Help My school of Pangio Kuhlii is dying one by one - why???

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Tryingmybest

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Hello everyone!

sick_kuhlii.jpg
Still alive but not for much longer... ;-(

I'm having (or at least HAD....) a healthy and fast growing planted aquarium with six Pangio Kuhlii and I've had it for about a year and a half.
They are a small school, all bought from the same petstore at the same time, and they are all enjoying life as far as I can see.

They eat sinking protein tablets and algea flakes that sinks to the bottom and once a week bloodworms.
They swim like crazy in the daytime in their funny slithering dance, and the cuddle together in their nest. They seldom hide and are very curious (!) whenever you're there to fix with the tank or cut plants, etc.
Nothing seems wrong!

I change water 1-2 liters every day and 30% every second week, and I clean the inner filter as soon as I see it's spraying more slowely and looks dirty.

My question though is that lately they have started dying one by one, and I can not figure out why!
Nothing's changed what so ever and no new fish are added to the habitat.

It starts by them loosing colour more and more and turn from bright yellow/black to almost grey/white.
And a day or two later it has died!
Then the next, the next and now there's only 2 left, that I'm hopeing to save!

Same food. Same water. Same school. Same plants. No signs of injury, dots or anything.

Any ideas what I should do to stop this?
( It's difficult to clean the tank and maintain the water changes without scaring them (they get panic!) as they don't HIDE when I change water, instead they all come out from their hiding places and swim like crazy till I'm ready! )


Water: 25 degree C, 4-5 dH, pH 8

Thank you!!!!

Regards, worried Kuhlii-mom
 

Dom90

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Are the loaches the only fish you have in there? I'd recommend you get a liquid test kit such as the API Freshwater Master Test Kit so you can check your water parameters. It's good to know in emergency situations what your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are. What is your water change routine like?


 

Tryingmybest

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Yes, only loaches and a bunch of healthy Planorbarius corneus.
Since the two kuhlii got sick and died I have changed 80% water once a week for the past 3 weeks.

I know, a long shot but.... So I'm starting to think maybe it has something to do with that the snails has put slime (?) over the food when eating from the bottom and the same food as the kuhlii does, and somehow that the kuhlii's mouth has been "stuffed" with this slime and now are starving!?
Ever heared of this happening?
 

Tryingmybest

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What a shock! I now know the reason to why they have died!

A few hours ago another kuhlii died (picture) and when I picked it up I saw something in it's mouth. Something black. I gently squeezed its mouth and out comes a tiny small black gravel stone!!!!
I keep fine black shrimp gravel in the tank and when eating it (or they) must somehow got stones into their tiny mouth - and it got stuck!
I wish I had filmed it when squeezing the stone out!

Poor thing, now I know the reason and I knew it wasn't the water quality!
I'll now replace this gravel with bigger gravel and not go for this fine quality of sand no more, even if they like to digg and hide in it.
 

Tryingmybest

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Thank you! No no, the sand is not sharp, I use fine nano shrimps gravel with 0,7-1,2 mm, all round shapes. Fine enough to dig into and hide.
I don't know if I dare to start up a new school or if I should just go for a nice planted aquarium only.
Actually, it would be nice for my back to don't have to do all those daily water changes for a while.
 

kidxxgrimm

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My kuhli in a dirt bottom. Pink gravel capped planted tank no problems since I got em :)

I do apologize for your losses. But I havent had bad experience with gravel yet. But I woulda much rather had a dirt bottom sand capped planted tank.
My kuhli digs...but mostly little holes...such as a bass does during spawning season. He makes a den like cave with a dirt bottom and the wood over him.
 

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