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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a plant tank, and although I am not the most peticular on fish I do like them. I am especially fond of fancy plecos (Gold Nugget, Blueeye Royal, Goldspot, Ancistrus) as they are more interesting than the average sailfin. I had a Scribble Tiger Pleco that recently passed away after almost 11 years. I have not seen Zebra plecos either, but I love the exotics because they are beautiful and stay small. A must for plant tanks. My issue:

The last 2 Gold Nugget Plecos I tried to introduce both died very quickly. Now, my pH is about 6-6.2 so I admit it is low and perhaps pH shock is the answer. I tried the gentle method for the second Gold Nugget ( slow introduction to the water over time) and still no luck. Funny, with other fish (rainbows) I have no issues. But this time I have found a Green Phantom Pleco and it is gorgeous. I did the slow aclimation trick but it is not doing well. It just sits there, slow breathing. I am not hopeful. Sad too, as I have never seen one and it would be a shame.

My only thought is to introduce neutral buffer to make the tank neutral pH before introducing the plecos and then allowing the pH to drop with CO2 use. I am saddened to lose the fish, but why only are plecos so succeptable? Is it the skin, anatomy or other? I am very disheartened to get such beautiful fish only to find my tank may be beautiful but deadly. Any tips would be helpful.

I admit the pH is low, but most fancy plecos are from the Amazon basin which itself is acidic, so I am finding that the other fish are alright in the aclimation process. I am loath to think that otto cats are my only algae eaters......

I am aware that the fish would be aclimated to our water here, so the pH shock is definitely an issue, but if there is a way to ease the transition, I would love to know.
 

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Doubt it. They are from South American rivers. Meaning pH is low. 6-6.2 should be no problem for them.
I agree.
The last 2 Gold Nugget Plecos I tried to introduce both died very quickly. Now, my pH is about 6-6.2 so I admit it is low and perhaps pH shock is the answer.
What was the pH of your lfs' tanks? If the difference is small, then your plecs shouldn't die to pH shock. You have use the drip method so in my opinion, there should be nothing wrong as the plecs are slowly being acclimatize to your tank.
 

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Not all gold nuggets get to 14 inches. I believe the L-177 maxes out around 6-8. Before you buy exotic plecos again take a good look at their bellies. I would bet that your nuggets had sunken bellies and were probably on their way out even before you bought them. I'm not saying anything bad about where you got them but I have had them come directly from Brazil in that condition and it's very difficult to save them.

I have found that low ph, dim lights, and driftwood to be the best things to have in the tank when acclimating nuggets. Lots of small water changes are a must and don't feed any rich foods until you see that they are feeding on the wood.

I personally like the L-47 Mango and the L-134 Leopard Frog plecos more than the nugget-types. They seem to be hardier too.

Good Luck
 

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I think what counts is starting with good stock!

Most LFS aren't educated about these rare plecos and probably think they all eat algae.

Your preference seems to be somewhat big for a planted tank and like to munch wood and some will nibble plants too.

I have had great results with drip acclimating over the course of about an hour or two if the water they came is decent. If not then I just let the water temp stabilize and just net them into the tank.

I'm thinking there is something else killing them or just poor stock to start with. Post some water param numbers and is the the tank cycled?

How my co2 do you have in your water?

I have kept many plecos without much problem....... zebras,tiger,inspector, bristlenose,royal, leopard and commons.
 

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Also forgot to add........planetcatfish.com has a nice L-catalog where you can search info on plecos


I agree with the above....Nitrates, though less lethal then NitrItes or ammonia is still harmful at high ppms. Another thing to keep in mind is that plecos are sensitive to salt and meds that aren't rec for scaleless fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do about a 20 gallon change every week, on a 120 gallon tank. I am more curious why the plecos are most suceptible rather than average fish. I agree plecos have scales and therefore should be rather indignant to the conditions. I am making my statement with the knowledge that MOST of the normal fish (betta, barbs et al, rainbows) do just fine. I find ONLY the plecos to be hard to aclimate. I agree that the tanks the fish are from are probably about pH 7, so a 10 fold drop is hard, but I do the slow aclimate with no luck. I am wondering why plecos, fancy ones at that, die off so easily.

I checked my tank as soon as I got home and I could not find the Green Phantom Pleco. No corpse, live body or otherwise. Perhaps a good sign, but still I am most distressed that fancy plecos seem to be so hard to aclimate to my finely planted tank.
 
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