Dojo Loach shedding and rough skin, yo-yo loach flashing

Neurogirl1515

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 10 G
How long has the tank been running? 5/31/21
Does it have a filter? Yes
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? 82
What is the entire stocking of this tank? 1 platy, 1 dojo loach, and 1 yoyo loach (note: this is TEMPORARY quarantine for them, they usually have a 55G)

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? At least 1x a week, but varies based on nitrate levels
How much of the water do you change? 30%
What do you use to treat your water? Tetra Aquasafe Plus
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? Both

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? YES
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
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
pH: 7.3

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? 3x a day
How much do you feed your fish? A pinch of flakes, pinch of insect bites, and 5 shrimp pellets
Do you feed frozen? Brine shrimp are given at least once a week in place of meal

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? Yoyo is about a year, dojo is about 3-4 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 1.5 weeks for the dojo, about 3-5 days for yoyo
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Yoyo is flashing constantly, hides, not eating much. Dojo is eating and acting normally, but has very rough looking skin and has been shedding slime coat
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Yes. I have placed them in quarantine and dosing with Melafix and Pimafix, hoping things will settle down. Want to know what to treat before using true meds.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Yoyo hides ALL the time and is not out and about eating. The dojo behavior is pretty normal, but it has very rough patches on its skin.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. The only background that I feel is needed is that the dojo has been being continuously bullied by the rainbow shark. I think he was actually taking nips at her (I'm hoping that's all this is). She laid eggs about two weeks ago after acting erratically and being moved into her own tank. I did just receive plants two weeks ago that I didn't bleach dip or QT (I KNOW, I know...). I'm hoping it's just the bullying and things will heal nicely.

I did lightly sedate the dojo so that I could get a better look at the skin (within minutes it was back hunting snails, don't worry). I wasn't sure if it could be fish lice, etc... The skin is a yellow-reddish-brown and is rough to the touch. All I could do was get a really good picture. I have been seeing huge sloughs of slime on the filter for weeks. I just recently realized it was from the dojo. That is pictured as well. The yoyo doesn't LOOK any different.
 

A201

Really the only treatments for Loaches are the herbal antiseptics, such as Melafix & the anti parasitic,
Heat Treatment, 86 - 89.5 degrees.
I'm a big fan of Loaches & keep three varieties of Botias.
The Dojo Loach probably isn't actually losing its slime coat. It's more likely an environmental or parasitic issue is causing the Dojo to produce excess slime. The same unidentified irritant is probably causing the YoYo to flash.
 
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Neurogirl1515

Really the only treatments for Loaches are the herbal antiseptics, such as Melafix & the anti parasitic,
Heat Treatment, 86 - 89.5 degrees.
I'm a big fan of Loaches & keep three varieties of Botias.
The Dojo Loach probably isn't actually losing its slime coat. It's more likely an environmental or parasitic issue is causing the Dojo to produce excess slime. The same unidentified irritant is probably causing the YoYo to flash.

So, what do you recommend? The Dojo started shedding before plants were introduced, but the shark was constantly nipping at her (I believe). I sedated her to try to identify an actual skin parasite but I have no idea. I know Dojo’s don’t really like warmer temps (otherwise I’d always stay at 84-86). I suppose as long as you do it gradually, it would be okay.

I have a young yo-yo in the main tank and he is just fine. No other fish are I’ll in the main tank. Could they have gotten something from snacking on snails?? I forgot to mention that we have pest snails that those two go crazy for. Would an internal parasite even affect the skin?
 
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Noroomforshoe

Do you have other loaches? Are they normally in a school? My yoyo of maybe 8 years at the time, started pacing a while after most of his same size buddies had passed. but when he was in a proper school again, he stopped pacing and went back to normal. loaches and botia are very social fish, i hope you keep them in schools.

If you do keep them in schools - how are the rest of the fish? And are they similar-sized yet? maybe it will just take some time for smaller loaches to grow into good companions for the older one.

The dojo may have excessive slime coating to cover up for the damage that the shark did. I hope you removed the shark, and sorry that happened! You could try and aloe-based slime coat product. I think it would be healthier to keep them in the main tank and use slime coat product. But Im not right there looking at them so do what you think is best.
 
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Neurogirl1515

Update:

Female Dojo Loach -
I separated her from the main tank where she was getting bullied. I used Melafix and Pimafix together (btw, DON'T BUY THESE PRODUCTS! Do a search on their efficacy in journal articles. They are completely snake oil). I also did frequent water changes. Within about a week, her skin has completely healed up. I found out through this experience that Dojos shed their slime coat quite a bit. The shedding probably increased to attempt to stop getting nipped from the rainbow shark. She has been rehomed where she will live with three other Dojos her size! I had people offer money, but I really wanted to select the best home. She was such an awesome fish, and I was very sad to see her go. However, I am so happy that she is in a fantastic home with someone who will love her just as much as I did!

Yo-yo Loach -
He has been moved back to the main tank as no problems have been seen with any fish. He (? don't know the sex honestly) is just a sensitive little guy that gets stressed out VERY easily. He is also about two years old and had never been moved from that tank as an adult. I believe that the change in environment was just very stressful for him. Yo-yos apparently flash a lot just due to stress. I also learned about "greying out," which describes him quite well. He is just finally starting to adjust to a different tank set-up and the addition of two young yo-yos. I'm starting to see him come out from hiding and looks like he wants to start eating again soon (I hope). He was QUITE overweight due to the pest snail outbreak, so he actually looks much healthier! We recently changed the substrate from gravel to black sand. The snails are still in the tank (which I'm fine with as they don't overrun the tank and are delicious for my loaches), but they are few and far between. I'm guessing that is one of the reasons he isn't eating. Why go back to flakes or pellets when you were eating Es Cargot on the regular!?!

I wanted to do an update for anyone who sees this thread in the future!
 
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