Can plecos bully one another

Nikn

So, I had two male super red bristlenose plecos (both males) in my 200l tank. They were doing fine, and were getting pretty big, about ready to breed. I decided to get two females of similar size, the common ones as they are less expensive and in case of any breeding i would get both varieties. I added the females about a week ago, and it all seemed fine at first. Yesterday I saw one of the males and a female sitting close to each other next to a cave (there are 3 caves plus a lot of rocks and driftwood that can act as a cave and the males made use of them before). They were both alive and I thought they might breed, but a few hours later the male was dead at the spot I last saw him. Today the other one died as well. The plecos couldn't have died for any disease because both the males and the females were very healthy. I feed them regularly (every night or every other night). Could they have been fighting for territory? Even if I saw no aggression? Also I have had plecos die on me before, even tho I'm pretty sure I'm doing everything right. Do you guys have any advice?

Thank you
 

Yeoy

Male bristlenose can definitely fight over territory/females but it's unusual for both of them to die especially in quick succession like that.

If the female fish didn't come from another tank in your home (e.g. a pet store or breeder) it is possible that they brought something in to the tank with them, but that's hard to determine. Even if the fish appeared outwardly healthy they could have carried something. My immediate guess would either be disease/parasites from the new fish, or a possible change in water quality by adding too many big fish to your tank at once.
 
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Nikn

Male bristlenose can definitely fight over territory/females but it's unusual for both of them to die especially in quick succession like that.

If the female fish didn't come from another tank in your home (e.g. a pet store or breeder) it is possible that they brought something in to the tank with them, but that's hard to determine. Even if the fish appeared outwardly healthy they could have carried something. My immediate guess would either be disease/parasites from the new fish, or a possible change in water quality by adding too many big fish to your tank at once.
I changed the water a day after I added the new fish, and tested the water. Both females appeared to be healthy when I got them and the two males that died were very beautiful, so I'm really mad about losing them. I guess I should invest in a quarantine tank if I plan on getting more fish. Is there anything I can do to prevent loosing plecos in the future because some of them died on me randomly even if I didn't add any fish and the water chemistry was on point. I'm really struggling with plecos and I don't know why.
After consider the situation it must have been related to bulling and territory dispute. The females and males were both around 4-5 cm and I saw that the females were close to the males before they died. This is surprising because a 200l tank, with a lot of driftwood, plants, rocks and caves should be enough for them. Maybe it wasn't smart mixing different types together, but I have seen it being done before so I didn't think that would be the problem. I really want to keep plecos but not if they are gonna keep dying for no reason (this happened in the past). Would it be possible to add another common bp male (in about a month or two) or would that lead to more deaths?
 
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BigManAquatics

I just moved my biggest male bn pleco because of his aggressiveness towards the other plecos, mostly over food. Got 2 more males that will be moved in the near future, once i get more tanks finished for them. As for mixing, don't know if that plays a role or not. I had 3 albinos with 4 super reds. The super reds are noticably smaller than the albinos, so i think that played more of a role with my issues, which as far as i could tell was only over food. The one i moved he was just a bully towards all the plecos. Luckily, was usually just chasing the others off from the area he wanted to take his food from, though there were a few tail slap fights.
 
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Mcasella

That quick of deaths was likely something the females carried in. Parasite or bacteria. While plecos will kill defending territory there would be notable injuries in a death fight. Even just major territory disputes without death can have circular injuries and stab wounds (circular from sucking on the other fish).

And normal to super red will likely end up with all normal colored fish, no super reds (specially pet store browns, they don't have any fun genetics unless it has come from a local hobbyist, even then still not likely).
 
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