Feeding Massivore to Clown Loaches = Ammonia spikes

excaliber

Gambusia
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I've been seeing something really weird and was wondering if others who feed Massivore are seeing the same things. We have two groups of Clown Loaches in quarantine right now. One group is in a 10 gal and the others are in a 20 gal.

The Clown Loaches in the 20 have been getting a steady diet of Massivore every morning. Whatever they do not eat in a few minutes gets vacuumed out as directed Three times a day we vacuum out the waste as there seems to be a pile of it 3 times a day. This tank shows .5 ppm of Ammonia in 2 days. It's requiring a 50% water change every other day.
The Massivore causes allot of fish waste also.

The other 10 gal tank can go several days with no ammonia signs at all. Now that these Clown Loaches are on a Massivore diet also we are seeing the same thing in this tank but more of a severe spike of Ammonia and it comes on much quicker since it's a smaller tank.

There is no doubt that the Massivore is causing it. If we feed nothing but frozen Blood worms and brine shrimp the tanks can go 4 days without any issues at all.

On the Massivore package it says to feed only what the fish can eat in a few minutes and to remove all the extra food they do not eat right after as to not affect the water quality.

Massivore is definitely affecting the water quality big time. I'm going to send Hikari an email but thought I'd check with you guys before I send something off to them
 

Matteus

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What size are your cls? Massivore pellets are typically for (massive ) highly carnivorous fish. I assume the clowns are not very big since you have them in a 10-20gal tank. If you have all sorts of leftovers from small fish trying to eat large pellets, it will skunk your water for sure. That’s more user error than hikari issue. You would most likely do better with a smaller sized pellet to reduce the amount of waste. If you are stuck on that pellet you can use carnivore pellet, that is the same thing but a smaller sized pellet that the clown can manage better. I would also suggest a more balanced pellet like nls for younger juvenile clown loaches. I have a pack of 8 clown loaches that most are pushing 4-6” and I can’t imagine them trying to eat massivore pellets with out making a horrible mess.

Also is the tank cycled properly? It sounds like this could be a factor in your tank?
 
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excaliber

Gambusia
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The CL's are 1.5-2" in size. They are in quarantine so naturally the tanks are not cycled. I break up the Massivore pellets into small pieces and only drop 3 smaller chunks in the tank at a time. They eat these pieces really fast and I vacuum out all the leftover debris they have not finished after they have finished. There is very little left after they eat.

I follow the instructions off the package to a "T" and we still see Ammonia spikes. What NLS pellet do you recommend?
 
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excaliber

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Hikari has been really great about emailing back so quickly. I have been in contact with them and they had some suggestions and information for us.
They said that the protein level is too high in the Massivore for our Clown Loaches and they are not able to digest it properly. That is what's leading to the amount of fish waste.
The recommended we use the Carnivore pellets instead if w need that high of a protein level.
At first they thought we might have been over feeding but that's not the case.

We are going to back off on the Massivore for now. The fish really like it but apparently it wasn't the right food for these small Clown Loaches. Maybe we can use it once the fish get into the large cycled tanks as the small ammonia spikes wont even be an issue in those tanks.
I'll chalk it up to user error.
 
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Matteus

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Without an established bioload of beneficial bacteria, ammonia is bound to spike. It may not be a good idea to have baby cls in an uncycled hospital tank, they are fairly intolerant to ammonia. Some people keep a spong filter going in a cycled tank when there is no one in the hospital.

There is a saying “you don’t know, what you don’t know, till you know”. Lol.

I have mine on Thera +A (it was on sale) and nls large fish formula (might be a bit big for small cls), also omega one cichlids. They go nuts for algae wafers. Good to give them a bit of variety including brine shrimp and bloodworms as a treat. From what I understand nls pellets are some of the best on market. Also they have a new line out called probiotix- highly recommend this.

Other more experienced keepers may want to chime in. I’ve only kept these guys for a bit more than a year. HTH
 
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David R

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Other more experienced keepers may want to chime in. I’ve only kept these guys for a bit more than a year. HTH
I think you've pretty much nailed it. High protein food in an uncycled tank is a recipe for disaster, especially with clowns. Good idea to quarantine them though, just next time use a product like Seachem Stability and try to seed the filter for the Q tank on an established tank before you set it up to avoid starting the tank from scratch. I agree about the NLS foods too, mine get Thera A as a staple, along with the mega fish formula, an occasionally brine shrimp and Repashy.
 
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Coryloach

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It is not a good idea to quarantine fish in uncycled tanks. It defeats the purpose of quarantine.
You want new fish in the best possible environment to get them strong and healthy. Majority of fish diseases are due to stress of water quality so why quarantine in an uncycled tank?
Any fish exposed to ammonia at somee stage for prolonged periods of time just don't make it long term.
 
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excaliber

Gambusia
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How do you keep a tank cycled in quarantine when you need to treat for Ich or parasites? We have had to treat for Ich and parasites already with Prazi- Pro, and Ich-X Doesn't that kill the bacteria of a cycled tank?

Now after over 3 weeks in QT these little Clown Loaches are getting ICH. Now I need to treat them for ICH The water temp was already 85 degrees. Hopefully they make it out of QT.
 

RD.

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The OP PM'd me on this, but failed to mention that the tanks were not cycled. Ummm yeah, that would be the problem. And as mentioned in PM, Hikari is full of crap. Juvie CL's can most certainly utilize the higher levels of protein and fat found in Mass. Ridiculous. FYI - frozen Blood worms and brine shrimp consist of 80% water, so the actual protein/fat levels per gram is almost nil, compared to dry food, hence your results.

You should have started with a cycled tank and/or mature filters amigo, in which case deworming meds such as Prazi would have no affect on the bio bacteria. Not so sure about Ich-x, never used it.
 
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