Important Emergency!! Please Help!! Pleco Tail Rot Is Worse

tatianamarie00

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Tank

What is the water volume of the tank?
-55 gallon tank
How long has the tank been running?
-Last cleaned 3 days ago, has been running for now 4 months
Does it have a filter?
-Yes, Penn-Plax 1000
Does it have a heater?
-Yes
What is the water temperature?
-78.1 degrees
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
-One Pleco and One Pink Bellied Sideneck Turtle

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
-Weekly
How much of the water do you change?
-All of it
What do you use to treat your water?
-Decloridnator (ran out) , Sludge-destroyer, Algae-Free
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
-Everything, the whole tank and items

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
-Yes
What do you use to test the water?
-Test strips
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
-Not sure how to measure (haven't had an aquarium in years)

Ammonia: None detected
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0
pH: 6.8

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
-At night and morning
How much do you feed your fish?
-Two Algae Waffers
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
-API
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
-No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
-4 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
-4 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
-My Pleco started to look ill with cloudy eyes and dark skin about 3 days ago. I bought antibiotics for him and today he was eating and swimming around, but his eyes are still cloudy and his fin has become WAY worse.
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
-Yes
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
-No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
-Cloudy eyes, his long fin is almost gone because of the rot, he hasn't eaten (until I treated him yesterday, now he has eaten), he has pale patches on his tail, red skin (now it's starting to heal from the antibiotics)

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
-I have a Pleco who is the smallest of the two. My other Pleco, Hercules, unexpectedly died and I had no clue as to why 3 days ago. I checked the water, PH almost a 7.0 and no nitrate. The water is crystal clear My remaining Pleco looked ill and I didn't think he was going to survive either. I bought antibiotics for him yesterday and today he was eating and swimming around, but his eyes are still cloudy and his fin has become WAY worse. The pictures show his fin yesterday and today. Please, if anyone can help, I would deeply appreciate it. He's all I have left.

Side note: His tank isn't dirty, the water is green because of the color of the antibiotics. The picture with green water was today, clear water pictures were taken yesterday.

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Quinn_Lamb98

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Ok lots of things to say and I'm on my cell phone, please excuse any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes it can be hard to check sometimes.

Your profile says you don't know about the nitrogen cycle, however your post says you test with test strips and cycled your tank? How are you certain you cycled? You should have some nitrate at least if the last water change was 3 days ago. I'm guessing you are only testing for ph. Correct?

My suggestion is to read up and familiarize yourself with the nitrogen cycle and how it affects your fish (should be high lighted blue, click the link).

Your post says you change all of the water every week? So 100% water changes? Do you clean your filter media at all during this? It is possible that you may have killed your good bacteria that filter the water. This would cause a spike in ammonia which will cause burns to fish skin and fins (you mentioned red skin on the pleco?)

Unfortunately I can't particularly speak towards the cloudy eyes. Fish diseases and illnesses just are not my strong suit and I won't be any help. Hopefully someone else can pitch in. They will need to know exactly what brand of antibiotics you used.

Have you noticed if the side necked turtle has nipped at the fins at all? It's possible he may have started something that weakened or stressed the pleco enough to cause such bad fin rot.

As far as the fin rot and red (guessing ammonia burned) skin, my suggestion is to do large water changes daily to every other day (50% or more) to get you likely ammonia under control. The large fresh clean water will also do wonders for the fin rot, and should help to heal it if it isn't a case of something else. That all being said if you are treating with medications the water changes will make them moot. Again someone else will need to chime in on this matter if you even need medications.

Hopefully I helped some and others will be able to help shortly. I hope he makes it
 
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tatianamarie00

tatianamarie00

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I just read about the nitrogen cycle and familiarized myself. I never knew and I feel pretty ashamed because I didn't. I do 100% water changes and clean the filter with clean water, which I can now understand how bad it is for my fish, what can I do now? My last complete clean was 3 days ago, which can explain why his tail is worse. I used API Fungal Cure for him, that is what I was told to get by an employee at PetSmart. And no, I dont think my turtle nipped at him, Little Foot (my turtle) is pretty scared of Sampson (my pleco) and stays far away from him, but Sampson likes to go near Little Foot often. Thank you so much for your advice and I apologize for my inexperience.
 

Quinn_Lamb98

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I'm not the type of guy to think badly of you just because you didn't. Some people will, most here won't.

At this point now that we have a pretty good idea that it is high ammonia that is the culprit, I will still suggest doing daily water changes for now. About 50% is what I would recommend, possibly 75% with the two high bioload inhabitants.

There is a thread or article that basically says that washing your filter media with chlorinated water is not bad (atleast no scientific proof of it) however many many people still suggest rinsing the media in used tank water (ie water chang water), HOWEVER, this does not need to be done every water change, or even every week. Only do this when the sponges are clogged up.
If I recall correctly the Penn plex is a canister filter(?). Most people with canister filters don't even open them for 3 months (depending on how much wast there fish creat). I know of people who go 9 months to a year without even opening theirs.

I suggest getting a bottle of seachem prime (a dechlorinator) as it converts ammonia and nitrite into less harmful (but still somewhat harmful) chemicals that more easily is converted into nitrate by the bacteria. On top of this I would suggest getting the API Master test kit. It has everything you need to test ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, and high pH. With the kit you will be able to more accurately estimate how far into your tank cycle, and when the cycle is complete.
 
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