Loaches dying, not sure why.. Help!
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Loaches dying, not sure why.. Help!

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Loaches dying, not sure why.. Help!
Old 05-13-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
 
SilersAngryMeow's Avatar
 
Unhappy Loaches dying, not sure why.. Help!

Hello everyone,

Two out of three of my yoyo loaches have died, and the third one is acting strangely. I hope that somebody has some insight that may save him!

History: I have a 60 gal planted freshwater tank that's been set up for roughly 4 months. I've been slowly adding fish, and about 3 months ago I added the fish (2 neon tetras and the 3 yoyo loaches) from my old 29 gal tank (it has been set up for 2 years) to the new thank. 1.5 months ago I started injecting CO2 into the tank.

Tank facts:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0
Substrate - sand layered over cinder pebbles (the cinder is a substrate fertilizer for the plants)
Water changes - 10-20 % weekly
pH - 7.8
hardness - unsure, but San Diego tap water is VERY HARD

Current Residents of the 60 gallon tank:
- 3 danios
- 3 siamese algae eaters
- 2 neon tetras
- Now only 1 yoyo loach :(
- 6 harlequin rasboras

Issue: Almost as soon as I added the loaches to the 60 gallon tank, I noticed that they like to lay down and wriggle around in the sandy substrate. I know loaches dig, so I didn't think too much of it. About a month or so ago, I noticed that they were more rubbing than digging. They do a sort of sideways rub on the sand, really fast, and then go back to swimming. About a week ago I noticed one of them was getting redness around his mouth. No swelling, nothing else, just red mouth. I thought he had probably cut himself on something (perhaps the cinder? some of it has come to the surface of the substrate, and it looks pretty scratchy) and it was getting infected. He stopped eating, too, which I guessed was from the mouth sore. Of the other two loaches, one seemed to have a small sore behind one gill (picture included, see arrow) and possibly one cloudy eye (see other picture), and the other one looks fine. All of them act a little strange though - darting, hiding out more than usual, not really coming to the surface to eat. I started dosing with Melafix to cure the infection that I thought was occurring.

Two days later the loach with the mouth sore died. As of yesterday (day 5 of Melafix), the remaining two ate a little, but continue their strange behavior and the small sore on one of them seemed unchanged.

This morning I woke up and the one with the sore was dead. No other lesions on his body, and none on the other loach at all. All the other fish in the tank are completely normal.

My loaches have been awesome troopers for 2 years, and I can't understand what's bringing them down now. :( Does anyone have any ideas? My only theory was the infection due to an accidental scrape (doesn't explain the behavior though). The only other thought I have is that although my pH hasn't changed much since adding CO2 (from 8.0 to 7.8 ), perhaps the hardness has gone down drastically and that's had an effect?

Any ideas??? Please??
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Y sore.jpg (46.4 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg Y eye.jpg (46.6 KB, 34 views)
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
 
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I also keep yoyos in a planted tank with San Diego "hard as concrete" water, with a ph of 7.8. You've had these yoyos for two years?? The one in the picture looks very skinny for a 2 yr old. I can't really say what it is, other that I don't believe it has anything to do with the "hardness" of your water. I have no experience with injectable C02 and how that may effect your loaches.
The rubbing you're describing sounds just like flashing, as a fish might do when he is suffering from ich. I've had two seperate cases of ich in my tank and it was only visible on my clowns but my yoyos were behaving exactly as you describe what yours are doing. I think due to the yoyo coloring the ich was more camouflaged. I doubt it's ich though, as you would see that on your tetras if your tank had an ich infestation. Hopefully someone will come along who has better advice than me. Sorry you've lost your fish.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:30 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
You've had these yoyos for two years?? The one in the picture looks very skinny for a 2 yr old.
You're right! I forgot that the yoyos weren't the first fish in my old tank. They're probably more like a year and a few months old. Is that still skinny? They have always all eaten well; I feed them once a day. This guy was always the smallest of the three, though.

Ich was my first thought too. I had an outbreak in my 29 gal a long time ago, so I remember the symptoms. I never saw any spots or clamped fins on the loaches in the 60, though, so I had ruled it out. Never occurred to me that you might not be able to see the white dots on their skin.

It also strikes me as odd that none of the other fish are affected, though. I'll have to do a close inspection when I get home. Hrmm. Would you treat the tank for ich, even if you didn't see any ich spots on any fish?

