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Old 02-11-2017, 08:20 PM   #1
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Clown Loaches gave me a scare...

so about a week ago I bought 3 clown loaches for my rebuild-while-stocked-hightech-planted-discus-grow/show tank. (its a lot of work to write, and a lot of work to make happen)

I have been adding some driftwood to help lower PH, and long story short, My clown loaches went missing.

First, day 1 - I can only find 2. I poke around. I've had loaches before and know they can be sneaky jerks so I didn't fret too much.

Day 3... Now I'm down to ONE clown loach.

Yesterday, I did a gravel vac. I TORE THE TANK APART looking for them. I moved all driftwood that wasn't solid, Brushed all the ground cover plants I have, NOTHING.

I figure they've dug themselves under something, but I haven't seen them at all (even at night) so I'm wondering if they've curled up and died, but my other fish haven't found any corpses.

Today, I'm looking everywhere for them again.

I turn over every piece of driftwood I have.

And then I see this:


I didn't even realize this piece was hollow inside!

(fun fact... it wasn't hollow, it had a crack-like space in it)

all THREE clown loaches were wedged in there.

I swril it around the water and they refuse to come out. After some gentle tapping and some help from gravity, two of them plunk out - stressed but ok.

The third one is IN there. He got himself so wedged in there I ended up getting a bucket and putting the piece under the worklight to figure out how to cut open the piece of wood without hurting him.

Eventually, through swishing the piece around, I noticed bubbles come out of the other side of the wood. There was about a 3/16th's size hole on the other side (oval). I try shooting a bit of water in it - Nothing. I try putting it under water and using some syringes to put bubbles through it - Hes stuck.

Finally, I realized I could put some airline tubing IN the hole, and used that to gently push him out backwards. He was pretty white looking, and is noticably thinner than his tank mates, but is schooling and took food voraciously when offered. I think He'll be ok.

I've "Modded:" the wood now with a 3/8th drill bit to widen the hole. JUST big enough for them to get through in their current size. Not sure what I'll do when they get larger.



I've got more driftwood I will be adding, but I'm doing everything gradually. I want my BBA under control before I add the nice pieces.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:16 AM   #2
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Eek! Well done on the rescue!!!
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:12 PM   #3
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Lol, I know the feeling, was tearing down my tank for a move and pulled the driftwood out first. Half an hour later and I can't find my bn anywhere. Take all thefish and gravel out, tank is empty. Guess who was still firmly guarding his chunk of driftwood and refused to let go LOL fish are weird

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Old 02-12-2017, 06:33 PM   #4
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Wow what a scare that must of been! That reminds me of when I first got my Kuhli loach, couldn't find her anywhere and panicked. I took everything out of the tank, checked the filter, and the outside of the tank and nothing! Turns out, I didn't realize that kuhli loaches are notorious burrowers! Well she was in the substrate the whole time!
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