Albino Pleco in bad shape Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Zemerister2154, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. Zemerister2154New MemberMember

    Hi guys I need your help with one of my Plecos! So I wen’t out today for about 2 hours, before I left my albino Pleco was perfectly fine and working on cleaning off the fake plants in my 35 gallon. After I got back about 2 hours later I realized that he was at the top as Aphrodite (our female betta, was inspecting him and I noticed her) and him just floating there on his side against the glass. I thought something might be wrong and upon closer inspection there is. He appears to be in really bad shape, he looks like he may have been attacked as he has significant (what appears to be) bruising all over his body, blood in his fins, joints, and along the sides of his stomach. His stomach also appears to be slightly swollen and he seems to be bleeding from the anus. I will post multiple pictures so you can see in a moment but was wondering if anyone knows what’s wrong with him. I’m very worried about him as we got him about 2 months ago and he’s been doing great but now he’s floating on the top upside down and can’t seem to stay suctioned to the glass like he usually does.

    All the fish have coexisted wonderfully for the last 12+ months together so that’s why I’m at a loss as to what might have happened to him. I thought that the other Pleco might have picked a fight with him and he lost badly? I’m also worried that he might have somehow developed a bacteria infection but I’ve never heard of it happening in 2 hours as he was completely fine this whole week and displayed no other signs of illness or any other problems.

    Any advice on him; what might be wrong and how to fix it would be greatly appreciated.

    My tank setup:
    35 gallon hex
    2 fantail goldfish
    1 dwarf Blackmore
    4 loaches
    2 tetras
    2 barbs (they are actually very well behaved and usually refrain from any fin nipping)
    1 female beta
    2 bumble bee catfish
    1 striped Raphael catfish
    2 Plecos (1 albino the ones who injured and beat up) and one black one

    I know we have too many fish in the tank and will be getting a 150 gallon in a months’ time.

    Water conditions:
    Water clarity: excellent
    Feeding: Hikari Gold crushed pellets and Hikari Tropical Algae Wafers supplemented with frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, zucchini, baby spinach leaves, and the occasional other vegetable and fly. Fed once a day only as much as is eaten.
    35% water change done every 3-5 days or sooner as needed.
    80% water change done every 15 days.
    Filter cleaned regularly and scrubbed once every 3 months. Media replaced as needed.
    Doing a water change today
    1x 23 watt CFL
    Magnum 80 gallon Canister filter

    Water tests from December 6, 2009:
    PH: 6.6>7.0
    Usually 7.6
    Ammonia: 0.25>.0.50
    Nitrite: 1.0
    Nitrate: 10>20

    I'm new to the forum here and am not sure how to post pictures so I'll create a blog and add them to it as soon as possible for you guys to see.
  2. thorpbrianValued MemberMember

    First off, welcome to fish lore!

    Could be several things really. Sounds most likely like the overcrowding is causing aggression and one of the other fish attacked him.

    Obviously you know you tank is overstocked and it's good your planning on getting another tank. The overcrowding also appears to be cause elevated ammonia and nitrite levels. Doing the water changes is a good thing but personally I would be doing 25% or more at least every other day until you get another tank or the ammonia and nitrite levels get back down to zero.
  3. CHoffman

    CHoffmanFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fishlore. So sorry it's on a bad note though. It could very well be another pleco or bottom dweller that caused the injury. It sounds to me like it is indeed a injury since there is bruising and it happened so quickly. Do you have a hospital tank or another small tank that you could put him in so you can monitor him more closely and he'll be safer as well. Do you know the sex of your plecos? Males can be aggressive especially if the tank is overstocked and they are fighting over a territory.

    On the ammonia and nitrite it appears that your tank is going through a mini cycle or maybe just can't get cycled from being overstocked. Doing w/c as often as you can even everyday will ensure the ammonia and nitrite don't cause harm to the fish. I'm so sorry your little ABN is going through this. I hope he can pull through!!.

  4. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the forum Zemerister; though, I'm sorry it's on such a sad note. Your poor pleco. :(

    Those ammonia and nitrite readings are deadly. I'd add some Prime or Amquel Plus <b>asap</b> to neutralize the ammonia and nitrites - keep adding it every day until that bigger tank comes. Frequent water changes with the Prime or Amquel Plus will help him recover if possible and stop others from further poisoning.

    If you have a quarantine tank, I'd move him there to help him from getting picked on more and to help keep the water pristine.

    I hope he makes it. :(

  5. OP

    Zemerister2154New MemberMember

    Thanks for all your suggestions and help you guys!

    I greatly appreciate all the advice and helpful suggestions you guys gave me thank you! Unfortunately he wasn't able to pull threw and died a couple hours after my post from his injuries. I also believe he had developed a secondary bacteria infection or dropsy as there was alot of swelling in his belly after I pulled him out, I think something may have caused something inside to explode, or a lung to collapse, as he had alot of blood and fluid in his belly where it shouldn't have been. But to be on the safe side I'm going to be treating the entire tank for bacteria and am more throughly researching dropsy to see if I can turn up a cure and more preventative measures. If you guys might happen to know anything or could point me in the direction of some helpful reading it would be greatly appreciated too.
    Anything to tell me how to sex the Pleco's would be helpful too as I have no idea how to sex them. I just know most of the fish in my tank are mating pairs and are always going at it except for the tetras which generally seem to hate one another.
    Thankfully however, the rest of the fish seem to be doing fine and even better now that I've just completed a 70% water change.
    Thank you all for your help with my Pleco I'm just bummed it didn't end out on a better note.
  6. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    Dang. :( I'm sorry.
  7. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Zemerister2154 and Welcome to Fish Lore. Sorry to hear that you've lost your Pleco. I agree with other posters above that your fish are suffering from ammonia poisoning. I suggest daily 30 to 50% water changes until you have readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates. With the internal bleeding your fish was experiencing leads me to believe that it may have been septicemia caused by poor water conditions. Dropsy could also be an issue.

