Disappearing Dojo Loaches? :(

mwushwoom

I'm absolutely stumped. I bought two small Golden Dojo Loaches around May earlier this year. They both seemed to be doing great, but after a couple wonderful months of having them, one of them DISAPPEARED!

I checked absolutely everywhere. The tank had a hood, but it wasn't entirely covered, so my guess until now was that he had jumped out and became a snack for one of my cats.

So about a week after that loach disappeared, I bought another one. He was very skittish compared to the other one I still had. My first loach that survived was super friendly. I loved that little dude.

They got along super well and I loved them. They've been in the tank along with two small fantail goldfish for about 6 months now, is my guess.

Until today! My original loach has also gone missing. once again, I've looked everywhere. He isn't buried, he's not In the filter, and he's not in any ornaments. The difference now, is that the tank is completely covered. So he couldn't of jumped out.

My new depressing assumption is that the two loaches died and were munched on by the goldfish... it's the only thing I can think of.

Makes me really sad. I've never loved a fish more than I loved that dojo. If my new guess is correct, that leads me to wonder: what's killing my dojos? I'm doing everything I can to make sure my remaining one stays happy and healthy.

(I have a 29 gallon tank, the only tank mates are the two small fantails. They've been in the tank the longest.) Please help!
 

Willed

What are the time frames from where you notice the dojo was missing and when you did the exhaustive search. I mean was there enough time for the body to decompose and be eaten. I feel like you would have seen that happening. If the goldfish could eat it that would mean it's out in the open right? My smaller loaches are very clever at hiding but it sounds like you've made sure. Do you have a hang on the back filter? Have you checked inside the filter?
Edit: have you taken a flashlight and looked behind/around the tank?
 

mwushwoom

What are the time frames from where you notice the dojo was missing and when you did the exhaustive search. I mean was there enough time for the body to decompose and be eaten. I feel like you would have seen that happening. If the goldfish could eat it that would mean it's out in the open right? My smaller loaches are very clever at hiding but it sounds like you've made sure. Do you have a hang on the back filter? Have you checked inside the filter?

Last time I saw him was yesterday morning, I believe. Yes, I do have a hang on the back filter, I checked every part of it. I do agree, I think I would've seen some evidence of the eaten loach/loaches at some point, which is why I'm still doubtful, but it's the only thing I can think of...
 

Willed

They are total ninjas and you might think you searched everywhere but there could be some crevice you don't know about. I think they are also tank jumpers too so I can see your uncertainty.

If you put some sinking wafers in at night and checked with a soft light see if you see him or her.
 

mwushwoom

They are total ninjas and you might think you searched everywhere but there could be some crevice you don't know about. I think they are also tank jumpers too so I can see your uncertainty.

If you put some sinking wafers in and checked with the soft light at night and don't see him IdI feel better ruling out the fish from being in the tank.

I'll try that, I'm about to do another search so hopefully he turns up. Sadly I doubt it, since the other one never did...

My loaches would always hide and dig in the sand, but they always had at least their heads or their tails popping out. I've never seen mine completely bury themselves.

Not only that, but they haven't been hiding at all the past couple of months, which is why I'm quick to assume another has disappeared. Such an odd thing, even weirder that disappearing loaches seem to be common. You said it, they're absolute ninjas.
 

happah

Do you by any chance also have assassin snails & shrimp in the tank?

I'm asking because in my tank they are the ones to erase any trace of a body within hours.
 

mwushwoom

Do you by any chance also have assassin snails & shrimp in the tank?

I'm asking because in my tank they are the ones to erase any trace of a body within hours.

No, nothing other than the (currently) one loach and two goldfish. The goldfish don't look any fatter than usual, and my loach had gotten fairly big, so I'm doubting that he actually did get eaten.

Are dojo loaches known to completely submerge themselves in substrate? That's the only other thing I can think of, I've sifted through the sand a couple times but I didn't find anything. I didn't look too deep though, as I've never seen them bury themselves that far.
 

Carolyn Johnson

My dojo’s hide really good and they’re 10 inches long and as big around as a crayon. I lost mine once to find them under my filter, the kind that goes under the rocks on the bottom of the tank. I have 2 cats and was afraid they had a snack. Good luck
 

CichlidTai

Tbh this was my first fish. Same thing happened.. I found it days later; it had jumped out of the tank.
 

mwushwoom

Sad update: The very next morning of the day I had posted this, my beloved loach actually reappeared. I was shocked but obviously very happy. My two loaches both continued to live very happily with no issues until yesterday, when both disappeared at the same time. As I'm typing this I've taken apart the tank completely in search for them but to no avail. They're just not there. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry, I was sooooo attached to the loach that remained from the original pair I had bought. F in chat for Kazzy and Zucker, I hope you guys are chowing down on bloodworms in fish heaven. ♡
 

Carolyn Johnson

Sorry to hear your dojo’s are missing. Mine never have been big on hiding, they just lay all over the place, usually side by side. Is there any thing that they could have got inside? Both missing at same time is weird . I’d do some sand digging and look in everything that was in your tank. Do you have a cat or dog? Good luck! I love my dojo’s. They find a way to your heart. Again good luck. Keep us updated.
 

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