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Reticulated Hill Stream Loach Injury Support


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I really couldn't decide if this should be a general discussion topic or in the disease, so apologies if it's the wrong one. 

I was trying to install a new submersible filter in my 35 gallon tank this afternoon and didn't realize my loach was in the same corner. After I realized my mistake he was swimming okay it seemed, but when he tries to stick to the vertical walls he slowly slides down until he gets to the bottom and basically falls off onto his back. I pulled him out and stuck him in a gallon pitcher by himself since I don't have a quarantine tank set up. It's hours and hours later now, and when I tried to put him back in the tank to see if he'd just gotten really spooked the sliding behavior continued.  

He also seems to have redness between his two fins on one side that was definitely not there before which is incredibly hard to capture in a photo since he isn't sticking to walls. I guess my question is how do I best support him in healing from this injury if it's even possible for him to do so? (I'm sure the possiblity is probably not something you can comment on, but would love support advice.) I feel so guilty and awful and devestated. This tank is in my classroom and the children often play "Find Mouse" (the loach's name is Mouse) so I won't even know how to begin to explain to these two and three year olds if he's gone forever. 

More about my tank: 35 gallons, Nitrate 25ppm, Nitrite 0, GH 75, Buffer between 40 and 80, pH 6.6ish, and chlorine 0 (this is all going off a test strip, hence the "ish" since the colors can be sort of inbetween the two.) Temperature is consistently 68-70 depending on the room - I don't have a heater in there presently. Tank mates are two mature black moors (3-4 inches long). and a nerite snail. I've had the moors for going on 3 years, with no issues besides one ich infection last spring. The loach and nerite were new additions in September 2023.

Some other relevant history: I originally had 4 snails, but one of them mysteriously died over winter break in December, and another one over midwinter break a couple weeks ago. I cleaned the tank (scrubbed some algae off the glass, changed ~15 gallons of water) right before break (2/16) and checked it with a strip and everything was fine. When I got back to the dead snail (2/26) I immediately checked again and there was 1ppm of nitrites. No idea how that happened besides maybe I messed up with the cleaning somehow? I changed the water again as soon as school was out for the day, but by then another snail had curled up on the bottom. (RIP Banana, Mango, and Coconut) I brought the remaining snail (Oreo) home in a cup of water until I was sure the nitrite situation resolved, and added some quickstart to try and beef up the nitrifying bacteria. The loach had been acting totally normally before, during, and since the nitrite episode until today. 

 

Here are a couple of the best photos I could get of him

20240306_185927.jpg

20240306_185741.jpg

Edited by MissAbby
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With an injury you just want give it some time I would leave him the his tank add a small amount of aquarium salt 1 table spoon for 10 gallons that will aid Gill function and add essential electrolytes and you could add some Indian almond leaves as they have antibacterial and antifungal properties and monitor if he get worse give an update @MissAbby

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Posted (edited)

Thank you so much for the guidance, however, I am gutted to report that Mouse did not make it through the night. I feel awful.  

Edited by MissAbby
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