Loaches flashing? Black spots & gills?

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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Loaches flashing? Black spots & gills?

Post by Cardeater » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:52 pm

Hi everyone,

Thanks for any input on this:

The short version is my young loaches have been flashing like this for like two months and I'm not sure if I should try treatments or if it could just be from the black spots that loaches can get (I read the long thread about how the theory is it's from TDS changes during water change). I know there's a black spot disease from snails but I haven't had snails in this main tank for over a decade and these clowns didn't have the spots in the QT tank. Also, my older loaches had black spots for years.

The rainbowfish, pleco and old loaches don't flash at all.


I haven't seen any white spots on any fish in here.

The only thing I think may be unusual is this black/grey by their lower Gill covers. My old loaches don't have this nor do the rainbowfish nor the pleco.
I kept trying to Google if this is a symptom of anything but haven't figured anything out. My new phone takes a burst of photos and it seemed like the water current moves what's rt that black thing is as it isn't static in the pics

Not sure what this is below.

More info:
Three of the loaches and the rainbowfish we're from Divers Den on liveaquaria so they were quarantined, including some dip to eliminate ich. I had a lone clown loach from.sn LFS that I put in Aquarium Coop's med trip in. Two loavhes died a day after so I stopped treatment.

I didn't see any signs of disease in them. I dewormed with a round of general cure, and I did two treatments of levamisole, second one two weeks after the first.

I moved them over after 11 weeks of QT when I had new fish arriving for the QT.

Black spots:
One day I noticed they all had a bunch of black spots I read all the threads here about it and it seemed to be harmless and the 8 page thread speculated it was from TDS changes. The nitrates were under 5 in the QT but I noticed I had let nitrates get up to 40 on my 125g before water changes. Since then I've been doing 2-3 tomes a week 80% water changes and nitrates don't go over 20.

The black spots disappeared almost entirely from two small loaches. They reduced in number on the two bigger new loaches. Ad I said, my old (20+ years) loavhes slwsys had spots.

The small loaches flash like in the video by that rock and on the driftwood above. It seems like it decreased in frequency after I up water changes to every other day or every third day. I just videos that fish flashing but haven't seen any fish for it in the half hour I've been sitting by the tank. I used to be able to observe them doing umit anytime I stayed by the tank for more than 5 mins.

Sticky post answers:

ype of fish that are affected (common name and latin name if possible - common names vary worldwide, latin names don't!).
* How long has the tank been set up for?
20-21 years. No new fish until this batch for 15 years.

* Size of tank (dimensions and volume).
125g, 6ftx18"x22"

* How is the tank being filtered?
-Aquaclear 110 with extra matrix, no carbon, the ceramic media and the sponge that came with. Large intake sponge

-Whisper 3
HoT magnum
Both of these hot rodded with matrix and Eheim Substrate Pro and an Aquaclear sponge in one Whisper 3 chamber

-air stone running an ATI nydo sponge Pro 5

-Aquaclear 70 powerhead running a stacked hydro 5 on top of a hydro pro 5.

* Water temperature.
Currently 79.3, heaters are set at 88.5

* Your maintenance regime (e.g. how often water changes are carried out, what percentage of the water is changed each time, how often you clean your filter/s and how do you do this?)
See above. I service the sponges about once a week in tank water except I sometimes just rinse the intake sponges with tap water. I don't service the main folters all at once. For example, I rinsed out the Aquaclear 110 sponge today and the air stone filter but left the double stack filter alone.

* Has anything new been added to the tank recently? (fish, plants, live food, decor etc)
Nothing new since fish were added in Aug. I use separate syphons and buckets to service this tank and the QT. I do this tank first before touching the QT tank.

* What other fish are in the tank
Original residents, 20+ years
1 12" hypostomus pleco (someone on planet catfish identified it as such)
2x clown loaches (was three but one jumped out during a water change by accident and I didn't notice it)

* As detailed a description as possible of the symptoms the fish are exhibiting (remember a photograph can speak a thousand words).
See above.

* How long ago the affected fish were added to the tank, and how long the fish have been displaying symptoms.
As said above, developed not long after I transferred them. Could have been something the OG residents were used to.

* Your current water parameters - ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH (please don't say 'my water is fine, the levels are ok', we would like actual numbers from the test results).

Ammonia and nitrites always zero. See above. Nitrayes:
It never gets over 20 due to new water change schedule and often is under 10.

The pH, I could never get a reading. Must be like 7.5 bc I always get 7.6 on API pH test and 7.4 on API high range.

Tap water is Lake water Michigan . I think it's moderately hard, 1ppm chlorine.

Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Re: Loaches flashing? Black spots & gills?

Post by Cardeater » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:20 am


So, I think the black by gills may just be normal for some clown loaches.

I watched this video today and this fish looks the same as three of my loaches:


The fish also don't seem to flash that much. I'll try watching them for an extended time tonight but previously if I watched for ten minutes, I'd see some of them rub against that rock. Now it seems more rare.

I'm thinking maybe too much stress coat was irritating them. I was worried about a fish having a scratch .I actually ran out of it and have used only prime last two water changes so maybe that's why they flash less.

Also, if it were flukes or hidden ich, they'd probably show more symptoms by this point, I'm guessing?

That and that I quarantined then and did some preventive deworming and used general cure (plus all of the fish but one went through the Divers Den protocol) probably means disease is unlikely.

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