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  1. #1
    Seamusson is offline Junior Member Great white shark (admin)LoachQueenA darn nice guySiamese Fighting FishThe Berserker SushiKiller WhaleAdminPlecoStarfishCharacidiumTrident SharkCatfishEsox LucieusJack DempseyBarramundiDwarf PufferConvict

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    Sep 2017

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    Default Strange bulge in weather loach

    0 Not allowed!
    I am looking for insight & advise on the condition of one of my 8 yr old dojo/weather loaches.


    He has a bulge near his anus for the past several weeks which appears to my wife and I to be ever so slowly growing. When there is strong lighting behind it, it appears to be translucent as if it is fluid perhaps... like a sack of liquid or something. It strikes us both that his behavior is also changing slowly -- toward less appetite and less activity.

    I hope the photo provided exhibits the symtomology well enough. If not, here's more....

    At first, given the location and translucency of it, I thought maybe it's a bladder infection or something? I couldn't find anything online that seemed similar, but I fed everyone peas for about a week to see if things might clear up. No dice.

    I've had 2 of these guys for about 8 years now, so we're familiar with the odd behavior of "weather loaches", and the crazy things they do.... They've fooled us a million times looking like they're laying in some odd position seemingly dead. I'm also familiar with their feeding behavior. Over several weeks, this guy seems to be behaving increasingly as if his appetite has diminished significantly and as if he's become more lethargic. The past few days he's been hanging out in a corner behind and air hose & light wire, like they're holding him in place there (see photo).

    He seems to keep trying to find his proper buoyancy, but the back end of him keeps sinking, and he seems distressed by that. He likes to get behind that air hose which seems to hold him in place. Else he likes to rest on top of a buried air stone and sort of Jacuzzi in the bubbles -- like they help him feel more buoyant. I'm ruling out a swim bladder issue, though, as from everything I've read on that with dojo loaches, that would be causing him to float too much, not sink too much.

    My 8 years with these two have led me to find them very harty and resilliant, even if their behavior is often difficult to read. Because of that, I'm not sure how urgently we should be concerned, but I'd say on balance that he's not feeling well, and it's because of this mysterious bulge.


    Soon before we first noticed this a couple months ago, I had an algea eater nearly as old as them which had become increasingly agressive. I had to evict him, but to get him out, I had to uproot my whole fully planted aquarium. That was tramatic to everyone to at least some extent, but it really churned up the substrait and restarted the nitrogen cycle all over again.

    After a few weeks of nurturing the nitrogen cycle back to health, but still having persistent issues with water clarity (bacteria blooms), and thanks to a sweet sale at a pet store, I bumped the aqaurium from 20 gal to 30 gal, with a 50 gal capacity filter.

    Currently water clarity is crytal clear and chemestry appears to be as well, though nitrates are high still. Water temp is "room temp", which is generally in the mid 70's F.

    I would have to confess to having run the 20 gal tank beyond the bio-load I should have (2-3 goldfish as old as the dojos, 2 algae eaters (one got very large), a half dozen minnows and whatever snails could escape the dojos). Current residency is 2 dojos + 2 mature goldfish ... and some snails.

    While correlation isn't the same as causation, the timing of events here appear suspect. I just whish I had a clue about what this bulge is and how concerned I should be. We're very fond of these kooky characters.

  2. #2

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    2 Not allowed!
    good chance a bacterial infection, considering the history of the tank. You need to bring nitrates below 20ppm through water changes. Whenevner nitrates hit, 20ppm, do a 50% water change. Test must be done with a liquid test kit since strips are not accurate.

    For treatment, you need Kordon's methylene blue, epsom salt (pure magnesim sulfate), and kanaplex. In a separate container like a plastic tub, you need to dose for 1ml of methylene blue per gallon of water, 1 tablespoon of epsom salt per 5 gallons, and 1scoop of kanaplex per 2 gallons (per directions, repeat every 48 hours for a total of 3 doses. Do not feed the fish during the treatment of 1 week. Be careful with methylene it will stain.

  3. #3

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    inland northwest, U.S.A.

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    2 Not allowed!
    I know what you mean by being fond of your dojos.

    Don't know what I can add, as I've never had this problem with mine. The advice above sounds like it's worth trying, especially getting those trates down.

    Best of luck. Hopefully, you'll have a healthy and happy little dojo again, soon.
    20 gal. high: planted; 5 white cloud minnows, 4 golden White Clouds, several RCS, 2 blue shrimp, 5 Amano shrimp, several snails; Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 6 rosy barbs, 6 yellow glofish, 3 red glofish, 3 zebra danios, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 dojo loaches, 6 crimson spot rainbow fish, 12 large Amano Shrimp, several snails; AC110.

  4. #4

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    Quebec, CA

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    1 Not allowed!
    Sorry to hear your loach doesn't seem to be feeling very well. Rocksor really knows his stuff, I hope the meth blue, salts and Kanaplex help him out.
    What type of water conditioner are you using?
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD

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