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Old 02-17-2011, 03:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

After I moved my fish to a holding tank while I set up my new 55 gal I noticed the Plecostomus was doing something he/she had never done before. The Plecostomus was digging deep holes in the sand. Thinking it was just the stress of the move and the fact there was no cover for the Plecostomus to hide in, I didnít pay much attention to it.

Two days ago I put the fish into the new aquarium. To give the Plecostomus a place to hide while the plants had a chance to grow I added a piece of slate to the new tank. Now the Plecostomus is digging a hole under the slate. If you look at the picture you can see how the Plecostomus has pushed the sand out from under the slate. Does anyone have an idea of whatís going on?


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Old 02-17-2011, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

How long has the tank been setup and when did you add all those fish? Has he always been with those fish?
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

The tank looks pretty heavily stocked. What kind of pleco is it? Was there sand or gravel in the old tank?
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

It's normal for most plecos to dig in sand and under objects. Mine do it all the time. In all my tanks that I have plecos or bns in there is always hills of sand around that they have dug up clearing a space they want.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

Here's a couple pictures of what my Plecostomus did over night. You may be able to judge his size from the Gourami and the piece of slate. He sticks out both ends of the slate.

I'll answer the questions one at a time.

Susankat
I've had Plecostomus's for a long time. I've had this one for at least 3 years. None of them, including this one, has ever done this.

snail
The tank looks like there's a lot of fish because of the Aqueon 55 filter. I went from under gravel to the Aqueon because I read a pamphlet put out by my lfs that said they did not recommend under gravel filters anymore. Now because of the strong flow of water most of the fish refuse to go to that side of the tank. I now have a 55 gal tank that's only 30 gals. A bit disappointing. I used the same gravel, cleaned of course, as was in the old tank. Not sure if I should call it sand or gravel. Maybe you can make it out in the picture.

jrman83
I went through the new tank setup. I added a starter brew that was recommended by my lfs and allowed 5 days for it to take hold. All the fish, including the Plecostomus, were in the old 55 gal. During the change over I kept them in a 20 gal that I keep for for that purpose and of course emergencies.

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Old 02-18-2011, 03:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

If you have been using ugf's all that time that might explain why it wasn't being done before. When I used a ugf they didn't act like that either and basically that wasn't normal for a pleco. Once you changed filters the pleco probably started doing what comes naturally to them.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

Man that tank looks loaded with fish. That top pick is just one section of your tank and I count 26. How many total fish are there? Just curious.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

I have a powerful filter in my tank. It has a spray bar and I put a large piece of decorative wood in it to break up the water flow which helps a lot.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

susankat
I've had ugf's for over 35 years and never had a problem that I know of. I just went by what the people at the lfs said, thinking that new technologies must be better.
Ugf's, probably something I should to a search on this site for or start a new thread on.

jrman83
Here's a picture of my whole tank. Most of the time the fish stay on the end away from the filter. I probably do have a lot of fish but it never seems to be a problem and I like all the movement.

snail
I was thinking of trying something like that.


This afternoon I'm going to spread the sand around leaving the Plecostomus his hiding place and redo the plants. He has the sand removed all the way to the bottom glass.

DLH


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Old 02-19-2011, 02:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

hmmm, that's interesting. none of my plecos do that. oh well. i have 5 BN in a 20 gallon and they really don't dig. they like to hide under the rock piles and inside my driftwood. good luck on your problem..
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

By the looks I think you are overstocked for that filter.

Do you ever notice if the pleco comes out at night?Thats hen they are most active.If he stays under there then I would worry,but he may just have made himself a comfortable little sleeping hole away from the other fish.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

I'm with susankat on this one, I don't think it is anything to worry about, just some thing your pleco likes to do. It's not that the under gravel filter was bad for him, just might have put him off digging.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

I agree with Susan also it just something plecos do! and when did you set up the new filter? I really do think that when your a pleco and their is something sucking under you, you really wouldn't dig but when the UGF is gone it is only NATURAL that a pleco would dig. In my opinion its because in their frantic search for algae at night they don't realize the mess they do. On a final note it can be dangerous if he dig to much under the slate it can eventually fall on him!
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

Sorry I didn't respond right away. I have a health problem that flairs up every couple of weeks and it decided to do so the last couple of days. Been walking around with a tub in case I have to puke.

Reading your responses I have come to the conclusion that there is no problem and that my Plecostomus is just doing what's comes natural especially since I use to have plants that were a lot larger and now without the slate he doesnít have any place to hide.

Here's a picture of the tank after I leveled the gravel and replanted the plants Saturday. He seems to be happy and hasn't moved anymore gravel except what appears to be a little house keeping. To make sure the piece of slate does not fall on him I placed a rock so that it holds the slate against the glass. I'll keep an eye on it just to make sure it doesn't start to move. If it looks like it could cause a problem I'll look for a piece of dark Plexiglas to replace the piece of slate.



I think I've an idea on how to reduce the strength of the flow of water from the filter. If it works I'll post it here.

DLH
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by susankat View Post
It's normal for most plecos to dig in sand and under objects.
Yep...absolutely normal behavior. Even if you have never seen it before. It is what they normally do. Good thing you don't have a planted tank. ;o)
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

I think plecos normally breed in small caves and holes so this would be a normal healthy behavior, probably could be taken as a sign of a happy pleco. Any breeding behavior is usually a good sign so hooray for the happy pleco and his keeper.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: What's the matter with my Plecostomus?

James0816
I had a planted tank before and I hope to have plants in this one too. My Plecostomus didn't bother the plants in the old 55 and although he has covered plants with sand in the new tank while doing his excavating, it's not on purpose.

chris oe
Yes, that was along the lines of what I was thinking.

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and help.

DLH
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