Please help clown loach finrot!

  1. manatee Initiate Member

    I have a mature 75g planted tank with 4 3 in clowns that have a nasty case of what I think is bacterial finrot! I have treated a few time with melafix as per lfs. I know my parameters are not for clowns so now I would like to heal them and getnthem a good home. I don't think anyone will want them right now. Ph is high 7.8 or so which is probably why they have this, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, gravel only nothing to raise ph, live java plants with lots of wood, low lights, running fluval 305 with carbon, floss and sponge and bio and running rena 1 for bio with sponge, phos pad and bio, weekly h20 changes 25 - 30% , and the kicker is well water with a water softner. Will change to cichlids when these guys are rehomed. Anyone have any sugestions on trting these guys? I dont want to pull them into quarantine and stress them more to trt? I really love these loaches but I am sure my h2o is the cause of this?...
     
  2. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member


  3. Anita Vidgen Member Member

    As you probably know, Clown Loaches have very small scales, so be careful with what you put in your tank, usually you have to half dose most meds. Just ask if you are unsure, the internet is also a good place to get info. There is a group called "Loaches Online", and they have a lot of information on disease and treatments for the Clowns.
    Good luck


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  4. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    Hi there. I noticed you mentioned that your nitrates are 0ppm and did not list ammonia readings.

    Is this tank cycled? If so ammonia should be 0ppm and nitrate would be below 20ppm. If there is ammonia, such is the likely culprit for your fin rot and fixing water conditions will likely solve the issue.

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  5. manatee Initiate Member

    Thanks for all your help guys, the link really helped. My temp is 80 and I am wondering if my old java plants can harbour bacteria to cause this? My tank is cycled, I dont test for ammonia as I thought I only needed to test for nitrate and nitrites and if in normal range water would be fine? I will try another round of melafix. My well water is hard, high in calcium, iron and magnesium and maganese with the high ph do you think this couldn be stressing them?
     
  6. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Ammonia is very important to test for, since it is highly toxic to fish.
     
  7. WiFi Well Known Member Member

    I would invest in a Ammonia testing kit, this is one of the 3 main tests you must do.
    They aren't too expensive, do you use liquid or test strips?

    Hope we can get this figured out.
    :;hi1
     

  8. hopeful fish Well Known Member Member

    Ammonia might very well be the culprit. A liquid API ammonia test kit works wonders for a tank.

    If ammonia is 0 and Melafix isn't working, I'd recommend Kanaplex by Seachem. It's pure kanamycin, a broad spectrum antibiotic that functions extremely well in higher-pH water. I've used it on catfish before, and it has saved many lives. However, you should only treat with meds after ensuring that clean water won't fix it. Ensure that your water is clean (0 ammonia) first.
     
  9. poeticinjustices Well Known Member Member

    Hmm...Are you sure you're totally clear on the nitrogen cycle? Even if you are, maybe reading the article linked it blue will help you out.

    Forgive me if I'm telling you something you already know, but, just in case- Ammonia is the beginning of the nitrogen cycle, it's very important to test for. Basically, ammonia is produced directly by fish and also through the decay of organic matter in the tank. Leftover fish food, fish poo, dying plant matter, etc. It's very, very toxic even in low levels. A bacteria soon grows that consumes the ammonia and releases the nitrITE by-product. This is also toxic in low levels. Finally, a second bacteria grows which converts the nitrITE to nitrATE. This is far less toxic and is removed and controlled by regular water changes. So you can see why ammonia is vital. Everything is connected.

    So you can see why ammonia is so important to test for. Given this, it's entirely possible the tank isn't cycled and ammonia in the water, either a high level or extended exposure to low levels, is producing the fin rot.

    Plants can carry bacteria, yes. But bacteria is literally everywhere. Just like for people. A healthy fish in good water conditions and with a good diet typically has the ability to not become overwhelmed by these pathogens. But ammonia in the water will stress a fish, reducing his immune system, and allowing an opportunistic infection like fin rot to take hold.

    I would definitely invest in the ammonia kit as soon as possible. In the meantime, lots of water changes, a product like Prime to temporarily detoxify ammonia/nitrite. You can also lower the tank temp a little (and slowly) to help slow the infection.

    I think you'll see a lot of improvement with increased water changes as ammonia is most likely your problem. I would definitely investigate the potential ammonia issue before treating. If the issue does turn out to be ammonia, you'll need to cycle the tank. You can do this with Tetra SafeStart which will cycle it in about 14 days but, first, I would treat the fin rot as TSS requires two weeks with no water changes and water changes are going to be crucial to your loach's healing.