Kuhli Loach Curled up Gasping for air

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Rhenerie
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:48 pm

Kuhli Loach Curled up Gasping for air

Post by Rhenerie » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:34 am

So it sucks that this is my first post but it is what it is.

Here is the tank.
29g Mystic white filtration sand substrate
Sunsun 402B canister filter plus #3 sponge filter in tank (for soon to be quarantine tank)
One large piece of drift wood, 8-12 rocks ranging from 1.5-3" in size.
3 fake plants 5-9" tall. 1 Java fern, 1 Amazon sword, and some Dwarf hair grass.
Parameters are

79 Degrees PH is 7.4 to 7.6 (hard to tell) Tap is 7 or 7.2 Tap= Tap water
GH 7 Tap 6
KH 5 Tap 5
Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 5ppm
API Master test kit and API hardness test kit

The tank is about two months old now, originally cycled with Dr. Tim's one and only fishless.

Fish
5 panda Cory 5 Cardinal Tetra
5 Flame Tetra 6 Pangio Kuhli
3 Ghost shrimp 1 Bamboo Shrimp
All fish are adolescent

My wife found one of my Kuhli loaches on its side today breathing very rapidly. If disturbed he will swim energetically, but when stops rolls back onto his side curled up and continues breathing rapidly. He has absolutely no signs that I can tell of anything being off. His colors are fantastic his barbles are perfect gills are pink (same color as I have ever been able to determine and same on all kuhlis). No sunken stomach, no bloating, no discoloration, no determinable stool issues.

I use Seachem prime as my dechlorinato, and always match water temps when I do water changes. I regularly check water quality levels and typically have been doing about 50-60% water changes once weekly.

Only things that have happened recently. Cardinal tetras got ICH, after researching all treatment methods I chose to use salt. I know salt is not loach friendly but from everything I read the levels I am using and the limited time it would be in the tank (3 weeks) I thought the loachs and cories would be fine. All signs of ich have been gone for over two weeks now. the kuhlis never got any that I could tell.

Also last week I added two seachem flourish root tabs, and have been dosing 1.5ml of Seachem flourish with weekly water change (so twice)

So this poor little kuhli is just laying there gasping and curled up into a U on his side. I couldn't find anything that sounds close online. As of right now I netted the little guy and he is inside a large specimen container with a rock and fake plant for company. the container is sitting inside the tank and I added a bubble stone with high flow into the container. Before I put him into the container I did a 4 gallon water changed without any salt mix to lower the salinity. I have been transferring tank water back and forth into the quarantine container.

its now been 8+ hours no improvement and no change. Any help would be highly appreciated.

My PH was rock stable the last 2 months.. Could the Flourish products be affecting it ?

User avatar
DainBramage1991
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:56 pm
Location: Northern New England

Re: Kuhli Loach Curled up Gasping for air

Post by DainBramage1991 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:05 am

One of the nastier things that ich can do is infect the gills. Sounds like the ich infestation wasn't completely knocked out. In addition to continuing the salt treatment (carefully!), start raising the tank temps (slowly!). Leave them at 86F - 87F for several more weeks. This should eradicate any ich that remained and hopefully save your khuli.

Rhenerie
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:48 pm

Re: Kuhli Loach Curled up Gasping for air

Post by Rhenerie » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:56 pm

Thanks DainBramage,

He is still alive in the specimen container and I transfer water to and from the tank continually. He seems to be improving actually. So I am not sure what exactly happened. My wife said a cory was on or near him when she found him. I'm wondering if maybe he got barbed. Corys have little barbs right ? I'm going to continue salt, but bring it down a bit. There has been absolutley no other signs of ich for over two weeks. all the cardinals had a blow out, and one or two flames got one or two specs. They all fell off in the same day or two. Nothing adverse has happened since.

One other offense is that we have definitly been overfeeding. Rookie mistake, I am trying to find a happy medium. If we overfeed I fast for a day or two, and carefully watch water parameters. I have not seen a spec of ammonia or nitrite, and nitrates have not gotten over 5ppm with the 50% weekly water changes... Again all the little guys are that, tiny so bioload is low for my filtration.

When I get home from work I will see how he is doing. If he is lookin real good I want to let him out of the specimen container soon as I know it has to be stressing the little guy a bit.

So is it widely accepted that kuhlis are ok to to 86-87 degrees F ??

Thanks again Dain

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DainBramage1991
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:56 pm
Location: Northern New England

Re: Kuhli Loach Curled up Gasping for air

Post by DainBramage1991 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:22 am

I don't know how much heat Khuliis can take, but keep in mind that their native habitat is the shallows of tropical rivers. I would be surprised if 87 F bothered them at all. I know for certain that certain botiine loaches and clowns will happily live at that temp (from my own experience), so I expect that the khuliis would be much the same.

As for the corys having spines, yes they do. However, I have 10 of them of various sizes mixed in with my loaches and I have never seen a spine injury on any of my fish. While it is certainly a possibility, I think it is highly unlikely.

Your water parameters sound good, but 50% water change per week is excessive and can cause unnecessary stress. I would reduce that to 25% per week and keep an eye on the nitrates. 5 ppm is quite low (and quite good), but anywhere under 40 ppm is usually considered acceptable (tolerable, but not a goal to shoot for). If you can keep it between 5 and 20 ppm, you should do just fine.

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