Sad Clown Loach...

ethand

Hey guys,
Long story short: I have a 16cm (7in) clown loach who’s not happy - his colouring is greyed, he’s hardly eating & I don’t know what to do. The heater is broken & I think that’s why he’s unhappy, but I’ve decided to rehome him & get rid of this tank as it’s not suited to me. My friend who is taking him could be up to 1month before his tank is set up & ready, though, and I want to be able to care for him as best as possible until then.
Any clues as to what I can do? I’m not keen to spend $90 on a new heater that I’ll only use for a month & then sell with the tank that I’ll maybe get $100 for including filter, heater & everything!

Long essay version with details:
Basically I’ve made a bit of a mistake. I went & bought a 240L tank last week because it was a great price & I was wanting a bigger tank. My thinking was I would transfer my other fish from their 40L tank into a nice big tank & it’d all be great.
The tank came with a 16cm clown loach, a 17cm Pleco & a 15cm Barb (I think, not sure). They weren’t looking too great & the tank was pretty dirty, but I figured that with a bit of TLC, I’d get it looking great & the fish happy & healthy in no time! I’ve since realised it’s not so simple due to the size of the tank & the fact I don’t have any tank big enough to relocate the fish to while I clean/aquascape this tank, plus small plants from a 40L tank with a 16cm loach don’t stand a chance.
I’ve also realised just now that the heater in the tank is broken! I suspect it’s been broken since before I bought it - I recalled thinking that the water didn’t feel like it was 27 degrees when we were draining it at the previous owners house.
Now I’ve also realised that since I live alone & travel a fair bit on weekends, I really shouldn’t have this sort of setup. Cleaning/maintenance/shifting it is too hard for one person by themselves & I should’ve just stuck with my heavily planted nano tank with my Betta, despite how much I love & am fascinated by these other fish.
So I have a friend who’s said he’d love to take on my clown, pleco & Barb, but he’s just gotten back from 1yr away & has bought a new, huge tank (like a full wall one) & hasn’t set it up yet. His fish are being looked after still by someone else (who I don’t know & lives ages away from me), so he wants to wait til his new tank is set up before he takes on these fish. But this could be 1 month or more, if the tank isn’t even built yet, let alone cycled, etc.
I just don’t know what to do to make this clown happy & healthy until then. I can’t realky afford to throw away $90 on a new heater that will basically not add any value to the tank when I sell it in a months time & the cheap ones on eBay will take 2 weeks to get here! Are there any other tips that might make him happier/eat better in the meantime?
Tank temp is about 21 degrees without the heater, but the weather is warming up here, so it might improve...

Cheers

Ethan
 

Jellibeen

Does your friend who is taking him have a heater? maybe you could use that while your friends tank is getting set up.

Did your new tank come with an established filter?
 

ethand

Hey Jellibeen sadly not - his heater is still in use in his old tank (which his friend is looking after with his fish)
And yeah the tank came with an established canister filter, I ran a water test on Friday & it was coming back as ammonia 0, nitrite 0 & nitrates 5ppm (before a 30% water change). Nitrates in this tank I don’t have an outlet for as it has no real plants in it... I’m scared to put plants in a tank with a Loach that size!!
 

coralbandit

Clowns really do prefer warmer water .
They are one of the few fish listed to be compatible with discus .
I thought fish stuff was expensive here but $90 for a heater ?
I buy the expensive ones and they range @$30 if I look hard enough on the net .
Good luck and wish we were closer ,my 11 clowns in my 180 would love a new friend .They have been with me for 11-16 years at least !
 

ethand

Yeah that’s why I offered him to my friend - he has 6 clowns already, definitely had them a while already when I met him ~7yrs ago! It’ll be great for him to have some friends!
Yeah man, in Australia, everything is expensive! If I look online, I can find heaters for ~$25 (eBay, not sure on quality), but they’ll take 2+ weeks to get here anyway! If I buy from a local shop, it’s $80-100 depending on the brand. I’ve looked in local classifieds, but the only 2 I can find for sale are 1hr+ drive away each direction....
Just thought I’d see if there was anything else that I might be able to do to keep him as happy as possible!!
 

Redshark1

My advice on heaters is get the best and always keep a spare.

In my experience the only economy with heaters is false economy.

My Clown Loaches seem to prefer 26C. I heard they are more susceptible to disease (i.e. Ich) at lower temps. Note that 26C doesn't suit some other fish.

Also, I'm not sure Clown Loaches do well without others of their kind. Having enjoyed the interactions within my group of six over 25 years I wouldn't keep one alone.

I'm sorry this may not help you but it may help guide others reading this thread.
 

col7on

Your friend could use bacteria quick start to get the tank setup quicker
 

Jellibeen

You could also give your friend the established filter you have.
 

ethand

Thanks guys, yeah I’ve read that they like being in company of their own type & warmer temps. My other fish & my friends other fish like similar conditions, but I just wasn’t anticipating the heater not working when I got this setup last week! Tbh I wasn’t thinking much at all...
My mate could use his own filter, tank water, etc. from his own tank (which is being looked after by a friend of his) to get the cycle happening faster, but the tank literally hasn’t been assembled yet. It’s still in a box. And he hasn’t given me any indication as to when it will be assembled. That’s going to be the key in how long it is til I can give him this loach.

Like you say, Redshark1 I'm also sceptical of cheap heaters. But since I plan on getting rid of this whole tank once the fish have been rehomed, I don’t see the point in paying $90 for a heater I’m going to use for maybe 1 month max.

I still haven’t gotten this clown to eat like my baby Clown Loaches do (they’re in a smaller heated tank), but I have at least seen him eat a bit now, and the food I give him at night disappears by morning. I think he’s still just scared of me whenever I come near the tank! I think his colouring is also slightly improving... perhaps partly because he’s settling in, but probably also because the weather has warmed up heaps in the last couple of days to around 28C, so his water is more like 23-4C now.
 

Redshark1

Yep, I think you're right there.
 

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