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Hi guys! Pardon the long post, I want to provide thorough information.

I have a 20L tank, with live plants (mondo, anubias, some other pet store standards), two pieces of driftwood about a forearm long each, black sand substrate (sterile, no beneficial additives). I have an adjustable heater, and a 100 GPH filter in the tank. The tank is cycled.

So, I've been noticing at least 2 of my 8 kuhlis have shown signs of ich the past couple of days, and I made the decision yesterday to try treating them with the API Super Ick Cure that helped my betta when he got ich. It became such a hassle trying to separate the ones I could confirm were sick, that I ended up catching and quarantining them ALL.

I know that kuhlis are scaleless and scaleless fish can be very sensitive to medication. I did not want to medicate them all at once, given I know it is a bad idea to medicate a fish who may not be sick, but I ended up doing so (with the half dose as directed on the bottle for scaleless fish). I closely monitored.

I put all 8 kuhlis in a 1 gallon tank and floated it in the 20L to keep it warm, and the 1 gallon contained fresh water + the medication.

I noticed within... I want to say, an hour or so, that one of the kuhlis suddenly displayed symptoms of swim bladder malfunction, continually floating to the top with 100% bouyancy and no longer able to sink to the ground, while trying to swim furiously back to the substrate. They were NOT doing this prior to the dose of medication, that I am aware of. I thought it was just the one -- he turned out to be the one most infected with ich, but I dumped him back into the 20L where there was no medication in an effort to keep the symptoms from getting worse.

The other kuhlis seemed fine at the time, and I left them in the medicated quarantine overnight while I slept -- when I woke up, a few more were displaying the SBD symptoms quite suddenly, and I said, that's it! They're all going back into the 20L, unmedicated, because I think the medication is killing them / making it worse.

Since being put back into the big unmedicated tank, they seem to be recovering from the weird SBD reaction okay. I think some them are still displaying some bouyancy, but it's decreased from what it was... I am hoping that it will continue to decrease to nothing and they will be back to normal, no worse for the wear.

That means no medication, however, so -- and in good planning I had already been gradually raising my tank temperature -- so I am going to try a heat-only treatment, since salt is not an option with a few ADFs and a snail in the tank with them.

The tank is about 84 degrees right now, and should be a steady 86 by tomorrow. I am happy to provide water parameters here shortly; I'm busting out my API Master Test Kit again in a minute to provide those. Traditionally my nitrates/nitrites are non-existent, ammonia barely registers, and the PH stays around 7.5.

Has anyone who has loaches experienced this? Medication causing a weird SBD-like reaction where the kuhlis are unable to sink? But yet it seems mostly temporary and brought on by the treatment? ANY insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm new to kuhlis and I want my babies to live and thrive.
 

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Water parameters:

PH: 7.4

Ammonia: 0 - 0.1 ppm

Nitrites: 5.0 ppm (hmmm, the store kept telling me nitrites were great, my home test proves otherwise... may also be high because I just did a feeding?)

Nitrates: 6.0 ppm

I thought my tank was cycled (it's four weeks old, I was thinking six), but if the nitrites are spiking, maybe not? This is a totally separate issue from the kuhlis' reaction to the medication, though, since they were fine in the big tank prior even with these levels -- but I also don't want the water itself to make the situation worse, even if it is currently a better option than the medicated quarantine I had going.
 

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Just an update, since being taken back out of the medicated water and being returned to the regular tank (a little over twelve hours have passed since), the loaches who were bouyant have stopped floating and are able to stick to the bottom now as they should. No new cases. I really think the API Super Ick Away caused a particularly bad reaction in these guys. I hate to think what would have happened if I had left them with the medication.

Going to keep treating the ich problem with 86 degree heat and hope for the best.
 

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Just an update iin case anyone in the future has this problem -- so far, so good, and the loaches haven't shown any more signs of distress or SBD-like symptoms since I stopped the medication (API Super Ick Away).

Continuing with the heat treatment with the tank at 86 degrees for another 10 days (for two weeks / 14 days total). The loaches, african dwarf frogs, my betta, and ghost shrimp are all tolerating the heat well.
 

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Its always wise to monitor the effects of medication... I lost a blue ram due to a bad reaction to prazipro.... the other fish were fine. By the time I saw it was in trouble and took it out of the medicated tank, it was too late.
 
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