A fish story.. looking for opinions, overstocked?

Fishluber

Hello fish lovers. Im looking for some opinions. I apologize in advance for the essay..
I have a 75gal freshwater tank thats been running for around 4 years. Started with 6 feeder goldfish and a tiny pleco. Loved my goldfish and their personalities but they grew so fast and i just couldn't keep up with the water changes required to keep them healthy. Sadly i had to rehome them last year. After letting them go decided to try a smaller fish community tank with live plants. I don't want to have to rehome my fish babies all the time.
Still figuring this stuff out, but im definitely addicted
Lol
Where I'm looking for opinions is on my pleco. His or her name is Gil, he/she is around 6". Definitely the star of the tank. But just doesn't seem as happy anymore. Always in camouflage colors, darts to a hiding place whenever you walk into the room. Causes the other fish to act the same...Not sure if he is getting too big for the tank or if he feels too crowded with all the plants? Comes out for feeding no problem, just very skittish but healthy.
Water parameters are always good and consistent. Do water changes twice a week. So i dont think its that but I'mnotan expertby any means... He's had his new tank makes for around 6 months no deaths or diseases...
6 CPDs
3 kuhli loach
6 platys
5 gold barbs
6 guppies
2 narite snails
Am i overstocked?
I'm not sure what to do. Really dont want to rehome another baby but I want happy fish.
Opinions?
 

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KingOscar

Wow, that's a beautiful Pleco! No, I don't think you are overstocked. I'm sorry I can't help with why your "baby" seems unhappy. He certainly looks healthy! Hopefully someone with more Pleco experience can drop in and help.
 

mattgirl

In my humble opinion no you are not over stocked. Your pleco looks to be a very healthy looking sailfin pleco. One thing that makes me doubt that though is its size. If I am understanding correctly you have had it for at least 4 years. My sailfin grew to at least 7 inches in less than a year. He was in a 55 gallon tank so I had to rehome him. He is now living out his life in a huge landlocked pond. I suspect he is close to 2 feet long by now.

I am not sure why his/her personality changed. I am pretty sure it isn't just the change in tank mates. If he was used to a fairly bare tank he may not be as comfortable now as he once was with just goldfish for company. Does he have any kind of cave like structures he can hang out in? Does he have any kind of driftwood in there to rasp on?

I see you are running 2 dual sponge filters in this tank. Are they the only filtration? You say you do 2 water changes a week. How much do you change each time? One 50% water change each week should be more than enough.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Have there been any changes to the lighting? More light time or light upgrade of any sort.
Also some of the new tank mates might not be to his/her liking. Could be color or competition for hiding spots/territory.
Hope you are able to figure things out. It is a healthy and lovely fish, I hope you consider keeping it the star of the tank.
 

Fishluber

In my humble opinion no you are not over stocked. Your pleco looks to be maybe a very healthy looking sailfin pleco. One thing that makes me doubt that though is its size. If I am understanding correctly you have had it for at least 4 years. My sailfin grew to at least 7 inches in less than a year. He was in a 55 gallon tank so I had to rehome him. He is now living out his life in a huge landlocked pond. I suspect he is close to 2 feet long by now.

I am not sure why his/her personality changed. I am pretty sure it isn't just the change in tank mates. If he was used to a fairly bare tank he may not be as comfortable now as he once was with just goldfish for company. Does he have any kind of cave like structures he can hang out in? Does he have any kind of driftwood in there to rasp on?

I see you are running 2 dual sponge filters in this tank. Are they the only filtration? You say you do 2 water changes a week. How much do you change each time? One 50% water change each week should be more than enough.
I was thinking it could be the change in how bare the tank was to now. With the gold fish i didn't have any live plants since they would eat or uproot anything i put in there, plus they were pooping machines so i wanted to be able to vacuum the gravel.
So there's that, plus it's a sand substrate now.
I have 3 sponge filters going. I do a 50% on the weekends plus i like to vacuum the sand mid week because Gil is also a pooping machine lol. So that ends up being a small water change as well. Haven't figured out a way around that for cleaning up my sand. I'll take suggestions there as well.
Gil has a cave and driftwood in there. But prefers to stick in the back right corner of the tank.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Also if you have some pics of your setup with goldfish vs current, or just from memory, did they have a favorite spot that might now have plants/decor. If that far corner in your first pick was his spot try opening that area up a bit and see if that helps.
 

Fishluber

Have there been any changes to the lighting? More light time or light upgrade of any sort.
Also some of the new tank mates might not be to his/her liking. Could be color or competition for hiding spots/territory.
Hope you are able to figure things out. It is a healthy and lovely fish, I hope you consider keeping it the star of the tank.
Actually i did get a fancy new light for Christmas yes. Before that just a regular T8. The lighting hours haven't changed, although now instead of dark to bright I'm able to set a sun rise and sunset.
Think that would do it?
Also if you have some pics of your setup with goldfish vs current, or just from memory, did they have a favorite spot that might now have plants/decor. If that far corner in your first pick was his spot try opening that area up a bit and see if that helps.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

It’s definitely the strongest possibility. Especially if the behavior started being more noticeable after upgrade. But since it has so many features can it be programmed to do separate features on each half/side?
I wouldn’t un-upgrade: just need to figure out what is triggering him.

