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Dying Clown Loaches

Posted By: John Evans <jevans@lunge.freeserve.co.uk>
Date: Tuesday, 22 January 2002, at 5:31 p.m.

I have been keeping a 20 gallon tank for over 2 and a half years now initially with small fish such as danios,tetras and white clouds.
When the tank was fully matured after 3 months or so I decided to try my hand with a few Clowns.
I went to my local dealer and purchased 4 tiny (about 1.5" long)clowns.
After they had settled in the tank for a week or so they started to show the humourous behaviour they are renowned for such as sleeping at all angles,play wrestling and generally having a good time.
I feed them on flake food,sinking pellets,algae wafers,bits of vegetable,freeze dried brine shrimp,tubifex and bloodworm to vary their diet.
About a year and a half ago I had a major outbreak of Whitespot(ICH)and after trying King British WS3 with no success I tried a more modern King British whitespot remedy which cured the disease completely in 3 of the clowns but unfortunately one died.
For the last year or so my tank has had no real problems apart from losing the odd 1 or 2 small fish.
My three remaining loaches are now 4.5 to 6" long have beautiful colour and are as mad as ever.
Recently just as I was about to go away for the weekend I noticed that two of the clowns tails had a slight grey/white film around the edges so I decided by consulting my book on fish health that this may be velvet disease as I could also see a slight sheen on the bodies of these fish.
I therefore decided that I had to put into the tank some anti protozoan/fungus medication.I actually used Protozin by Waterlife Research Ltd.
The instructions said that this medication cures Whitespot,Fungus,Velvet and Costiasis amongst others.I also tried a natural remedy (Melafix by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals)at the same time.
Imagine how I felt when arriving back a day and a half later to see my beautiful loaches covered in horrible looking semi opaque slime with fins clamped and falling to pieces and swimming 'Head up'gasping at the surface of the tank.
I immediately tested the water for ph,ammonia nitrate,nitrite amongst other things and found nothing wrong.
All of my loaches later died!!!
I perform regular water changes(20% every two weeks)and hoover the fine gravel every other change.I also perform the water tests every 4 or 5 days.
PLEASE!PLEASE!HELP ME I am heartbroken and still don't know what the problem was.
I would love to get some more but don't want to subject them to the same fate!!!!


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