My Pleco.

  • #1
I have a common pleco named Sparky who is about ten inches to a foot long. I've had him for five years now, at first in a ten gallon with five goldfish but he was fighting the goldfish. Chasing them around the tank so much they would jump out onto the floor. I moved him to a twenty gallon two years ago and tomorrow I'll be moving him to a thirty six gallon for now. I know he'll grow out of the thirty six gallon but I live in an apartment and won't be moving into a house until sometime next year which gives me a little time before he becomes a true monster fish. I've noticed lately that even though I have two filters for twenty gallon tanks because he poos A LOT, it still gets murky in there and this is even with a weekly water change.

Two weeks ago, after a water change I noticed a white spot on his belly. I freaked out. I tossed all of his substrate, scrubbed the heck out of all of his decorations again and removed them from the tank. I went to the Petland in my area and the guy was stumped. He said plecos are really hardy and rarely get diseases but he gave me something for ich. It seemed to have worked because the spot basically went away it's just a tiny dot now.

But last week after another water change I noticed a pink thing on his mouth. He's always had these feeler like things around his mouth like a beard. I figured that maybe that meant he was a boy. They're not long, they're small and patterned like his skin so I never worried about it until the pink thing occurred. There was even a little on one of his nostrils. I used Pimafix in his water but leaving the filter off had me changing the water every day. The one on his nostril went away. Does anyone have a clue of what it is and how to get rid of it?

I'd try to upload a picture but right now his tank is totally bare and I'd feel bad uploading a terrible pic after seeing the awesome aquarium photos on here. But here's an old photo of him from last year when he had rocks in his tank. If you look close you can see the tip of his snout(mouth) where the little feelers are. My brother said they're tumors but he's had them since I've had him. He's grown beautiful with them. I just thought they were part of him.


  • My Sparky.jpg
    My Sparky.jpg
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  • #2
That pleco is going to need a WAY bigger tank. I'd say 150 gallons plus. I can't really see the thing you are trying to describe.
  • #3
he said it was a old photo.

what are your water test saying? ammonia nitrite nitrate?

why did you turn the filters off? for the mealfix? you want to leave them running just remove any active carbon. if you haven't added any new carbon in over say a month then you don't have to take it out. its probably not active anymore.
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  • #4
I'm going to post a photo of the pink thing when I take him out of the tank if he'll let me handle him. He's usually fussy about being held and picked up.

I have an API 5 in 1 test kit. My pH was 6.5, my nitrites were 0.5 and my nitrates were 20. I turned off the filter because I know you have to remove the carbon and I had just put in a new one. I didn't want to risk it by just taking out the carbon and still running the filter and something bad happening. Every month I give his tank a complete and total scrubbing. When I do that I change all of my filter media.
  • #5
the API is liquid test right? liquid is much better than strips. what was your ammonia?

what kind of filter do you have? I would leave it running, it helps keep you cycle going. also aerates the water so your fish can breath easier. when you clean your filter you are not suppose to clean certain parts in tap water or change your bio media. if your changing all your filter media it could be sending you tank into a minI cycle.

here is what I do if I have a sick fish. lots of water changes 40% daily if possible. pristine water can fix allot. I will add prime for my water conditioner, stress coat/guard to replenish the fish's slime coat, vita chem or fish protector for vitamins. I never treat with meds unless a week or two of water changes hasnt helped or I can for sure know the problem.
  • #6
As far as the spot on the pleco I'm not sure.

However as far as the tank size QQQUUUUAADDD is right you need a much larger tank for this beastly fish.

bankruptjojo is also correct that you should always leave your filter running and be careful when cleaning it out. I have a canister filter with active carbon/ammonia remover mix, sponges, and Bio Max (which houses the Beneficial Bacteria). Once every month I replace the active carbon/ammonia remover, rinse out the sponges and scrub down the filter, but the Bio Max never leaves established tank water (as to not kill off the BB). It is important to keep your aquarium clean, however you must be careful when cleaning to not kill all you're BB and create a mini-cycle.

BB lives not only in your filter but on any porous surface in your aquarium, including your substrate and any decorations in the aquarium. This is why you should never scrub down your ornaments or toss your substrate (when cleaning substrate, never gravel vac more than 1/3 of the substrate).

As far as your readings are concerned, they should be at 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, less than 20ppm nitrate. As bankruptjojo said liquid tests are the most accurate, I use an API freshwater master test kit that I purchased on Amazon for $18.

I suggest you read up on the Aquarium Nitrogen cycle if you don't know it.
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  • #7
Here's a picture of my fish. I have two filters actually. One for a fifty gallon tank and one for a thirty. One is Tetra, one is Marineland. I brought a 56 gallon tank today from Petsmart. I took out the carbon from both and treated the water with Pimafix.

It looked like thick yellow mucus when I took him out to check earlier. It actually jiggles when he swims but he has a very healthy appetite and still poos a ton. He loves these Algae wafers and the seaweed salad I give him. Does anyone know what it is?

I hope you can see it well.


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