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Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:58 am
by LoachOrgy
So all has been well in my loach tank for the last year or two. Recently I had 1 striata get bacterial bulging stomache and 1 baby clown loach get what appears to be body slime and eye cloud on them. I treated the clown with an anti fungus in the quarantine tank and he was doing better, but ended up passing on. It didn't help that at that time half way through treatment i had a booking to go out of town and a friend was taking care of him while i was gone. So I wasn't able to treat the clown properly. The striata was too far gone once visible signs of the stomache bloating occured. So I put him in the snail tank to enjoy eating snails for the short life he had left.

Fast forward 3 months later.

All of the sudden my alpha striata has something similar. Body slime, eye cloud, and a mucous that gets sand stuck to it all over the body. I had 2 other striatas showing this so I treated the whole tank. The loach was clamping fins, scraping and had visible signs of slime that would get stringy. I treated with fungus cure, granted it has something called victoria green b and i thought it was similar to malachite green. ive been treating the fish with it at half a dose. it seemed to clear up a little bit of what was going on with my alpha striata. So i did 2 doses like the container said but at half dose and I began filtering out the medication with charcoal and a 25% water change. I wanted to give the fish a break on the medications for a few days prior to starting the erythromycin as I thought the fish were showing signs of bacterial and fungal. Things were looking better, alpha striata came out of his hole, the other fish and my alpha clown were dancing and swimming. Alpha striata still wasn't eating. So I was going to attempt a secondary treatment once the meds cleared out. Well after 48 hours the antifreeze color was still present.

But all of the sudden as I tapered off the meds I woke up to my alpha clown just laying on its side and breathing rapidly. I could see the mucous all over his eye even when it wasn't visible before. I left him in his tube and treated the tank once more with tetra fungus guard which has nitrofurizone, furazolidone and pottasium dichromate. I felt the alpha was almost dead when I observed her that morning prior to any treatment. I had a dental cleaning and went to the fish store and picked up fungus guard. I came back an hour later and the fish was looking very rough. Also, there were no visible signs of scratches or tearing.I treated with fungus guard.

When I came back from work that day the alpha was dead. This was very sudden. The alpha wasn't showing signs of anything prior for weeks. That alpha also was only treated with the fungus cure. So I noticed that he had bloody splotches on him as well like hemorrhagic septicimia. I noticed that the alpha also had its barb on one side almost ripped out with a bloody spot. And I also noticed a cut mark on the face which wasn't present when I checked early that morning. I work 8 hours and commute 2 so it was 10 hours between the time i saw the loach in the morning and in the evening. I was assuming the other loaches attacked it when it was weak while i was gone.

So this morning I look carefully at my loaches and two of them both have a bloody eye. One has it on the left side, the other on the right side. I might just be worried and this could be fighting for dominance to be alpha if that happens. The largest loach would be alpha but the loach just under that size has been showing aggressiveness during cucumber feeding over the original alpha for the last few months. No visible signs of scarring or the eye cloud or any body slime. Im currently treating with tetra fungus guard in hopes it might help where api fungus cure didn't. The fungus guard says it treats secondary bacterial infections. It also says it treats bacterial hemorrhagic septicimia. Im very concerned and wondering if anyone has any ideas. I bought some em erythromycin to treat after the fungus cure. But the alpha striata was still showing signs of body slime issues. I am at a point that I don't know what to do, and I don't want anymore fish to die. All water parameters are perfect and the tds is a little high because of the medication at about 380.

I don't know if the meds were intitally completely removed from the charcoal and I am not sure if adding the 2nd medication would have caused this issue. For the most part most of the meds were removed prior to adding the 2nd type being fungus guard.

Any ideas what might be going on?

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:11 am
by LoachOrgy

All loaches are eating even the alpha striata. The alpha striata is actually moving around and dancing a little. The alpha striata has no slime or eye cloud anymore. All of the striatas look much better than prior to this fungus treatment. No clamped fins, very little fin fray.

Also all other clown loaches were dancing around. One of the two loaches with the bloody eye has a little bit of frayed fins on the top and rear tail fin. This clown is now my alpha since the alpha passed.

I am not sure if the blood is from fighting or an issue from the tank. Im assuming the tank issue that is going on is also whats causing the bloody eye.

