Loaches Attacked Goldfishes?

I caught the two dwarf chain loaches nipping at the goldfishes’ fins yesterday, and quickly netted them out of our Goldfish Tank and placed them into the Main Tank instead.

A snapshot before the loaches were removed:

However, when we were feeding the goldfishes today, we noticed that both our Ranchus, Emo and Momo, were suffering from bruises at their spinal area. It appeared that some scales have pealed off, and it could be due to attacks from the loaches before they were removed, or some abrasion against some sharp surfaces, the prime suspect being the bridge ornament.

We have re-adjusted the bridges to allow for more space for the goldfishes to go under. Hopefully this will remove the latter source of injury. We hope Emo and Momo will recover from their injuries soon.

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Guppies’ Epidemic

It has been a while since we updated on the status of our Guppy Tank, one of the main reasons being an epidemic had broken out in both our tanks since beginning of May.

Guppies started dying one after another, mainly suffering from fin and tail rot diseases. We tried to rescue the initial infected by isolating them into quarantine tanks and treating them with salt and Melafix, but those did nothing to help them.

Then the disease started to spread rapidly in both tanks simultaneously, the link between them unknown. The only similarity that we could determine was we stopped introducing Benefiical Bacteria and Vitamins solutions during each water change, since both had run out at roughly the same time. We thought the Ocean Free New Water solution would be sufficient to provide healthy and dechlorinated water to our fishes, but it appeared that it just wasn’t enough.

And so the guppies started to have their tails broken, leading to death gradually. From the videos/photos below, you will be able to see how our guppy population decreased drastically over a short period of time, leading to near extinction:

Taken on 2nd May 08, where many beautiful, active guppies were still swimming happily, oblivious to what tragic future was laid in front of them:

By 13th May 08, a handful of guppies had already passed away, especially the beautiful males:

On 19th May 08, the number of guppies had dropped drastically, leaving only a few surviving guppies (mostly females) still alive and kicking:

It’s saddening to see our entire collection of guppies just got hit by such an epidemic, but there was nothing much we could do.

Perhaps it’s time to bring our fish rearing hobby to another direction…?

Evil Loach Updates

Tonight when I arrived home, I could still see the loach nipping away at the weakening Pretty Jr. Irritated at its aggressive behaviour, I continued to try netting out the loach, finally succeeding on my third try, stirring up some plants in the process.

Despite finally catching the culprit, we did not have an idea of what to do with him. So in order to keep the other fishes safe and acting as a punishment for his evildoings, we left him netted up while keeping the net secured and partially submerged in water.

We left him for quite a while before deciding to release him back into the tank, monitoring to ensure that he would not do more misdeeds. If he does the same thing again, I will make sure he will be punished again.

Meanwhile, we realised that Pretty Jr was getting weaker by the moment, with her rear body dipping downwards as she lost the strength to paddle in the water with her tail. She then started to rest her body amidst the plants.

At the same time, Leopard started to rest himself on some plants near the surface too, though he did not appear to be harrassed by the loaches. Don’t know what to expect next…

Evil Loach

Yes, only shortly after the new Dwarf Chain Loaches had been added to the Main Planted Tank (see Arrival of the new Loaches), we have spotted at least one of them happily chasing after the fishes (guppies and rasbora) and nipping at their tails or body.

I started noticing that after Pretty’s daughter Pretty Jr was being ‘attacked’ continuously by a loach. Even if she started swim away weakly, the loach would continue to nip at her. I had tried to net the loach up but he was always too fast to be caught.

We went off from the aquarium for a while, and returned an hour later. We were shocked when we saw a pile of orangish mass dangling from Pretty Jr’s abdomen, just as we were wondering what that was, the pile dropped off and we could finally realise that it was an entire mass of eggs!

Seeing the eggs, the loach swifly swam towards it and tried to consume them. Was that the reason why he kept attacking her?

Anyway, we knew something’s wrong with Pretty Jr but there was little that we could do, as netting her into another tank would only stress her further. I tried to catch the aggressive loach but was still in vain.

The loach is still positioning itself near Pretty Jr…

The Unfortunate Oto

We have bought an Oto several weeks back to be placed into the Goldfish tank so that it can help to clean up the brown algae (diatoms) that was starting to build up in the tank. To our surprise, the tank was clean and white within a day!

