Hole in the head - clown loach now with picture!!!!

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catdogfish
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Hole in the head - clown loach now with picture!!!!

Post by catdogfish » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:24 am

Hello all,

ph 7
nitrites 0
nitrates 20

sorry, cannot remember GH etc.

4ft tank, bogwood used to creat lots of caves, fine smooth gravel, fluval cartridge filter. 30% weekly water changes.

Inhabitants: 5 inch grumpy catfish, 5 clowns, 2 botia striata, 1 2 inch golden plec, 8 neons, 4 rasbora, 2 barb.

Food: flake, tubiflex, sinking pellets

Right, that's the details out of the way. I know the 4ft tank is not big enough for the clowns. In my defence, they are 2 inches at the moment and it is my hope that the regular water changes dilute any hormones that might lead to stunting. 6 ft tank has been ordered and, once matured, should be ready to go in 2 months.

One of my clowns has not been coming out much recently. I lifted a piece of bogwood yesterday and saw him and noticed he has hole in the head. Quite a bad case of it it seems. He has at least 5 or 6 white holes and his dorsal fin has a hole in it. At first I thought it was scarring, perhaps from a fight, but having looked at hole in the head pictures it appears identical.

Has anyone else experienced this with their clowns?

I have done some research and it appears that Water quality is a big factor. Mine seems fine though. Other factors include stress (the clowns often have to fight for their space in their favourite cave as the catfish likes to have it to himself) could this be a cause? Diet, I have tried blanched cucumber, courgette and spinach but none of my clowns seem interested. And finally, some sources say it could be a pathogen.

I have bought more bogwood to creat more caves in case they are gettign stressed out. I also added aquarium salt with yesterdays water change following recommendations from another source.

I'm reluctant to try medicating as i) I don't want to make the clown worse, and ii) I cannot find any medication in my LFS that mentions Hole in the Head as one of the diseases it treats.

I'd be grateful for some advice please. I might even be able to add a fuzzy mobile picture if this might help.


Many thanks in advance.
Last edited by catdogfish on Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ashleigh
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Post by Ashleigh » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:42 am

Most of the time HITH is caused by poor water conditions or improper nutrition. Your nitrates are a little high-20ppm is when you should be doing a water change. You should try and keep them at 10ppm or below to try and get this cleared up. If there is no infection, pristine water and a good diet is enough to promote healing.

Your diet just looking at it needs a bit more variety (regardless of the fish in question). There are many things you can feed your loaches-blood/black/white worms, earth worms, cockle, shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, daphnia, brineshrimp, mussel, malwi mix as well as blanched veggies such as cucumber, melon, watermelon, courgette.

I know others that have had problems with HITH have suggested adding a liquid vitamin to the diet.

There is also speculation that carbon could be a contributing factor, but since you have not mentioned that carbon is not in your filter, that can be overlooked.

What you really need to do is start preforming constant water changes (daily if need be), you need to keep those nitrates under 10ppm. Start to vary that diet a bit and make sure the holes are clean and not infected.

If you want, try the treatment Mick suggested. Waterlife products are good, but I have never had a fish with HITH personally so I have never had to deal with the matter. The above is what has been recomended by others who have this problem with cichlids and it has worked in many cases, I assume if may have the same effect on your loach (hopefully).

If it is possible to get a pic of the holes, please post it up. Pic's are worth a thousand words in cases like this :)


Ashleigh

catdogfish
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Post by catdogfish » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:06 am

Thanks very much Ashleigh, that is a really detailed answer.

I'll do a water change as soon as I get home and check the nitrate level of my tapwater in case that is higher than it should be. A trip to Maidenhead Aquatics seems like a good idea too, to get some of the food stuffs you suggested.

I'll post the pictures asap, just need to find a free photo hosting account.

catdogfish
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Post by catdogfish » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:29 am

Image

Sorry it is blurry. Does this confirm the HITH diagnosis?


