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yo-yo dead, but advice please for two survivors...

Posted By: ev <eco_evie@yahoo.com>
Date: Saturday, 9 March 2002, at 1:39 a.m.

i've had 3 yo-yo's for almost a year, in 72 g.community tank. now about 4 " long, seemed healthy. other bottom /algae feeders are
1 4" common pleco
2 3" CAE's (yes, going to trade in when hit 4")
1 cory
2 flying fox
2 ottos
plus 3 tetra and 6 harlequin rasboras

about 2 months ago i lost my dwarf gourami in this tank to scepticemia and furunculosis, culminating in pop-eye, several days after removing it to a hospital tank.

this past tuesday night i discovered one of the loaches was not coming out to eat- alarm bells went off. it wouldn't come out of its abs pipe.
i couldn't catch it but immediately did a 20% water change and cleaned all filters, another 5 % approx the next morning, to no avail. caught it that night (wednesday). on removal to hospital tank i discovered that its mouth area was blood red on all sides and a piece of flesh seemed to be missing from bottom on one side. most of its barbs, upper and lower, were still there.
it also exhibited continuously rapid gill movements, perhaps because it was not opening and closing its mouth when breathing as usual ( ?).
it was evident it could not eat.
thursday my lfs suggested erythromycin, which i started, but by then it was so weak i knew the situation was virtually hopeless.it died later that day. it was not thin, no sign of streaking, flukes, body fungus, bloating, etc.

as with the gourami, this seemed to happen very quickly, but symptoms different.
ammonia 0, nitrites less than 3, nitrates 12.5 (all tetra test),pH 7.4 (usual).
the other unusual thing about this fish was its markings - it has never exhibited the obvious "yo-yo" pattern but rather had a distinctly irregular design - on thursday at the lfs i checked a tank of probably 50 young yo-yo's, and not one was like this.

this is a planted tank, with the loaches as avid gardeners.i routinely do gravel cleanings, since i find the plant and fish debris builds up quickly,despite both mechanical and bio filters. about 2 weeks ago i put new carbon in the Hot magnum as well, plus there's an airstone sponge for bio, two sponge on a 301 powerhead for mechanical,an aquaclear, and a biowheel on the magnum....

my concern:
this seemed to be a very healthy fish, but that's how the gourami was (tho 3 mos earlier he had just about died, poss internal parasites, treated in separate tank and kept there for month after recovery,but on reintroduction he ruled this tank).

despite the nitrate reading of 12.5 -which my lfs said was fine and shouldn't be the problem - is the weekly plant/fish debris likely to cause this type of illness?
my lfs suggested getting rid of the hornwort, wisteria, etc,to reduce plant waste.

or...are the odds i'm more likely harbouring the same bacteria that killed the gourami..tho i know the loaches can live 4 yrs, whereas have read dwarf gouramis perhaps 1-1&1/2...
my fear is i have something that will gradually decimate the rest of the tank.
all of the other tank inhabitants seem very happy and active, although the remaining two loaches are a bit subdued without their playmate.

if the cause was bacteria / crud on the bottom, all immune systems being equal, i don't understand why some of the bottom feeders which appear to have soft tissue mouths -pleco, cae, flying fox - weren't more vulnerable than the loach.

the only other difference with this tank in the past few weeks has been possible slight increase in phosphates - am assuming this due to resurgence of red and thread algae.

has anyone experienced something similar to this? under circumstances,naturally not buying new loach, even with quarantine, until some idea of whether possibly dealing with a plague....

he was soooo much fun. :( and the others won't play tag much now without him.

thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions.



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