Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Clown loach wont eat/skinny. (

isimek 08-13-2010 08:36 PM

Clown loach wont eat/skinny.
I am not sure if my clown loach is actually sick or not... he wont eat pellets, he only will eat blood worms... he is also much smaller/paler/skinnier then the other loaches. When he eats he skims the top of the water near the glass and will only eat bloodworms.

1. What is the size of your tank? 55 gallon (the loaches are still young, I will upgrade the tank in the near future)

2. What are your water parameters? Api test kit: Ammonia 0, Nitrates 0, Nitrites 30-40ppm

3. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or brackish water? freshwater

4. How long the aquarium has been set up? over a month

5. What fish do you have? 5 clown loaches from 2-3in, 4 three spot gourami(one male three female) from 3-5in, 4 angelfish around half dollar size, bristlenose pleco about 3in, 3 otto cats, one cory cat (i rescued him from a friend) around 2in, and 4 guppies 2male 2female (also rescued from same tank). I have had the rescued fish (cory/guppies) for at least 3 months but they were added to this tank last. I have had the male gourami for at least 2 months, he was one of the first inhabitants to this tank. The other gourami and bristlenose were added shortly after the male gourami. I have had the clown loaches for a little less then two months. They were added after the gourami/pleco, when I was POSITIVE the tank was perfectly suitable for them. The otto cats were added about 2-3weeks ago.. I had 5, lost 2.. The angelfish were added only 1-2 weeks ago.

6. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? The clown loaches were kept in a separate tank for a good month at least. They all appeared healthy, including the "sick one" He was smaller then the others.. but not sickly skinny.

7. What temperature is the tank water currently? around 80 degrees f

8. Are there live plants in the aquarium? tons.

9. What filter are you using? State brand, maintenance routine and power capacity. Marineland Penguin 350B - (350 GPH - 75 Gallon Tank)

10. Any other equipment used (aside from heater and filter which are two very important components of the tank)? n/a

11. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? What is your lighting schedule (assuming you do not rely on sunlight for our viewing pleasure)? no sunlight. Florescent lighting for 8hrs a day.

12. When did you perform your last water change and how much water was changed? How often do you change your water? Do you vacuum the substrate? Last water change was a week ago (today is tank cleaning day) 20% of the water once a week, vacuum the substrate very well, around the plants, under rocks and driftwood.

13. What foods do you provide your fish? What is the feeding schedule? New Life Spectrum fish food, freeze dried bloodworms.

14. What unusual signs have you observed in your fish? none, other then the loaches undernourishment.

15. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? If so, what treatments did you use? State your reasons for planning ahead of proper diagnosis. I tried isolating the loach to make sure he had no competition for food. He still would not eat the pellets. I even tried feeding him tetramin flake food to no avail.

What should I do? I am running out of ideas... :(

(i am very nervous about medicating him due to his scalessness/ sensitivity to medications.. especially since I am not sure he is actually sick... maybe picky)

KHA1990 08-13-2010 11:40 PM

I have a ton of clown loaches, and I have had this happen to the point where it did die. It's only one, and he was from Walmart. But, here are my suggestions...

What is the PH?

1. Try a sinking food. My clown loaches absolutely LOVE Shrimp Pellets. I ONLY use Aquarian Brand. They are from Petsmart, and seem to be the freshest. You can also try spirulina tablets. As well as Zucchini chunk.

2. Clown loaches, once they reach the starving stage, they are VERY hard to rehabilitate. So, there is not too much that you can really do, as you can't force a fish to eat unfortunately.

3. Angel fish can be aggressive, even with clown loaches. Are you sure he isn't injured?

4. Don't leave your lights on for so long. The fish don't need it, as it doesn't do anything for them. I know that you have plants, so try to get some natural light on the tank. Clown loaches are most active when it's darker, so that may encourage it to eat a little more.

I love clown loaches, and I really hope that things work out for the little guy!

PS- If you find that your loaches end up with something, I only use 2 things ever, and never at the same time... Solar Salt (it's aquarium salt, but cheaper and you can get it at the home improvement stores- I use it all the time with my koi) I also use QuICK cure. It gives you the dosage for scaleless fish/tetras and it has worked like a charm on all my clown loach ick issues.

isimek 08-25-2010 06:29 PM


I bought some shrimp pellets shortly after I posted this and I moved the loach back to the main tank with the others.

He has stopped acting strange and is nicely colored. He is still the smallest, but noticeably fatter.

Today I watched them eat... he fought over the shrimp pellets, picked one up in his mouth, then swam away with his "prize" in his mouth. It was absofrickenlutly adorable!

He is definitely fine now! Thank you KHA1990 for your advice!

aunt kymmie 08-25-2010 11:12 PM

Glad to hear he's doing better! I have five clowns and when they were first new to me one was smaller and so much skinnier than the rest. I was sure he had the dreaded loach "skinny disease". Two years later, I can't even tell which one he is among the group. Sounds like it's going to be the same way for your clowns. Awesome. :-)

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