Animal Stories - Dojo Loach
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The Dojo Loach is a true curiosity with their habit of becoming very active when there is a weather change!
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I have a dojo loach which is about seven years old. She jumped out of the tank one night and dried out almost on the floor before I found her. I put her back in the tank, she recovered after a few days, losing fin ends and barble ends, but she grew them back. I introduced another loach a few months back, some time later, my large loach, now almost ten inches long, began having shed like spots on her sides and swim bladder issues. I followed the instructions of the aquarium shop people, treating with BiFuran+ with half tank water changes every other day for a week. This worked, my loach was back on the floor of the tank, not floating sideways at the top anymore. When I stop treatment, though, she gets shed spots on her and if stressed floats sideways again. Her face is now whitish, but not fuzzy, and she doesn't seem to be eating. I can't put live plants back in for her to hide in/under, until I rid the tank of medicine (the medicine killed my plants almost overnight) with more water changes, but I'm scared to do that because it seems to be a huge stressor. I don't want to lose this amazing fish, she swims (or did, when healthy) through my fingers and takes food from me. What should I do?
I have an 80gal tank. I did my reserch and have lots of sand and gravel and plenty of hiding places. I got two Dojos about 3 inches each. At first I saw both 2 or 3 times a day. Now 2 weeks in I see one if I am lucky. Also have two six inch comments and two small cwarfish plus 4 water hyacinth. Note the goldfish are very active. This is not at all what I expected from these fish. Any comments? Thanks Andy
We have had a nice dojo in our 55 gallon tank for about 3 years now. He is pretty interesting to watch. Lately he has been swimming upside down and spinning in an upside down circle. Any ideas what might be going on with him? I don't want to lose him, but at the same time if he is just going to continue going down, I would probably euthanize him. Any info is appreciated.
These are one of my favourite fish of all time. They may not be colourful, but with their ugly-cute faces, gentle temperaments, otter-like playful personalities, and their affinity for human contact, they really can grow on you. These fish have become more like pets to me than any of the other fish I have kept, and are reported to be long-lived, from 12-15 years. All of these things are the markers of an ideal pet. Over time, they can become fairly large. I now have 4 Dojo Loaches. Of the four, one is the Gold variety, and the other three are the regular Browns. I have had the original Brown pair for almost two years. My second-largest, Whiskers, is 7 inches long and fairly slender with a distinct lateral line; the upper half being golden with brown spots and the lower being lighter. The tail of Whiskers is spade-shaped. The largest of these, Tickles, is over 8 inches long and probably close to an inch in diameter. I believe this one is female. She is grayish brown with all-over darker spots, and has a rounded tail. I have wondered if these two are slightly different species, though I purchased them at the same time. The final two Loaches are my babies; Jackie and No-Feet. Jackie is the one of gold variety. His body is peach-coloured, and very slender compared to that of No-Feet, who is about the same length at 4", and resembles Tickles most in looks and body type. Jackie is a standout among the bunch. He got this name from Jackie Chan, as he is always moving about the tank and performing curious antics such as draping himself over plants and hanging there in odd positions. Jackie and No-Feet can often be found swimming together throughout all levels of the tank. Tickles and Whiskers used to be more active, but it seems as they have aged, they have become more sedentary, spending their days resting near or under a log. Sometimes I will find all four of my Dojos resting on top of eachother. When I bought the first ones, I knew nothing about them. I was told they could be kept together or alone. I got one, but before even leaving the store, changed my mind and got another on a hunch. I now know these fish are at their best in groups, and each time I introduce a new member, it is immediately accepted and brought into the Loach Clan. The Dojos have been nothing but gentle towards my other fish, and have a special relationship with their nonspecific Loachmates, especially the Kuhli Loaches and the Peppered Loaches (Lepidocephalichthys). Both these other types from time to time will join on the Loach Pile. This is funny and entertaining to watch. I am currently keeping them in a 55 Gallon Community, but am planning to upgrade to a 75 soon so they can have more room. This new tank will take into consideration their requirements for hiding spots, resting spots, and places to explore. In my experience, robust plants are best, as Dojos like to redecorate. Sometimes this is purposeful (that PLANT is in my favourite spot!), and sometimes it is not. Any finer-leaved or stemmed plants are usually knocked around unintentionally. I have found Amazon Swords, larger Cryptocoryne, and Giant Vallisneria are excellent for having extended root systems less likely to be dug up or disturbed. Other good plant choices include ones you can tie down to wood such as Anubias or Java Fern. Ideal tankmates for these fish are larger Barbs and Rainbowfish who, like the Dojo, enjoy cooler temperatures. If you would like something smaller, Danios or Rasboras might fit the bill, but I would stay away from the Giant Danio. I brought a trio of these home once, and though they were not aggressive, their constant racing around the tank was unsettling to my Loaches. They began to burrow and hide until only their eyes were showing. It has been a wonderful experience having these fish, and they are my main concern when designing this new tank. Enjoy your Loaches!
