Pleco Food (cloudy/stinky water)

Boot2

Hello,
I have a 10" Pleco I adopted from our office. I have been struggling with finding algea/bug wafers that do not cloud the tank or make it smell horrible.
I also clip on a Zuchinni slice 2 times per week to give him a bit of variety.

I am not sure which is causing the most clouding (wafers or zucchini) but it sure gets tinted quickly and oftentimes smells really bad.

Any suggestions? Brands? Do's and Dont's?

Thanks
Boots
 

pagoda

What would your aquariums size and maintenance routine be as that has a great effect on the clarity/smell etc of water, not just food
 
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BigManAquatics

Hikari Algae wafers i ha e noticed will make my tank smell if they don't get fully ate, haven't noticed that with Xtreme's algae wafers....though my plecos really seem to like the xtreme ones so they get gobbled up.
 
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Boot2

Thanks. It's a 55 gallon Tank. I typically replace filters and roughly 1/4 of the water every 2 weeks.
 
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pagoda

You should leave the filter alone...only rinse the media out each weekly 50% water change using the removed water to rinse it with

Replacing the media that often is effectively removing the good bacteria and kicking the cycle sideways every time and that will not help clear the fog, infact it tends to promote it

Start doing 50% water changes weekly, ideally same day of the week to get into a proper routine. Only replace media when it literally falls to bits, which is usually around 5 to 8 weeks depending on the stocking.
 
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Flyfisha

Hi boot2 welcome.
Extremely Important the filters are never replace. After two years of getting a rinse once or twice a month they will be falling apart. Only then do we add a new one BUT LEAVE the old one in the filter discharge current.

Each week you need to change part of the water.Only a water test will tell you for sure but roughly 50% once a week is normal.

Remove uneaten zucchini in a little less than 24 hours.

Only one or two pellets depending on size etc.
No pellets will be sitting on the substrate for more than a few minutes.
 
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Boot2

Wow. This is great information everyone. I had no idea about all of this, and this site is truly amazing with such wonderful,helpful people. Thanks everyone!
 
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Linda1234

If the only fish in the 55 gallon tank is a 10 inch pleco (do you know what type) then you do not need to do a weekly 50% water change. Maybe 25% every other week or every week if it makes you feel more comfortable. Also some pleco are primarily eat meat and very little algae; other require wood so it helps to know what type of pleco you have. Last but least don't over feed - better to under feed a little than over feed. Uneaten food will cause a lot of issues with water quality.
 
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Flyfisha

As a recreational fisher person I am aware that some countries do not include the tail when measuring fish. Do you include the tail in the ten inch pleco Boot2.

I still say only a water test will tell you for sure how much water needs to be removed as a minimum.

As the tank is cloudy and has been having its bacteria tossed ( filter elements) away regularly it’s possible a 40% water change will be needed more than once a week Linda1234 if the tank has NO cycle ( bacteria) ,which seems likely.
 
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Linda1234

If the tank is uncycled then yes a large water change will be require more than weekly. Still i would think the fish would be suffering from severe ammonia and nitrite poisoning but still if he has been doing things long enough to comment that the filter is being adjusted twice a month i would think the tank is cycled even if he is weakening the cycle by excessive filter maint. There are a large amount of unknowns here from the actual tank layout (substrate, plants, ...) to just how much he is feeding this fish and if there are other critters in the tank. The clouding could be due to massive over feeding just hard to guess since there are so many knowns.

As the tank is cloudy and has been having its bacteria tossed ( filter elements) away regularly it’s possible a 40% water change will be needed more than once a week Linda1234 if the tank has NO cycle ( bacteria) ,which seems likely.
 
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Boot2

My apologies everyone as I am new to this. Basically I am simply a rescuer of an office fish that was not being taken care of, so I purchase a 55 gallon tank and everything that goes with it for basically this fish. And a few small fish mentioned above.

The tank was set up two weeks ago. City Water, I used the water treatment to remove chlorine, added some stress guard. Added the fish 5 days ago.

It's a common pleco, and total length is 10 in.

The tank has a gravel bottom, several pieces of Driftwood, and the rest are just plastic type plants from Fluval. Filter hangs off the back, waterfall type, 2 airstream fine bubbles to slightly agitate surface.

Again, I rescued them. I don't know about cycling tanks or anything of the sort. My apologies

Boots
 
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Linda1234

Ok a couple of things. First the tnak is not cycled unless you were given the filter from the office with established media. You can test for nitrite and ammonia but chances are these will quickly build up in the tank until cycled and you should be doing large water changes every couple of days for about 3 weeks. You can also use a few drops of sachem prime to help control the toxic effects of nitrite and ammonia until the tank is cycled.
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cycling a tank is the process of allowing 'beneficial' bacteria to get established. This bacteria eats fish waste and converts it first into nitrite and then nitrate. Nitrate is mostly harmless. You should feed the fish the bare minimum for 3 weeks while this bacteria is getting established to reduce the amount of waste the fish produce.
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Last but least a full grown common pleco will need a tank around 180 gallons unless it is stunted. They can grow to over 2 feet.
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btw good call @Flyfisha on the cycle issue.
 
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mattgirl

My apologies everyone as I am new to this. Basically I am simply a rescuer of an office fish that was not being taken care of, so I purchase a 55 gallon tank and everything that goes with it for basically this fish. And a few small fish mentioned above.

