Possible sick pleco

Discussion in 'Pleco - Plecostomus' started by sma, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. smaNew MemberMember

    EMERGENCY: Sick pleco please help!!! (pics included)

    Hey I'm pretty sure my pleco is sick so here are the details. My friend had him for a year, he grew quite big (about 7-8 inches) and he was too big for her 20 gal. tank so she gave him to me (I have a 55 gal. tank) He was doing great at first, eating all of the algae on the rocks and walls and was very active for 3 weeks but then recently he had a white snot and his tail looked like it was rotting. He hasn't been moving much either. I just looked over and hes laying on his back now :'( I've never had a pleco before so I'm freaking out and very upset about this. I'm also clueless about treatments because my fish have all been healthy. 8 angel fish share the tank with and they leave him alone so I dont think they're the problem. I don't know what I should do and I need help pronto please!
    I just looked again to see if I could see his belly and it's red! I dont know if he would get the other fish sick now. I don't know if he's going to survive the night. I'm including pictures.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  2. BradFromAusNew MemberMember

    I am not 100% sure but looks like an external parasite or bacteria.

    Try Melafix and Pimafix for a starting point

    Try blanching some Zachinni for him as well and weight it down on the bottom of the tank so if he is hungry he can eat it

  3. bettafish2816Fishlore VIPMember

    the first picture looks a bit like finrot but i'm not certain on the other two. do you have a quarantine tank that you could put him in?

  4. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning and Welcome to Fish Lore.

    So sorry to hear that your Pleco is ill. Can you post your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate please. It will be a big help. As red as the Pleco is leads me to believe he may have septicemia caused by high ammonia in the tank. Just guessing here. Or the redness could be from some type of infection.

    Anytime that your fish are having issues a good place to start is with a water change. Pristine water conditions are crucial at this point. Adding some Garlic Gard and Vita Chem may help to boost his immune system. Some Stress Coat or Nova Aqua, something to reduce stress and add body slime will help.

    I'm sure you'll get some more responses soon.
    Best wishes and please keep us updated.
  5. smaNew MemberMember

    ammonia- .25 ppm and when I tested the nitrate and nitrite they both were at 0ppm. Is that possible? Owning a tank for so long and not having the slightest clue about proper water levels is sad on my part. I've just had great luck with my fish : /
    I have a 10 gal but its occupied with four tetras. I'm going to take them out and everything but should I empty out all of the water and scrub down the tank? change the filter? would it also be okay to use part treated tap water and part spring water?
  6. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello SMA.

    For your tank to be cycled you should have readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5-20 nitrates. If you have live plants in the tank then your nitrates may be 0, other than that there should be some showing.

    For one reason or another your tank either isn't cycled or going through a mini cycle. I suggest daily water changes, 50% until you have the readings that I posted above. Add some Prime or Amquel + to detox the ammonia for a 24 hour period until it's time for the next water change. Please note that even though you add 1 of these two chemicals you may still show readings of ammonia but it won't be toxic during these 24 hours.

    If you're going to mix tap and spring you need to be sure to check your pH levels of all tanks concerned. Changes in pH levels can lead to pH shock and result in fish loss.

    Don't clean too much at one time. By cleaning everything in the tanks you're removing good bacteria the tank needs to sustain the cycle. The good bacteria needed is found on all surface areas of the tank with the largest concentrations of it being in your filter and your substrate. Only rinse your filter media in siphoned tank water and never tap water. Make sure to remove the chlorine from your tap water.

    Best of luck and keep us posted.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  7. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    welcome to fl.

    No, you don't want to scrub the tank down. Do partial water changes daily to help with this. With ammonia and no nitrates, this looks like your tank is cycling, for some reason.
    If you can, get some Prime water conditioner - it'll condition your water and detoxify nitrites and ammonia for 24 hours.

    Do the water changes with prime every day until your readings are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and under 20 nitrates. This will get you through the cycling tank.

    Brad recommended medications for a starting point - I wouldn't medicate unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Fixing the water conditions will go a long way in getting him healthy.

    tap and spring combo shoud be fine, judt make any changes slowly.

    ken, you ninja ;)
  8. smaNew MemberMember

    Just came back with melafix and put some in the tank with the pleco. He's not moving at all : ( The tank that he's in has one of those cheap filters that come with the 10 gal. kit. Should I remove the filter cartridge since theres carbon in there?
    Also has anyone heard of AmQuel+? The guy at the store reccomended I get that instead of the prime. Is it the same as prime?
  9. BradFromAusNew MemberMember

  10. Diver DaveNew MemberMember

    That filter probalbly doesn't have anywhere near enough biological filter capacity for all those large fish you have. The "Aquaclear 70" filter would be a good one for a 55 gallon tank. Leave the small filter running for at least a month while the new filter's "bio balls" become populated with beneficial bacteria. I agree for immediate relief do a 50% water change. My pleco seems pretty tolerant of ammonia spikes so I wonder if that is really the main problem or is something else wrong like a bacterial infection. Good luck.
  11. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Actually, one of the most important things to consider with filtration is the flow rate. With the HOBs, you ideally want 10x your gallons, so in your case, a 55, you want a flow rate of 550 (with canisters, you are looking for 5x) . The filter you have does 350, which is not really ideal, but the AC70 being 300 gph, would actually be worse for your tank, in my opinion. The AC110 does 500 which is better. :)
  12. smaNew MemberMember

    My pleco died : ( I think it was a bacterial infection because when I put him in the quarantine tank his red sores quickly spread to his whole body.

    to Diver Dave and Meenu: Are you talking about the filter I have? I have a magnum 350 canister. Are you suggesting I get another filter???? I'm confused!
  13. MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    no, for some reason I was reading magnum and thinking biowheel. You have plenty of filtration for a 55 gallon. (With canisters you need about 5x flow rate, you have more than that.) I would definitely NOT replace with an AC70, as another member suggested.

    I am very sorry you lost your pleco. :(
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  14. smaNew MemberMember

    haha alright. Thank youuu
  15. BradFromAusNew MemberMember

    Sorry your Pleco died mate.
  16. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning. Sorry to hear that you lost the Pleco. RIP
  17. StylinjaneNew MemberMember

    I also have a pleco with the same problem. He is lying on his side still breathing but also has the same red spots. I also have a big goldfish in the tank with my pleco and the goldfish is fine. So could it be some type of body ulcer and any ideas on medications that will help the pleco but not harm the goldfish. It is a 55 gallon tank. I just moved my Pleco from a 29 gallon to the 55 gallon could it be stress?

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice