Hillstream loach committed suicide.

GouramiGuy44

Hello there! I’m new to the forum, I just wanted to post about a terrible story from my fish tank that remains a mystery to this day.

several months ago, I had saved up all my money, and decided to buy a beautiful hillstream loach for my 29 gallon community tank. I introduced the cutie a couple days after a water change, so the water was pristine with a pH of about 7.0 and no ammonia, no nitrite, and 15 ppm of nitrate. None of the fish seemed to bother him, but he only spent his time near my airstone, which I thought seemed normal since I read they come from highly oxygenated and fast-paced waters. But, the day after buying him, I come over to see my little loach had climbed out of the water and was on the glass above the water line, still wet but completely dead. I had always wanted to keep hillstream loaches, so this really made me sad, and I have not kept a hillstream since. Does anybody know what happened?
 

MacZ

Please use the emergency template and don't forget to include water parameters (GH, KH, pH, temp), a picture of the tank and the fish itself.

I do have a suspicion but that needs confirmation by answers from the template. Also, it is hard to impossible to determine the cause of death in hindsight, so don't be disappointed if it turns out inconclusive.
 

GouramiGuy44

As I mentioned, this happened months ago, so I don’t have any photos. I already provided all the parameters I could. as for the temperature, it’s consistently around 60-65 degree range, so I’m assuming your suspicion is around the temperature? I should also mention that my tank is a 29-gallon which has been running for over 2 years with 2 hang-on filters, and an airstone, which provides decent flow, but perhaps not enough?
 

MacZ

As I mentioned, this happened months ago, so I don’t have any photos.
People take fotographs of all kinds of stuff nowerdays, long shot.

Temperature in correlation to oxygen concentration is my thought, yes. And you are right: Very much not enough, because this kind of attempeted escape has been observed in such situations.

I presume the fish was either wild-caught (some of the Sewellia species are still, as it's cheaper than tankbreds for many retailers) or bred in conditions close to the habitat conditions. Another possibility would have been gill flukes, which are often contracted in sales tanks.
 

SparkyJones

What I do know, hillstream loaches can and do migrate over land using wet rocks and the moist areas of the waters edge to leave unpleasant water and go looking for a better place, and will even climb up the rocks of waterfalls maybe an oxygenation thing, maybe a water flow thing and too slow for it to be happy and an oxygenation thing.

Water changes and the new water rushing in can make them think it's a water fall and following that flow will lead to faster more oxygenated water, since the new water coming in is moving faster than the tank water and carries more oxygen.

Really hard to say exactly why it did what it did though. they should be abler to survive a really long time out of water in a damp environment though.
 

GouramiGuy44

Thank you! That makes sense. I’m sad he was uncomfortable, does anyone have any recommendations for making the tank more comfortable for these fellas? I’d love to keep them again.
 

DoubleDutch

Fast flowing cool water
 

MacZ

Here are some pictures from the exhibit for these fish at the Zoological Research Museum here in town. You can't see it in the pictures, but the current in that tank is considerable.


20220514_133609.jpg
20220514_134053.jpg
 

SparkyJones

I think you really need specialized hillstream loach keepers and to pick their brains on how best to take care of them in an aquarium.

I have heard of them climbing up into filters or into the outflows of powerheads also against the strong flow.
I think some people use a powerhead and then a diffusion manifold that they can't get into and look for a flow of aroung 6 ft per second or something like that.

I think really read as much as you can find on them, then try to gain as much knowledge as you can from experienced keepers before trying it again.

Go through the 6 pages of info where you posted this thread, see if there's any gems of info there.
Hillstream Loach Forum

some of the older stuff, those people might not still be around but I think most folks from this year are still around,.

I think the current thing is situational and not necessary to be extremely fast, but necessary to have a flow and circulation to some extent.
 

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