Skinny young clown loach; doesn't seem to eat much

Linda1234

In my large tank i picked up two clown loaches about 6 weeks ago. One is doing fine but the other seems to be getting skinner and i suspect it hasn't eaten much in 6 weeks. The vendor indicates they treat the fishes for parasite for 2 weeks before selling. The fish is fairly young approx 2 inches long - maybe a bit less. The spines are beginning to show and i would say it is pretty weak. I'm not sure if it is a diet problem (wants some other type of food or whatever). The tank already has 5 2 1/2 year old clowns that are between 4 and 6 inches.
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Parameters: gh 7 kh 3 temp 82 during summer 78 during winter tds 140 nitrate around 15ppm ph around 7.1.

Everyone else seems fine and the other loach purchased with the ill fish has put on a lot of weight and is quite active. I won't be able to catch him until he is very weak as the tank has too much under growth. Still I was wondering if someone with a lot of experience with clown loach might have some ideas.
 

FishPlanet

Hello. You have already given quite a bit of information. Please fill out the emergency template. :)
 

Linda1234

Hello. You have already given quite a bit of information. Please fill out the emergency template. :)
What information are you looking for that is not provided ?
 

A201

Considering all other CL's in the group are thriving, my guess is the problem isn't disease, but likely internal injury. The noted Clown Loach might have been injured in transit or injured on the decor.
I am currently dealing with a similar situation. My Red Tail Loach, apparently smashed his face hard against the aquarium glass. Although still alive, the once hyper active Loach remains mostly stationary by a rock & has great difficulty eating.
No visible exterior injury or symptoms of disease. It's doubtful he will survive.
These things occasionally happen, especially to skittish schooling fish or boisterous, hi velocity, swimmers, like Botia Loaches.
 

Linda1234

Considering all other CL's in the group are thriving, my guess is the problem isn't disease, but likely internal injury. The noted Clown Loach might have been injured in transit or injured on the decor.
I am currently dealing with a similar situation. My Red Tail Loach, apparently smashed his face hard against the aquarium glass. Although still alive, the once hyper active Loach remains mostly stationary by a rock & has great difficulty eating.
No visible exterior injury or symptoms of disease. It's doubtful he will survive.
These things occasionally happen, especially to skittish schooling fish or boisterous, hi velocity, swimmers, like Botia Loaches.
Ok thanks. He still ha a lot of mobility just doesn't seem to be eating much. Guess I'll keep an eye on him and hope for the best. The other one i purchased with him is definitely thriving and the other 5 i've had for 2 years are growing a bit too rapidly. I was just wondering if there was some magic treatment or food i could try but i guess it would be difficult to diagnose even if you saw the fish. Oh well maybe he'll perk up.
 

NearMeBettas

Pictures and tank size would be helpful, thats all on the emergency template, could you please copy and paste it then fill it out?

With the information you have already given, id agree with A201 on the food. Id also run a piece of pantyhose over his decor to make sure nothing is sharp. If it snags, remove it.
 

Linda1234

The tank is several 100 gallons. This is a picture of the fish and the one next to it is one that was the same size when i purchased both together; the reference in size as to how much it has shrunk.
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A201 I do feed them NLS but most of the time the 1mm pellets which might be too large. I"ll make sure to add more of the .5mm pellets which might be easier for it to eat. I'm just not convenience it is eating. Frequently i'll see the other one sucking up flakes which it seems to ignore. These comments only focus on the two small ones naturally the older large ones gobble down everything in sight. Oddly they haven't gotten around to eating the mystery snails i tossed in last month.
ll2.jpg
ll1.jpg
 

NearMeBettas

The tank is several 100 gallons. This is a picture of the fish and the one next to it is one that was the same size when i purchased both together; the reference in size as to how much it has shrunk.
-
A201 I do feed them NLS but most of the time the 1mm pellets which might be too large. I"ll make sure to add more of the .5mm pellets which might be easier for it to eat. I'm just not convenience it is eating. Frequently i'll see the other one sucking up flakes which it seems to ignore. These comments only focus on the two small ones naturally the older large ones gobble down everything in sight. Oddly they haven't gotten around to eating the mystery snails i tossed in last month.
ll2.jpg
ll1.jpg
Have you tried frozen food yet?
 

A201

Looks like you've provided an excellent home for your Loaches.
There's really no way to tell if the sick Loach is suffering from "Wasting" disease, aka intestinal parasites, or internal damage due to injury.
Be a good idea to remove the Loach if it's obvious death is near. Don't allow the tankmates to graze on a potentially infected corpse.
Hope he gets better soon.
 

AvalancheDave

Do whatever it takes to catch it and put it in a hospital tank. Treat with metronidazole. It's very safe so you can give a 5X dose to make sure it works the first time.
 

Linda1234

Do whatever it takes to catch it and put it in a hospital tank. Treat with metronidazole. It's very safe so you can give a 5X dose to make sure it works the first time.
In USA which fish medicine contains metronidazole ? Hum. It is over the counter ? What dosage would i use per 5 gallons ? I can only find it at chewy? Ok sachem sells it. chewy has a gernic type but not instructions.
 

