worried about a bristlenose plec, help!

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tatnsteph

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I got 2 bristlenose plecs, they only about 2 inches big, one of them seems to have a swolen tummy and it is a yellowish colour, dont know what sex they are so dont know if it could be pregnant female or if the poor thing is ill, can any one help and advise me please
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Isabella

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I need to ask a few questions first. How large is your tank and how many fish (and what kinds of fish) do you have in it? How long have you had the tank? When did you get the BN plecos? Do you know your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings?
 
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tatnsteph

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Tank is just under 38 US gallons, fish are 2 bristle nose, 2 black mollies, 2 red platties, 1 leopard cory, 1 albino cory, 1 dwarf gourami, 2 sky blue guppies, 1 black 1 orange guppie, 1 tiger loach, 5 rummy-nose tetras and a little shrimp. I know its over stocked but alot of them are only little fish at moment and we are planning on another tank. We got the tank on 29 Dec 2006, we got the plecs 2 weeks later, the other plec is fine and we got them at the same time, done chemical checks last sunday and ammonia and nitrite was fine, nitrate was a little high but cannt remember what the number was, PH is 7.8 and has been since setting up the tank.
What do you think? am realy worried
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Isabella

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If nitrate is high, perform regular weekly water changes. Any overstocked tank should have regular weekly water changes. If a tank is very overstocked and large water changes are needed, it's best to do them twice a week but smaller amounts (so that there is less shock to fish). If their bodies are swollen, it could be Dropsy. But I am not 100% sure because I cannot see your fish. One of my Neon Tetras had Dropsy and it died within 2 days after its body got extremely swollen. Dropsy is a fast-killing disease and I don't really know of any effective treatment for it. But I am hoping your fish don't have this disease. A swelling could also mean some internal tumors. But, like I said, I cannot see your fish. If you don't know what disease it is, go to the thread with Disease Charts in the Freshwater Diseases Board. Try the best you can do with determining the disease. But while you're still unsure what disease it is, the best you can do is keeping your water very clean (i.e. water changes). When fish are sick it's best to have as low a nitrate as possible. I'm sorry I couldn't help you more by being more specific.
 
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tatnsteph

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Tank is 120 litres and we have been changing 40 litres every 2 weeks since we had the tank and doing the tests just before water changes, tests due tomorrow, we usually use a gravel hoover aswell to do water chage so we get rid of quite alot of the poop off the bottom.
Please dont apologise I am greatful for any advice at the moment, have had a look at the link you mentioned but some mentioned swollen tummy and others mentioned colour changes but didn`t find anything that mentioned both.
Will keep looking and thank you very much for your help and advice
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You're welcome. I hope that whatever your fish have, it will go away real soon. Just keep your water clean. Whenever there is a problem with fish and you're not sure what it is, water changes may be the best remedy.

When my 30 US gallon tank (about 114 Liters) was overstocked (it had to be, temporarily), I performed 50% WEEKLY water changes in that tank. I tried to keep nitrate under 10, and it was often even under 5. I suggest you keep your nitrate this low too, and 0 at best if you can do that.

You're changing 40 Liters (10 US gallons) of water in your 120 Liter (30 US gallon) tank every 2 weeks. I'd say this is not enough in an overstocked tank or in a tank with sick fish.
 
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tatnsteph

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Will do weekly changes and more water and see how we go, just seems funny that all the other fish are fine at the moment, one of my mollies is pregnant and can be quite aggressive at feeding time but apart from that everything seems fine.
Difficult to keep close eye on them at the moment to because I`m not at home just pop home 3 times a day to see to the cat and the fish, I think thats why I haven`t noticed this problem sooner, will try and get a pic of sick plec see if that will help.
Tat
 
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