I was probably going to finish this treatment, filter out meds, then treat with ertyhromycin. That is hoping the bloody eyes and symptoms don't get worse. Im also giving the tank an additional heavy cleaning like scrubbing down jetheads, filters ect. I did a nice cleaning when I initially saw this a week ago. I also did 25% water change, treated tank 2 days, 25% water change again, treated the tank 2 days at half doses. This treatment calls for 4 days before a water change.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:47 pm
by LoachOrgy
so after observing the fish for several hours today. i noticed two more puncture marks on my two largest clown loaches. i don't know if these wounds were inflicted between the two fighting or possibly attempting to put the old alpha out of its misery. i noticed that these puncture marks are closer to the bloody eyes on both fish and look like a straight on pierce rather than a long tear. both fish have visible signs of these injuries. my alpha that died also had these signs. im now wondering if among all of this stress the fish ended up fighting and an accident occurred. the two clown loaches with bloody eyes didn't show any symptoms of body slime, eye cloud or any strange behavior. both of these loaches were acting normally since the striatas started getting the fungus.

its just strange that the alpha all of the sudden was almost unable to move that morning. i was thinking the infection spread to this fish but the other fish seemed to be showing signs of recovery. im hoping that has subsided and the stress from fighting was the reason the fish have the bloody eyes. that would mean they could be on the road to recovery. i have several issues going on at once i think it was coincidence it happened all at the same time.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:50 pm
by MandaMunky
OMGoodness... I don't even know where to begin with a reply here. I just wanted to chime in to let you know that I feel for your & you frustrations & sense of helplessness. I'm so sorry for your losses & I do hope that you can find an answer to this soon.

A couple things that do come to mind for me are "Old Tank Syndrome" & also I'd suggest the simplest thing, which is to increase the water changes. It seems as if they're dealing with some type of irritant by your description, but what... who knows?

Perhaps you could start a broad spectrum med treatment cycle as if you were Qting new fish?

I use API General Cure (Anti-parasitic) then either Maracyn or Maracyn II (Antibiotics, which can actually be combined). I remove carbon, then just folow the directions on the boxes. I move from one treatment to the next. Sometimes one cycle works, but I always tend to hit the anti-parasitic drugs twice due to the complex life cycles of most parasites. I purchase my meds from, here in the US. They have wonderful prices & excellent shipping options.

Good luck & please, continue to update everyone. Maybe a photo or two could help some of the more experienced members get you on the right track to diagnosis & cure?

One more thought - maybe the meds are just too strong? This could be causing a viscous cycle of excess slime production & irritation & maybe they're rubbing themselves on decor causing these injuries because their skin is so irritated from the treatment?

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:43 pm
by LoachOrgy
i just caught several loaches fighting very violently.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:45 am
by LoachOrgy
no, the body slime went away after the treatment. that was why i treated with the fungus cure. it mentioned that it treats body slime, clamped fins and eye cloud. which were 3 things that 2 or 3 striatas were showing signs of. the strange thing is, the clowns were not showing signs of anything. they were all eating normal, dancing like normal, nothing changed. i was cycling the meds out of the tank with carbon and all of the sudden the alpha clown was having issues. I think the alpha clown was killed in battle from all the scratches and tears on the loach near the eye spine. im doing a broad spectrum treatment after i cycle out these meds completely from the tank. that was what i was thinking as well. thanks for your help. the tank is a few years old. maybe 3. ive been keeping up water changes and ive seriously scrubbed every bit of this tank down, all filters, walls, jetheads ect but also leaving the bio media only to be cleaned with tank water.

but i read it was very contagious and if 3 fish had it, i thought it would benefit to treat the entire tank. i also treated at half dose.

this is what was confusing me. i treated the fish and the medications were working. when i cycled off the meds, thats when i noticed the clown loach. the striatas are doing much better now and most of the fish in the tank look better. the 2 striatas that had it the worst are still having issues but id say its reduced by about 80%. i was going to attempt an api em erythromycin to try and hit anything bacterial. the bloody spots on the body look like hemorahgic septicimia

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:39 am
by The Angry Loach
Septicemia will also appear with red streaks on the fins and a sort of puss surrounded red wounds. The wounds are usually pretty deep and wide. If you suspect that to be the issue, treating with Epsom salt to help pass whatever may be blocking the digestive system may do you well, and will help get rid of infection on body's exterior. Treat tank as person. Tank with approx weight of 100lbs should be treated similar to 100lb person(dosing can be found on packaging). There is a contagious version of septicemia and it can spread to other fish quite quickly. Look for bloating coupled with constipation. If the symptoms got worse after cycling out the treatment, it might be beneficial to try treating again with whatever medication you were originally using. Not all septicemia is contagious, however. Some strains only affect one fish. The usual cause is constipation which causes infection in the intestines very often coupled with internal seepage of fluids. It can also be triggered by water conditions. You're doing a good job on cycling, so I don't think that's your problem. Stress can be a cause of constipation in people as well as fish and being sick is certainly stressful, not to mention their matron has passed and battle has ensued to replace. Tetracycline should help reduce infection and the fish may need treated for a very long time if it doesn't pass. Treat only the fish showing symptoms. If it's not septicemia, you could be stressing a lot of fish out with medicine they didn't need.

