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I am desperate! Clown Loach concussion??

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Rachel1223, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. Rachel1223

    Rachel1223 New Member

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    On Monday I had noticed my Clown Loach acting funny, he was lying on the substrate sideways and looked pretty out of it. I thought one of his eyes looked a tiny bit swollen so I was scared of popeye at first. It was very worrisome so I did some research and came to the conclusion it had to be some sort of concussion. Is that even possible? I am guessing so since it is essentially trauma to the brain. It is possible that he hit his head or rammed into the side of the tank while playing around with the other loaches. I did notice he had a small bump on his head.
    I decided to turn the lights off and let him rest. I kept checking on him every 30 minutes or so to see if there was any change in his behavior. He was in different spots each time I checked on him, but he continued to lay on the substrate and not really react to other fish swimming around him. He was clearly still breathing but did not look good. I did more research and didn't seem to find any other possibilities so I let him be for the night.
    On Tuesday morning he was pretty much acting the same as the day before. Around noon that day, I decided to separate him from everyone else to minimize excitement. I got a critter cage from the pet store, added a pvc hide, and put him in that in the tank so all the water parameters would stay the same. He was just separated so he wouldn't be picked on and could relax and rest alone.
    On Wednesday he seemed to act and look a lot better. He was sitting up more and being a little more active and alert. Not back to normal but a definite improvement. I tried feeding him a very small amount of bloodworms that night and he did not seem very interested. He may have gotten one or two small worms but nothing like a normal feeding. I got the food out of his container and let him rest that night.
    Thursday morning he seemed a lot better. I was tempted to let him back into the tank because he was swimming pretty normally and was a little more active and aware. I opened the top of his container lid and let him be, thinking if he wanted to leave and was willing he would. His other clown loach friends got in there with him and were being a little rambunctious so I again separated him from everyone (still in the tank, just in his own container). I again let him be overnight.
    Friday morning and all day Friday he seemed to stay in his hide. He was still moving and scooting but he stayed in the pvc tube. I let him be because I didn't want to stress him out further.
    Today, Saturday, he was doing the same thing in the morning but then when I checked on him in the late afternoon he was at the top of his container slowly swimming in circles. His eye was also swollen, just one of them. I then carefully acclimated him to my hospital tank. He is still in his container so no one can bother him but it is almost midnight and he is still just swimming very slowly in circles at the top of his container. :(

    I do not know what to do anymore :(
    He is a very special guy to me.
    I've read up about when is it necessary to euthanize, but I am not sure if that is the right thing to do in this situation. I don't even know exactly what is wrong with him.
    He seems very out of it all of the sudden again and I want him to push through, but am not sure if that is possible at this point. What should I do?! :(
    He is not looking good, but I don't want to give up hope without trying everything.


    Tank Parameters:

    Tank size:
    Original Tank: 380 gallon
    Hospital Tank: 20 gallon

    pH:
    Original Tank - 7.6
    Hospital Tank - 7.6

    ammonia:

    Original Tank - 0 ppm
    Hospital Tank - 0 ppm

    nitrite:
    Original Tank - 0 ppm
    Hospital Tank - 0 ppm

    nitrate:
    Original Tank - 15-20 ppm
    Hospital Tank - 20 ppm

    Volume and Frequency of water changes: 25% - 50% once a week or up to once every two weeks (depending on nitrate levels)

    Chemical Additives or Media in your tank:
    Original Tank - Purigen
    Hospital Tank - none

    Tank inhabitants:
    Original Tank - 2 other clown loaches, 5 small-medium sized bichirs, 1 royal pleco, 1 fire eel, 1 ghost knife, 2 bushy nose plecos, 1 orange streak pleco, 1 large royal pleco, 1 shovelnose cat, 1 borneo python eel
    Hospistal Tank - 1 rhino pleco, 1 bamboo shrimp

    Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration): No recent additions in the past 2 weeks.

    Exposure to chemicals: none
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    It would have been better for the fish if you posted a help thread when this started last week. The sooner health issues are identified, the more chance of successfully treating them.

    Can you post a picture and short 20 second video of the fish?
    If the pictures are too big to fit on here, set the cameras resolution to its lowest setting so the image/s are small enough to fit on the website.
    Post the video on Youtube and copy & paste the link here. We can view it on YouTube.

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    Swollen eyes are usually caused by bacteria or protozoan infections in the eye or in the brain. If the fish isn't spiraling and swimming weirdly then it is probably in the eye, which is much easier to deal with.

    20-25% water changes don't do anything to dilute nutrients or disease organisms in the water. You remove 1/4 of the bad stuff but leave 3/4 of it behind in the tank. You would be better off doing a 75% water change every week from now on so you remove 3/4 of the bad stuff and only leave 1/4 behind.

    The quickest way to deal with most fish health issues is to do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day until the issue is identified and treated. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    If the filter is more than 2 months old then clean it if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. Filters should be cleaned at least once a month and preferably every 2 weeks. Wash filter materials in a bucket of tank water.

    -----------------------
    The following link has some information about what to do if your fish get sick. It's pretty long and boring but worth knowing. I recommend printing it out and reading it in bed to help fall asleep. :)
    http://www.fishforums.net/threads/what-to-do-if-your-fish-gets-sick.450268/#post-3804819
     
  3. Rachel1223

    Rachel1223 New Member

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    Thanks for the info!
    Do you have any knowledge of fish concussions? It does not seem to be an illness (other than the swollen eye)
    Also if I had posted when symptoms first arose, what should I have done differently? I tried my best to keep stress and excitement down. I did not want to assess the situation too quickly especially if it is a concussion...I have read that if that is the case there is no course of action or treatment.

    The pictures attached were of him on Monday before I moved him into his own container (laying sideways under some driftwood - taken at a bad angle) and then Tuesday right before I put him in his container
    Here is a short video of him tonight:


    Thanks again
     

    Attached Files:

    #3 Rachel1223, Jan 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    About the only time fish get concussion is if they jump out of a tank and land on their head when they hit the ground. That either kills them or stuns them.

    If a fish does get concussion then you put them in the tank with clean water, good filtration, lots of aeration and wait for them to come around.

    In an aquarium fish sometimes panic and swim into the glass and get a fat lip or bruised nose but they don't normally hit their head.

    ---------------------
    If you had posted a week ago you could have started doing big water changes a week ago and it might have fixed the problem. Now I would suggest doing big daily water changes and monitor the fish over the next few days. If it doesn't improve after a couple of big water changes, then maybe add a broad spectrum fish medication that treats bacteria, fungus and protozoan infections. However, make sure any medication you use is safe for scaleless fishes (eels, loaches and catfish). If you can't find a medication suitable for scaleless fish then use a normal medication at half strength. But do some 75% water changes first to see if that helps.

    ---------------------
    If you have to treat the fish, use the following formula to work out the tank volume.

    To work out the volume of water in the tank:
    measure length x width x height in cm.
    divide by 1000.
    = volume in litres.

    When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

    There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.

    Remove carbon from the filter before treating or it will absorb the medication and stop it working.

    Wipe the inside of the glass down with a clean fish sponge. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate. Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    Increase surface turbulence/ aeration when using medications because they reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water.
     
  5. Rachel1223

    Rachel1223 New Member

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    Okay, thank you so much. I edited my last reply with some pictures and a short video of him tonight. The way he is swimming makes me think he is not going to make it (he has been swimming like this since about 4pm), but I will definitely make sure to keep the water clean and continue with large water changes.
     

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