Thanks for the help, Aunt Kymmie! :) I appreciate that you always respond when people are in need!
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:16 PM   #4
 
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Well, I'm always hesitant to treat a tank unless I know with absolute certainty what I'm treating for. If it was ich I'd think you'd see your other fish flashing, or at least some white spots on them. Neons are very susceptible, I know my neons were the first fish, along with my clown loaches, to present with the ich parasites. My neons never flashed, but they did have visible signs of ich.

In my opinion for a year old loach I think he is VERY skinny and small, he looks stunted. How many inches long would you say he is? It's possible that they weren't in the greatest health to begin with.

When you go home today take a good look at everyone in the tank and report back. I'd like for us to be able to say with certainty that it's ich. IF it is, then you'll have to treat the tank.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:11 PM   #5
 
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Any update??
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:31 AM   #6
 
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Thanks for asking :)

I can't see anything at all wrong with any of the other fish. Not in behavior, not in appearance. The remaining loach ate his dinner tonight., though he didn't want to come up to the surface. I can't tell if he's flashing or not... their swimming is so erratic, even when they're healthy. I'm keeping an eye on him

I guess as scaleless fish, loaches are more prone to Ich or whatever else is in the water. If I do have Ich, that's probably why I don't see it on any fish. I'm just hesitant to treat the tank without any clear outward sign of some kind of disease. And why did the first casualty have such inflammation around his mouth?? That's not a sign of Ich, as far as I know. On the other hand, if it is Ich, I'm a little afraid I won't figure it out until it's too late. :( I don't want to wake up to a dead loach.

One thing is for sure - I guess I'm going to stop dosing with Melafix. I don't think it was really helping anything at all.

Darn fish. I always feel like it's a logic problem I can't quite figure out, dealing with them.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:47 PM   #7
 
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I just bought a yo yo loach a few weeks ago at Kahoots in Poway. I got the last one and asked if they were going to order more. I payed $5.98 most LFS sale them for about $11. I just love this yo yo loach. Looks like a zebra fish. I QT it for a week and recently got another one.

I just copied my friends pages about Yo Yo loaches and it said that the top priority is clean water as these are found in flowing streams and the water it very clean so frequent water changes are a must. My book listed tank parameters as ph 6.6-7.2 Temp 76-82. I live in San Diego also and I have to slowly get my fish used to the hard water so I use a drip line slowly before adding them.

What I can tell in the picture is it looks like maybe one of your other fish in your tank might have attacked it. It does not look like Ich. My friend has yo yo loaches also and told me sometimes if you get a group sometimes they attack each other. She told me to just keep one in my 55 gal. community tank it would be ok. I could not help getting another one. They get along great as far as I can see. If I notice anyting I can always move the other one to a 20 gal. tank. My 55. is overrun by MT snails. I moved my Assassins snails out to another tanks so the yo yos would not eat them. I feed my yo yo loaches earthworm sticks I bought at http://www.kensfish.com sometimes.

I like the Melafix and the Pimafix for treating wounds and such. I find it even safe for shrimps and baby fish and it has no copper so my Assasin snails are ok. It also does not affect the bio/filter and knocking out the cycle.

I looked at you tanks and I noticed that you lost Neon Tetras in your tank and only have 3 out of 10. It could be a water problem as Neon tetras are sensitive to new tanks that have not been set up for very long that also might be the case of the yo yo loaches as they like already established tanks. I think that that pleco might be your problem as the yo yo loach is invading the bottom of the tank as your Pleco sees it and might be attacking it. Keep an eye on that fish all the others in your tank should get along. I would rehome the 3 Neon tetras on craigslist or Kahoots will take fish for credit. Neon tetras like softer water and get some Hardier tetras like Harleqen Rasboras or even Glow-light tetras. I was able to get them used to my harder san Diego water by the drip method.

Last edited by eileen; 05-14-2010 at 01:03 PM..
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:20 PM   #8
 
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Hi Eileen!! Thanks for taking the time to write - I appreciate your input :) You've given me some stuff to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eileen View Post
I just copied my friends pages about Yo Yo loaches and it said that the top priority is clean water as these are found in flowing streams and the water it very clean so frequent water changes are a must. My book listed tank parameters as ph 6.6-7.2 Temp 76-82. I live in San Diego also and I have to slowly get my fish used to the hard water so I use a drip line slowly before adding them.
I know our water is too hard and alkaline to appeal to the preferences of many fish. It's a pain, isn't it? I do a slow acclimation too, although I reckon that since the pet stores have the same tap water as I do (except Aquatic Warehouse, with their RO water), the fish that we buy in the store are probably already used to our crappy water! I do a 10-20% water change every week, and use a liquid test kit to check my parameters. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all zero (the tank, as I mentioned, is planted) I feel like I've eliminated water quality as a possible cause for my fish problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eileen View Post
What I can tell in the picture is it looks like maybe one of your other fish in your tank might have attacked it. It does not look like Ich. My friend has yo yo loaches also and told me sometimes if you get a group sometimes they attack each other. She told me to just keep one in my 55 gal. community tank it would be ok.
Very interesting!! I was always under the impression that yoyo loaches liked to be in groups of at least 3. The three did always chase after each other a lot. The one fish that remains is the "dominant" fish, at least as far as I can tell. He always had the darkest coloring, and was slightly larger than the other two. Perhaps he had been attacking the other two and they received injuries from him? I can't imagine that the rasboras, SAEs, danios, or tetras attacked the loaches.