I found I have to angle the lights (not aquarium specific) I use to bounce off of wall so in direct. The shadows of surface ripples were freaking my goldfish out.
 

Fishluber

Also if you have some pics of your setup with goldfish vs current, or just from memory, did they have a favorite spot that might now have plants/decor. If that far corner in your first pick was his spot try opening that area up a bit and see if that helps.
This is the last time i tried adding some plants from my pond outside. It looked like this for 1 day. Lol
Try to imagine the same set up without the live plants. That's how it was majority of the time.
 

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OutsideFoodBlob

No worries, wasn’t asking that you share more for you at home trying to figure out what the fish wants.
Some fish are just not fans of changes, two of mine aren’t.
If your new light has a bunch of settings see if it has a low light setting. You may have to let some plants go that need more light but as others mentioned your community is not overstocked.
This is the last time i tried adding some plants from my pond outside. It looked like this for 1 day. Lol
Try to imagine the same set up without the live plants. That's how it was majority of the time.
So the goldfish thought you were adding snacks and toys just for them? At least you knew right away it was not going to work out.
 

Fishluber

No worries, wasn’t asking that you share more for you at home trying to figure out what the fish wants.
Some fish are just not fans of changes, two of mine aren’t.
If your new light has a bunch of settings see if it has a low light setting. You may have to let some plants go that need more light but as others mentioned your community is not overstocked.

So the goldfish thought you were adding snacks and toys just for them? At least you knew right away it was not going to work out.
Oh definitely. It was just a big salad bar. Lol
They were so funny to watch though. I was sad to let them go.
 

mattgirl

I was thinking it could be the change in how bare the tank was to now. With the gold fish i didn't have any live plants since they would eat or uproot anything i put in there, plus they were pooping machines so i wanted to be able to vacuum the gravel.
So there's that, plus it's a sand substrate now.
The drastic change may not be to his liking but we can hope he will get used to it in time. As long as he is still eating like he normally did before the changes and he continues to look healthy I don't think there is much to worry about. Lowering the light level may help him feel more comfortable. Some type of floating plant covering half the surface may help. You just have weigh his comfort to the needs of the plants.
I have 3 sponge filters going. I do a 50% on the weekends plus i like to vacuum the sand mid week because Gil is also a pooping machine lol. So that ends up being a small water change as well. Haven't figured out a way around that for cleaning up my sand. I'll take suggestions there as well.
Gil has a cave and driftwood in there. But prefers to stick in the back right corner of the tank.
Sponge filters are great for biological filtration. Unfortunately they aren't as good at mechanical filtration. Right now I have Elbert, that handsome fellow over there in my avatar. He is a 5.5 inch bristle nose pleco. I also have 4 little super red BN plecos along with way too many corys,10 tetras and 2 mystery snails in my 55 gallon tank. I am way beyond over stocked in this tank.

I run 2 HOB filters each rated for up to a 100 gallon tank along with 2 sponge filters running in this tank. All this to say, I never actually see fish poop in this tank. Like you have a sand substrate in this tank. The HOB filters pull all the poop out of the tank.

Your 50% weekly water changes are perfect if they are keeping the nitrates down to safer levels. I test my water with an API Master test kit. As long as I see orange in the test tube I consider it in the safer zone. With additional filtration the mid-week water change may not be needed. Keep in mind, you can never have too much filtration. To much water movement is possible if it affects your fishes ability to swim comfortably but never too much filtration.
 

Fishluber

The drastic change may not be to his liking but we can hope he will get used to it in time. As long as he is still eating like he normally did before the changes and he continues to look healthy I don't think there is much to worry about. Lowering the light level may help him feel more comfortable. Some type of floating plant covering half the surface may help. You just have weigh his comfort to the needs of the plants.

Sponge filters are great for biological filtration. Unfortunately they aren't as good at mechanical filtration. Right now I have Elbert, that handsome fellow over there in my avatar. He is a 5.5 inch bristle nose pleco. I also have 4 little super red BN plecos along with way too many corys,10 tetras and 2 mystery snails in my 55 gallon tank. I am way beyond over stocked in this tank.

I run 2 HOB filters each rated for up to a 100 gallon tank along with 2 sponge filters running in this tank. All this to say, I never actually see fish poop in this tank. Like you have a sand substrate in this tank. The HOB filters pull all the poop out of the tank.

Your 50% weekly water changes are perfect if they are keeping the nitrates down to safer levels. I test my water with an API Master test kit. As long as I see orange in the test tube I consider it in the safer zone. With additional filtration the mid-week water change may not be needed. Keep in mind, you can never have too much filtration. To much water movement is possible if it affects your fishes ability to swim comfortably but never too much filtration.
I think I'll try moving my light towards the front of my tank. Maybe rearrange my plants to have more shadows in the back.
I used to have a aquaclear 100
filter but found i couldn't keep the sand out of it no matter what i tried because Gil is always kicking up the sand even shortening the intake and adding a sponge didn't help.
I actually didn't have much hope for only using sponge filters but they've been working great.
Only thing is i need to vacuum the sand cause everything sits on the surface.
 

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