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Old 11-17-2003, 10:57 PM   #1
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Biggest loach is paler than the others

Thanks to an immense amount of help from so many of the people on this site, I now have 3 clown loaches living happily in my secondhand 29 gal. At least, they appear to be living happily, but I have some questions about the biggest one.

My loaches are three distinctly different sizes: The largest one is 3'' with a very thick body, the middle one is about 2.5''. and the smallest one is less than 2''. The largest one was from an earlier shipment than the other two, and had been living in the store for over a month by himself. When I saw him in comparison to the others, I noticed he was much paler. His stripes were not as black and defined, and there was not as much red in his tail. I figured this was probably due to stress, considering how long he had lived by himself in the store before they got more loaches in. However, in the 3 weeks since I've brought him home, his colors haven't darkened. He seems healthy in all ways; eating more than the other two combined and speeding around the tank while they chase each other.

So, should I worry? I absolutely love these guys and have decided they are probably my favorite fish. They are so beautiful and fun to watch, although it has taken them a while to stop being so timid. I was thinking maybe the biggest one is lighter because he doesn't feel secure being the leader of the pack? He was the shyest one when I brought them home, although that has now changed and he's definitely the leader. Or maybe the stress of the conditions in the store had a lasting effect on him? Am I on the right track here? Will his colors ever get darker?

And I have ONE more question ( sorry). It is mainly directed at the wise and wonderful TankGirl, who responded to my post in the planted forum saying she was breeding snails in a bucket for her puffer. I have a 1 gal. bowl where my betta is currently living, but he will soon be moving to my 10 gal. I would like to breed snails in this bowl for my loaches, but I was wondering how much work it would be. I hate syphoning out the bowl (my betta has no gravel and I just change all the water once a week) so how often would I have to do that? Are there any other people on here who breed snails in buckets/ bowls? How do you take care of the water conditions? What is a prolific, small snail I could breed?

Thanks everyone! I'm sorry this post was so obscenely long. I guess I had a lot of questions built up. Now I will go wander the forum and see if there are any questions I can answer with my minimal knowledge.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:10 PM   #2
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I have 4 clown loaches and 1 of them tends to be more faded sometimes, I think they take turns.

All in all though they are very healthy here too. Maybe just something they do.
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:07 AM   #3
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Actually, thats pretty typical for clown loaches. Like a number of other fish, they change color according to mood or status. There's a great article on loaches.com about it: http://www.loaches.com/markings.html

My guys also go from sharp bright colors to "graying out" often. Have to admit, I haven't found any pattern, except when they are fighting over algae wafers; then they all gray out LOL
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:56 PM   #4
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Thanks so much Alli, that's a great article. So, I guess I won't worry. It's funny though, when they're eating their sinking wafers the smaller two stay brightly colored while the largest one fades out and chases them like crazy. They don't seem to mind though, and they definitely get their share. So maybe he's just such a big pig who is constantly stressing about the little ones trying to take his food?
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:07 PM   #5
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I lurve loaches.com Awesome buncha folks there, and lots to learn!

My guys sound a lot like yours. I have one big fat pig whos about 3 1/4 inches, one who is 2 3/4 and one just over 2 inches. The big pig rules the loach roost, but is also the biggest chicken. If I move near the tank, hes the first in the loach motel, but if I sit and watch, I catch him pushing the other 2 loaches out of the way to eat the food they found LOL no wonder hes so **** big. I haven't found a rhyme or reason to the color changes; sometimes its the big guy, sometimes the littlest one. But its certainly a natural part of their behavior and not something to worry about
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:10 PM   #6
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yup, your biggest loach sounds like he acts exactly the same as mine. after i fed them tonight i was watching them and thinking about this, and it occured to me that the biggest one is really the least dominant in terms of bravery and intelligence (he hasn't yet figured out that he can catch more blood worms by eating from the surface, like the other two have). sometimes it even seems like he is following the smallest one around, who of course then freaks out because he's two times the littlest one's size. so who knows, maybe it's common for the biggest fish to be the most timid (while still the leader of the school) because they don't feel as secure not having any bigger fish around.

haha, i'm so silly sitting here contemplating the social make up of aquarium loaches. but it's really interesting to me!
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:57 PM   #7
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Catalina, I breed snails in a bucket for my puffer. I found this article very helpful:

http://www.aaquaria.com/aquasource/s...rpuffers.shtml

I don't do much in terms of water changes, really. I don't vacuum it at all; just use a cup to remove some water and add some back to the bucket. And they're just common ol' snails that came with my plants. I just removed some hornwort that was in my tank that had visible eggs on it, tossed it in the bucket and voila!
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Old 11-19-2003, 01:09 AM   #8
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Oh, wow, now I'm really embarassed.

I said TankGirl, but when I went back and looked at my planted forum post, it was you Mdme. X!! I have no idea why I got the two of you mixed up. Does she have a puffer, too? Maybe that's why.

Anyway, I'm sorry! Thanks so much for the information on the snails, and the link. I'm so glad the water quality requires little time, since I don't want to put a whole lot of effort into propagating snails that are just going to be eaten by my loaches! Thanks, so much, and again I apologize.
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:38 PM   #9
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Aw, heck... no need to apologize! I just wanted to help!

Tankgirl does have puffers, too.
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:12 PM   #10
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Oooo, hadn't read that article. Thanks! I've had the 5 little snails I bought about a week now and already an MTS gave birth tonight which really excited me, heh. I made a post about it. I had already heard MTS can break puffers teeth sometimes though, but I figure my loach will love them. Anyhow the other 3 snails are typical little guys (the lfs clerk picked them all out for me). I have my snails in a vase covered with a piece of my pantyhose with a rubberband around it.... just in case they try to make a break! I have fed them a bit of fish food, and some baby lettuce. And they live in a bit of water from my community tank. I wasn't planning on devoting a whole tank to snails..........
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