Your loaches are going to fight for dominance and this is usually noted when two of the larger fish swim in opposing circles with fins splayed out. They will circle one another while their usually black stripes turn a light blue tone. If one does not back away and give up, this can cause fighting. Separating the fish might cause more disruptions down the line and is ill-advised.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:24 pm
by LoachOrgy
the fish look much better today. the alpha striata that had the issues is now swimming around and hanging out with the other fish. all fish are eating. i think the bloody eyes were from fighting. one of the middle sized loaches was close to my alpha loach so she is swimming all over the tank looking for her friend. poor fish.

the other striatas also look much better and are swimming around. the bloody eyes don't look as bad as they did yesterday.

im a little hesitant to use salts in the tank with loaches from what ive read here. ive read that epsom salts can alleviate pressure from dropsy. if the bloody streaks continue ill treat with erythromycin after this fungus guard filters out. if the fungus like symptoms continue im going to treat one more dose. then ill let them have a little break for a few days prior to treating with erythromycin. the fish that showed the streak is the alpha striata. this fish was scraping quite a bit and im thinking septicemia or possible wear from the fish constantly scraping. i don't see the fish scraping today yet. ill keep a closer eye and if those symptoms go away its possible that the streaks were just over scraping. i see one area that shows damage and i also saw the fish scraping in that spot alot the last week. today, the same spot doesn't appear to be a streak anymore but smaller blood spots. ill observe a few days and see if it subsides more.the skin on my alpha striata has no slime, no mucous, and i can see his eye reflection in my flash light. the body appears to be much less irritated than yesterday.

ive seen the smaller loaches fighting yesterday but this was a quick argument. ive always seen the larger loaches fighting with their spines. i didn't however see any fighting because it was at night and when i woke up that morning, the two that had the scars and bloody eyese were sitting in their tube. so i assumed they had fought and they had puncture wounds around the face, and bloody eyes. since the scars were showing on the opposite sides on each fish it made sense that if they were facing side by side fighting with the spines, that the damage to the eyes could have been done that way.

the clowns are not showing any signs of anything now as they were before. they are swimming around and playing and come up to me when i go up to the tank. i was just worried the bloody eyes had something to do with this infection. i think there were several things happening at once and it has worked it self out. the alpha striata has not come out of his spot for almost a week without feeding. this fish is now feeding and swimming wtih the other fish. the fish is even dancing a little. so this is good.

what troubles me is that the alpha clown that died wasn't showing any signs of slime, strange behavior or anything. she was swimming, eating, dancing, coming up to me and swimming to beg for some cucumber. then that next morning she was almost dead when i found her. it just shocked me because i wasn't treating that fish for anything. the reason i treated the entire tank is that i read the fungus spreads quickly and since i saw it on several striatas i didn't want to lose my whole tank if something is going on in the tank.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:49 pm
by LoachOrgy
so today my alpha striata is looking much better. i see a slight bit of the slime still on one eye so i decided to do a 25% water change and treat the fungus guard again. the blood streaks are actually looking better as well. they are about 1/3 the size they were previously. also abrasions from scraping is less worn.

Anyone? Hello anyone here? anyone have any experiences with body slime. i just can't see how my alpha died all of the sudden with no signs of slime/eye cloud or streaks. it just doesn't make sense.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:37 pm
by LoachOrgy
so the eye cloud is still present and it almost appears to be coming back. this is after the 2nd treatement. on some loaches i see tiny red spots, not red streaks but red spots.

can anyone help? does anyone have experience with this?

anyone? help please. i don't know what else to do. im afraid of using maracyn as last time i did, it killed my bio filter and entire tankmates. i just started the 2nd treatment of the fungus guard and now im wondering if i should wait it out. or treat for something else. these symptoms will go away and then come back right after they looked good the day before.i feel like im talking to myself. anyone?


sounds like this

Grayish-white film on skin, damaged fins, ulcers, yellow to gray patches on gills, tissue on head may be eaten away. Columnaris (Cotton Wool Disease) Must be treated immediately with Over-the-counter antibiotic medications. Very contagious disinfect tank, rocks, net, etc.
(Cotton wool disease)

Affected fish
All fish.

The fungus is present in aquariums and feeds upon dead organic matter, and is a normal part of the background fauna. Healthy fish produce a mucous layer, which will usually prevent the fungus infecting the fish. When the mucous layer is disrupted (e.g. by wounds or damage from other disease) fish can become infected with the fungus.

A cotton wool like growth of fine, white strands is the most obvious symptom, normally occurring on the body around wounds. The fungus is sometimes confused with excess mucus production caused by another irritant, which also appears as white strands flowing off the fish. Dead fish often become covered by the fungus, as does leftover food, although this may occur without living fish being infected.

