Maybe dying pleco?

HeavyHeart

Hi im new to plecos. Im fairly certain my baby longfin blue eyed lemon bristlenose pleco is dying. It is very lethargic, pale and seems bloated but I read a well rounded pleco is healthy so I'm not sure. I put algea wafers every other day and once a week a veggie( I've had it for two weeks now so it's had blanched spinach and blanched zucchini)Its about two inches long and roughly 5 months old. My 30 gallon aquarium is cycled perfectly.
Nitrate 5.0 ppm
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0.
PH is 7 even
GH is 5
KH is 3
I have driftwood, driftwood with moss on it, black flourish sand plants including marimo 5 marimo moss balls, a tiger lotas, wisteria, red floaters and three other plants that are planted in the sand that I can't remember the names of. There are tons of hiding places. I've used the same sponge filter thats up to 50 gallons for the last 8 months. All my fish and snails are doing great so why is my pleco not?? This is my second pleco. My first was also a baby and had died of a prolapesed anal. Currently it has been placed in a fry net so I can keep a close eye on it.
--Inches of fish per gallon--
Cherry barbs 4.5 inches
Leopard danio 5 inches
1 Betta 1.5 inches
Khuki loaches - 14 inches
1 Blue eyed lemon bristlenose pleco - 4 inches
 

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BigManAquatics

Not really sure here...a lot of the lemon plecos i have seen tend to look more like albinos, except the eyes. As far as lethargic, how you mean? My plecos will sometimes camp out somewhere for hours....or only move once or twice every couple hours
 

HeavyHeart

One of my danios bumped into the pleco while the pleco was resting at the bottom and he kinda rolled to the side, it isn't really doing anything not even touching the algea wafer. I could definitely be wrong about be lethargic though... and yeah he has always been pretty pale though they guaranteed he would be a nice yellow when he matured.

20210723_142908.jpgit was a bit brighter when I first got it
 

BigManAquatics

One of my danios bumped into the pleco while the pleco was resting at the bottom and he kinda rolled to the side, it isn't really doing anything not even touching the algea wafer. I could definitely be wrong about be lethargic though... and yeah he has always been pretty pale though they guaranteed he would be a nice yellow when he matured.

20210723_142908.jpgit was a bit brighter when I first got it
Is there anything else going on with it? My plecos also spend a lot of time scouring the tank looking for food.

As a sidenote, my oldest albino bn was usually pretty active til he started bullying the other plecos, so i moved him to a different tank. He was pretty much "i am just gonna lay here" for the last month til the last couple days, when he got some new tank mates and i also turned the temp down a couple of degrees.
 

HeavyHeart

Is there anything else going on with it? My plecos also spend a lot of time scouring the tank looking for food.

As a sidenote, my oldest albino bn was usually pretty active til he started bullying the other plecos, so i moved him to a different tank. He was pretty much "i am just gonna lay here" for the last month til the last couple days, when he got some new tank mates and i also turned the temp down a couple of degrees.
I'm honestly going off my super red plecos behavior before it died. It guy looked bloated, wasn't active and didn't touch its food then shortly after it died. I'm pretty nervous I might lose this one too....
 

BigManAquatics

How often do you change that water?
 

veggieshark

It looks normal in the picture he is sitting on a tablet. It looks fatter than normal in one picture. Of your baby BN is 4 inches as you said, this may be a female full of eggs.

Look at her from under (when sitting on the glass) to check the belly. (A picture in that form could be useful.) If sunken, it is bad news. If sort of bubbled rather than round like a ripe female, maybe a bloat.
 

HeavyHeart

How often do you change that water?
I usually do a change based off of water parameters so between two weeks to a month and I usually do a 20% water change.
It looks normal in the picture he is sitting on a tablet. It looks fatter than normal in one picture. Of your baby BN is 4 inches as you said, this may be a female full of eggs.

Look at her from under (when sitting on the glass) to check the belly. (A picture in that form could be useful.) If sunken, it is bad news. If sort of bubbled rather than round like a ripe female, maybe a bloat.
This one is a juvenile I recently purchased. It's approximately 4 to 5 months old. I would a say bloat over eggs.
I usually do a change based off of water parameters so between two weeks to a month and I usually do a 20% water change.

