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Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

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Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:31 pm

I had bought these from Pet Smart recently. I know they were eating the snails as I have seen them eat. They tended to hide quite often & I would see at least one of them laying on it's side, which they are known for as they "sleep".
I looked in the tank tonight to see one laying on it's side, but the black markings were faded & there was a dark green patch on it's under-side.
I then started looking around for the second one, only to find it's remains on the intake of the big filter. All that was left was the head.
In that tank, I have one large ID shark, 2 baby ID sharks, 2 large common plecos & several Oto cats.

Is it possible that there is something wrong with the snails? Both filters have a bunch of snails in them, so the only real way to get rid of them is to do a complete tear down of that tanks and that is just not possible.The water tests out fine, with a small increase in ammonia. I do 50% water changes and gravel cleans each week as well.
http://i59.tinypic.com/2dgm261.jpg

Any ideas as to what this is?

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by caoder on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:54 pm

Clown Loaches are know to be rather sensitive to nitrates. They need very clean and highly oxygenated waters. Maybe these 2 parameters are not met?
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:12 pm

There has not been an issue with either nitrates or nitrites in a long time. Just the odd ammonia spike.
I have a bubbler running 24/7 along with the bubbles that are created from the big filter.

There's also no lid on the tank.

http://i60.tinypic.com/2h73rjs.jpg

In the pic where the two output tubes are, it creates a lot of air bubbles & breaks the water surface.

The Oto cats are the smallest and are doing well.

So it wouldn't be an issue with the snails themselves?

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by GaryE on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:33 pm

Nope, not the snails. The common plecos and good old fashioned overstocking. Clown loaches are the most delicate fish in there, so they will always be the canary in the coal mine. .
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by alexmtl on Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:42 pm

Sorry to hear about the clown loaches.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:02 pm

Well, what can I do about the snail issue since I can't use loaches now?

Has anyone looked at the pic I posted of the loach with the green area?

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by caoder on Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:06 pm

For Snails:
Moderate your feeding and use manual removal. Sink an algae wafer in a plastic bottle and check on it the next morning.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:00 am

I feed the fish once a day. What kind of plastic bottle are we talking about?

First one was here for at least a month and the second one was a few weeks or so.

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by caoder on Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:36 am

For large carnivore, I only feed every few days. And any plastic bottle where snails can go in, but fish can not. If the otos get in, just get them out when you remove the snails.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:05 am

I feed all the fish shrimp pellets and the plecos get algae wafers & sometimes zucchini.
I do put in bloodworms sometimes for the younger ID sharks.

How long should the bottle be left in for?

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by caoder on Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:11 am

over night or if you want to be diligent, check every few hours.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by cephalotus on Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:00 pm

I don't think you mentioned how large your tank is?
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:07 pm

It's 130 gallons.

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by GaryE on Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:01 pm

We have had the discussion before (going back to the CAC days), but for the record, 3 ID sharks (even one ID shark) shouldn't be in a tank that size, and large common plecos are phenomenal waste producers - I would not consider one in my 120 gallon. I know you disagree with me - fair enough - but at least try to refrain from adding to that tank as the end result of overstocking is always a die off. You like your fish and want to keep them, and I can understand that. We've all been there. But more fish in there is a disaster percolating.

If you can get away with it and the fish thrive, good - I'm delighted to be wrong about these things. But if you are consciously trying to manage an overloaded tank and a delicate, clean water species dies...
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:14 pm

But would it have not died sooner if it was due to not liking the water?
They both acted like typical loaches and showed no signs of anything bad incoming.

What I am trying to do is rid my tank of the snails and since these guys seek them out, there was no better way.

And yes, I know the 2 IDs will get big. The one big one has not grown at all in the 3 years we have had him. So no worries with him. And yes, we do have plans on getting a bigger tank one day.

As I have mentioned before, the water quality is fine with the odd increase in ammonia towards the end of the week and that is when I change 50% of the water.