I've had dojo loaches for several years now. I used to have a pair, but the female died a year or so ago along with several other fish. The male, though, is still going strong. The funniest thing about this pair was their personalities. The female was forever bullying the male. His growth even seemed to be stunted while she was in the tank hen-pecking him. Once she died, though, his growth increased significantly. He'll never be as big as she was, but he filled out quite nicely. Now, though, the chinese algae eater tends to pick on him some. He's just so laid back, that he doesn't really seem to care much.
My dojo is in a 26 gal planted community tank with mollies, neon tetras, upside down catfish, and the algae eater. He's probably six to eight inches long (I haven't bothered to try to measure him). With the exception of the algae eater, he gets along wonderfully with his tank mates. He's one of the most interesting fish in the tank that can be seen regularly (since the upside down cats like to hide during the day), and I can't imagine not having him in my tank! He likes to kick back and relax on the heater (which isn't currently on, because winter has not really hit our area yet). He can also be found darting up to the surface to take a gulp of air now and then - especially when the weather is unsettled. Since I'm in Missouri, that's fairly frequently! He's very friendly with me, and he seems to enjoy being "petted". I don't do it frequently, though, because I worry about messing up his slime coat. I don't let the kids do it, because I worry about their dirty hands in my tank!
He does burrow down in the gravel, and there has been more than once when I thought he'd died because all I saw sticking up out of the gravel was his tail. After a few minutes, though, he'd wiggle his way out and swim up to the top! It's awesome to watch. I don't panic so much now when I can't find him, because it usually just means he's doing what dojos do. I don't let myself get attached to my fish very often, but I can honestly say that I love this fish. I would be heartbroken if something happened to him.
I've had my dojo loach for about 2 months but I did not know it needed sand of fine gravel, is this a major problem because I have never seen it try to dig into it.
Also he never seems to want to interact when I feed him or clean the tank, does this mean there's something wrong or is it just his personality?
I am going to pick up two dojo loaches tomorrow and was wondering if regular beach sand will do??
The bit about them resting on other fish is true. Tesla, the largest and laziest of my loaches, will actually ride my telescope eye goldfish to the surface of the tank when I feed them. Very amusing to watch.
I've had my Do Jo Loach for well over a year and have to admit I did not research this well - we picked it out for my grandson who lives with me. 'Do Jo' keeps floating up to the top 'tail-end' first. I thought perhaps that he was sick or dying, but he keeps hanging in there. I did not know about the type of environment that he needed (sand, fine gravel, rooted plants, rocks to hide around, and the variety of food they eat). I just changed out the water (10%) and the filter. These are done on a regular basis - when we first got him he swam up and down the sides of the tank, but seems to be getting less active. Any suggestions or advice would be welcomed. I am going out to day to get sand, gravel, plants, etc. and the brine shrimp to beef the menu . . .
My dojo loach, while he may not be the prettiest fish in my aquarium, is definitely one of the most interesting. He seems to get along with my banjo and silver pictus cats and is not very agressive. Definitely a great fish.