I used to own a Dojo Loach
. Master Loachy was one of my favorite fish. I'd owned him for about 3 months, and he was always healthy, albeit a bit of a paranoid schizo. He was terrified of me, and just about everything else in the tank. I'd read that they do better with friends, so I spent the last couple months looking for another one of these guys to add to my tank in the hopes that it might help build his confidence.
This past Thursday I finally found a companion fish. However, the LFS had just gotten its fish shipment in, so the Dojo Loaches (and all the other fish they'd received that day) were still in the shipping bags floating in the tanks. I was a little hesitant to buy because of this, but I've been looking for another of these fish for a long time.
I talked to an employee, got him to open the bag for me and net out a fish. I noticed that in the bag of 6 fish there were 2 D.O.A.'s. OK, now I'm starting to think that I should just forget about it, come back in a few days and see if any of the survivors were still around. I was making small talk with the store owner, mentioned that I'd already bought one of these fish at this store and had been looking for a companion for a long time because he's totally paranoid. For whatever reason the fish store owner told me that I could have this fish for free. That combined with the fact that I really wanted this fish...I went against my gut feeling that these fish looked unhealthy and bought anyway, convinced that since my tank is stable he would recover from the stress of shipping and do just fine.
How wrong I was. Saturday morning I awoke to find the new loach floating lifeless at the top of the tank. One of my swordtails was floating beside him. My original loach was looking sickly, barely moving. I awoke Sunday morning to find him dead. I don't know what was wrong with this new loach, but I guess it was contagious. All of my other fish look happy and healthy, so I'm hoping that life will continue for the rest of my pets.
The lesson: When you see the red flags, obey them! If a bag of new arrivals has several D.O.A.s, don't buy. Heck, don't buy unless the fish looks like he's been living comfortably in an LFS tank for a few days. I bought this new fish thinking "worst case, a fish that was going to die anyway will die in my tank." That was NOT the worst case. What actually happened was the worst case.[/url]