Clown Loach - Red Gills, High Nitrates, Help?

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Soph
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Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:46 am

Clown Loach - Red Gills, High Nitrates, Help?

Post by Soph » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:46 am

So, in bold are my questions. In italics is my answer I have found elsewhere and a few of my individual thoughts on the matter.
Sorry for such an essay. Hopefully I've covered everything.


I have been watching my Clown Loaches over the course of the past few months, had a couple of new additions to the group etc.
I started to notice the reddening of the gills, almost shiny metallic - bare in mind I only started looking closely after the new additions so I am not totally sure if they were red before or red after the new additions (with my 6 month old, it's hard to recollect anything nowadays) or for that matter, nothing wrong at all.
There's no ammonia/nitrite. That rules that out for burns and/or suffocation through nitrite.
They're not gasping at the surface or having rapid gill movements but I did notice the odd 'flicking' motions but not recently.
They're eating and behaving as they have done (had the main group of 6 for a year now, the other 4 stretched over the past couple months).

This led me to believe it was flukes which were infecting the other fish.
Does the fluke parasite migrate to other hosts?
I have treated with Flubendazole for two weeks now. Large water change, add appropriate dosage, 7 days later, large water change (today) and add another dose.
I understand 'wormers' can take a long time to be effective.

The gills are still red, so I started thinking about chlorine and how it affects their gills.
When I fill the tank, I use a python from the shower into the tank - I add Prime into the stream as it's filling.
What effect does chlorine have on fish? Could this be a possible reason for the redness?
I found my own solution to this - The amount of residual chlorine in ones tap water vs dechlorinator is not an issue as before it can do any harm it will be neutralized.

Now, I should've done this a long time ago but I never bothered as I've always done regular water changes and not had any problems.
I tested the nitrate AFTER I did the 50% water change (which I do religiously, 50% once a week).
The reading came out at around 100ppm..
I then tested the tap water and guess what? It came out at around 60/80ppm.
I immediately rang the water company who said they will test it and get back to me.

These are the results they provided. This indicates at maximum the water has been 48.67mg/l (science aside it sort of converts to the same) so.. 50ppm is the UK legal limit, coincidentally, it's just under so I cannot kick off about it (shame!).
http://www.scribd.com/doc/209570863/Zone-114-Salisbury


What long term effects does high nitrate have on fish? Could this cause the red gills after about a years exposure to it? Wouldn't explain the new additions of course - "Nitrate basically affects fish the same way nitrite does, it blocks the blood from holding oxygen. But because the NO3 is bigger than NO2, its does not readily pass through the gills. This is why it takes much higher levels of nitrate in the water to be detrimental to fish. The gills are not being affected by the nitrite or nitrate, it is the hemoglobin in the blood so fish would be gasping for air at the surface even in a well aerated tank. (Which mine are not doing)."

Will it ever heal if I get the nitrates down to 10/20ppm? Invalid question now, but 10/20ppm is still the target.
What possible solutions are there? RO/HMA? Chemical media in the filtration?

I read on some other forums (not a lot mind you) that it could be totally normal and me just being hysterical but the pictures will help.

Obviously the high nitrate is a problem that needs sorting ASAP but well.. I need a solution to that also! Something sustainable in the long run. I am guessing chemical media will be expensive changing it in and out so much.

Image

Above: This looks 'normal' here.
Below: This doesn't, I guess? Looks better here than on some. Some have it, some don't.. Sometimes you cannot notice. Am I going mad?

Image

Below: Again, normal behaviour.. See the metallic sheen?

Image

Below: See the top one is quite 'raw'. Bottom one looks 'normal'?

Image

Below: Best picture I got, reddish glow with glittery gold on top. This specimen is one of the new additions.

Image

Video: You can see in this one, my skinny little runt, bless him. After the flubendazole he'll be treated with an internal wormer as he's got the wasting disease by the looks of it. The LFS was giving him away free because of the way he was.. He'd of been PTS otherwise. He's the most confident out of the whole group though, the alpha is at least 6x the size and is the most timid! Oh and the rescue Danio, same situation just from a family member who needed rid. He chases the runt around and vice versa.. I think he believes himself a Clown at times. I should rehome him but I'm very attached.. But I don't want anymore Danios to make him part of a shoal..

http://s1118.photobucket.com/user/Sofie ... 0.mp4.html

Click above!