Keep waste organic matter low by removing dead material and carrying out regular maintenance. Keep a close watch on any wounds for infections.

Treatment is relatively easy and can be done with proprietary fungal treatments. Malachite green is a commonly available treatment that should be effective. Adding aquarium salt to the water at a low level of 1-3 grams per litre can be very effective. - See more at:
this sounds just like it. the mucous falls off like strands and sometimes it looks like flaky pieces of worm or long mucous. there are red spots. and i think the other red streaks are from the scraping. i see cloudy eye on several fish that is smaller than before the treatment but as of today it looks worse from yesterday. it does not look like cotton. it was almost impossible for me to tell that they had anything without using a high power flashlight until it really took over. even the clowns had what i thought were growth stretch marks between the black stripes. and now im thinking this could possibly be the ailment. my issue is, the treatment will work, then ware off and it comes back. this is my 3rd treatment.

my loaches eye looks like this.


thats what my clowns eye looks like from a google search.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:43 pm
by The Angry Loach
This is a strange series of events, indeed. Do you have a tank you can move everybody into while you clean the tank? If it is a fungus that's capable of adhering to the stones, food, ornaments, and ect., it would be best to clean these items in hot water to try to kill off the fungus. You might have to start the biology of your tank over from scratch. You can buy bacteria in a lot of pet store today to cycle up a tank quickly so nobody goes into shock from "new tank syndrome" as I've heard it been called. Treat the fish with maybe a different anti-fungal than you've been using. Sometimes fungus can build up a resistance to certain things to continue to grow. you might have to treat your filter with the same hot heat as the tank to get rid of the fungus, which may kill the bio-filter you have all together. Hopefully we can figure out something that works and quickly.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:29 am
by LoachOrgy
hello angry loach. i have a small qt tank thats 20 gallons. however,i had to separate one small striata because it appears another fish has almost nipped off the entire back fin. the fin was fine the day before. the fish is doing fine in the snail tank now after 2 days.

ive already throroughly scrubbed and cleaned the large tank several times by vacuuming and cleaning out the filters. all water pamater tests have been spot on. from what ive read the last two days this may be bacteria and im going to treat with an antibacterial medication soon. i started filtering out the fungus meds last night.

ive got the bacteria for the filters on hand but ive tried to do that in the past with no luck. the only thing i didn't scrub down in the tank is the bio media. i cleaned it off with tank water that i removed for a water change. ive rinsed all material, filters, jetheads, ornaments, with hot water. allowed to dry for a while then placed back in later in the day. It seems that on the exterior the meds are working to a certain point, and i believe its the nitrofurizone in the medication thats helping. but im now thinking this might be a gram negative bacterial infection. i think several things are going on here and ive ordered new meds and i have one dose before the other meds arrive. thanks for your help.

thinking this might be possible.
This is a gram-negative bacterial infection called Columnaris Disease. Some people often mistake this disease as a fungus.
im thinking maybe the meds worked a little because they definitely have no film or mucus anymore. the eye cloud is about 75% of what it was a week ago.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:58 pm
by LoachOrgy
so the striata that had cloudy eye look better. the abrasions and red spots don't look as bad. the clowns are now showing slight slime in the eye. im going to treat anti bacterial. ive filtered out meds for two days. the separated striata's tail looks horribe. the damage started to get infected. ive begun an antibacterial fin rot treatment. im worried now. a fish got him good.

i feel like Armageddon is happening in the tank. the smaller striatas are now bullying the alpha, the alpha is still recovering. other loaches are bullying smaller loaches more than usual. i feel like all my happy go lucky fish are now turning against each other. ive kept up 25% daily water changes. the tank is very clean. tds is much lower now that i filtered out the meds and all water parameter tests have been perfect the entire treatment. hardiness is soft 75. ph is neutral, no ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are perfect a 0. kh is 120.0 chlorine. these have been the same readings the entire treatment. these are usually the normal water parameters ive been seeing since i moved to this house. hmm..

meanwhile my two largest clowns that had battle are recovering. one bloody eye has fully recovered, the other loach had it worse and it has a haze over the eye and still shows a little blood. but its positive that one loach fully healed. also other fish are looking better.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:41 pm
by LoachOrgy
ok things are looking better. my alpha striata is now dancing and moving around. the largest loach Morpheus has a bloody eye still. But looking directly on it, the blood is mostly gone, a side view shows a little puffiness to the eye and blood. but it looks much better than it did several days ago. The isolated small striatas tail is looking horrible. Im still doing water changes and treatments.

Re: Emergency body slime, eye cloud, bloody eyes

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:12 am
by The Angry Loach
Well it's good to hear things are starting to turn up, finally. continue with treatments and hopefully we'll see a full recovery soon. The loaches should calm down after things return to normal and they're done fighting for alpha status.