Flesh-eating bacteria on clown loach?

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Flesh-eating bacteria on clown loach?

Post by Annette » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:28 am

I have a clown loach that I'm very fond of; I've had him for almost ten years now. Roughly a month ago he had ich for the first time ever. I bought medicine and treated him as per instructions, and he got better. I then totally cleaned the aquarium, as I didn't want the fishes swimming around in blue medicinated water when no one was sick anymore.

But then, four days ago, I saw to my horror that he literally had chunks of his flesh missing. It was all so sudden; he seemed perfectly fine when I went to bed but looked horrid in the morning. I cleaned the tank and then put in ich medicine again just incase he'd had a relapse or something. Here is a photo of him from the side, and here is a (blurry) close-up.

Presently, he seems to be a bit more energetic... but he doesn't look any better. In fact, it almost looks like it's getting worse. He's getting these dark spots on his body, and I'm terrified that they'll evolve into big holes like the ones on his head. I haven't been able to get any good pics of the dark spots though, sorry -- he's apparently sick of me staring at him all the time, cause he hides as soon as I try to get close.

Does anyone know what this is? Should I be treating him with something other than ich medicine? Anything at all? I'm really worried, so any input at all will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Post by mistergreen » Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:07 am

whoa, that looks bad.. Don't use ich medication. You need to get meds at the fish store.

There is a disease called, 'hole in the head' disease. I didn't know clowns can get them but it looks like yours have that.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/disease ... hehead.php

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Post by chefkeith » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:17 pm

Are you mixing the words "chunks of flesh" with "chunks of slime coat"? If chunks of flesh were missing your clown would be in critical condition and would have a difficult time swimming. If the Clown just shed it's slime coat, which sometimes looks like skin, then you just need to keep an eye on things. If the water quality is good, then try not to change to much. Medications are known to burn Clown Loaches sensitive skin.

From the pics, it looks like the old ich spots might be infected and the slime coat boogered up near the head.. If you are 100% sure the ich is gone, then just use an antibiotic. I'd probably use Maracyn I&II combo or Melafix.

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Post by mikev » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:32 pm

For external bacterial infections, Furandazole tends to be far the most effective antibiotic. You can get it under a number of trade names, like Furan2 (this is the one I use), Furanese (Martin used it successfully against some infection on his histrionicas), Furandazole Green, and several more.
Furan2 is safe for the fish (even when overdosed), pretty gentle on the biofilter, but may hurt some plants. Watch Ammonia/Nitrites when treating, just in case, and if it seems to work, go for 8 days rather than 4.

Ich medication actually may be effective since Mal Green also has anti-bacterial properties. But I'd try furandazole first.

Good luck.

PS. This may or may not be bacterial, protozoa or fungi are other choices. Furan2 is effective against some fungi but not protozoa.

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Post by Patti-Mc » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:33 pm

Annette - hope I don't insult you with this response. Are you aging the tap water for a few days before cleaning? Also, are you cleaning the filter media in aquarium water, not under the tap? I've had tanks for years and only learned how important this is for clowns about a year ago. All my clowns had spots on them. I think any trace of chlorine kinds of burns their skin. I don't remember any "chunks" missing though. It's just a thought.

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