Kuhli Loach Death? Question

  1. erinnkec Initiate Member

    Hey there... this is my first post. I'm still pretty fresh to fish keeping now that I'm an adult but had some minor experience with a goldfish tank and later a beta when I was a kid. Now that I've decided to pick the hobby up as an adult, I did a lot of reading in preparation - partially because it took about two years to get my husband fully on board with this scheme, and partially because I wanted to have our heat pumps installed in the house to make sure temperatures are regulated a bit better before diving into fish keeping and constantly worrying during the winter months as I'm living in Nova Scotia, and it gets pretty cold.

    I have a 29 gallon tank... cycled, though under 6 months old. My water has been testing consistently at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and somewhere around 10 for nitrates (using the test tube type kit - not strips). PH is about 6.5 - we have well water, and my husband is a plumber, so I'm confident in the quality of our water (he's had it tested multiple times because he's a professional water nerd). I have a couple of live plants, and the rest are fake until I swap them out. I'm living in a pretty small community, and do not have access to a lot of resources for buying fish/plants/aquarium supplies. I've been buying from a pretty decent place, luckily. The owner runs it out of her home, and is very knowledgeable. Now that we've hit summer she's reduced her hours and her shipments, so sometimes there's not a lot of choice on what to purchase, though I've recently found a site where I can order plants which means I'll get to start swapping more things out. I have black seachem flourite covered with a relatively thin layer of some smooth aquarium gravel - I believe it's a Clifford W. Estes one, coated in non-toxic polymer - just to provide a smoother surface for the bottom dwellers.

    My tank is stocked with 4 corydoras, 5 danio (3 zebra and 2 of the glowfish variety) and until recently 2 loaches. I had purchased the first - an orange and blackish brown Pangio kuhli(?) around the middle of June. I went and bought a second - a blackish brown one (I believe it's a different species, though it's also supposed to be one of the small loaches, I assume it's the Black Kuhli Loach, but I know there's a lot of misnaming that happens with loaches, so I'm not positive. I bought this one on the Friday of Canada Day weekend.

    Ultimately, I've been staggering my fish buying out pretty well - and I know more loaches would be better. Unfortunately the black loach died yesterday, or through the previous night - I found him after work and he was stiff. The original loach I purchased seems to be doing fine - he obviously hides most of the day, though I've seen him come out and explore occasionally. I go to work relatively early in the AM and to bed pretty early as well because I'm dealing with fibromyalgia/fatigue, so I haven't been awake during the times they'd have been most active. They rarely seemed to hang out together after the first couple days that the black loach was added. Honestly, I have a large albino cory that seems to have developed a strange friendship with the other loach, and I'll find them kind of snugged up to each other every once in a while.

    At this point, I'm just kind of wondering if anyone has any ideas as to why the loach would have died. I hate to see a death in the tank - I feel so bad when it happens, and have been pretty lucky so far when it comes to survival rates. My water quality hasn't shifted since owning him, I've been doing my weekly water changes at around 15% and have been careful about temperatures. The other fish seem to be doing great, none of them are aggressive. He didn't look like he had any actual damage to his body, either. Should I just be chalking this loss up to him potentially being ill, or injured when I bought him?
     
  2. sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    With no damage to his body, I would put it to stress or natural selection. It sounds like your tank is stable, without known bullies or aggressors.

    The danios will probably want some friends, as I have seen my danios go testy in smaller groups.... but I don't see any reason why the khuli expired
     

  3. erinnkec Initiate Member

    Thanks for the reply! I'm likely getting a couple more danio in the near future - we had started with 6, but unfortunately lost one. I actually was horrified by them when we first got them, because I had started out with my corys and they were so peaceful. I knew danio were active, but didn't expect the hyperactivity that happened during the first couple of days of adjustement. I had considered returning them at one point - but they settled in after those first few days, and have been much more chill since. Whenever I've done anything with my hands in the tank they'll follow along with me, I've had them take food out of my hand before. The little buggers grew on me. I've been lucky so far - other than the couple of days of super speed zipping around, they've pretty much just chased each other for a second or two, and then settled back down. They'll generally yield to the corys. So far no nipping or anything like that - so hopefully I'll be equally lucky when I add a couple more.
     
  4. sassymomma Well Known Member Member

    I liked my danios too, but I was in the unfortunate situation of having too many males to females and One was being harrassed to the point of hiding. To fix the ratio, I'd have had to get too many for the tank so I traded them for a different type of fish

    There are days I miss the running games of tag around the tank though lol