Help Pleco Mystery: Bristlenose Playing Dead or Just Dead?

redbouche

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I purchased a bristlenose from an LFS 2 days ago. He didn't move from his spot for the first day. Then when he came out he started laying on his back, mouth up. I thought he was dead, but when I went to pick him up he roused and swam away. I saw him do this a couple more times over the next couple of hours. When I went to bed he was laying upside down on bundle of Java Moss, but this time when I woke up he was still there. So I reached downed and tried to stir him, no motion. I picked him up in a net, no motion. I lifted him out of the water, no motion. Then a googled it, and found out bristlenose can play dead, so just to be safe I put him in the corner of the aquarium and left him there. But the next morning he still in the same spot. So at this point I'm thinking he must be dead. The only reason I doubt this is that he still has color, his fins are up, and his eyes are still black with a defined pupil. No sign of rotting, or bloating. He's not floating. In other words, besides the fact that he has not moved in 24 hours (and I can't make him move) he appears alive. Is this guy dead? Or is he just the most convincing fish actor ever?
 

Shawnie

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welcome to fishlore!!!!!
I am sorry to say, he certainly sounds dead to me
although they will play it once in awhile, when you touch/net him, he most definitely should move

again im sorry
 

ryanr

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Welcome to fishlore redbouche

[edit] by shawnie I tend to agree, but trying to stay optimistic....

If you could take a few moments to fill in your aquarium info that will really help us. (water parameters etc)

All I can suggest at the moment:
Was the fish lively at the lfs?
How did acclimate the fish?
Are there any signs of life?

Are there any other tankmates? Your new arrival could be stressed/threatened and playing dead.

Also, if you haven't already, I would suggest adding driftwood for your bristlenose (they love it )

Let us know, but I'm leaning toward the worst case at this point

I have 2 bristlenose, and once in a while, one will play dead, particularly when they're playing and chasing each other around, then he'll liven up and chase the other (like puppies sometimes do) , but they certainly don't do it constantly.
 
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redbouche

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No signs of life that I can see. No gill movement or mouth movement. But not seeing a plecos gills move is not unusual. There are two piece of mopani wood in there for him to suck on. His tank mates are a few angels, and a 2 mollies, and a small spotted catfish. I've never seen anyone pick on him. The only think that I can figure he defend himself against is me :).
 

Shawnie

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when was the tank started red and what are the ammonia/nitrites/nitrates?

as ryan suggested, if you fill in your aquarium info under my settings, we may be able to help figure out what might have happened....just dont leave him in the tank if you are sure he has passed...it will foul the water up pretty quickly and again, im sorry for the loss
 

ryanr

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I'm with Shawnie, sorry to say
He should definitely move when netted or aggravated.

If you want to wait it out just to double check, you could maybe put a piece of zucchini (weighted down), which b/n love, and turn off the lights and keep it all dark for a few hours. See if he 'comes to life', but I think it may sadly be in earnest.... as I think he has passed.
 
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redbouche

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Thanks guys. The water quality is good. Well cycled, Well planted, 0 ammonia, 0 Nitrite, about 15 ppm Nitrate. All the other fish are fine. I even have blue rams in there, so you know the water quality has to be good. (P.S. I know blue rams may not be the best with angelfish, but they were a rescue. The LFS had them with convicts, and they were getting shredded.)
 
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