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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a loach that's panting and I'm not exactly sure why.

I have a 30 gallon tank.
temp: 78 (Was at 72 but I'll get to that in a second)
nitrates: 5-10
Kh: 5
gh: 15
ph: 7.5

I currently have 5 loaches in the tank. 3 are botia kubotai, and they've been in there for 3 years now. 2 I just added about 5 months ago, and I'm pretty sure they're yoyo's. The loach in question is pretty overweight looking, breathing rapidly and not doing much but sitting on the bottom. Other than that though, he doesn't look too bad. Like I said, he looks well-fed to the point of overfed, nothing wrong with the gills, no flukes, mucus, or redness, and his skin looks healthy. All the other fish are extremely active.

I can't say how long it's been going on exactly. I just got back from deployment a couple of days ago. My wife took care of the tank while I was gone. She did water changes religiously and knows the basics but she doesn't know what else to look for, thus the unplugged heater.

I think the guy who is panting is the jumper I had 4.5 months ago. I was doing a water change and had left the screen off while I was cleaning the filter. I came back and found him on the carpet. I don't know how long he had been down there. I thought he was dead at first and it took a minute or two of rocking him back and forth in the water before he perked up. He was panting heavily then but I thought he eventually got better. I can't remember exactly though and I went on deployment shortly after so who knows.

Is it possible to have the gills permanently damaged by a trip out of water and is there anything I can do to help him? I bumped the temp up to 78 thinking it was some kind of infection but now I'm thinking about lowering just a bit to help with the O2 content.
 

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Carpe Diem
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I doubt it has anything to do with his carpet surfing. I would check for ammonia spike, just in case. Otherwise, who knows - you covered all the bases.

Try feeding some grean peas in case he is bloated. A bubbler might help.

I wish I could be more of help. Welcome to TPT and thanks for covering our 6s out there.
 

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Sounds like there may be several things going on. One is the bloating. Possible to bloat to the point that panting happens. Watch for an increase of the swelling and meanwhile study what meds and how to treat this one fish. But be warned that there are several different things which may cause swelling. At times, I make the decision to just pass on trying to treat the fish and just cut my losses rather than dumping tons of money to only prolong the trauma. One med I do keep handy for my African cichlids is Pimafix and Melafix. They are both quite cheap and I find they are very safe to use while often do the job. Do some checking on loaches as they are a bit different on some meds.

There may also be some permanent damage to the gills which can't be helped at this point. Lung damage in humans is not reversible. The higher temperature may make panting a bit worse as warmer water holds less O2.

Welcome back. I'm sure it a relief to all who know you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for all the help! I'll try the peas. Do You Know exactly how that helps the bloating? Does it just make them pass stuff better or anything? I'm already using my quarantine tank for some loach youngsters, so I'm not going to medicate for now. I'll just wait and see how my Panter does. Do some more research and keep my fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haha you read my mind, actually. That's phase II, set to take place some time this summer. I have a 75 gallon that I'm going to set up as a lateral flow tank. It was inspired hxsian's crabarium. Made me want to add some hillstreams. I'm doing a styrofoam based background with a waterfall and some plants. The tanks only going to be filled to about 14 inches so not ideal with the lower water volume. But, I think loaches prefer swimming length to swimming height and I'm thinking of backing up the water volume with a fuge. However, all this is probably better suited to a thread of it'd own, lol.

In other news, panty loach is looking better. Still fat but was a lot more active then he has been in previous days. And less panting too.
 
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