Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

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TrebleClef84
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Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by TrebleClef84 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:08 pm

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I've had this dojo loach for about a year to 18months.

I had him in quarantine for 6 months because all his tankmates at the store died within 48 hours. Since I didn't know much about fish medicine, I just assumed that, if he was alive after 6 months in quarantine, he must be healthy. I just assumed his skinniness was variation in body type...as though I found the David Tennant of dojo loaches. He has been in the main tank for about a year now with no issues. He's active. He's not a voracious eater, but he eats along with everyone else. Yet no matter what I feed him, he never seems to get any fatter.

I also have a yoyo loach that I've had for 6 or so years who is the same way.
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Do you think it's worms, or something else? Would it be safe to treat the entire tank for worms, or should I take the two skinny loaches out and treat them separately? Or should I just leave them as they are? They both seem happy and normal except for the weight thing, and I don't want to do something that kills them after having them for so long.

NEW TOPIC...
I have another dojo loach (gold) that seems to get a mild case of septicemia and dropsy whenever something really stressful happens (this time it's because I moved everyone into a new, 90 gallon tank). His spine and skull seem a bit redder and the chevron patterns of his ribs? stand out a bit more than usual. I've read that this is most likely due to aeromonas, but the tank is well-circulated and bacteria-ed. I was thinking about treating with Triple Sulfa and again wondering if I should treat just the one fish or the entire tank.

90 gallon community loach tank, 2 emperor 400s and a bubble curtain, semi-planted (1/2 real, 1/2 fake plants)
Nitrates- about 15 ppm (comes out of the tap like that)
Nitrites- 0
GH- about 100ppm
KH- about 120 ppm
pH- about 6.8
ammonia- 0

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Soph
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by Soph » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:08 am

Don't quote me on this but I was always led to believe that the skinny disease is caused by internal parasites which either need orally dosing meds or food soaked in the certain med necessary.

Diana
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by Diana » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:46 pm

I think your fish (the several that you describe) have a level of stress going on from the 'skinny disease' and then other things threaten them (columnaris, other) and they have a hard time recovering.

I would do a full treatment for 'skinny disease'.

Here is what I would do:

Research the forms of wormers that are available to you. You want to find 2 active ingredients that treat different groups of internal parasites.

Research the antibiotics that are available to you. You want to find one or a combination that will treat Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria. Most fish diseases are caused by Gram negative bacteria, but there are a few that are Gram positive.

Treatment:
1) Do a couple of deep, large water changes including thorough vacuuming of the substrate. Many meds work by latching on to organic matter of any sort, including the organisms that cause disease, but also including a lot of the waste material in the tank. Get rid of as much as possible of the waste so the meds can attack the disease organisms.

2) Treat for internal parasites according to the instructions. Usually this will mean treat for 3 days, then take a break of 1 week (so more parasites can hatch) treat again for 3 days, 1 week break, and a final treatment.

3) In the break between parasite treatments treat with antibiotics. Often antibiotics are a 5 day treatment.

4) When switching from one treatment to the other do this:
50% water change. Add activated carbon to the filter. Do the same deep cleaning as before.
Another 50% water change 12 hours later. Change the activated carbon.
Continue to run the carbon until you are ready to do the next treatment. Usually a 24-48 hour break then start the next treatment. Remove the carbon and any other adsorbing media from the filter.

So, here is a possible schedule, but vary it according to the exact directions on the meds you can find:

Day 1:
Thorough tank cleaning. Remove activated carbon from the filter. Add parasite med.
Day 2, 3: Continue parasite meds.
Day 4" Thorough tank cleaning including 2 x 50% water changes 12 hours apart. Add AC to the filter.
Day 5:
Remove AC from the filter, treat with antibiotics. If you have found 2 antibiotics that are compatible, use both. Other wise use the Gram negative medicine.
Day 6, 7, 8, 9: Continue antibiotics.
Day 10: Thorough tank cleaning including 2 x 50% water changes 12 hours apart. Add AC to the filter.

Repeat, alternating for a total of 3 anti-parasite treatments, and 2 antibiotic treatment.

Give the fish a week of no treatment.

Now repeat with the other antiparasite medication.
If you found antibiotics that needed to be dosed separately use the Gram positive medicine this time around.

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This is a heavy duty medication because you do not know which diseases or parasites the fish have. It could be that the fish have several things going on that require different meds. If you can find out which parasites are infesting the fish you could target that type of parasite better, and probably get by with less medicine.

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Do not combine ultra violet sterilizer with medicines that you add to the water. It can deactivate them.

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The medicines might be medicated food, or medicines that are added to the water.
Do not combine any medicines unless both are labeled for use with each other.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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Soph
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by Soph » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:51 pm

Amazing reply, fantastic detail and very informative. I shall save it for future reference! Hopefully should work a dream for op and myself as I have a Clown like this!

