not be his strong suit. I never buy fish from places like walmart for fear of all the tanks using 1 filter and passing germs from tank to tank.
I would be glad to send you some pics but I don't know how to post them on here. I read others instructions on how to post through outside web sites but I'm not very tech savy and not sure how to do it. And the terminology is a bit confusing. If you know an easy way please let me know. thanks, Mike in pa.

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