This one is a juvenile I recently purchased. It's approximately 4 to 5 months old. I would a say bloat over eggs.
I do believe I typed about 2 inches in length.
It looks normal in the picture he is sitting on a tablet. It looks fatter than normal in one picture. Of your baby BN is 4 inches as you said, this may be a female full of eggs.

Look at her from under (when sitting on the glass) to check the belly. (A picture in that form could be useful.) If sunken, it is bad news. If sort of bubbled rather than round like a ripe female, maybe a bloat.
Here a side view. Fyi don't normally touch my fish.
 

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DoubleDutch

Try to only feed vegs the coming days.
Simply leave the vegs in for a day and then swap for another piece.

Blue eyed fish are xanthists which should be yellow indeed notmlike albinos.
 

HeavyHeart

Try to only feed vegs the coming days.
Simply leave the vegs in for a day and then swap for another piece.

Blue eyed fish are xanthists which should be yellow indeed notmlike albinos.
Thank you for the advice, ultimately I was too late on noticing his healthy going down hill and he ended up passing away over night. I read on another thred that they sometimes over eat and you fast them for a day or two and it helps but I'm not sure the difference between a healthy round and a bloated round are. I'm a bit scared to add another bn pleco to my aquarium since this is my second one passing away.

Do you think they sold me an albino? I ordered it online from aquaticarts.
 

veggieshark

I usually do a change based off of water parameters so between two weeks to a month and I usually do a 20% water change.

This one is a juvenile I recently purchased. It's approximately 4 to 5 months old. I would a say bloat over eggs.

I do believe I typed about 2 inches in length.

Here a side view. Fyi don't normally touch my fish.
Yes, sorry you did say two inches, I thought the 4" on the stock list was him. And no the roundness doesn't look good. Sorry that you lost him already. How is the other one doing? If you have a healthy one for some time, maybe your new fish wasn't healthy to begin with. But because the lost ones are young, diet may be an issue as well as said before.

I just noticed you listed your fish as inch per gallon. You are probably overstocked. 20% water change btw 2 wks to a month and you only have 5ppm of nitrates. That sounds too good to me.
 

DoubleDutch

Thank you for the advice, ultimately I was too late on noticing his healthy going down hill and he ended up passing away over night. I read on another thred that they sometimes over eat and you fast them for a day or two and it helps but I'm not sure the difference between a healthy round and a bloated round are. I'm a bit scared to add another bn pleco to my aquarium since this is my second one passing away.

Do you think they sold me an albino? I ordered it online from aquaticarts.
BN's are omnivores but can start bloating when the percentage of protein is to high compared to "green" food.
They hardly can / will overeat on green and need the vibers to digest.
So as said try to only provide vegs for some time. Cumcumber, Peppers, Zuchini, Blqnched lettuve / spinach, brussels sprouts brocolli, etc etc...

I think it is a lemon.
 

mattgirl

Welcome to Fishlore :)

I am sorry to read that your little guy didn't make it for the second time. I did want to point out that there is more to water changes than just keeping the nitrates down. There are things we don't normally test for gradually building up in our tanks. If you are only changing out 20% of the water sometimes up to a month I have to think those things have built up to fairly high levels. Your other fish have very gradually acclimated to less than ideal conditions.

When you add a new fish it can't handle the less than ideal conditions and unfortunately ends up not thriving. I highly recommend you get in the habit of changing out half the water weekly no matter what the nitrate number is. You may have to build up to changing out that much water though. As I said your fish have slowly acclimated to less than ideal conditions so need to be slowly acclimated to fresh clean water. I recommend a 30% water change this week. 40% next week and 50% each week after that for the life of this tank.

Once you are up to changing half the water weekly I think it would be safe to get another pleco. When you get it feed it fresh veggies at least twice a week. On the other days offer a variety of food. I rotate through algae wafers, veggie rounds, shrimp wafers and kelp wafers. If you don't have any in there I also recommend you put some kind of driftwood in for the pleco. BN plecos don't eat as much wood as some others species of plecos but they do spend time rasping on it.
 

