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Loach gurus I need assistance...

Posted By: Jay <jsdharma@bellsouth.net>
Date: Saturday, 16 February 2002, at 4:08 a.m.

I have been in the aquarium hobby for sevaral years now, my specialties are killifish, angels. Unfortunately I have never had much luck with Loachs. I recently decided to try my hand at the loachs again after a couple years of not having any.

Well, I still have bad luck with them. I could use assistance. 6 months ago I introduced 4 Botia striata in a densely planted 30 gallon with a shoal of danios, 5 killifish, 2 algae eaters (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri).

Water is acidic ph 5.7-6.0, soft, densely planted,
temp is about 80 degrees day, about 78 at night when lights are off. The plants provide tons of cover plenty of shade and I have a nice sized piece of driftwood riddled with hiddy holes. I DO NOT do any kind of co2 enrichment.

I lost 3 of my loachs within the first month. Dont know why! No flucuations in temp/ph/hardness, I dont have ammonia troubles. The plants do a superb job of bio filtration for me.

The last loach, made it or seemed to make it. He was picture perfect as you see botia in the books and he had a vigorous regiment of turning over every rock in the tank at least twice a day. All was well with him for a month or two though all his buddies died.

Recently though he has been acting very very strange and his attitude and coloration are very different.

All his dark stripes have bonded together to form thick black stripes, no more thread like stripes like in the pictures. He is sluggish and lazy now too, he disappeared for 7 days into the driftwood I thought he was dead(couldnt find the body) then one day I spotted him slowly creeping about the bottom but he wasnt foraging for food just moving about aimlessly. I have found his hiding spot, he has burrowed under the driftwood and most of the day he spends sitting there in the hole.

I have also spotted him sitting just outside the hole but upside down clinging to the roof of the driftwood for hours on end.

He shows no visible signs of illness to my knowledge though his stripes are different now.
The other fish totally ignore him. I am not sure that the killifish and danios even know he exists because they almost never hang out at the bottom.

The loach and the algae eaters do occasionally bump into each other but then they both swim away immediately in the opposite directions.

It is almost like he is on a 24 hour 7 day a week vigil to guard his hole. I checked it out and there is nothing there just the space itself.

Could anyone tell me what I maybe doing wrong or any possible ailments he could be suffering from.
 

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