Hmmm. . . I guess I did forget to post about it! Not a cover, no - just a basket like they all do - kind of like this one:
It doesn't LOOK like a loach could fit through the openings, but they're twisty little things - they can fit into surprisingly tiny places! I've read that it can be a problem for ANY filter, but never had a problem with the HOB - the basket on that is similar, so I didn't really pay attention when I switched. They were fine for well over a month. And all of them were out at feeding time the evening before, so I know he was in there less than 24 hours, but since I don't generally feed on water change days, I didn't look for him. Went to clean out the canister for the first time and found the poor guy in the noodles. I'll have to find a picture of him - he was a wreck. Looked like a zombie for about a week, but a course of melafix and clean water cleared him right up.
Of course, I'm a moron, and since they had gone over 6 weeks without a problem, I figured it was a fluke. . .until about a week later I was missing TWO loaches, lol! Luckily this time I was looking for them, and was able to 'drain' them through the canister tubing and into a bucket without emptying the thing and hurting them. That's when I put up the netting, lol. . . poor loaches! They're really too curious for their own good, I swear!
And yes! I'm SO happy my ram is finally 'home' I really wanted to have a new female in there to balance the numbers out a little bit, but. . . I may just leave well enough alone in Ramville for a while. I wanted 6, so if I happen across a nice HEALTHY looking girly, I might pick her up in the future. Next up is to find some more banded Kuhli and increase that shoal. . . I think to 12 strong for now. . .