Animal Stories - Dojo Loach


Animal-World Information about: Dojo Loach

The Dojo Loach is a true curiosity with their habit of becoming very active when there is a weather change!
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crystal - 2009-03-29
I just got two dojo loaches and I know and our smaller one loves to dig, but she has lost a bit of her nose now due to digging in the gravel I believe, is there anything I can do to help her get better faster? Should I worry about her getting any diseases?

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  • Gary Youhas - 2011-03-09
    Use skinless peas, carrot, potato pieces to her diet so she won't dig so much. Peas are a laxative that helps digestion. Remove any uneaten pieces after a day or two to not pollute the tank but I bet you won't find any. Add aquarium salt to make it slightly brackish to suppress microbes, parasites, algae. DO NOT make salt water. 10% weekly water changes keeps it fresh/natural. Lower water temperature to 76max70 or lower for a few days or week that may spurn her into wanting to breed. The cooler temp will lower her activity some. Changing the substrate to something less abrasive or easier to dig. At worst she's obsessed at digging. Enjoy and share her love with her. Good Luck.
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Marsha - 2011-01-12
I've had a Dojo Loach for a few days now. Prior to adding it to the tank, my husband and I did a big tank clean out in our 20 tall. We lost a lot of fish because of it. I assume stress because when I tested the water, everything came out fine. I don't know if it's a bacteria issue as we left some of the old water in to help replenish that. Plus our canister filter has a disposable bag filter plus a permanent mesh filter that we're not supposed to wash. I know it's a strong filter that moves the water because at the bottom of the tank I can see the plants waving in the current. We also have an under gravel filter system with 2 small air stones in the uplift tubes and we do have some live plants; 3 potted that we bought with the loach to replace the rooting plants and 2 algae balls that have been in the tank since the beginning. We added the loach and it did very well. Even acted out right before we had some snow fall. Today it did the same thing so I wondered if we were having another storm. When I checked on it again, he was breathing heavy. I tested the water, everything still pans out, but I still did a 25% water change, adding Stress Coat and Nitroban to the new water. Over the course of the days since we got the loach, 3 more fish have died. Not including the loach just a few minutes ago. I'm pretty upset by this as I'd never had this happen before. My tank temp is a constant 80*F. I read the loach is a cooler water tropical fish but only that higher temps shorten the life span by years. Any advice? My daughter has already named this fish too...

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  • Gary Youhas - 2011-03-09
    Get a test tube water kit for best water test results. One that reads Kh. I'm guessing that your new water has too many other chemicals mixed in if city water or well water from farm chemical runoff. Chlorine, metals, other chemicals that are stressing the fish and or lower oxygen levels. Chemicals can burn fish gills, if they appear inflamed, etc. City water with its chemicals that flex up and down based on when they add their chemicals is always unknown. Using water that has sat a week in a bucket is best. This allows chemicals to evaporate, metals to settle. Using a fresh bottle of stress coat and bacteria. They do spoil. Doing more than a 50% water change is never recommended. Adding salt to your fresh water to make it slightly brackish keeps microbes, parasites, algae, disease suppressed for healthy fish. I' d had two wipe outs of my fish. One because I failed to add stress coat and slime coat. I put 1.5 to 2x the dosage recommended to be safe it won't hurt the fish. The second failure was because of city water chemicals which is why I now over dose with stress coat and slime coat. Try to keep water changes at a 20% maximum weekly. More than 20% throws the bacteria balance of the aquarium off and to correct you should keep the lights off, aquarium dark to allow bacteria to rebuild as fast as possible or maximum of 12 hours light per day. Light allows algae to grow. Salting keeps algae at bay and disease under control. Read product directions for brackish water. Good Luck
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Anonymous - 2011-03-06
Somehow I have dojo loach one is about three to four years old it was in a20 gal. tank for a year I have been given another... the good news is that where there was two now I have eight I need to know if they eat their young they are in underground filters one is about 3 in. long the others are about 1-2in.long.

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  • Gary Youhas - 2011-03-09
    I would like to know what your tank environment conditions are. ie. Water temperature, fresh or brackish water, what foods do you use, substrate, etc. I have both gold and japanese dojos and would like to have them breed also. Thank You.
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Suzanne - 2011-01-23
We have had our weather loach 7 to 8 years, he has become very bloated and seems to have gone a lot paler in colour, also his back end keeps floating to towards the top of the tank. Can anybody tell me what's wrong with him and is there anything I can do to help him?

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  • Gary Youhas - 2011-03-09
    It sounds simple and unflattering to the owner but bladder problems most often occur when the water and or diet are neglected. Dojos require clean water and a varied diet. Clean water means no algae with 10% weekly changes. It is best to add aquarium salt to your fresh water aquarium. REPEAT: add salt to your fresh water aquarium. The salt keeps microbes, parasites, germs suppressed so your fish don't easily get sick. All fresh water fish can tolerate some salt. The objective is brackish water: having some salt to control disease and parasites from food, fish, live foods, etc. DO NOT make a salt water aquarium. See product directions. I use about 1/4 to 1 tsp per gallon of fresh water. This is the amount that suits my volume, feeding habits and foods. It's just good medicine. Food for bladder trouble, make skinless peas, corn, potato, lettuce for snails part of your dojo diet. Peas act like a laxative and help digestion. Also skip feeding at least one day a week to allow complete digestion, allow appetites to increase and not just keep stuffing themselves. Sorry for the blabber. Clean brackish weekly 10% water changes. Salt does not evaporate but some will build in your filter cover so replace that same amount a few months later. Add skinless peas, corn, carrots pieces to your dojo diet to aid digestion. After doing these changes allow one week to a month for changes to take affect. If no improvement, your dojo is probably getting old or you have some really bad rainstorms, the barometric pressures cause his bladder reactions indicating rain is coming, ie. Weather Loach. Good Luck
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CJ - 2010-09-27
I must be doing something wrong! I got a Brown Dojo Loach a bout 3 weeks ago and all it does is hide, as far as I know none of my fish have been bothering it.
Yesterday I went and got another Dojo Loach all I could find was the Gold one, I put him in the tank (I have a 60 gal tank) he didn't hide right away but after awhile he hide.
My question is how do you get these little guys to be friendly toward me cause I do like them and they are cute,but my Mollies are more friendlier than the dojos are.
Thank you
CJ

