Two new bristlenose plecos die within hours

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ABL87, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. ABL87New MemberMember

    Hi there
    I am fairly new to fish keeping but certainly felt like I had things under control.
    Just to let you know, I am well aware that I have a small tank but am upgrading to a 20g once I move house at the beginning of August, so this set up is only temporary.

    I currently have a 5.5g tank, it is fully cycled as I let it run for approx 2 months before getting fish (0 ammonia 0 nitrite approx 5-10ppm nitrate)
    I currently have 3 guppies in there (2 female 1 male) which i've had for 2 weeks
    temperature approx 25 celsius (77 fahreheit)
    filtered with two javaferns also.
    I decided to purchase 2 bristlenose's yesterday afternoon. They were approx 2-3cm, so very little.
    Let them sit in their bag in the water for approx 30 mins. Then let them swim out, and they were having a ball. Swimming all over the tank, sucking on all the glass, guppies weren't bothering them all.
    I was watching them most of the afternoon. About 3 hours later, I noticed 1 of them on the ground not really moving, and one of the guppies pecked at him. No response. I poked him, no response. He had died. Shocked!
    The other one (which was slightly bigger) was hanging around the filter. Still alive, not exploring the tank at all, just staying put. I was worried.
    Woke up this morning, he has also died.

    I am not sure what has gone wrong, are bristlenoses more sensitive to changing water conditions? Should I have put some of my tank water in their bag with them, move putting them in the tank? I understand i have a small tank, but i cant imagine this is why they died. Or is the stress of being in a small tank with guppies? I am so lost.
    They were only going to be in there for another 4 weeks until being moved to a bigger. They were very little!

    Any help is much appreciated... thank you.
  2. hampalong

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    Chances are your tank water was different to the water in the shop/bag. All fish are sensitive to sudden changes. You need to gradually mix the waters until the water in the bag is the same as the water in the tank, then let them out. Float the bag for 5 minutes to equalise the temperatures, then start mixing, a little at a time. Check the parameters of tank and bag so you know how much mixing (ie time) it's going to take.

    A 5 gallon tank isn't big enough for fish. I would wait till you upgrade.
  3. OP

    ABL87New MemberMember

    Hi Hampalong

    Okay, thanks for much. I assume it was the change of the water conditions, plus they were so small and fragile. I agree I have a very small tank. Going to get started on my 20g.


  4. aliray

    alirayFishlore VIPMember

    I agree with Hampalong on the reason. Welcome to the forum and glad you joined us. ;) Alison
  5. LandosWell Known MemberMember

    Isnt a bristle pleco too big for a 20g?
  6. OP

    ABL87New MemberMember

    Landos - these were very small. I agree it is too small for a larger pleco, for these were no bigger than 2cm and I was intending on moving them to a larger tank within a month.

    Although I agree a 20g might be small, i can't imagine this is what caused them to die within hours of being put in the tank. Alls I can think of is that small plecos are alot more sensitive to changing water chemistries and i perhaps should have drop acclimatised them.
  7. Skyy2112

    Skyy2112Valued MemberMember

    Acclimating is more about parameters than temp. I dont see anything wrong with accidental deaths as long as you learn. Its a setback I know, but if you learn it gets better and better. IMO a BNP is fine in a 20Long. Fish depend on footprint more than gallon. (Friend had a 12" x 12" x 26" high. Thus a 144" sq in footprint... Compared to my 360" sq is a huge difference, yet the gallon size is the same.
  8. Aquatica88Valued MemberMember

    IMO a 20 gallon long might be ok for one BN, but not two especially since plecos produce a lot of waste and will contribute heavily to your bioload.
  9. Grimund

    GrimundWell Known MemberMember

    Both space and volume are considered in these.

    Volume is for waste production or sensitivities in chemistry, like guppies and Cardinal tetras respectively. Space is reserved for activity and size of the fish, like danios for crack like antics and cories for the schooling nature and common pleco for sheer size.

    Your plecos probably suffered from either pH shock, a drastic change in pH, or osmotic shock, a drastic change in KH (carbonate hardness), common to occur with soft water and RO|DI that hasn't been buffered enough.

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