Just as we thought that would be the end of the story, we discovered the Oto was trapped in the ornamental plant that we have placed in the tank. Initially, I thought he was simply resting admist the fake plant, so did not pay too much attention on that.

It was until a few days later, when I started noticing that algae was starting to form up again, and the Oto was still at the exact same position! It was then I quickly helped to relieve him from the plant he was stucked in.

Unfortunately, the poor soul’s lower body seemed to be distorted from the prolonged stress of staying in the same position, and had difficulty swimming properly.

Afraid that he might be bullied by the goldfishes, we quickly netted him out and placed him in a quarantine tank, hoping that he would recover soon. Unfortunately they did not occur as he was found dead the next morning.

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It was only recently that an Albino Corydoras had died in the main tank because of being trapped in the Riccia nettings, and now another tragedy occurred.

The ornamental plant was also removed from the Goldfish tank for cleaning, though no concrete plans have yet been made on what to do next, whether we were to place another Oto into the tank.

After a day or so, I decided to transfer one of the Otos in the Guppy Tank (there were two) into the Goldfish tank, as the algae started growing again.

It was only until a few days back when I decided to take the old ornamental bridge, which was removed from the Main tank a couple of months ago during the big revamp. Having kept dry for so many months, any algae residing on it should already have died.

Now with the bridge in the Goldfish tank, the Oto will have a place to rest and hide, and more algae for him to consume. The overall tank’s appearance has also improved significantly. Most importantly, there’s no longer the worries of the Oto getting stucked.

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Snails vs Loaches

It has been several weeks since we first added plants to the Guppy Tank to beautify the scenery. I have checked thoroughly that no snail nor their egg will get through my inspection, before placing them into the tank.

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Yet once again, these snails somehow managed to slip through my inspection, and signs of snails started appearing in the tank. At first, I spotted a few medium sized snails, which I immediately removed from the tank. A few more appeared, and I continued to pick them out the tank manually. There was no way so many snails of this size would have passed my eyes, so either they were very tiny then and had grew very fast, or they were all born from an egg that I’ve overseen.

Although I had a bad feeling after that, I didn’t expect the worst to happen — several very small snails were spotted on the walls of the tank! This meant that a horde of second generation snails had already surfaced, and it would be very hard to eliminate them now, as likely a large number of them had already spawned.

The thought of getting some Dwarf Chain Loaches immediately came to my mind. We had three of them in our main Planted Tank (see Dwarf Loach – Botia Sidthimunki) and since then, it was evident that the number of snails had gone down, even though I had stopped manually crushing or removing them. Though we have never witnessed the snail-eating by the loaches, the drop in numbers was already indicative of their capabilities.

As such, I went down to Qian Hu again, and bought another three loaches at S$3.00 each. I then placed them into the Guppy Tank after floating the bag on the surface for 30 minutes. They looked nervous but settled down pretty quickly thereafter. As for the snail-eating process, they would probably take a while to get used to the environment completely before starting on their feasts.

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At night, I noticed some black brush algae growing on one of the bridge ornaments, and so I took it out, wanted to manually scrub them away. I washed the bridge using a sprinkler and let the waters fall into a small scoop. I looked at the ‘debris’ that fell into the scoop:

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…And realised that there were actually snails! And lots of them!

They were small in size and would be barely noticeable. That was probably how the snails got into the Guppy Tank in the first place, given their small sizes that was virtually undetectable by the naked eye.

Now let’s hope the loaches will help us do the rest…

Fights between Pretty and Fei Fei

Pretty had been transferred to the quarantine tank since a week ago, after Cat noticed a hole in her dorsal fin. Worried that she might have been infected with the infectious fin rot disease, we quickly placed her into quarantine, dosed with Melafix daily.

A week had passed and although the hole in her fin had not healed, there was no worsening of her condition. Thus I decided to shift her back into the planted tank, seeing that she was started to feel very lonely.

Fortunately, she assimilated back into her home pretty quickly, and started her usual behaviours.

However, after I had placed some sinking food pellets into the tank, and the fishes started going after them, I noticed Fei Fei, our other female guppy, started poking Pretty with her mouth. Pretty also did not just let herself bullied, and fought back as well. This occurred several times in succession, and I managed to take down a video on the fight.

I had enquired their behaviours on the forums, and the majority feedback that it was normal for the guppies to challenge each other once in a while.

Although I don’t see the fights happening again so far, I couldn’t help but suspect that the hole in Pretty’s fin was caused by these fights.