Diana
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by Diana » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:55 pm

In the picture of the Yoyo Loach, see the hollow area near the top of the head along a line to the dorsal fin? Starting just behind the eye, and pretty much following the path of the dark band.
This is where many fish will look skinny. Their abdomen might look anything from hollow to 'too big' depending on which parasite they are harboring.

The Dojo Loach is showing the typical hollow abdomen of a sick fish. Look at the bottom line of the fish from the bottom of the head back to the tail. A normal fish will show a flat line or slight bulge through this line. If it is concave (hollow) this is bad. If it bulges too much this is bad.
The head looks too big for the fish. The head is mostly bone. The rest of the fish ought to be muscles and internal organisms, it is not shaped by bone.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

TrebleClef84
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by TrebleClef84 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:07 pm

For the antibiotic part, do you think it would be safe to mix furan-2 and kanamycin in the food?

TrebleClef84
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by TrebleClef84 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:58 pm

So...loach care diary. People often don't seem to update what happened with their fish, but I want to try to help people who come along later.

So I cleaned the tank this weekend- about a 70% water change/ gravel vacuum. Between the anti-biotics and the wormer and the lights being off, I figured there was no way my plants would survive this, so I stuck them in a 30 gallon quarantine tank, put the huge t5 bulbs on the quarantine, and moved the t8 to the main tank. My filter cartridges were fairly new and have carbon built in, so I got those size-right sponges and put them in the filters a couple days early to start growing some bacteria.

I treated with Levamisole on Sunday night and left it 24 hours into Monday night. According to the calculations here http://www.loaches.com/Members/shari2/l ... chloride-1, I need just less than a gram to treat the tank, so I used the tiniest bit less than 1/4 teaspoon of levamisole HCl. Everyone seemed pretty lethargic, and a few were breathing heavily, but I kept an eye on them through the night.

I vacuumed out about 50% of the tank this evening and re-inserted the carbon filters with the plan to vacuum another 50% in the morning. It was at this point that the dojo loaches started going downhill. One was laying on his side for a couple of minutes and then barely moving for an hour or two with his mouth wide open. The other three were very still, with one even sucked up against the filter intake.

I tried dropping a couple of pellets into the water, but it seems that no one is hungry. These fish, while probably not healthy due to symptoms mentioned above, were at least acting normal and eating before this treatment. Say what you will about levamisole, it can't be completely benign if 1/4 teaspoon has taken such a toll on them in 24 hours. At this point, I am wary about putting anti-biotics in the tank because I don't want to tax their systems, but I know that secondary infection is an issue, so...

If I do decide to use the kanamycin and furan 2, it won't be until Wednesday.

TrebleClef84
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by TrebleClef84 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:42 pm

I did the final 50% water change yesterday (Tuesday) and gave them the rest of the day off. It took a few hours after I inserted the active carbon, but the fish are doing much better...active and hungry again.

Today (Wednesday), I'm adding the furan-2 powder to the water. I'll be using it as directed for the next three days (four doses total). For the kanaplex, I'm taking one measure-full as directed for food dosing, but I'm adding it to about a tablespoon of fish flakes and adding a couple of drops of water to it. When you mix that up, it forms a cake kind of thing. I'm storing that in a cool, dry, dark place until it dries into a pellet, which I'll feed them tonight.

Diana
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by Diana » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:37 pm

Thanks for the follow up. Sorry the fish responded so poorly to the Levamisol.
I have used the Levamisol dosage in the link for some really small Clown Loaches (none of them were even 2" long) and only lost the skinniest one. The others, while showing signs of parasites were not as bad off as the one I lost.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

TrebleClef84
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Columbus, Ohio
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by TrebleClef84 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:21 pm

Well, they survived the anti-biotics and two of the three worm treatments. I have to say that they didn't seem to struggle nearly as much with the second worm treatment as they did with the first.

The septicemia in the gold dojos seems just a tad worse than when I started this whole process, but they're active and eating still. I've moved them into a separate tank, where I intend to treat them with Triple Sulfa and salt/methylene blue dips.

As far as the worms...how do I know they're gone? I never really saw any evidence of worms besides their skinnyness. How long does it take for them to gain weight? I can't tell if they're gaining or not...maybe you guys can see a difference? I'm alternating bottom feeder pellets, algae tabs, flakes, and daphnia in three light meals per day.

Image
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Diana
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Re: Non-Lethal Skinny Disease? Dojo Loach Issues

Post by Diana » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:48 pm

Maybe it is just the angle of the pictures, but they are looking just a bit better.

You should start seeing some weight gain in a few weeks. Probably sooner.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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