Rubberlip Pleco Acting Odd

Discussion in 'Oddball Fish' started by Savvy, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Savvy

    SavvyNew MemberMember

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    I have a 3 year old rubber lip pleco that I’ve kept in my 5.5 gallon for the past several years. He’s always lived with other fish and currently he’s with a betta and five tetras in a heavily planted aquarium.

    Lately I’ve noticed he’s been coming out from his hiding place under some driftwood quite a bit but I figured he was just getting adventurous. However, this morning I heard a splash and looked over to see him swimming like crazy around the tank, fins flared. He tried to dig down into the rock a few times and is now on the glass on the front of my tank, swishing his tail and breathing heavily. My parameters are normal, my tank is oxygenated, and my other fish are acting totally fine. He looks physically fine, just stressed/tired. Any clues as to what this may be? I want to make sure he’s not sick.
     
  2. RyanC14

    RyanC14Valued MemberMember

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    You should move the pleco and tetras to a larger tank, rubberlip plecos need a 20g minimum and tetras also prefer 10-20g. His growth could be stunted and maybe that's why he's acting weird. Also, what kind of tetras do you have?
     
  3. Benfreshwater

    BenfreshwaterValued MemberMember

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    He's telling you it's time to buy a bigger tank
     
  4. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

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    Still think it encountered ammonia

    On the other hand a rubberlip is an hillstreamfish (cooler / oxygenated water). The worst companion for a betta I'd say.
     
  5. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

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    What exactly are your parameters including temp? The tank is way too small for him but also depending on your parameters he may just not be getting what he needs. I'm a pretty firm believer in no pleco in anything smaller than a 29g, that's due to size and bioload compared to the filters on smaller tanks.
     
  6. scarface

    scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

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    My pleco does that when it gets food aggressive: fins flared darts here and there, chasing its competition. Can't honestly say without seeing it for myself. A clear picture would also help to see its condition. For now and just to be safe, I would do a large 50-70 percent water change to see if it helps any. The sooner the better.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Savvy

    SavvyNew MemberMember

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    I have neon tetras. I’m moving him to a 25 gallon tonight at my boyfriends to see how he does there. He’s been in warm water for as long as I’ve had fish (he was with guppies before, then my other betta, and now this one) so I’m guessing it’s just tank size.
     
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