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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, my pleco has suddenly began to act very strange, he no longer breathes through his gills, he now dashes up to the top of the tank to breathe every few minutes and then falls back down to the bottom of my tank. He is 12" long and i checked the water quality, the ammonia is a little high but It has fallen over the last few days, what is happening to my pleco?
 

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What exactly do you mean by a little high?
One hit, two....a full 4 foot binger?
Just Kidding, from what I have come to understand, any detectable ammonia is outright Bad for your fish. (dealing with ammonia issues myself) A good start would be to look for what made the ammonia spike...any dead fish...dead/dying plants, huge amounts of fishie poo hidden under a corner you have a difficult time getting to with the gravel sucker...

Hope your pleco recovers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the ammonia is at 2, I have done a water change each day for the last week, the tank housed 12 african cichlids originally but they all died and now only the pleco is left. I figured it had ammonia poisoning but, the levels have dropped drastically, what else can In do?
 

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Whew....Going to need a few bits of information.... tank size is a good start... have you had this tank long? Filtration? Test numbers....
Please don't get me wrong...I'm totally a noob in the relative sense, just done a ton of reading....there are ALOT of folks on this forum that can help and be more effective than I. I'm only Hoping your last fish doesn't die from ammonia poisoning! Especially a given that I'm facing a similar issue, try testing your tap water/ source water for your tank. Knowing what you are putting in really helps in the long run!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The tank is 55 gallons, I have the fluval 405 with the ammonia remover media, the tank is about a month and a half old and yess I am new to the hobby. I tested the tap water for ammonia and it was fine (0) the water had a slightly low ph and was a little hard. Other than that, the water is fine, crystal clear. During the course of this week, I was able to drop the ammonia level from above 4 to 2 and I will continue to do water changes each day until the water is back to normal. I am thinking of starting all over again but this time, I would like to get 3 or 4 juevenille albino tiger oscars, do you think that's a good idea? Thanks
 

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All plecos sometimes dash to the top suck in air and go back down. They are regulating their boyancy and filling up their air bubbles sacs. My pleco does the same thing. My Oto cats do that too. If your ammonia is high, do a water change. Is this a newly set up tank? Usually tanks that have finished the nitrogen bacteria cycle do not have any ammonia spikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is a new tank, I am still worried though because my pleco doesn't eat, he sucks on the glass maybe once a day if I am lucky, My local petshop said to try feeding him cucumber, which worked on my old pleco, but this pleco simply won't eat. He looks very old and is around 12", is there anything I can do to make him eat or to give him some energy, he always looks dead on the bottom of my tank =[ thanks
 

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It is a new tank, I am still worried though because my pleco doesn't eat, he sucks on the glass maybe once a day if I am lucky, My local petshop said to try feeding him cucumber, which worked on my old pleco, but this pleco simply won't eat. He looks very old and is around 12", is there anything I can do to make him eat or to give him some energy, he always looks dead on the bottom of my tank =[ thanks
Ammonia of 2ppm is seriously high. I'm surprised it's swimming let alone eating. You should be doing daily 75% water changes to get rid of that ammonia.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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It sounds as if your tank is cycling. If possible can you have someone to keep your pleco till it finishes its cycle. You will keep ammonia showing for awhile then nitrites will spike which can be just as bad on the fish as ammonia. After the nitrites drops then nitrates will rise and water changes can help keep that down to desired levels.
 

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I am thinking of starting all over again but this time, I would like to get 3 or 4 juevenille albino tiger oscars, do you think that's a good idea? Thanks
That many oscars will out grow your 55 gallon tank in less then a year. I would make sure your amonia levels get under control before adding any more fish.
 

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i agree with susankat on this one
btw welcome back susan

i wold let the tank just run its course (however this will almost surely kill anything in the tank during this process) so if you can find someone to watch your fish for awhile that would be great. have you tested your tap water for ammonia yet?
 

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~/root
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are you talking 0.2 or 2?

0.2 is serious but still correctable.
2 is incredibly fatal and don't even understand how anything could survive.
 

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the ammonia is at 2, I have done a water change each day for the last week, the tank housed 12 african cichlids originally but they all died and now only the pleco is left. I figured it had ammonia poisoning but, the levels have dropped drastically, what else can In do?
12 Cichlids and a Pleco in a tank that is only a month and a half old is seriously overstocked. Its no surprise that your cichlids died and your pleco is still kicking the pleco being a bit more hardy. You need to let the beneficial bacteria build up overtime (cycling). When you put that many fish in at once it overwhelms even a well cycled tank. Fish need to be put in slowly to allow the bacteria to adjust. The tank should have been at least a year old with the fish being intoduced at different times before having that many fish in it
 
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