Clown Loach odd behaviour

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Clown Loach odd behaviour

Post by LisaL79 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:46 am

One of my clown loaches isn't acting right. It stopped eating and it now appears to be swimming strange. Almost a jerky motion. Not fluid and smooth like it should.
I watched it last night after I fed the tank and it would swim swim swim, then sorta just plop on to the substrate or wherever it was trying to go.
I did have a problem recently with my cories and another pleco in the tank. Not sure what happened, but they also stopped eating and began to die. They all LOOKED healthy, but obviously something was wrong. The clown loach seems to be pretty alert, but it's def acting very similar to what happened to my other fish and I'm not sure what to do.

It's a 125gal tank. Been set up for 3 years. Currently have 7 clowns, 1 BGK, 7 tiger barbs, 12 rainbowfish, 4 giant danio, cories and a pleco.
Water stats are where they should be. Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates are where they should be. I've been keeping an eye on it since I cleaned the filter not too long ago just in case. pH is steady.

Any ideas of what could be going on? I dunno why this happened all of a sudden since nothing had been added to the tank in quite a while.

I bought some stuff called PraziPro to treat the tank (read someone mention it on another thread). It hasn't arrived yet, but hopefully will soon. Is this like other parasite meds where it causes oxygen to lower in the water?
Will this be enough? I know that's hard to answer, but I really don't want to lose anymore fish, especially my clowns.

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Re: Clown Loach odd behaviour

Post by Steph » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:12 pm

When you say your water is normal, do you mean NH3/NH4 = 0, NO2 = 0, NO3 < 20 ppm?

Also what area do you live in? Town or countryside? Some farmers are out spraying fields at the moment, and if you are in the middle of the countryside, with open windows, pesticides like these can cause all kinds of problems.

My suggestion would be to 1st double check your tap water - Ours gets pretty bad over the summer school holidays, often with NH3/NH4 readings of 0.6ppm or more, and NO2 >0.3. If your water is ok out the tap, then do a 25 - 30% water change using dechlorinated water. Stick some activated carbon in a spare filter if you have one, and sling an airstone in the tank too, especially if you have one of the fine bubble wall hoses.

Household toxins can cause problems too - a friend of mine caught her mothers cleaner spraying the front of the tank with Mr Sheen furniture polish. I was also summoned around to a friends house as she was losing fish, to find the tank frothing like she had put washing up liquid in it, and a plug in airfreshener in the wall immediately behind the tank. The water was an interesting shade of orange - just like the airfreshener behind it and it smelled terrible!

How did you clean the filter? Im guessing you rinsed it in a bucket of old tank water rather than under the tap? I know fish can get diseases and parasites, but if you haven't added anything new to the tank, and it is not that common for one disease to wipe out every species of fish in a tank as usually they do not all seem to be susceptible. It is probably more likely to be either a water pollutant or even something wrong with the food you are using if it is only your catfish and loaches that are affected. Whats the expiry date on the catfish food? Any chance it could either be contaminated, or some water got into it that could have caused some mold growth in there?

Best of luck with your fish, I really hope they recover, I too hate it when you lose some of them from an indeterminate cause - I lost several large fish a few months ago and it was devastating :(

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Re: Clown Loach odd behaviour

Post by Diana » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:23 pm

Cories, Pleco, Loach... are all bottom feeders.
Barbs, Rainbows, Barbs are upper level fish.

Maybe there is a hint here. Just guessing.
Perhaps the wafers or pellets that you are feeding for the bottom fish have gone bad?
Perhaps one or more of the fish brought in some parasite (worms or other) and these are slowly growing in the bottom feeders. Fish that feed off or near the bottom seem to pick up these parasites pretty easily.

Several good ideas from Steph, too. All sorts of household chemicals find their way into the tank. If you suspect anything like this I would do a couple of really big water changes, and add activated carbon to the filter, and change it out weekly until the problem has cleared up.

Another guess, probably not the problem, but keep it in mind: Rainbow Fish seem to get Mycobacteriosis more so than other fish, but once they bring it into a tank the other fish can get it. The fish then die slowly, over several months or longer, sometimes with no apparent symptoms.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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Re: Clown Loach odd behaviour

Post by Vancmann » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:36 pm

Lisa, i would definitely start with checking the water qual and confirm its the numbers that steph stated. Since its an established tank, look into every possible cause like Diana suggested. I am done with my third treatment of prazi pro and did a final Water change yesterday to remove the meds. The most infected loach has started eating the past few days after 3 weeks of meds. Today is the first day i have noticed that the food is actually sticking to her and her color is back. Hope she continues to eat for more than a few days at a time. During the treatment she ate once or twice but the day after she ate she was just as skinny and diddn't eat the following day. Ironically the only thing she eats now is worms. I have to go outside every morning to dig her up some breakfast

Although a couple of my loaches were affected, they show no signs of erratic or jerking swimming so I am concerned about water contimanints in your tank that may causing the more sensative fish to react.

My tank showed no changes in oxygen content during treatment. One way to tell if oxygen is low is that the upper level fish like the Giant danios will hang off the surface while swimming. They will look like they are just sucking water directly off the surface.

Good luck and hope to hear some good news
120 gallon planted aquaponic tank with 10 clown loachs, first one since 1994, 1 modesta and 3 striadas.

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