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Sick Plecostomus


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#1 Jane L

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 03:17 AM

Can anybody help? I also posted this in the Catfish forum... I have a eight-inch or so plecostomus that is not doing well at all. Has been sitting at bottom of tank for last 3 days, going on 4 days now; still breathing, but belly so bloated he looks like he is going to explode. He has refused any food (algae wafers or green peas); when he does try to move his tail end levitates and he can't get anywhere. When he has tried to attach to his driftwood, his belly is too big to let him stay on it. Any advice at all? The ironic part is I was going to take him out and let my brother adopt him in his nice big 55 gal tank...now I really feel Guilty. Any advice? I have a gold angelfish and a black mable angelfish in the tank, as well as two very pretty clown loaches. The rest are all doing just fine.

#2 red-devil0602

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 09:21 AM

may be constipatated i don't know if this is a problem for plecs but when my betta had it i just didn't feed him for three days and he was fine. the other thing that causes bloating is dropsy

#3 Tokis-Phoenix

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 12:45 PM

When you say he looks bloated, is his stimache swollen or red/irretated at all looking? What size tank is he currently in and what are your recent ammonia, nitrate and nitrite stats? Is he showing any other stange behavior or systems like his scales sticking out or red inflamed gills?

#4 WILDER

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 04:34 PM

What does it look like when the fish goes to the toilet, can you issolate him.

#5 daudy_dojo

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 04:37 PM

sounds constipated... but yea like tokis said are his scales protruding? cause if they are you need to get him outa there like right now! cause it maybe dropsy if his scales are pineconing! and like wilder asked, is his poop white and stringy, if so its an internal parasite!

#6 Jane L

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 07:19 PM

Thanks to all for replying! Answers for the questions are as follows: Ammonia 0, 7.2 PH, nitrite 0, nitrate 140 ppm. He hasn't been fed algae pellets for several days; I dropped the peas in for him on either Saturday or Sunday, can't remember which. He hasn't eaten anything. Stomach is very bloated, no pineconing scales that I can see. He clamps his fins on and off, but they are up now. I noticed red streak on belly and up his tail last night when I checked him with a flashlight. Also noticed that his eyes are protruding and quite gray, but I see him blinking occasionally. The lit that I have here at home indicated that with all those symptoms it looks as though he may have internal infection. I dropped an initial dose of Maracyn 2 in the tank and was planning on calling my aquarium store to find out if they concur with that treatment/medication or if there is something else I should put in. I am planning on putting him in 10-gal hospital tank if that is what you guys and/or he recommend. And if he survives, he IS going to go to my brother's 55 gal tank!

#7 Jane L

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 07:22 PM

:sick: OOPS one more answer....haven't seen any poop for quite some time so I can't describe it...can't remember it looking unusual.

#8 WILDER

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 08:36 PM

You have a very high nitrate reading that's wants fetching down, what is your nitrate from the tap reading, the illness are piling up he has gone down with septicemia now, hope the med helps, good luck.

#9 Tokis-Phoenix

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 10:15 PM

You must lower your nitrates as they are verging on very serious levels- adding lots of live plants to the tank and regular water changes will help lower them, the high nitrates is what has brought on his condition and the best thing you can do for him is lower them- do you happened to have used any salt recently in the tank?
I would resume feeding him his algae wafers as he's going to need some energy to get over this, good water quality is always the best med and desease preventative.

#10 Jane L

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 12:04 AM

I did 20% water change yesterday before adding meds, but it didn't seem to help did it...the strange part about this is that about three weeks ago I removed all the fish from that tank, did a complete cleaning with new gravel, changed filter (which I do every month) and added 50% new water. I had been having such trouble with blue green algae. But I didn't remove at that time a big overgrown plant that I had already cut back once and I am afraid that is what got him sick. I threw that one away and put in two new smaller ones last Thursday. I remembered today that I hadn't cleaned the sponge filter so I cleaned that too (I have both a sponge filter and cannister filter in each tank). The manager at the pet store told me to do another 8 gallon change after the course of Maracyn 2 is done. I am at my wits end trying to figure what else I can do to get the nitrates down. The plecostomus is still alive but I am afraid I am doing too little too late...I feel terrible. The nitrate book says to add macro algae to help bring it down...I don't even know what that is.

#11 Tokis-Phoenix

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 11:08 AM

Adding live plants to the tank will help lower the nitrates but i am worried on how much you clean your sponge filters out- do you clean them in tap water and clean them sparkling clean or just clean off the realy gunky bits in water from water changes?

#12 Jane L

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 07:34 PM

I was advised when I purchased them to--mark it on the calendar--once every three months, to take a gallon of tank water in a pail and squeeze the sponge three times in the tank water to remove the waste..no more than that. I clean out all the other parts in cool tap water too at same time. The 25 gal tank has a Milenium canister filter; I change that filter once a month. The 10 gal has a Whisper canister filter; that gets changed every three weeks. I added another plant to the 25 gal yesterday (total of three, should I get more? Not a problem if so, because they are fairly inexpensive around here). I tested again yesterday and now the PH is also high where it wasn't the other day; could that be from multiple water changes, and it just takes awhile to settle out? It is like that in all three tanks now. I'm getting kind of nuts with all this. On a positive side, the plecotomus is still alive, and I don't want to jinx him with thinking positive (that's usually what happens :S ) but a lot of the red streaks have disappeared from his belly and it almost looks like the belly is shrinking back a bit. I am continuing the Marycyn 2 and he still hasn't eaten, but I put an algae pellet in there for him and a couple of new green peas, removing the old ones from yesterday. Any advice or insight from anyone, I'll sure listen!!

#13 Tokis-Phoenix

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 08:45 PM

Are you using dechlorinator at all?
Your tank cleaning concerns me a bit if i have read it right, For most people they do a 30% water change once a week minimum with dechlorinator added and once a fortnight/3 weeks, they give the filter sponge a quick clean in water from water changes from the tank making sure not to clean it sparkling clean. Any water that is added to the tank should be made sure that it is as close as posible to the current tank temp and dechlorinated adequetly.
Live plants will be good for the tank and lowering nitrates and realy, the more the better :thumbs:

#14 Jane L

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 11:56 PM

I always use dechlorinator added to the water before it goes in, and take special cautions to make sure it is very close to the tank temp (usually around 74-76F..not sure what that is centigrade... ); water changes usually every two weeks 20 percent from each. I am pretty sure the big PH fluctuation is from having to borrow tank water from the 25gal for the hospital tank for the sick plecostomus, and I had just changed water two days before :/ ...it just seemed like a good idea to isolate him in a ten gal hospital tank rather than keeping him in with the community tank. I can certainly switch to rinsing the sponge filter every 2-3 weeks, that would not be any big problem especially if it helps. I have heavily planted both community tanks the last two days so I hope that helps with the nitrates. Hopefully the sick pleco will keep improving and I can get him in my brother's big tank where he belongs....the aquarium store mgr. I consult with says he has some little ones (don't know what kind) that don't grow so big and are still pretty ambitious algae cleaners. The other fish are all doing well and not showing any signs of illness or difference in their normal activity levels.




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