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Why am I the bane of all loaches?

Posted By: Mike R. <XfeeliumX@hotmail.com>
Date: Thursday, 29 January 2004, at 11:22 p.m.

You guys will be so infuriated with me when i make this statement... i've been trying to get a school of 5 clowns going for about a month. in all honesty, i've probably gone through like, 16 clowns. it's so depressing! my ammonia levels- 0. nitrite- 0. nitrate- minimal. i did a thorough water change (after my post about water clarity) and even when the water was cloudy, levels weer all low. the water has been crystal clear for two days. but... this is what happens when i get clowns. please read this carefully, as i really do love these fish and want to establish them, but i fear i am loach kryptonite: i get the clown. i take him/her home. he/she floats in the bag for about an hour and a half to acclimate, and then, it's into the tank. i don't have the money to afford making a Q-tank, but the people who i get the fish from, i'm pretty good friends with, and are quite knowledgeable about fish, and they always pick me out the loach that "they'd buy". and they DO seem hardy, healthy, and watnot... but by the next day or two, whichever poor loach it is is just dead! i don't/can't understand what this could be, besides rotten terrible luck. through all the clowns i've had, four have held strong, and those four are still around. i'm hoping that today (after i got another clown in exchange for the one that died today which i got yesterday, who replaced the one that died that i had gotten the day before, etc. etc.). when the clowns get into my tank, they always check it all out. but then... it seems... well. they pick a place to wallow around in, and then they just die! i'm observing this one clown who as of today, i have seen do nothing but stay vertical, right up at the surface, in the back corner of my tank. i'm feeding them the right foods, keeping the temps right, the water is clear, and free of toxins. i just don't understand. could someone tell me why i seem to be the end of all loaches? i'm so partial to these fish, and it breaks my heart everytime i see one dead at the bottom of the tank. is there anything i'm still not doing right? is it really just not common to find a fish with staying power? i'm at a loss. i'm ready to give up becos i'm sick of feeling like the black plague... but i know stopping now would be something i'd regret. but on the other hand... i have a VERY healthy weather loach, and a very nice tiger botia. my yoyo seems to lay in the plants all day. but y'alls descriptions of how active and fun clowns are just doesn't seem to match. all i see them do is stay in a corner, barely eat, and then die. and i'm doing everything by the "future" book. what could it be??

a very desperate starting hobbyist.

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