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Kuhli loach stressed/dying
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kaoschan
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: 2003.09.09(Tue)22:03    Post subject: Kuhli loach stressed/dying Reply with quote

I just got 4 kuhli loaches yesterday and spent good number of hours trying to slowly adjust them to my tank. One was extremely stressed this morning, the other three seemed fine.

Well, one is now dead and another is as stressed as the first one was (gaping and extremely red gills). The other two I haven't seen at all, so I'm assuming they're OK.

Most of the posts I've seen here and on the web sites about kulis say how hardy they are, a few posts mention them as delicate during the transition. Is there anything I can do to minimize stress beyond just the gradual addition of my tank water to their holding water?

The parameters on my tank:
Capacity: 29gal
pH: 7.6
NH3/4: 0
NO2: 0
NO3: 5
GH: 20+ (I was shocked--my tap water is normally very soft)
KH: 5

Could the hardness of the water have been an issue? I'm not even sure my numbers for hardness were accurate, since my chemicals are pretty old (ammonia and everything else I know is still good since I just bought new ones). I currently have cherry barbs, an SAE, and a dwarf gourami who are just fine and who I have had for about a year or two (the barbs and SAE about 1 year, the gouramie about 2), as well as ghost shrimp.
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kaoschan@att.net
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Type-R
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Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Location: East Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: 2003.09.10(Wed)7:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi kaoschan,
Just to clarify, are the Loaches now in your 29 gallon?
It's just that you said
Quote:
Is there anything I can do to minimize stress beyond just the gradual addition of my tank water to their holding water?
Do you mean adding tank water to their container/bag before adding them to the main tank or are they in a quarantine tank?

I guess if they came from a LFS with soft water and then into gH 20+ it could well stress them (I'm not sure about this though). I don't see how if your tap water is normally soft how the tank could be that hard, maybe your test kit is off. I would darken the tank as much as you can and leave the lights off to minimise stress for now.
It is possible they have gill flukes which are irritating the gills and stopping them from breathing properly.

Hmmm Confused Sorry I couldn't be more help
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kaoschan
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: 2003.09.10(Wed)7:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did just actually add them to my 29gal. I know I should really have a quarantine tank, but I just don't have space for even a little tank. I've been lucky so far, never had any problems (besides this).

I have a little critter carrier that I dump the bag in, throw in an air stone, and add my tank water a little at a time. Of course, I found a thread that now actually recommends just throwing them into the tank, which has better success.

Well, my second loach has died as of this morning. It's all very upsetting. Still haven't seen the other two, I can only hope they're OK.
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Mario
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY, USA

PostPosted: 2003.09.10(Wed)8:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaoschan, I'm sorry to hear about your losses. I have gone through the same experience with my kuhlis (as have others). Apparently there are batches that get extremely stressed out during transport, together with the shock of adapting to a new environment, they sometimes just all die from unknown causes (no typical disease symptoms).

As far as your hard water is concerned, I think there are two possibilities how it goes from soft to hard (in addition to the test kit being wrong).

1. Your waterchanges: Do you change large amounts of water on a regular basis? This does not mean topping of evaporated water, but actually taking out old water and replacing it with fresh water. For example, if you do a waterchange now of about 50%, you should drastically reduce the hardness.

2. Your substrate or decorations: Do you have any gravel or decoration that's made out of CaCO3, like crushed coral substrate or limestone caves? This can slowly dissolve and significantly increase your hardness.

In any case, a hardness of 20 is not really a big issue. It would be nice though to figure out how it gets that hard.

Finally, the acclimatization procedure. I now follow the advice of companies that routinely ship fish. I do usually a couple of waterchanges in the days before the fish will arrive to minimize ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and other pollutants. When the fish arrive, I cut open the bags, pour out the majority of the water and dump the fish with the last bit of water into the tank. It helps to feed your fish before the new ones arrive and to turn of the light for the first day of your new fish. It helps to reduce stress.

Hope this lengthy post helps a little... mario
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shj
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.09.10(Wed)11:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear this too. I bought some kuhlies myself the other day. And yes I do not add tank water to the bag - as you learned more and more people say that this causes more harm that good.

Kuhlies do like to hide and mine hid for the first day and then gradually came out at feeding time.

I hope the others do well.

SHJ
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kaoschan
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Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: New York, NY

PostPosted: 2003.09.10(Wed)17:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for everyone's help. I'm actually really convinced that my test kit is just old. No matter what water I used, the color would never change to green like it's supposed to. I'm just going to buy a new test kit and see what that does.

And no, there is nothing in my tank that should affect hardness--well, that I know of. The only new thing I've added recently has been fuller's earth, in the form of the Schultz aquatic soil under the sand. So everything was squeaky clean when I got the kuhlis.

Oh well. I'll just have to see how my remaining guys do before I decide if I have the heart to get more.
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