Hope this helps guys. They're my favourites and I hope to have them another 20 years or more from now!

With the Nitrate problem, would it be the best idea (as mentioned above) in the long run if I invested in RO/HMA? Introduce the water slowly to them. Either that or shelling out a lot of money on media for it which I assume will need to be changed often?

I cannot heavily plant as they'll just wreck them as they have in the past. I have Giant Duckweed as a floating plant to help soak up some nitrate anyway. Maybe moss? Fast growing so will help reduce somewhat? For a temporary measure that is.

Sorry for going on and on.. and on.

Apologies for the phone vibrating on the video, scared me silly aha!
And the dropping the phone at the end, it's pretty abrupt :D

Thanks for reading!

Diana
Posts: 4675
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Clown Loach - Red Gills, High Nitrates, Help?

Post by Diana » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:25 pm

Ways of getting rid of NO3:
1) Do not let it get in there to start with.
a) treat the tap water ahead of time, running it into a large enough bin that you can treat it. One way to do this is to run a small aquarium filter stuffed with the right media, such as NO3 removing media.
b) Treat the tap water ahead of time with water purification such as Reverse Osmosis. (good for the family, too. Nitrates are not good for people, either)
c) Set up a separate tank for pre-treating the water. This tank will have lots of plants, both under water and growing out of the tank. I have several house plants growing in my tanks (with Clown Loaches and other fish) and the NO3 is too low, I need to add some for the plants. I have Epipremnum (Golden Pothos) in the tanks. You would run the water into this tank, wait until the NO3 is significantly lower then use it to refill the fish tank. Then refill this treatment tank with tap water.

2) Treat the water after it is in the tank with method a and c from above list.
Here is an example of nitrate removing media. I do not know if this company ships to UK, but at least you know there is media like this.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... catid=4205

Purigen might help by removing other sources of nitrate from the water, it has a great affinity for the organic sources of nitrate, removing them before they can decompose into nitrate. Won't help with the tap water nitrate.
http://www.seachem.com/Products/product ... rigen.html

Use a dechlorinator that also deals with Nitrate. Prime is one such product. Read the label.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

User avatar
Soph
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:46 am

Re: Clown Loach - Red Gills, High Nitrates, Help?

Post by Soph » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:29 am

Diana wrote:Ways of getting rid of NO3:
1) Do not let it get in there to start with.
a) treat the tap water ahead of time, running it into a large enough bin that you can treat it. One way to do this is to run a small aquarium filter stuffed with the right media, such as NO3 removing media.
b) Treat the tap water ahead of time with water purification such as Reverse Osmosis. (good for the family, too. Nitrates are not good for people, either)
c) Set up a separate tank for pre-treating the water. This tank will have lots of plants, both under water and growing out of the tank. I have several house plants growing in my tanks (with Clown Loaches and other fish) and the NO3 is too low, I need to add some for the plants. I have Epipremnum (Golden Pothos) in the tanks. You would run the water into this tank, wait until the NO3 is significantly lower then use it to refill the fish tank. Then refill this treatment tank with tap water.

2) Treat the water after it is in the tank with method a and c from above list.
Here is an example of nitrate removing media. I do not know if this company ships to UK, but at least you know there is media like this.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... catid=4205

Purigen might help by removing other sources of nitrate from the water, it has a great affinity for the organic sources of nitrate, removing them before they can decompose into nitrate. Won't help with the tap water nitrate.
http://www.seachem.com/Products/product ... rigen.html

Use a dechlorinator that also deals with Nitrate. Prime is one such product. Read the label.

Thank you ever so much for this but isn't Nitra-Zorb exactly the same as Purigen or? What is the difference?

Diana
Posts: 4675
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Clown Loach - Red Gills, High Nitrates, Help?

Post by Diana » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:57 pm

I do not think they are the same product. They remove different things.

Either way, to reduce the NO3 you need to reduce the amount coming in (any form of nitrogen) and improve the removal (of any form of nitrogen).
Filter inserts are one way to remove nitrogen, but then you need to regenerate or replace the filter inserts. Water changes may be cheaper.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

Bas Pels
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Clown Loach - Red Gills, High Nitrates, Help?

Post by Bas Pels » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:05 am

An old topic, with a nonsense comment. Beware for what may follow

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