    Add some Prime or Amquel + (note if you use Amquel + you may still get false readings of ammonia the first 24 hours but it won't be toxic for these 24 hours) to detox the ammonia for the 24 hour period until it's time for the next water change.

    I'm glad to hear that you'll be upgrading your tank size in the not too distant future. Too, I would like to suggest that the Gold Fish have a tank of their own since they are cool water fish and not tropical like your others.

    Anytime your fish are having problems a water change is a good place to start.

    Best of luck. Please keep us posted and I hope you can share some photos of your tank and fish with us soon.
  8. OP

    Zemerister2154New MemberMember

    After water change

    After the water change last night the tank levels are doing alot better:
    Ammonia: <0.05
    Nitrite: <0.25
    PH: 7.2>7.4

    Definitely an improvement but I think I will do another 25% water change today to flush out the last of the Nitrite that managed to build up over the last couple of days. All the other fish are doing great this morning too and I think the loaches are feeling better since they were dancing in the current all last night after the water change.
    I also set up a blog so you guys can see the fish tank and some of its inhabitants:  
    Actually after letting the tests sit for the full 5 minutes I actually came up with these results:
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    PH: 7.2>7.4
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  9. CHoffman

    CHoffmanFishlore VIPMember

    Your test results look great!!. Letting them sit for 5 min will give you the correct readings so I'd say they are perfect. Keep an eye on them though to ensure they don't rise again. Also do you know what your Nitrate levels are?
    I'm very sorry to hear about your pleco!. :( I know that's tough to watch. You have several bottom dwellers in a hex tank, which doesn't have a very big footprint at all. It does hold 30 gallons of water but a very small base. It's good that you'll be upgrading because the Raphael will get BIG. I think it still could have been injury because of all the bottom dwellers you have. They all want a place to call their own and if their isn't enough space or they feel threatened in any way they will harm each other. I would not treat your entire tank for bacterial infection if none of the others are showing signs of it. I use meds as a VERY LAST resort. I never medicate if I don't have to. It can be harmful for the fish and harmful for your cycle. I would just keep a close eye out on them to see if they are showing signs of having problems. Keep the water super clean though and that will help more then anything.
    Hex tanks are very pretty but not practical for certain fish I have one Which by the way yours looks great!!. :D
    The female betta I would say needs to get a home of her own. Betta's get their oxygen from the air. So she has to swim all the way up to the top of the hex tank to get air. If you could get a 5gallon for her that would be ideal. Betta's aren't very good swimmers and they don't make very good community fish.
    And as Ken said earlier goldfish are a cool water fish and would benefit from cooler water then the rest of your tropical fish. Maybe when you get your new tank your goldies could keep the 30 hex and the rest of your fish could be transported to the bigger one. :D

    On sexing your pleco's are the Bristlenose? I kinda assumed they were since you had an albino. IF you had pics I could tell you for sure and let you know the sex too. IF they are BN the females will not have bristles and the males will.

    Good luck with your tank and again I'm so sorry your pleco didn't make it. I hope things start to look up.
  10. OP

    Zemerister2154New MemberMember

    Thanks for you input

    Thanks for your input Choffman! I certainly will be keeping a closer eye on it this week as I think my bf accidentally overfed them alittle cause I had him feed them the last two nights.
    I totally forgot to test for nitrates I will add those here too.
    Nitrate: 5.0
    Temp: 76*F
    That’s a good idea on the goldfish and we've been debating who to put where when we get the 150 gallon and if I want to keep the others going or not so that is one solution I hadn't actually considered. I think it’s one the goldfish would love as I just got 5 more common goldfish who are all in their little quarantine tank. As for the meds I was kind of thinking the same, I only use them when I absolutely need to as I do have the loaches not to mention worrying about more resistant strains of bacteria or diseases popping up. That would be the last thing I need now that I have all the tanks running great. The female Betta’s I'm not too worried about as I've had them and other male Betta’s as community fish for over a year now with only one problem. The only problem was with a previous catfish I had (Stalin, aptly named on accident) who wen’t out of his way to kill my favorite Betta (Bubbles), as such Stalin found a new home and I have never had another problem with any other fish. The other Betta’s have done great and I find them to be an awesome addition to any community tank as they add color and personality. Aphrodite seems to be more of a bottom dweller than a top dweller to our surprise and loves staying on the bottom or in her big top plant I added for her.
    As for the other Pleco he has a good picture on my blog that’s on my second fish posting. Here’s the link for you:   he’s the second fish down. I don't think they are bristle noose; the albino was an Albino chocolate pleco and the other one is of the same basic species just black and grey.
  11. CHoffman

    CHoffmanFishlore VIPMember

    Goldfish especially common goldfish get HUGE. I honestly don't think that 7 of them will even fit in the What kind of loaches do you have? Some loaches are actually cool water as well.

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