Thanks

raving_wayne
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Post by raving_wayne » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:48 am

photobucket is free

http://s208.photobucket.com
also what area you in m8 add it to your profile it makes it easier to offer treatments as some are alot harder to get in certain places

rave
Last edited by raving_wayne on Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
If Life is simple...... Why are there so many clever people about?!!!

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Ashleigh
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Post by Ashleigh » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:50 am

It could be. It is more common in cichlids-oscars, jags etc. The only really way is to post up a pic if your can :) Photobucket is the eaiest site I have found for posting up pics-you just need to upload and paste the link into your post of the pics.

How deep are the holes, you say they are white-do you mean just a pale flesh colour? If so that is good, you would be worried about infection if they have a bright reddish tint to them. Do you have any idea how long it has taken them to appear?

I think there was a post about a clown with holes before-Il have a look for that now and post it up :)


Ashleigh

catdogfish
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Post by catdogfish » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:51 am

thanks for the help. I just posted a pic above, are you able to see it?

The holes are white and I'd say it could be up to 3 weeks since they appeared.

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Ashleigh
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Post by Ashleigh » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:57 am

Nope cant see any pic :?

Here is the old post, it doesnt seem to be updated by the person who had this problem, so not sure if it has cleared up.... but does your clown look anything like in the pic???

http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php ... light=hith


Ashleigh

catdogfish
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Post by catdogfish » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:02 am

I'm in work at the moment so can't acces photobucket (internet restrictions!), neither can I see the photo. I'll try again tonight. Thanks alot for the help in the meantime though.

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Feyna
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Post by Feyna » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:38 am

My poor guy has some "dents" that look alot like that. I did a water change today, and noticed in the past week we had a heavy buildup of dark green algae, and a minor buildup of brown algae.

I DO use carbon in the filter, I dunno if that makes a difference. I'm starting to think this is also HITH, but the angelfish is not affected as of yet. I'm afraid it was bad water quality, since the loach has shown himself to be much more sensitive to those things than the angel.

catdogfish
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Post by catdogfish » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:26 am

Strange, I recently added a large chunk of bogwood and have noticed a lot of brown algae growing on it.

I have continued with the water changes and started treating with octozin. I also added aquarium salts, provided additional caves so the fish can have a quiet spot to relax. I also add crushed garlic to it's food and have increased the variety e.g. bloodworm, tobiflex and spinach.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed they will heal. The fish seems fine otherwise.

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soul-hugger
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Post by soul-hugger » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:12 pm

Hi..,

I hope you find out what's wrong with your fish! I just wanted to say that if the "algae" you have is only on the wood, then it might not be algae. I added a new piece of Mopani Driftwood to one of my tanks, and it began growing a whitish-brownish hairy looking mould on it. Then I found out that this was a normal cycle for the wood to go through, and after a couple months, it went away. It is ugly but harmless.

Bye for now :)
soul-hugger
Success is measured by the amount of obstacles you have overcome.

catdogfish
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Location: cardiff

Post by catdogfish » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:43 pm

thanks soul hugger, I ended up scrubbing it off with a scourer (clean of course!)

Finally I opened a photobucket account so the picture should work now.

Image

I have treated with Octozin, added salts, increased diet variety, done water changes but the holes seem to be joining eachother nw and if anything she looks worse.

Any ideas anyone? Thank you for all your advice.


On another issue, one of the other clowns has been breathing very rapidly ever since we acquired him. He seems fine otherwise. I have reduced the temp and increased surface riplle in case it has anything to do with oxygen levels in the water.

Again, thanks for your input.

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Feyna
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Post by Feyna » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:02 pm

That's exactly what my guy looks like. I've been doing water changes, and it seems to slowly be working. I also put in pimafix and melafix, just in case he decides to get anything else while he's weakened by the holes. :/

catdogfish
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Post by catdogfish » Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:53 pm

Thanks for responding Feyna, interesting to see someone else is experiencing it as there seems to be little info on the web relating t clowns and hith.

Just did another water change and added a little crumbled multivitamin to the food.


Fingers crossed!

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