I am really intrigued by this notion that you should just have solitary yoyo loaches. Does everybody else keep them solo?? It totally flies in the face of what I'd read on the internet (haha... if it's on the internet it must be true, right??? J/K)


Quote:
Originally Posted by eileen View Post
I looked at you tanks and I noticed that you lost Neon Tetras in your tank and only have 3 out of 10. It could be a water problem as Neon tetras are sensitive to new tanks that have not been set up for very long that also might be the case of the yo yo loaches as they like already established tanks. I think that that pleco might be your problem as the yo yo loach is invading the bottom of the tank as your Pleco sees it and might be attacking it. Keep an eye on that fish all the others in your tank should get along. I would rehome the 3 Neon tetras on craigslist or Kahoots will take fish for credit. Neon tetras like softer water and get some Hardier tetras like Harleqen Rasboras or even Glow-light tetras. I was able to get them used to my harder san Diego water by the drip method.
The 7 neon tetras were lost a long time ago (maybe 7 months) in some problems with my old 29 gallon tank. I plan to beef up their school in the 60 gallon, but I didn't want to buy any fish until I resolve the loach issue, just in case there was some infection in the tank. The pleco is gone. He was never transferred to the 60 gallon tank. You're reminding me that I really should update my aquarium list on here - haha.
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Old 05-14-2010, 03:55 PM   #9
 
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Wow, your tank mantainance is like mine 20-25% water change a week + I use the API test kit once a week to check everything else. The Loach book I borrowed said the same thing get no more then 3 as they like schools. They say the same for Corys also but I have a single cory in my tank and they ae fine. Sometimes fish have that mean streak in them and you have to get rid of them. I had 1 angelfish that I had as a tiny nickel size and grew to be about 4 1/2" big before it died. This one got along with all my fish as it grew up with all the small tetras. I then got 2 small quarter size angels from a friend and they got along fine also but I lost 1 on vacation. I bought another small one and put it in with the big one and it attacked it so I had to remove it to a 20gal. I since rehomed both angels and bought 2 tiny angels at Petco that were the size of a nickel. They were fiine in the tank at the petstore and for a few days in a QT tank. One started to attack the other one. I took them back to the LFS as my return was still good and just got another angel. This one is in a QT tank now. I hope it gets along with my fish in my 55 gal.My friend breeds angels and she said that it is genetics that make up the personalities. She has had ones that are really easy going and other that are a big pain to keep. That could be true for your yo yo loach. Maybe you should just keep 1 like I'm just keeping 1 Angelfish for fry control of my Black Moscow guppies. I just got the yo yo loach to control the snail problem as the Assassin snails did not do such a good job on keeping the MTS snail low in numbers.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:54 PM   #10
 
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I have to jump in here and disagree. I have seven yoyos and they are as happy as they could be. Yoyos NEED to be in a group in order to truly thrive, the more the merrier. The "fighting" you see is nothing more than the way they socialize. During this "wrassling" no one ever actually gets hurt, it just looks rough, but for loaches this is par for the course. A solo yoyo is a lonely yoyo. Having just two means one will be dominant and constantly stressing the less dominant one, with three you run the risk of two constantly ganging up on the less dominant one. In a group they will establish a social hierachy and they sort it out amongst themselves quite nicely.

Loaches are a little passion of mine and nearly all loaches require to be in a grouping in order to do their best. Dojo loaches are the exception, (there are a few other species) they are best kept as a solo species. I keep three different species of loaches and five is the smallest number of a grouping of any single species that I keep. Eileen, you'd be fine adding more yoyos! You should add more yoyos!

And I agree! What's up with Aquatic Warehouse using RO water for their freshwater specimens?? You buy from them and you go through a majorly long drip acclimation. You buy from Pet Kingdom and the transition is seamless!
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