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Shell on Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:26 pm

I can't believe I am saying this as I don't like adding things to eat other things  Razz But, what about assassin snails? Have you tried them? I'm not sure about their bio-load as I've never considered them here (we actually have a "pest snail" tank with typical ramshorns and ponds - I have a huge heart!!). Clown loaches are so delicate, I feel like they have gotten such a bad review in that many people recommend them for snail problems. We'd love to have a 'clown loach only' tank someday, and so we have done extensive research on them - they pretty much seem to get sick if you "look at them the wrong way"!!

It sounds like the snail problem has gotten to a frustrating point for you - I know that they can be eye sores, especially small ramshorns!  I would give the bottle method mentioned a try - I know that when we feed our trumpet snails in the 20g (yes, we purposely feed them - some may call us odd!), they pile on top of each other to eat the plec pellets!!

Sorry to hear that you lost the two little finned babies  Crying or Very sad

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by goldfishbetalover on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:26 pm

sorry you lost your fish......
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by cephalotus on Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:50 pm

I second Shell's recommendation. assassin snails are very efficient predators of pest snail species. I can't sustain any ramshorn population at all in my 20 gal that contains ~6-7 assassins; any ramshorns get picked off within 24 h of adding to the tank.

the pond snails seem to be faster or not as delicious. I had a couple that successfully evaded predation from assassins for months. they did not successfully reproduce though until iremoved the assassins - now there are a ton of pond snail babies emerging.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by CAAIndie on Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:08 am

I'm sorry to hear you lost your loaches. Seeing ammonia spikes does not mean the water is fine. What kind of ammonia levels are you noticing? I expect that you are simply exceeding the bio load for the tank. What kind of nitrate levels are you seeing prior to water changes? Unfortunately sensitive fish (even quite hardy fish) can not deal with ammonia, particularly over extended periods. I do wish you luck.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:32 am

On the loaches, I always research fish before I buy any & none of the info stated they were delicate fish. Had I know, I would not have bought them.

As for the ammonia, it's not really a spike persay, more of a slight increase to above norms.
I had the water tested at Big Al's recently and that was the only part that increased. All the rest were fine. Will be doing another test sometime today again and am also doing a weekly half water change.

Would Big Al's have those assassin snails?

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Starfish on Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:27 pm

Yes, I have purchased assassins from Big Al's. They normally have them in stock.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Sandman1969 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:12 pm

I went to Big Al's here in London. Doesn't keep them in stock. But he suggested Snail Zap.

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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by Suprd71 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:37 pm

I strongly suggest not putting stuff that kills stuff in your tank. Go online and read the reviews of this product. More people said it did nothing as opposed to helping.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by caoder on Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:15 pm

Really, a little bit of manual removal goes a long way. A few nights of removing and they will be at a manageable population. In most cases when the snail population goes out of control it is directly related to the amount of food going into the tank.
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Re: Lost both Clown Loaches - Need help!

Post by GaryE on Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:36 pm

First, snail zap's active ingredients do not show up in a web search. That's sketchy.
Word on fish street is it's copper, and copper strong enough to kill snails has to be a fierce dose. Copper has negative effects on fish health. I'll use it for parasites that threaten the lives of fish, as there's nothing to lose, but not for cosmetic reasons.
It won't save you work, either. The last thing you want in that set-up is decomposing snails. So every corpse will have to be manually removed - you may as well do it while they are alive and keep the copper out of the tank.
Copper affects the liver of a fish, and can easily cause acute poisoning, especially in an acidic tank - a polluted tank. How toxic the treatment would be to snails depends as well on the local water, and the state of the water when the tank is dosed. This is why some reviews swear by it and others claim it does nothing.
The damage might not be immediately obvious - the fish may look fine, but be internally damaged. You already have one unhealthy ID shark there (stoppage of growth in a fish is a serious sign - they grow continually until they die when healthy) and adding more stress to the fish to get rid of an overfeeding symptom isn't a good idea.
I constantly battle snails in my livebearer grow out tanks, and I hate the things. But I long ago lost all faith in magic bullets. I pull them out by hand and introduce them to my turtles.
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