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  • Stephanie - 2010-11-23
    You might have to get wet for this one! My partner is in love with these fish and in truth so am I lol. They can be quite affectionate. They come out to play around our fingers and the one will even sit in your hand when cleaning out the tank. In the early days they were fairly timid but my partner used frozen blood worms (the ones that come in a sheet of blocks) he would lower the block to just in front of where they are (as they can't see from behind/let them approach a bit like a dog really..) and in time they would come straight out as soon as you open the tank. Also the more places to hide they have the more likely you are to see them..sounds silly but it works.
  • docter.Z - 2011-02-05
    This is normal for them. They are most active at night, so they hide in the day.

    Over time they become more tame and if you take time you can even get him to come out for some food!
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N. Damon - 2007-04-25
We have had to dojo loaches for at least 2 years and although I didn't like the look of them at first my adult son purchased them for his tank. He went out of town to work leaving me to care for them. They are great fun to watch and indeed have their own personalities. We had not given a thought to changing the environment of the tank from that of our usual fish but after going online yesterday and learning more about them we have completey redone our tank with new gravel which is softer and they can burrow in. It is well worth the great effort we have gone through. They are in a 50 + 5 sided tank and enjoy zooming around like lightning. We added most of the old water back in as we needed more gravel and they were jumping like trout in a lake. Great fun to watch and lovable once you get used to their more eel like appearance. Our local pet store doesn't have a lot of success in getting them in alive but have agreed to special order some for us. We found we have a male and female so may in the future attempt the breeding instructions we found on the web. We have regular brown dogo's. We once had a pair that were more silver/blue but can't find any information on them nor do they show up online. Those who are part of this world of Dojo's seem to enjoy them as much as we do. While their tank was in a corner of the room for almost a year since moving them out into an area where they can SEE what's happening they are much more active and having a lot of fun. Any info. on tank mates of a more colorful nature would be appreciated, thanks all and help keep these wonderful creatures more known to other fish lovers who might not yet have discovered their special uniqeness.

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  • Alisabeth - 2010-09-29
    Our dojos (we have 3 of the gold variety) thoroughly enjoy the company of our ryukin goldfish and butterfly koi. Recently, we added two black moors to our tank and they are all getting along as well. The koi and the ryukin goldfish come in all varieties of colors that might compliment your tank habitat. =)
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Nethemas - 2009-02-15
Jennie: it sounds as if your loach might be having trouble regulating it's "swim bladder." This can be caused by a few things including infections. This problem while not fatal per-se in and of itself, it can prevent the poor guy from reaching food at the bottom of the tank.

I would recommend paying close attention to feeding, stooling, signs of infections (raised scales, inflamed anus, swelling, etc.), behavior (lights on/off). Mean while cruise around the web looking for information on swim bladder infections, especially pertaining to loaches for which this problem is more common.
Editor's Note: There is a lot of information about swim bladder disease online, and you can also read about the symptoms and treatments here on Animal-World, on the "Aquarium Fish Diseases and Treatments" page. Good luck with your fish!

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  • Emma - 2010-09-27
    My dojo loach I got about 5 days ago, when I came home from school I found it resting upside-down. At first it looked like it was dead but then I saw that about every 5 seconds it would take a big gulp of water, I tried poking it and it swam around but it settled upside-down again. It has been eating and has been very active. Is this a bladder infection as well? Please help me!
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Tom Curtis - 2010-05-24
Can dojo loaches survive in outdoor ponds?

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  • Mermaid - 2010-06-21
    Tom, I've had a loach in my outdoor pond here in the So.Cal area for almost a year. It's doing fine with it's mates, a handful of mosquito fish, a beautiful goldie (looks like koi, but not sure of lineage), and a crusty crawdaddy.
  • Lois Fermin - 2010-08-12
    Yes, as long as the water temperature stays below 30 degrees C. We grow them in outdoor ponds and ricefields.
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Amay - 2010-08-05
I inherited my Do Jo Loach. My daughter came to live with me for her 8th grade year and her "step-mom" bought her this fish. When she came to live with me, her Dad told her that the fish had to come with her because he was not going to take care of it for her.

I thought, no big deal, fish die within about 2-3 years tops. She has now since finished high school and the darn fish still is hanging out! Then I read this darn thing, "Billy" is going to most likely live for up to 12 years! What the heck!

All in all, it is a hardly little one. I have gone days without feeding Billy. I don't bother with cleaning the tank. I have yet to get any tank mates because I have not known what kind of fish would live best with the little one. I tried a Beta fish, um, that lasted all but 3 hours before I realized that was a bad match! Then I am reading here that they need mellow fish.

So thank you for the longest living fish on earth! I think it is going to out live me! LOL!

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chel-c - 2010-07-23
My loach that I recently purchased has been mauled by a freshwater puffer fish! He is still alive but all its fins have been eaten off and its mouth is severely damaged. I removed the puffer and gave it away, it's been 24hrs and my loach has uprighted himself and the neon tankmates are eating the mauled parts that hang off I believe he will make it but I'm not sure is there anything extra to do to help him? Comments will be greatly appreciated. Oh also can I put a dragonfish in with him?

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