HeavyHeart

Welcome to Fishlore :)

I am sorry to read that your little guy didn't make it for the second time. I did want to point out that there is more to water changes than just keeping the nitrates down. There are things we don't normally test for gradually building up in our tanks. If you are only changing out 20% of the water sometimes up to a month I have to think those things have built up to fairly high levels. Your other fish have very gradually acclimated to less than ideal conditions.

When you add a new fish it can't handle the less than ideal conditions and unfortunately ends up not thriving. I highly recommend you get in the habit of changing out half the water weekly no matter what the nitrate number is. You may have to build up to changing out that much water though. As I said your fish have slowly acclimated to less than ideal conditions so need to be slowly acclimated to fresh clean water. I recommend a 30% water change this week. 40% next week and 50% each week after that for the life of this tank.

Once you are up to changing half the water weekly I think it would be safe to get another pleco. When you get it feed it fresh veggies at least twice a week. On the other days offer a variety of food. I rotate through algae wafers, veggie rounds, shrimp wafers and kelp wafers. If you don't have any in there I also recommend you put some kind of driftwood in for the pleco. BN plecos don't eat as much wood as some others species of plecos but they do spend time rasping on it.
I was under the impression that doing such large water changes could trigger a cycle crash and was very stressful for fish. What else do you test water for on top of ph, kh, gh, nitrites, nitrates and Ammonia? Honestly I'm pretty traumatized by plecos so I probably will stay back from them for a while of until I upgrade to a bigger aquarium.
Yes, sorry you did say two inches, I thought the 4" on the stock list was him. And no the roundness doesn't look good. Sorry that you lost him already. How is the other one doing? If you have a healthy one for some time, maybe your new fish wasn't healthy to begin with. But because the lost ones are young, diet may be an issue as well as said before.

I just noticed you listed your fish as inch per gallon. You are probably overstocked. 20% water change btw 2 wks to a month and you only have 5ppm of nitrates. That sounds too good to me. I remove food that's left over immediately and have lots of plants to help filter the water. My aquarium is well off... I'm certain the pleco had a hay day on the algea bloom that formed on to back of my aquarium when I left the shades open. That or it ate the shrimo wafers that were for my khuli loaches and had trouble digesting it.
That was my fault for not clarifying. I did 4 inches for what it would be at full maturity. I'm at 29 inches of fish in my 30 gallon to I'm definitely pushing it....
 

Demonskid

I want to pop in and say welcome to fishlore, and I'm sorry for your loss.

I do 40-50% water changes every week, no cycle crashes have happened. Most of the benificial bacteria is in the filter media, not the water so changing so much shouldn't cause crashes.

This thread has been very informative. Finding information on how much to feed juvenile plecos is hard. All pleco care info that I find is all on fully grown. How small should this be, how small should that be? The snails eat most of the food before the pleco's come to eat. Are both eating, or is it just the one and the snails. Should I do a day of no food to make sure they aren't eating or no?

I hope you can figure out what's killing your plecos.

Again, sorry for your loss. -virtual hugs-
 

mattgirl

I was under the impression that doing such large water changes could trigger a cycle crash and was very stressful for fish. What else do you test water for on top of ph, kh, gh, nitrites, nitrates and Ammonia? Honestly I'm pretty traumatized by plecos so I probably will stay back from them for a while of until I upgrade to a bigger aquarium.
Unfortunately it has been posted on the web that water changes can cause problems. Folks read it and think water changes are bad. As long as we add our water conditioner to remove chlorine if we have it in our water then water changes are not going to affect our cycle. As Demonskid pointed out. The bacteria isn't free floating in the water. It is growing on all the surfaces in the tank but the strongest colony is going to be on our filter media.

Many many folks here on the forum including me change out 50% or more each and every week. Some folks even more often than that. When growing out my pleco fry I was changing that much water daily. Your fish will get used to the water changes and I can assure you they will appreciate it even if they can't tell you so.

The only other thing I test for is the TDS (total dissolved solids). I use a dip meter for measuring them. I am not sure of exactly what those solids consist of since it will be different in different tanks. I know it is partially the build up minerals that are in our tap water but are not used up over time.
 

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