AvalancheDave

In USA which fish medicine contains metronidazole ? Hum. It is over the counter ? What dosage would i use per 5 gallons ? I can only find it at chewy? Ok sachem sells it. chewy has a gernic type but not instructions.

Seachem Metroplex is actually a decent value, IIRC. It's 70% pure so 190 mg in 5 gal will achieve 7 mg/L. One scoop is 125 mg per Seachem so I would use at least 3 scoops per 5 gal (a "double" dose) every other day for 3 treatments. Water changes aren't necessary unless water quality is deteriorating.

I dosed a drug from the same family at 80 mg/L but later dialed it down to 20 mg/L.
 

Linda1234

Seachem Metroplex is actually a decent value, IIRC. It's 70% pure so 190 mg in 5 gal will achieve 7 mg/L. One scoop is 125 mg per Seachem so I would use at least 3 scoops per 5 gal (a "double" dose) every other day for 3 treatments. Water changes aren't necessary unless water quality is deteriorating.

I dosed a drug from the same family at 80 mg/L but later dialed it down to 20 mg/L.
I was able to catch him this morning; turned out to not be that difficult but he was a bit stronger than i expected which is good news. I put him in my qt tank which is a 5 gallon pail; the water in that pail has 1 tbl of epson salt but he seems to tolerate it fine. When the drug arrives tomorrow i will begin treatment.

One question: On sunday i do water change of my pail which consist of swapping pails with a pail with fresh water and putting the fish and plants in the qt tank into the new pail along with the sponge filter.

Should I include epson salt int he fresh pail or just plain water ?
 

AvalancheDave

I was able to catch him this morning; turned out to not be that difficult but he was a bit stronger than i expected which is good news. I put him in my qt tank which is a 5 gallon pail; the water in that pail has 1 tbl of epson salt but he seems to tolerate it fine. When the drug arrives tomorrow i will begin treatment.

One question: On sunday i do water change of my pail which consist of swapping pails with a pail with fresh water and putting the fish and plants in the qt tank into the new pail along with the sponge filter.

Should I include epson salt int he fresh pail or just plain water ?

I don't think he needs the epsom salt so I wouldn't put it in the new water. I would do some sort of acclimation because rapid changes in salinity can be stressful.
 

Linda1234

I don't think he needs the epsom salt so I wouldn't put it in the new water. I would do some sort of acclimation because rapid changes in salinity can be stressful.
Ok thanks. I'll report back in a week. He seems to be spending a lot of time going down the sprout on the sponge filter so maybe he found something yummy down there.
 

Redshark1

Clown Loaches are starved for many weeks on their journey from the wild through the person that caught them to the wholesaler/exporter to the aquarium shop and finally to your tank.

My opinion is that some of them cannot take this starvation and never recover.

I have however fed a skinny one with live bloodworms which it took and I have it alive today 27 years later.

I believe the "skinny disease" syndrome is not a disease that can be diagnosed or treated but is a symptom of their long journey without food through changing conditions very different to their wild habitat.
 

Linda1234

Do you think I should skip treating him with Metroplex; also the only live food i can reasonably feed him would be bbs which is pretty small. Is it worth hatching some and seeing if he will eat it ?

Clown Loaches are starved for many weeks on their journey from the wild through the person that caught them to the wholesaler/exporter to the aquarium shop and finally to your tank.

My opinion is that some of them cannot take this starvation and never recover.

I have however fed a skinny one with live bloodworms which it took and I have it alive today 27 years later.

I believe the "skinny disease" syndrome is not a disease that can be diagnosed or treated but is a symptom of their long journey without food through changing conditions very different to their wild habitat.
 

86 ssinit

I don’t think the salt is going to bother him if it’s 1tbs or less in the bucket. Also try raising the temp in the bucket to 82-84. This should stimulate its appetite. Like you I’m not sure bbs will help. But regular brime shrimp may. Freeze dried tubifex may work too.
 

Linda1234

Just remember this is epson salt not salt so it doesn't add salinity. Anyway I'll post back in a week or two. He seems to really like the sponge filter which is hopefully a good sign.
 

Linda1234

Well I treated him as suggested above and the following week i treated him with prazipro. The issue i have is he hides in the sponge filter tube so i never see him eat. However i did put a lot of snails in the pail with him and i'm finding empty shells so maybe that is a good sign. I'll give him one more week in a fresh water of pail and then put him back in the main tank as he is quite stressed probably due to lack of companions.
 

Linda1234

This is just an update. I completed the treatments (not 100% sure either was required); and then left him in the pail for an extra week. I know he ate several of the small snails i left in the pail as well as some food but he wasn't too much larger. I decided to put him back in the full tank since he was obviously stressed and hiding all the time (which made feeding difficult). He immediately hid but after a few minutes found his old pal and started freely swimming around the tank and drop his stress colours which I hope are both a bit positive signs. Watching him swim i'm not sure he put much weight on as i can still see the spines but it does look like he put on at least a tiny bit of weight (I hope).
 

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