Sick Pleco, Skin Bacteria? Question

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

  1. DonutNew MemberMember

    Hi all,

    I have a 15gallon tank with

    4 Emerald Cories
    1 Female Betta
    1 Bristlenose Pleco

    0 Ammonia
    0 Nitrite
    Nitrate- Unsure, going to test this in about 30minutes and edit the thread
    7.2 PH

    The tank is planted fairly heavily and has an airstone, and an appropriately sized filter.

    A few weeks ago, my PH Levels crashed , hard. I normally use RO Water in water changes and use a PH buffer to raise the PH to 7.2. Apparently i was not on my water change schedule as strictly as i should have been, the PH crashed, and our old female betta died. Some of the cories got a little bit of fin rot, and Chupa, our pleco, seemed to get a little less active. With the PH crash, apparently the nitrobacter started to die off as well, and very quickly as our ammonium levels increased. I used water changes and Nitromax to fix this, and within 2 days our ammonia cycle had come back around and levels were back in to the safe range. The cories grew back their damage and Chupa got a little more active again.

    It's been around 2 weeks, and i noticed today that Chupa has a patch where the skin seems infected, and the adjacent fin has the same pink patch, and even a small hole in it.

    He's been eating, seems fairly active and happy- and i check on him quite often. I think at most this patch has only been developing for 24hours- unless i just missed it which i doubt.


    Any ideas? Should i medicate? Maybe just water changes? it looks pretty mean...


    Attached Files:

  2. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Donut.
    So sorry to hear your Pleco is ill. Pristine water conditions are crucial at this point. Maybe add a few drops of garlic juice from the grocery store or some Garlic Gard from the pet store. Garlic acts as an immune system booster. Too, you could add a couple of drops into the tank itself. Also Vita Chem may help too. Giving your fish extra vitamins.

    I would recommend that you not use any chemicals to alter your pH levels. As you have found out they can be very unreliable and unstable leading to pH crash. Here is a link you may find helpful: 
    One more:

    It's been my experience the lower the pH in the tank the harder it is to maintain.

    When you are using the RO water are you adding some tap in with it or an RO additive like this:
    I don't use RO water myself but it's my understanding that you have to add nutrients back into the water.

    Best of luck! I hope your fish are going to be ok.
  3. DonutNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice,

    i am adding a mineral/GH additive much like the one you have linked, in addition to my PH balancer...

    The tap water in my area is terrible, with high nitrate levels, high ammonia and high nitrite levels. I forgot to mention that after the PH crash, i tried adding half filtered fresh water from my LFS- something that i believe lead to an infected fish about a year ago and have since stopped doing- and here i am 2 weeks later with a sick fish=/

    The water i got from the fish store was slightly better than what comes out of my tap- but still not great and i cant help but wonder if that is what is really making my fish sick. After i added the filtered fresh/RO blend, my tank became incredibly cloudy though parameters remained constant- the cloudiness cleared up about 5 days ago.

    I'll try the garlic thing. Any one else have any feedback?


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