Thanks I'm relieved, I have never seen this so it freaked me outFeohw said:Welcome to Fishlore! They are just the gill spines as far as I can see. They are a defensive measure plecos have when threatened. Don't take the pleco out of the tank when cleaning it. It's best to just leave the fish in there.
I had to remove them because I was making a complete cleaning that means the rocks water, plants and gravel should I not do full cleaning and just cleaning it one by one over time so that I don't have to take them out?CheshireKat said:There's no reason, typically, to remove the fish when cleaning the tank. It stresses them out and, as you have experienced, can hurt them. How big is your tank, anyway?