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Old 03-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

O.K. So i have had a 15 gallon community setup for about 9 months now. I keep the fish population at a reasonable amount, usually between 8-10 small community fish. The water is very clean, properly cycled with Ammonia 0.25 PPM or lower, 0 Nitrites and all the other fish in my tank look relatively healthy. But, I have lost 3 Plecos, with all 3 dying withing a week or two after introducing them in the tank... I have not lost any other fish other than plecos. What is going on? Has anyone ever had this problem?
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

where are you getting the pleco's from, how long do you quarantine them for before putting them in the tank, how do you acclimate them, what is your water temp and Ph?
last but not least, what type of pleco's are they?
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

Any idea as to the cause? Have you done an autopsy and looked for any wounds, etc.?

What kind of substrate are you using? Sharp substrate can cut up a pleco's belly then infection can set in.

Do you have any wood in the tank? Driftwood is an essential part of a pleco's diet. They are omnivores and cannot survive on algae alone. On that same note, are you leaving them green things like algae wafers and blanched veggies every now and then?
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

Off the top off my head are you leaving them just Algae from the tank to eat, Plecs needs fed like other fish, chances are there isn't enough Algae in your tank for them to live on and besides Algae should never be classed as their main diet, Veggies and Algae wafers should be used also, lots of folks Blanch veggies when I had a Plec I just put them in un-blanched and they ate them no probs.

How do they look when you buy them, they may be heading towards the big fish tank in the sky before you even get them home.

Last edited by verdifer : 03-12-2011 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

maybe there was a disease on the plecos b4 u took them home, or they were not properly fed next time u get 1 (if u do) look at its belly or behind the eyes, and if there sunken dont get it. i 2 also have a 15 gallon aquarium with a clawed frog and pleco for now until i upgrade
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

Underneath their belly should be nice and plump, I forgot to say did you get them all from the same shop ?
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

In addition to the other post, your tank is really too small for a pleco. Most of them can grow rather large and need alot more room.
You can also try feeding them algae wafers to supliment some of there diet.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

With your water showing .25 ammonia 8 to 10 small community fish you have water issues. Ammonia needs to be at 0. For a 15 gal you shouldn't add anymore fish than that. When you add a pleco which is one big poop machine your quality is going to go out the roof. Plecos are not as hardy as a lot of people think, just because they look like it they are not. If you want something in the tank for algae and such get oto's which are smaller or a couple of snails.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

+1 I think susankat is right, you might have too many fish in the tank already and the pleco tipped the balance.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

stupid question... what do you feed it? Some people think oh it just eats the algae on the tank... that isn't enough for these big guys. They need something else. Like algae wafers, and slices of veggies like, squash, zuccinni, cucumbers... also QT them... ummmm try a different pet shop. Acclimate before adding... ummm and everything else everyone said hehe
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

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Originally Posted by danilykins View Post
stupid question... what do you feed it? Some people think oh it just eats the algae on the tank... that isn't enough for these big guys. They need something else. Like algae wafers, and slices of veggies like, squash, zuccinni, cucumbers... also QT them... ummmm try a different pet shop. Acclimate before adding... ummm and everything else everyone said hehe
one thing for sure you need a much bigger tank than a 15 gal one plecoes get rather large in a hurry. I would recomend a 30 gal or more at least
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

Lets summarize these, so you may have too many fish. A pleco does get huge but it takes a few years. You do need to feed it other stuff than your regular fish. Algae wafers, veggies, etc. Also, check your water hardness and other parameters because they dont do well in hard waters occasionally. Be sure to do a full acclimation for them also. Do you have enough water movement? Here's a site that may help you with some info.

Common Pleco
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

i find plecooes need serios water movement,oxygen in their waterif you have a big bio load than..i loost alot of plecoes to to many fish in tank..kinda have to figure them in your bio-mass for the tank..they dont just fix the algea problem like peeps think.
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

Hello everyone, I've been reading all your reply's and I think I've figured out the reason for all my Plecos dying. I was under the ignorant impression that all they ate was algae, I really feel bad for being so irresponsible and not taking the time to inform myself more about Plecos. I've been in the aquarium hobby now for 8 months and have done fairly well, with the exception of a few beginner mistakes, and this is another hard lesson learned. I've been setting up a Malawi tank now for a few weeks, and have read everything there is too know about African Cichlids, and I just took the Plecos for granted.

Thanks again to everyone, you may have just saved another life of a precious Pleco!
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:27 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

Can be a very non-forgiving hobby. Usually the way we learn something even if we have read all we can is usually by the death of what we keep (fish, plants, snails, inverts, etc..). Speaking of my own experiences here....
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

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Originally Posted by Frank1971 View Post
Hello everyone, I've been reading all your reply's and I think I've figured out the reason for all my Plecos dying. I was under the ignorant impression that all they ate was algae, I really feel bad for being so irresponsible and not taking the time to inform myself more about Plecos. I've been in the aquarium hobby now for 8 months and have done fairly well, with the exception of a few beginner mistakes, and this is another hard lesson learned. I've been setting up a Malawi tank now for a few weeks, and have read everything there is too know about African Cichlids, and I just took the Plecos for granted.

Thanks again to everyone, you may have just saved another life of a precious Pleco!
a hard lesson to learn and i am sure we have all had to learn it the hard way at some time or other plecos are an interesting fish but are also very delicate..

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Old 03-12-2011, 09:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

I also learned the hard way about bio load. Most pets store are in the business of selling fish and product and that sometimes is at odds with responsible fishkeeping. It is probably not in your petstores best financial interest to tell their customers to stop feeding the expensive bits in jars and instead feed the peels and ends from making yourself a salad. My pleco lived, probably not thrived, on algae pellets and flakes that made it to the bottom for years. Just recently I started feeding veggies and he has transformed from a hidden bottom feeder to a very active fish.
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

To be honest the LFS do have a bad rep and some are but it is still the buyers duty to make sure they know what they are buying, Ive been in the LFS a few times and it has been that busy there is no way the staff would be able to take 10 to 20 mins out to talk to a customer.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

Thats right you can't really blame the lfs or petstore employees. Its our job to research the fish before buying. But when it comes to someone inexperienced that just isn't going to happen. An lfs will help a newbie a lot better than someone at like petsmart or petco as most of those employees don't know what they are doing anyway. They are there just to make a little money and they are pushed to sell all they can.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help: My Pleco's keep Dying!

All of the above I agree with. But the big thing is size that many of the common plecos reach. As stated poop factories is all they are and once they get bigger prefer a meatier diet is what I've read/been told.

I know there are smaller species like the rubber lip and bristle-nose that may work but snails would be better IMO.
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