Bristlenose Pleco - Red Mouth

adens33

Hello all. I am having an issue with a bristlenose pleco i purchased from a LFS around 1 month ago. It is a juvenile around 2 inches long. During the last few days it has developed a very red mouth and neck - see pictures. It is still swimming around and eating but a bit less energetic and color seems to be faded. It originally was black/dark brown and mouth did not have any redness. Any thoughts on what this could be? Bacterial infection? Septicemia? Ammonia burn? Natural color change with age (doubt it)? Thanks for any help anyone can offer.

Other info:
tank size: 10 gallon quarantine tank. (once it is cured will move to 45g).
food: pleco algae wafers, fish flakes, blood worms (doesn't seem to want these), zucchini
ammonia - 0-0.25ppm. I have it down to 0 ppm now.
nitrite - 0
nitrates - 0
ph - 7.6


pleco1.jpg
 

BigManAquatics

Sheesh, even super reds are more orange. Has it actually been eating the food? Besides the bloodworms.
 

adens33

Yes it is bright red. I checked this morning and I don't think that it ate last night. I put in an algae wafer and few blood worms and found them uneaten this morning. I also put in a slice of blanched zucchini. It was lying on top of it, but not sure if it is actually is eating any. I did see it searching the glass for algae yesterday. Unfortunately since it is a quarantine tank set up only 1.5 months ago there is none formed yet.

I have "googled" quite a bit and haven't found any other similar posts describing such a red mouth problem. I would think it must be some type of bacterial infection but only guessing. Thanks.
 

BigManAquatics

Yes it is bright red. I checked this morning and I don't think that it ate last night. I put in an algae wafer and few blood worms and found them uneaten this morning. I also put in a slice of blanched zucchini. It was lying on top of it, but not sure if it is actually is eating any. I did see it searching the glass for algae yesterday. Unfortunately since it is a quarantine tank set up only 1.5 months ago there is none formed yet.

I have "googled" quite a bit and haven't found any other similar posts describing such a red mouth problem. I would think it must be some type of bacterial infection but only guessing. Thanks.
Honestly, that is my best guess as well. If it was on a human i would be looking for anti-biotics for sure.
 

adens33

I'm fairly sure that the QT tank is cycled now, but wasn't fully in the beginning.

I set it up with a new sponge filter about 4 weeks before adding fish. I used several doses of bottled bacteria (stability) during this time. I thought it was cycled but after adding the fish noticed that the ammonia did rise up to 0.25 ppm (according to the API test kit). I know that people target 0 ppm, but not sure how bad 0.25 is for this long. Now it seems to have stabilized at 0ppm, maybe a week before the pleco showed any symptoms.
 

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