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Please help!! healthy Clown loach isn't eating/+ cures for ammonia poisoning?

Posted By: Lesley Meier <Tsiroth@home.com>
Date: Saturday, 24 July 1999, at 5:34 a.m.

I have a bit of a problem with a couple of my clowns, brought on by very poor judgement and impatience on my part. In a 38 gallon long tank I had three 1" tiger barbs, three 3" clowns, two 3" pictus catfish, one 2" rainbow shark, one 2" dwarf gourami and a 1 1/2" pleco. Last week, I added four 1" tiger barbs, and two 2 1/2" clowns all at the same time to what is a relatively new tank (ie. bio filter not fully developed yet). I added an ammonia filtration bag to my Aqua 200 filter at the same time as I added the new fish, figuring that would do the trick, and I'm very careful not to overfeed. All the same, I added too many fish too fast, and the ammonia level spiked very high. Now my two clowns that I have had the longest (which already went through a lesser ammonia spike about a month ago) have what I believe is ammonia poisoning. Both fish are breathing very very fast, and their mouths stay open wide all the time. I have carefully examined both fish and can't find any signs of fins shredding or whitespot---If anyone thinks it could still be disease, please let me know if there are other things I should look for. Yesterday I did a 10 gallon water change, after which ammonia levels were almost at 0, and today I did another 10 gallon water change. Ammonia level is fine now.

I have a 5 1/2 gallon "hospital" tank which I keep running at all times, and the chemical levels on it are just fine. I pulled one of the sick clowns out of the 38g and put him in the small tank (the other one is still in the large tank as catching him has proved impossible and I don't want to stress him any further with continued attempts). So I moved the one clown so I could get him into good water immediately. This was yesterday. He was not eating on his own, but I've been able to hand feed him small amounts of bloodworms without any trouble, and today he even gobbled up some bits that had dropped from my fingers onto the gravel. At the same time I moved the sick clown, I moved one of my other clowns with him so he would have a buddy. The clown I moved had been eating fine in the large tank and is extremely active all the time. Now though, the healthy clown won't eat. I've tried everything: bloodworms, freeze dried tubifex, sinking carnivore pellets, and fish flakes, and it just won't eat. I've left food in the tank, covered it to make it completely dark, and checked it again two hours later, and the food is completely untouched, I'm really beginning to worry. It's still very active, and its color is fine, but it's been 48 hours almost and it still won't eat. If anyone has any suggestions about getting him to eat or any advice about ammonia poisoning (apart from solving the problem which caused it, which I've done) please let me know. Thank you very much in advance. I love the clowns, and it would really suck to lose any of them, especially due to my own foolishness.

Thank you! -- Lesley

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