Very Sick Weather Loach!


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Jun 4, 2013
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My 9 year old weather loach is incredibly swollen and ill looking. He has slowly been getting more swollen for about two weeks now (I call him a he but have no evidence to base this on!) which I originally put down to my partner enjoying hand feeding them a little too much which immediately stopped
But a week ago I noticed he was extremely swollen and wrinkled along the entire length of his body and parts of his skin looked as though it was beginning to peel like he'd been suburnt with some redness around the base of his dorsal fin and his anus. He's lost almost all of his colour and last night I began to really panic as he has now started excreting a bloody mucus (I don't know where from, I just checked on him last night and there was a fairly large blob of it in his tank, around 5mm in diameter.
He's currently in quarantine and I've been treating him with melafix for about a week.
The only two things I can think to have any link to this is the addition of a baby pictus catfish around 3 weeks ago (which is perfectly healthy showing no signs of illness itself) and my pangasius which had a similar issue with swelling but was only concentrated around her abdomen with a boil-type growth on the swelling and she was removed within 24hrs of noticing the changes in her. She died within 2 days to a hospital tank before I could make her better (I've still no idea what it was!). I don't know if this could be related but the loach has been looking ill for much longer than the pangasius was and the symptoms are vaguely similar but not the same.
His behaviour was completely normal until yesterday when he became extremely lethargic. His tank is currently around 20l and I change one litre every few days to keep the water fresh. Carbon has been removed from the filter in his quarantine tank. His usual tank is 240l, pH is around 7 and temp kept at around 25-26C. Before the pictus catfish the last addition was in March.
Since quarantining him I did a 50% water change and the water has since gone extremely cloudy. Possible link or did I just make a pigs ear of the water change?
Nothing else seems to have any symptoms at all and I can't for the life of me work it out as he has never had an illness since I got him as a child.
Please help!!
I remember reading on seriouslyfish that pictus cats were rather aggressive. I wonder if he was injured by the new guy. Try doing another water change. In fact, just to be safe, I would do one water change daily. Did you add any weird chemicals to the tank when you did the water change which caused cloudiness? If you do another water change, see if it goes down or gets worse.
The pictus is only tiny, about two inches long at most and it's not an injury, he has no external wounds and the swelling isn't confined to one area. The water quality is fine, 0 nitrite/nitrate, ph 7, GH a little higher than usual but nothing to be alarmed about and it doesn't bother me too much as long as the fish are healthy, I'm sure that'll settle. What I am worried about it losing a family pet because I don't know what to do to fix it.
What is your ammonia? It is quite uncommon to have zero nitrate unless you have high ammonia. How did you cycle the main tank and QT?

The water changes are less about water quality and more about keeping the water moving, aerated, and clean to promote healing. It's the only thing I can think of. But these guys are scaleless I thought and I was under the impression that melafix was bad for fish without scales. I think.

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