40 Gallon Tank 1 clown of 3 wasting away

  • #1
I have a 40B tank that currently houses 3 2.5"-3" clown loaches (want 2 more), and 5 other fish, all around 3" (they'z baybeez ).
Ammonia is 0, nitrite 0, nitrate is 5ppm, PH is 6.8, water is slightly hard (forgot the number, and out of test strips now ), temp is 79 F.

The loaches are planned to be moved to a larger tank all their own in about a year.

Tank cycled for about 5 weeks before fish, and I've added two fish a week (prolly added them too quickly, but I kept up with water changes, the tap water here is exactly the same parameters as the tank water, so I don't think there should be PH stress?)

Only thing that has been in the water is some Jungle start-right dechlorinator stuffz.

Problem lies in one of my clown loaches, who is getting very thin and lethargic, and doesn't seem to eat. He swims with the other two loaches when they come near, but he spends most of his time playing dead on my castle, or swimming near the surface (not gasping, just drifting about).
His colors are bright, but he looks like he is blushing, and he is skinny and floaty, and has been this way for 4 days or so now.
He ignores all food that is placed near him, and somberly floats away from it (sinking pellets, bloodworm, frozen brine shrimp, flakes...)

He was one of the first fish I added, a single clown, before I knew enough to see he needed friends.
The other clowns are bouncy and vibrant, my pictus and two mollies (not seeming to mind the lack of salt) eat like piggies when they get fed each day, and even my black ghost knife eats heartily at feeding time. All the others show no redness of gills or weight loss.
No fish show any sign of injury, and other than the male molly harassing the female (I guess I need to give him away or get another female), no fish have been bothering the others.

He does seem a little perkier since I got two more clowns, but he still seems so feeble.

Could the stress of not having any buddies have done this to him, has he some sickness, or have I inadvertently done something else to him?
He did come from a different pet shop, but since I got him 5 weeks ago, I would think if he were sick, he'd have died already.
  • #2
Welcome to FishLore!
I'm not sure what a 40B tank is
Your right clowns will need a large tank and not too far down the road. In my experience in the right environment clowns will grow to about inches the first year then their growth will slow down. Here's a really good link and some cool pictures also.

There is a condition that Clown loaches get called skinny disease and is much as you describe your loach. Here is some information for you

I personally try to target feed him with thawed frozen blood worms and make sure to keep the water especially clean.
  • #3
I have nothing to add to Butterfly's advice. I just wanted to say:
Welcome to Fishlore!
  • #4
40 Gallon. The G is right above the B
  • #5
40B might mean 40 gallon breeder. (One of my favorite tank sizes!). Welcome to Fishlore!
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
And yes, I should have been more clear, it's a 40 gallon breeder tank.

He's still alive this morning, looking no worse (but no better either :/).

From reading the other thread (thanks for the link!), the complete lack of eating implies bacteria, or some very advanced parasites?

A few questions,

Which problem should I try to treat first?

Should I treat him separately (will the medicines bother my other fish, like the ghost knife, or will being segregated make him worse- being with the new clowns does seem to make him feel better.)?

Will his lack of eating prevent him from getting the proper dosing, or should most non-tablet forms still allow him to get the proper medication?

If I treat the main tank, should I remove the carbon filters for either, or both of the two recommended medicines? (Levamisole/antibiotics)

I apologize if the answers to these questions were obvious in the other post, but I want to make sure I am clear on how best to help him, and I don't want to inadvertently make my healthy fish sick too.
  • #7
I would definitely put him in a tank by himself so he has to compete for food less. If he has skinny disease(for lack of a better name) he is not contagious so unless the other clowns start showing symptoms they don't need to be treated.

Since he isn't eating well I personally would remove the carbon and put the meds in the water. Levamisole would be the med of my choice if you have it available.
At the bottom of this link is a dosing calculator.
Keep us posted on how he's doing.

I wouldn't recommend getting any more Clowns until you get a larger tank.
Since you are out of test strips I recommend you buy a liquid test kit. Most around here use aquarium Pharmaceutical Master freshwater test kit. There are many more uses in this kit than the strips and more dependable also
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
He went to fishy heaven around noon. He'd been having seizures all morning, he'd float around like normal (for him at the moment), then would gray out completely and shake and convulse, it was really horrible looking. ><

After he died, I looked at him carefully, and he seemed to have some sort of injury or lesion on his side, I don't recall seeing it yesterday, like something had wiped some of his black stripe off, and the tissues under the lesion were red.
I wonder if this contributed to his rapid decline, but I've seen no fish fighting, and I haven't seen it until I checked his body this morning.

In the picture you can see a horizontal oval mark from behind his gills to halfway through his stripe.


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