The case of the missing minnows! - Page 2
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:36 PM   #16
HSA1255
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I started reading up on the inhabitants of that tank because your disappearing minnows interest me... I found several instances where people say loaches pick off other fish. One woman wrote about her "serial killer yoyo," another man said they ate all his neons after ridding his tank of snails. The inhabitants you have in there are mostly (if not all) nocturnal feeders and I'm willing to bet that when the lights go out it's feeding time. There were many warnings about territorial aggression with the loaches, and if one has turned minnow murderer it makes sense that many of the others will follow suite. I don't think it's the khuli loach, but those are scavengers and they probably contribute to the clean up and eat any minnow parts that sink to the bottom. Google yo yo loach (or botia loach) eating other fish to see multiple accounts of fish murder. I think the real mystery is why are the loaches going after the minnows and not the danios? Are the minnows smaller? Perhaps the danios were in the tank with the loaches all along so they do not equate them with food? Or maybe it's the minnow behavior, darting around all nervous-like that does them in. Anyway, I bet if you set up a video camera that has a night vision setting, or place a low light near the tank, you would see your loaches evening feeding ritual when you add minnows.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:26 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I unfortunately don't have any way to actually video the tank at night, however I will take some pics during my next shift. Here's a bit more info on the situation...

The filter system doesn't have a lot of suction that would suck the adult minnows into it. (Newborn guppys manage just fine.) And there are grates covering the intakes that have narrow (2mm) slits to allow water to pass through. Although the occasional dead fish gets caught on it, it's not strong enough to suck large healthy fish through it.

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Another question would be how big are the loaches, and how small are the minnows?
The biggest fish in the tank are the blue redtail botia loaches. They are each approximately 3-4inches long and there are 6 in the tank. These are my primary suspects.

The minnows and danios are all approximately the same size, about 2 inches. Adults.

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I know some can get to predatory sizes. I would definitely think you would see happy round bellies on those loaches though, after minnow feasting.
This is kinda what I was thinking too, and if you divide the numbers evenly it's only 4 minnows per large loach. I'd still think you'd see a bit of a belly on the loaches. Not only that but they happily devour their morning meals as well. Can't see them being that hungry after a night of feasting.

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Do y'all have critterz gettin loose?
Altho the occasional animal gets out we haven't lost anything recently. Definitely nothing that would know how to get into the fish tanks and eat the fish... or want to.

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Maybe the minnows were misplaced???
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You are the VERY first on in the morning?
I'm the VERY last to leave, and the VERY first one to come in the next morning. They can't be getting misplaced cus there's no one to misplace them.

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I don't think it's the khuli loach,
Agreed, they're smaller than the minnows are >_<

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Google yo yo loach (or botia loach) eating other fish to see multiple accounts of fish murder.
I did so, but still doubtful. They are leaving the danio's alone and only eating the minnows that were of the same size. The yoyo's in the tank were about the same size as well.

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Perhaps the danios were in the tank with the loaches all along so they do not equate them with food?
Nope, danios were added after the loaches, and were doing fine for about a week before any minnows were added.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:16 PM   #18
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Is there a different tank that you can add them to? That would help to rule out the consumption theory, unless they get roomed with another potentially hungry tankmate.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:30 PM   #19
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If they ain't on the floor behind or in front of the tank's,they ain't gettin sucked up into the filter,no cat's left in the store ,then somebody is removing them.
Have kept the loaches with all manner of small fishes ,and don't believe for a minute that they are devouring two dozen dead ones that expire ,or healthy active fish
Easy to find out..remove the loaches to another tank.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:37 PM   #20
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Nthing the suggestion of moving the wcm to a different tank if possible and seeing if they still disappear.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:57 PM   #21
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You can rule out the loaches by relocating all of the other fish except the minnows. Then u know it is tank related.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #22
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Next time I get some minnows in I'm going to put them in a different tank to see if they survive. In the meantime here's a picture of the specific tank in question and one of the entire unit.


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Old 09-10-2013, 03:03 PM   #23
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It might take several attempts to find the problem. Reason why.
U move the minnows into another tank and they don't disappear. The previous tank might still be the problem or the loaches.
You put the minnows back in previous tank they disappear. U remove the loaches and minnows dont disappear. U know its the loaches. But if u remove the loaches and the minnows still disappear u know its the tank.
A problem with moving the minnows is u have changed two variables(even more because u have more then one species of loach)
In an experiment u need to make sure you only change one variable at a time or you will never get a correct result.
I am very interested to learn the results from a proper experiment.
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:41 PM   #24
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I've ordered more minnows for tomorrow. I'm going to put half in with the loaches again, and the other half in a tank with neons and other small tetras. We'll see what happens.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:39 PM   #25
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Ah. A control group. Even better. Great idea.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:47 PM   #26
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Lovin this thread. Will the mystery be solved???
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:59 PM   #27
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I am also eager to find out the answer. This would be the quickest way to solve the problem. Your variables are the tank and the loaches. Experiment should be the follows.
Half of the minnows in original tank without loaches. Other half in another tank with the loaches. This will reduce your chance of redoing and reordering more minnows. After one night u will have a definitive answer.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by jeepguy View Post
Half of the minnows in original tank without loaches. Other half in another tank with the loaches.
I'll do that.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:50 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kal_daka87 View Post
I'll do that.

We are almost certain SOMETHING of how/why this is happening has to do with the tank in some way or the inhabitants. For sacrifice more minnows for the reason of "experiment" seems cruel to me.

There are other variables already - if something was wrong with the minnows, if they didn't adjust to the tank well and died quickly etc - it could be almost as simple as bad fish from your supplier.

Each new batch of minnows is a variable there is no way to keep things constant.

Either set them up with fish they will be safe with, or reevaluate your stock and make sure the ones you order you have safe places for.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:59 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Kat12 View Post
We are almost certain SOMETHING of how/why this is happening has to do with the tank in some way or the inhabitants. For sacrifice more minnows for the reason of "experiment" seems cruel to me.

There are other variables already - if something was wrong with the minnows, if they didn't adjust to the tank well and died quickly etc - it could be almost as simple as bad fish from your supplier.

Each new batch of minnows is a variable there is no way to keep things constant.

Either set them up with fish they will be safe with, or reevaluate your stock and make sure the ones you order you have safe places for.
if this has happened numerous times then bad stock repeatedly is unlikely, possible, but unlikely. You are correct though. Best option would be to put them in their own tank. Being that this is a store that is not always an option.
kal_Daka87 posted wanting to know what is happening. I simply answered her question. And perhaps she puts them all 24(full order) in another tank and they disappear. Yes, then the tank has a fault and using my advice now u only lose 12, not 24. Seems more humane to me! But that's an opinion. Everyone has one. No one is 100% right.
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