Discussion in 'Pleco - Plecostomus' started by pjs518, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. pjs518

    pjs518New MemberMember

    Hi, i am in search of information about my pleco floating upside. I have 30 gallon tank with 2 plecos about 1 foot long each, a pair of catfish and 3 gouranmies.

    I don't know if its 'normal' for a pleco to swim upside? or if its dying? would appreciate any and all suggestions advice
  2. AlexAlex

    AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    Hi, pj - And welcome to Fishlore!

    I looked in your profile and noticed that you haven't filled out your "About Me". That is important for us who help others in their questions and concerns. Just click on "Settings" in the top right corner of the forum. Once you get to that page then select "Edit Profile" on the left hand column and fill in as much information on that page as you can.

    I'll start off with the bad news. I know a lot of us come into the hobby of fish keeping without knowing the proper information of what fishes to put in what tanks and the correct water parameters, etc. If the pleco is a common pleco (and I'm assuming it is by the size it is), then those get way too big to house in anything less than a 100+ Gallon fish tank. A better choice would be a Clown Pleco or Bristle Nose Pleco, as those only get to be 3.5 to 4.5 inches. Common Plecos can reach a whopping size of around 24 inches.

    Secondly, pictures of the pleco will help us determine more what the issue is, or if there is one, etc.

    Thirdly, are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle and is your tank fully cycled, etc? If not, I'd suggest reading and getting to know how to and what to on that. When you test your water parameters, normal levels would be 0 Nitrites, 0 Ammonia, 0-20 (at most, ideally) Nitrates. Too, make sure that your fishes have the proper pH and water hardness and softness.

    I know all of this can be overwhelming, but rest assure that once you get these under control and familiarize yourself with the correct information, it will be much easier as your fish will be happier and healthier, too.

    Fourthly, are you testing your water to make sure your levels are normal, or not? I'd suggest using the API Master Liquid Testing Kit as the testing STRIPS are highly inaccurate. You can usually purchase the kits at your local Petco or Petsmart or LFS. If you can't get to either one then you can purchase the kit on Amazon or on (which is cheaper usually).

    Fifthly, How often are you performing partial water changes? Are you using Seachem Prime or some other water conditioner? Prime is highly recommended by most members on the forum (I use it, as well).

    Hopefully others will chime in to assist.

    Alex :)
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  3. Terra

    TerraWell Known MemberMember

    Exactly what Alex said.. but also I have read of plecos floating upside down to eat flakes/food at the surface. Are you feeding your guys enough? They cannot exist off algae in the tank alone. A small pleco could clear out the algae in one night that it takes over a week to grow in a tank twice that isze.. and you have two huge ones in a small tank.