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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone help me please. I have a large pleco that for the last 3-4 days has been goning over on to his back and is rather lifeless. He is looking very thin and is not eating, his fins are getting a cloudy sort of sheen. My water conditions are fine.
Any advice appreciated.
Vanessa
 

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Hi Vanessa. Welcome to the forums. Since you are new here, we need some history/background on you and your fish.

First of all, you mentioned your water conditions are fine. Could you please post them?

What size tank?

What equipment?

What type of pleco?

How long have you had the pleco?

Any tankmates? If so, what are they?

How long have you had the tank running with the fish stock?

Did you do anything prior to the fish acting this way?

How often do you do gravel cleaning/water change? How much water is removed?


First of all, I suggest you perform a 15%-25% gravel cleaning/water change. When you add water, make sure you add some kind of dechlorinator. Be sure the new water is close to the same temp as the tank. You may need to do this more frequent the next few days.

Keep an eye on the sick fish and hopefully things will get better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,
Thanks for the reply.
I have a 3 foot tank with an internal filter. It is a new set up, running for 2 weeks before I put in any fish, all the other fish are Guppies, they have been in for 3 weeks now. My fish is a Pterygoplichthys (Liposarcus) multuradiatus, I think!, he is possible over 15 now. I did a part water change Sunday and I shall do another today as you suggest.
Do you think it is old age or the tank move?
Thanks
Vanessa
 

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Nitrate at 50 is fine only if it's a planted tank. Not very good if it's none planted. It means dirty water. pH is pretty high. This will definately add to the stress of moving.
I would normally say dose melafix to help, but since it's a new tank, I am not sure if it's a good idea as it might stress your bacteria development.
As for food, you might want to drop a piece of carrot or zuchini to see if that helps.
 

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The pH might be fine if the pleco came from the water with the same pH. How did you acclimate the pleco?

The guppies are probably a lite bioload for your tank. The pleco could have doubled the bioload, since it is a big waste producer. Plus the tank is still kind of new, so the cycling hasn't really fully been established.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi, thanks for the responses. My pleco has died now, I am still none the wiser. The tank is planted of sorts as my pleco used to uproot all the plants and I didn't have my light on a great deal as I understood he was a cave dweller and I thought he might not like the light.
The tank and filter were running for 2 weeks before any fish went in and half of the water was from the old tank. My pleco had certainly been through worse, even an emerency tank move a few years ago.
He must have been at least 13 years old, but is this the way they die of old age? It was quite horrible he didn't eat anything and the skin had started to disappear on his tail fin.
Vanessa
 

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Sorry for the loss. If I remember correctly, the common issues of fins degrading is due to ammonia or nitrite burning. I doubt it could have died from old age, but without examining the pleco, it's hard to tell.

Do you dechlorinate your water?
 

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You can run an empty tank forever and it won't cycle. You need a source of ammonia- either fish or adding it yourself to do a fishless cycle. If you don't have ammonia to feed the bacteria and get them to colonize your filter- you're just circulating water, not developing bacteria to take care of the the nitrogen cycle. Water from an established tank contains almost no beneficial bacteria, and what is there will starve if you run it on an empty tank for two weeks. I would bet your pleco died because of an ammonia spike. I am sorry for your loss.

Next time try adding some established filter media from a running tank- don't swap it until you add the fish so you can make sure it is full of nice fresh well fed bacteria that will have a food source (ammonia) in the new filter.
 
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