The tank was set up two weeks ago. City Water, I used the water treatment to remove chlorine, added some stress guard. Added the fish 5 days ago.

It's a common pleco, and total length is 10 in.

The tank has a gravel bottom, several pieces of Driftwood, and the rest are just plastic type plants from Fluval. Filter hangs off the back, waterfall type, 2 airstream fine bubbles to slightly agitate surface.

Again, I rescued them. I don't know about cycling tanks or anything of the sort. My apologies

Boots
If you don't already have it I will suggest you get an API Master Freshwater Test Kit. With it you can know exactly what is going on in this tank. If you started with everything new 2 weeks ago you are doing a fish in cycle. To protect this big guy you will need to be doing big water changes often to protect him from the ammonia he is producing and the soon to spike nitrites as the ammonia eating bacteria starts growing.

Did you get anything from the tank he used to live in? If you got some filter media from his original tank it will speed up this cycle. You can't know what is happening without being able to test the water.

I am going to suggest you read the first post in this thread. https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/fish-in-nitrogen-cycle-simplified.414083/ it will tell you what to expect and what to do until this tank is fully cycled.
 
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Boot2

Okay. Thank you Linda and Matt Girl. I will start changing the water every couple of days for the next two or 3weeks, and order a test kit right away. I took him from the 29 gallon and put him in a 55, but I can't imagine a180 gallon tank without assistance. It's just myself, a rescue dog, and I'll rescue fish. :) Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.
 
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mattgirl

Okay. Thank you Linda and Matt Girl. I will start changing the water every couple of days for the next two or 3weeks, and order a test kit right away. I took him from the 29 gallon and put him in a 55, but I can't imagine a180 gallon tank without assistance. It's just myself, a rescue dog, and I'll rescue fish. :) Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.
I guess if I had a pet peeve concerning this hobby it would be stores selling common plecos without first letting the folks know these adorable tiny creatures can grow up to 2 feet long. Not all do but it is a possibility.

Had you known to ask before you got your 55 gallon tank I would have suggested a 75 gallon. It is still 4 feet long and 21 inches high but is 18 instead of 12 inches deep. This big guy would have still end up crowded in a 75 but it is going to happen quicker in the 55. I hate to have to say it but you may want to try to find a new home for him. Before he stops growing he is going to need a bigger home.

Even once this tank has completed its cycle I highly recommend changing out no less than half the water each and every week. Although wonderful fish, they are fairly messy fish and produce a lot of waste. I also highly recommend you run the strongest filter you can. I actually run 2 HOB filters rated for 55 to 100 gallon tanks on my 55 gallon community tank. Elbert, that handsome fellow over there in my avatar is only 5.5 inches long and even at that he still produces a lot of waste. He is a Bristle nose pleco so at 5.5 inches he is full grown.

Once you get your test kit let your numbers be your guide as to when to do a water change. You want to keep ammonia and nitrites when they show up down as low as possible. Bacteria is going to grow on everything in this tank but the strongest colony is going to be on your filter media. I know the makers of these filter recommend changing the media out but don't do it until it is literally falling apart or water will no longer flow through it freely. Even then don't throw it away. Run both old and new for at least a month before tossing the old.
 
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Boot2

Thank you again. His home will remain with me no matter what. I took on the responsibility and he will remain with me his entire life. It would bother me too much not knowing if he was being cared for properly. I will take everyones suggestions, and in the future purchase a larger tank, keep healthy water, testing etc. Thank you.
I also want to to mention the Pleco has been surfacing several times per day. I am assuming it is due to the water quality? Test kit will arrive on Monday.
 
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mattgirl

Thank you again. His home will remain with me no matter what. I took on the responsibility and he will remain with me his entire life. It would bother me too much not knowing if he was being cared for properly. I will take everyones suggestions, and in the future purchase a larger tank, keep healthy water, testing etc. Thank you.
I also want to to mention the Pleco has been surfacing several times per day. I am assuming it is due to the water quality? Test kit will arrive on Monday.
I totally understand. I really hated having to rehome Jethro, my last common pleco. I knew when I got him I wouldn't get to keep him long term so just enjoyed him as long as I could. He was such a laid back pleco he would actually allow me to pet him. It seems he knew I was the one that provided him with one of his favorite kind of food. He loved his shrimp pellet stuffed zucchini. I already had a trusted new home for him. Taking him to his new home and leaving him there was hard but it was best for him. It is a huge above ground Koi pond.

I would change out at least half the water daily until you get the test kit just to be on the safe side.
 
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Boot2

Thank you Mattgirl, and sorry to hear you have to let go of Jethro. It sounds like you gave him a great life while he was with you and now he has a great home in a Koi Pond. I will have to check out Shrimp Pellets. I will try pressing them into his zuchinni slices. If I could, I would build a pond for him, but I live in Illinois.

Thanks for the water tip. I will keep changing it out daily until I can test.


I totally understand. I really hated having to rehome Jethro, my last common pleco. I knew when I got him I wouldn't get to keep him long term so just enjoyed him as long as I could. He was such a laid back pleco he would actually allow me to pet him. It seems he knew I was the one that provided him with one of his favorite kind of food. He loved his shrimp pellet stuffed zucchini. I already had a trusted new home for him. Taking him to his new home and leaving him there was hard but it was best for him. It is a huge above ground Koi pond.

I would change out at least half the water daily until you get the test kit just to be on the safe side.
 
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