Sick Clown Loach

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by drcarter, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. drcarterNew MemberMember

    I have a clown loach that is lethargic compared to its normal level of activity.
    I had a loach die last week that I thought was due to damage from high nitrite levels.
    I have had a rainbow fish and a bamboo shrimp die this week.

    Water conditions:
    Amm: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate:0 after recent water change
    ph: 8.0 (i need help with this too)
    kh is high gh is low (I use the liquid test kit and am out of the strips)

    20 gal long tank with live plants and 2 cave like areas made by flat rocks on holes in the sand.
    i use a aqua clear 30, a uv water sterilizer for a couple of hours a day, a tretra whisper 30, 1x1x1 airstone.
    2 weeks ago I had a huge ammonia spike that turned to a huge nitrite spike, but is now normal.
    Yesterday i found a dead bamboo shrimp and my rainbow fish was dead.
    My rainbow fish was new and I have never seen it eat.

    My loach is very thin and laying on its side on the bottom of the tank. Yesterday it was fine and eating like a pig. its gills are very red.

    Please help.
  2. Crissandra331

    Crissandra331Valued MemberMember

    Sorry for your loss & Welcome to Fishlore :)

    How long has the tank been cycled? and what is the temperature?

    Loaches are a little more sensitive than other fish when in comes to water fluctuations. Also Clown Loaches require much more space than a 20 gallon, they require at least 65 gallons and are best kept in at least 3 but ideally 5 or more.
    Your pH is also on the very high side of what clown loaches are known to adapt to water wise... this could be one of the reasons, but I think your ammonia & nitrite could be the perp too especially with the shrimp dieing. I'd keep up on your water changes and try to match the water as close as possible to whats already in your tank. I'd also look into getting a bigger set up for the clowns, or possibly consider finding them another home.
  3. KarlieValued MemberMember

    For starters, Clown Loaches need a much larger tank than a 20 gallon.
    Second, you need to cycle your tank BEFORE adding fish - especially sensitive ones like Clowns. The Ammonia spike you had could be what is killing your Clown.

    Since you already have the Clown and he is not doing too well.. I would get Stress Coat by API, Quick Start by API, and Ammo Lock (which I think can be any brand). Do a 50% water change and use the Stress Coat and Quick Start. If at some point you get ANY readings on Ammonia use the Ammo Lock.

    As as for ph.. You can easily get powder/liquid from the fish store to correct the ph and bring it to the levels you need. The only downside is you have to be very very careful not to adjust the ph too much in a short period of time or you will kill your fish. Also, most ph adjusters kill live plants so be sure to remove any you have before adjusting ph. From what I know Clowns like a high ph but mine live happily in 7.0.

    Clown Loaches like to "play dead" from time to time so hopefully he is just playing a big joke on you.. It's unlikely but hey you never know!
    I would give him an actual cave from your LFS and also a bigger tank if he makes it!
  4. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Red gills sound like ammonia poisoning, even though you've now got it down it could be suffering the after effects of the spike, your tank is also too small for clown loaches.
    How long has the tank been set up & was the filter fully cycled before adding fish?
  5. OP

    drcarterNew MemberMember

    My tank is well cycled and large enough for these 2 inch loaches for now, my lfs sold them as a fish that will stay small. The caves are adequate and larger than many of the ones I would buy.

    I am having a hard time lowering my ph. I've used 3/4 of a bottle of ph down over the last few weeks and it's only gone down .4.

    My ammonia spike happened when my shrimp that died molted.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  6. Crissandra331

    Crissandra331Valued MemberMember

    Well sadly most times LFS are very very wrong. And in this case they were. They will get at least 6 inches. You should always stock your tank for adult size rather than juvie fish, because most young fish will grow at rapid rates. I would consider stocking your tank accordingly to your tap. If your tap is consistently at 8.0. I would look into species like platys, guppies, mollies. Possibly some rainbow fish. Some small cichlids that come from Lake Tanganyika. But I wouldn't try to keep any fish that prefer acidic water or low pH cause you cannot provide that. And I always advise against adjusting your pH chemically especially if your not a very seasoned fishkeeper cause pH spike more than 0.2 can cause death to your fish. It says directly on the bottle its a irritant and you've been pouring it in your tank for the last few weeks.
    I would just do some more research on fish keep your tank size in mind, 20 gallons you are some-what limited when it comes to certain stocks.

    Also would ask how often you change the water?
    Once again how long your tank has been cycled?
    And would also finish answering the questions in your profile so we can more accurately answer your questions.
  7. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    Star.gif I have merged 2 of your threads both on the same topic of your ill fish. Please only create 1 thread per topic to prevent confusion among members. Too, I have moved your thread from How Do I (section best for questions concerning navigation around the forum) to Freshwater Fish Disease section of the forum.



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice