55 Gallon Tank Banded Kuhli Loaches Keep Turning White and Dying, I'm Desperate, Please Help

Gameynerd23

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
55 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
About 2 months
Does it have a filter?
Yes, 3 sponge filters
Does it have a heater?
Yes, two Eheim Jager 150w
What is the water temperature?
78 farenheit
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
19 Ember Tetras
2 male Honey Gouramis
2 BN Plecos
7 Assassin Snails
15 Kuhli Loaches (this number is dropping rapidly)

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
Once a week
How much of the water do you change?
About 35-40 percent
What do you use to treat your water?
API Stress Coat+ and API Stress Zyme
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Yes, before I use the water changer I vaccum the substrate
*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
No, I did a fish-in cycle, but I did large water changes daily to offset the ammonia and nitrites.
What do you use to test the water?
API Master Test Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0.25 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: Less than 20 ppm
pH: 7.4

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Twice a day
How much do you feed your fish?
A small pinch of flakes for the Tetras and Gouramis, 12 shrimp pellets for the Kuhlis and Plecos, and half an algae wafer.
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Wadley, Tetra, and Hikari
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
Some of them I've had for over six months.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
Yesterday
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
The Kuhlis are turning white and dying
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
No, I don't know what medicine to use.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
I think one of the Kuhlis was and it infected the rest.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
They're turning white.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

I bought a Kuhli Loacb from a big box store. In the tank, there were other dead Kuhlis, so I think there was something wrong with that batch of Loaches. The loach I bought became ill, so I returned it, but I think it infected my other 9 banded Kuhli Loaches. None of my 10 black Kuhlis have died yet. I'll include some pictures. I didn’t want to show the full body of the whitest one because it's dead.
20210420_100924.jpg
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Fishstery

Hopefully another member with loach experience can chime about their ammonia sensitivity in because I haven't kept them yet, but I'd be willing to bet whether it's directly related, or a secondary illness caused by it, I'd say it revolves around the fact that you have ammonia. It should always be 0. Do you have any idea why you still have ammonia present?
 
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Gameynerd23

Hopefully another member with loach experience can chime about their ammonia sensitivity in because I haven't kept them yet, but I'd be willing to bet whether it's directly related, or a secondary illness caused by it, I'd say it revolves around the fact that you have ammonia. It should always be 0. Do you have any idea why you still have ammonia present?
It could be the tank getting adjusted to the addition of fish. I've spoken with an LFS employee and they said it's probably a virus spread by the loach I got at the big box store. The advice I was given was to add some vitamins, soak their food in some garlic, and ride out the virus with hope that some Kuhlis survive and to focus a bit more on the health of my other fish in the tank.
 
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Fishstery

It could be the tank getting adjusted to the addition of fish. I've spoken with an LFS employee and they said it's probably a virus spread by the loach I got at the big box store. The advice I was given was to add some vitamins, soak their food in some garlic, and ride out the virus with hope that some Kuhlis survive and to focus a bit more on the health of my other fish in the tank.
.....how many did you add at one time? And no QT? How did you acclimate them?
 
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Gameynerd23

.....did you add 15 fish at one time? And without QT?
I added 13 Emeber Tetras a few weeks back and have added 4 Kuhlis over time afterwards. I don't have a QT system in place. I know that I should. After this experience, I will invest in one soon, though. A 20g long with some snails to help keep the cycle going would work, yeah?
 
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Fishstery

I added 13 Emeber Tetras a few weeks back and have added 4 Kuhlis over time afterwards. I don't have a QT system in place. I know that I should. After this experience, I will invest in one soon, though. A 20g long with some snails to help keep the cycle going would work, yeah?
I dont really think that would account for ammonia then. An initial spike that goes away after a few days would make sense, but you wouldn't see a spike from just one loach. I suggest you check your tap water perhaps or redo an ammonia test to be sure that .25 is accurate. Separately, you may be right about the new loach introducing something since you didn't QT, so yeah lesson learned there lol! That should be fine for a QT just feed the snails a lot and often so they create lots of waste. A better way to do it is just add liquid ammonia to 2ppm every other day. Then you don't need to do WCs (until the day before you put fish in there to QT) and vaccuum snail poop all the time. Just my 2 cents.
 
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Gameynerd23

I dont really think that would account for ammonia then. An initial spike that goes away after a few days would make sense, but you wouldn't see a spike from just one loach. I suggest you check your tap water perhaps or redo an ammonia test to be sure that .25 is accurate. Separately, you may be right about the new loach introducing something since you didn't QT, so yeah lesson learned there lol! That should be fine for a QT just feed the snails a lot and often so they create lots of waste. A better way to do it is just add liquid ammonia to 2ppm every other day. Then you don't need to do WCs (until the day before you put fish in there to QT) and vaccuum snail poop all the time. Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for all the help! I'll also be getting as many of my future fish as possible from LFS, to support them and to help ensure my fish will be healthier. Would something like Mystery or Rabbit Snails be good choices for a QT tank? They get pretty large, but that just helps them not get bullied or eaten as easily.
 
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Fishstery

Thanks for all the help! I'll also be getting as many of my future fish as possible from LFS, to support them and to help ensure my fish will be healthier. Would something like Mystery or Rabbit Snails be good choices for a QT tank? They get pretty large, but that just helps them not get bullied or eaten as easily.
I agree with that decision. Fish are the last thing I buy from the big box stores lol. My LFS is amazing and uses an overside UV on their underground sump so I can pretty much guarantee my fish are ich free. I can't really give you solid advice on the snails, as I've never used anything live to keep my QT cycle going, only liquid ammonia. Edit I should note I don't use anything live because then my QT can double as a hospital tank, and snails are notoriously sensitive to medication (but in some cases the filter will need removed as well since some meds kill your bacteria)
 
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Gameynerd23

I agree with that decision. Fish are the last thing I buy from the big box stores lol. My LFS is amazing and uses an overside UV on their underground sump so I can pretty much guarantee my fish are ich free. I can't really give you solid advice on the snails, as I've never used anything live to keep my QT cycle going, only liquid ammonia.
That's fine. I'll try the snails and see how it goes. Thanks, again!
 
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