Plecostomus emergency

Stephanie c

My son is very upset and I need any help I can get to try and save his common plecostomus. Our poor guy started lying very awkward and in odd areas of his tank. He is not swimming much and his body is bent in a u-shape. This started yesterday and tonight he is lying with his head pointed at the gravel and his tail flopped over in the U-shape. I gently layed him down with his net and he just floated back to jis weird position. He is alive as of now. What could cause this? Now for the tank info and recent changes: He has a 30 gallon tank. He has had this plecostomus and a silver molly for 2 years with no problems until yesterday evening. Two weeks ago we added tank mates: 2 different types of cichlids, a black Moore, and a something lyre tail. The 2 cichlids and lyre tail died within 48 hours. A return trip to the store and I found out the combination of fish the lady recommended was not good advise because the cichlids we got do not get along. I then did a 25% water change, waited a few days and had the new and old water tested. All was well with the water samples and Water is always kept at 70-74 degrees. During all this the plecostomus has been his normal self until last night. I'm afraid to pull him from the tank but also afraid to just leave him there. Please help. Thank you
 

Rivieraneo

My son is very upset and I need any help I can get to try and save his common plecostomus. Our poor guy started lying very awkward and in odd areas of his tank. He is not swimming much and his body is bent in a u-shape. This started yesterday and tonight he is lying with his head pointed at the gravel and his tail flopped over in the U-shape. I gently layed him down with his net and he just floated back to jis weird position. He is alive as of now. What could cause this? Now for the tank info and recent changes: He has a 30 gallon tank. He has had this plecostomus and a silver molly for 2 years with no problems until yesterday evening. Two weeks ago we added tank mates: 2 different types of cichlids, a black Moore, and a something lyre tail. The 2 cichlids and lyre tail died within 48 hours. A return trip to the store and I found out the combination of fish the lady recommended was not good advise because the cichlids we got do not get along. I then did a 25% water change, waited a few days and had the new and old water tested. All was well with the water samples and Water is always kept at 70-74 degrees. During all this the plecostomus has been his normal self until last night. I'm afraid to pull him from the tank but also afraid to just leave him there. Please help. Thank you

Stephanie, I'm sorry to hear about your sons sick buddy

Lets start with the basics, when you had your tanks water tested, what where the numerical parameters for PH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate ? Do you have a way of testing this? if you have the readings, please post them

Your tank is to small to house a pleco and a moor goldfish alone, this is the reason I am asking as you may have a water quality issue.

The second issue that comes to mind is that you added store bought fish without quarantining them (placing them in another tank until you know they were disease free) which died, this could be a sign of fish disease, though many factors or issues could have made the fish perish. Did you notice anything odd on their bodies ? white spots, fuzz ? discoloration ?

For the time being, keeping your aquariums water pristine will be important. What I mean by pristine is making sure your ammonia and nitrite readings are kept under 0PPM and Nitrate under 40PPM.
 

Kiara1125

Hmm ... I've never heard of this behavior before. Does he have any growths onto him? Is he getting enough to eat? Can you possibly take a picture of him? The main thing is to get him better right now. Common plecos can get big and will probably need at least a 55g, but if he's fitting into the 30 gallon for two years, then that's fine for now. Common plecos take years to grow. Anyway, back to the main point, pictures would be very helpful at this point. Other than the position, can you further describe his appearance?
 

LeoDiaz

Hmm ... I've never heard of this behavior before. Does he have any growths onto him? Is he getting enough to eat? Can you possibly take a picture of him? The main thing is to get him better right now. Common plecos can get big and will probably need at least a 55g, but if he's fitting into the 30 gallon for two years, then that's fine for now. Common plecos take years to grow. Anyway, back to the main point, pictures would be very helpful at this point. Other than the position, can you further describe his appearance?
They need more then a 55 gallon, around 100+ the bigger the better.
 

Kiara1125

Is that all you would like to input? My friend has a 16" common into a 65g. Most commons will take YEARS to get that size. It took that pleco 12 years to reach that size and he's still that current size to this day. He grew from an inch to 9" in two years. Yes, they can grow quickly by providing them a lot of space, but I believe that gradually upgrading them won't stunt them.

Pleco size aside, this is about the pleco being sick, not about what tank size it needs. The OP can focus on that whenever the pleco is out of harms way and is healthy again.
 

Rivieraneo

Is that all you would like to input? My friend has a 16" common into a 65g. Most commons will take YEARS to get that size. It took that pleco 12 years to reach that size and he's still that current size to this day. He grew from an inch to 9" in two years. Yes, they can grow quickly by providing them a lot of space, but I believe that gradually upgrading them won't stunt them.

Pleco size aside, this is about the pleco being sick, not about what tank size it needs. The OP can focus on that whenever the pleco is out of harms way and is healthy again.

Tank size also adds to overall water quality, so I agree with Leo's post of making a larger tank recommendation. Hence, my post. No med will do good if the water parameters are bad.
 

Kiara1125

True, but if it depends on the size of the fish. A 9" common pleco is going to produce more waste than a 5" pleco, same with the goldfish. It's true that water parameters will help, but I believe that the other fish would be affected. Common plecos are hardy. Mine came from a 10 gallon that my friend had. He's 10" and was in a bare tank with a dojo loach for 5 years. That tank probably never had a water change, yet he's lived this long with the loach in tow. I'm just saying that I believe that common plecos are hardy. I believe the black moor would act different before the pleco. I believe that the pleco is having issues of it's own.
 

LeoDiaz

Is that all you would like to input? My friend has a 16" common into a 65g. Most commons will take YEARS to get that size. It took that pleco 12 years to reach that size and he's still that current size to this day. He grew from an inch to 9" in two years. Yes, they can grow quickly by providing them a lot of space, but I believe that gradually upgrading them won't stunt them.

Pleco size aside, this is about the pleco being sick, not about what tank size it needs. The OP can focus on that whenever the pleco is out of harms way and is healthy again.
sorry I wasn't trying to offend you, but tank size does play a big role on water quality and how fast a fish can grow. My dad's friend has 110 gallon with a common pleco 14-16 inch that he got like 4 years ago when it was only 4 inches. So he grew a lot. That's all I said because I don't have experience with pleco diseases.
 

Kiara1125

Oh, ok then. I'm sorry for seeming snappy. Big pleco. lol
 

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