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depressed plecos help

Discussion in 'Plecos Otos and other Loricariids' started by daveandmarion, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. daveandmarion

    daveandmarion New Member

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    We have just joined and would like some help straight away. Our common pleco 7 inches suddenly became aggressive. I came on here and read that he had prob become territorial. He had taken the bottom fin from the smaller sailfin and sucked scales of a silver dollar. We have a 240litre and 200litre. So after reading advice we seperated them into seperate tanks. They have both become so depressed. They used to swim around and do their thing but now both of them never come out of their caves. The common is comming out at night to eat as food we leave is gone next day. We did however realise that the sailfin still with the silver dollars was not getting any food as he was not comming out and silver dollars eat everything in sight. We have now moved sailfin to a 48litre on his own he is coming out at night to eat but otherwise stays in his cave and has become very pale in colour. We are very worried about both of them. hope someone can help.

     
  2. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    I'm afraid a lot of plecs do become very territorial as they mature. Commons and sailfins/gibbis are well known for fighting.

    Have the tanks got cycled filters, and have you tested the water? How big is the sailfin; that one really needs a bigger tank, ASAP; even a large plastic storage box would be better.

    Do the tanks have substrate, plants and a choice of caves? Many fish will become very prone to hiding in bare tanks; the fuller the better, really.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. FroFro

    FroFro Mostly New Member

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    Just a thought, but not a definate solution to what may be your problem, but do you have any driftwood in your tanks? I agree with fluttermoth that a bare tank encourages hiding. When I got my first BN pleco I noticed she hid quite a lot too, despite at the time being one of the few members in the tank and having a lot of decor inside. Once I started to take the fake stuff out and switch to live plants and wood as decor I noticed increased daytime activity and presence from her because she latched onto the wood the moment it was placed in the tank. Some pleco's benefit from driftwood to "chew" on and encourage activity. Just a suggestion.

    Another theory is that since you've disrupted the major dynamics of both these fish by switching their tanks, it will take a while for them to become confident in their surroundings once more. I find pleco's get very shy when things change as they don't like a lot of commotion. My pleco even hides at the back of her wood when I do feedings and doesn't come out till the mid and top swimmers settle down.
     
  4. Demeter32

    Demeter32 Member

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    The larger species of plecos can get mean once they are bigger and they need large tanks, larger than what you have. Rather than 200 liters, 200 gallons would be more appropriate. The tank size could very well be part of the problem.

    I agree with adding driftwood, all plecos should have driftwood in their tank, some even require it for their digestion. I would guess both are pretty hungry too. What have you been feeding them? It is hard to keep large plecos fed. Plus I believe both of those species benefit from a more meaty diet. Some people will take frozen shrimp (for people) and let the plecos chew on it for a few hours, supplementing their diet every now and then.
     
  5. daveandmarion

    daveandmarion New Member

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    Thankyou for all your advice. I agree with frofro they have been living together happily for 6 years and then common got agressive. It was sad as common would just have occassional aggressive fit and they would be ok. for the sailfin to loose a fin had to take action. I think frofro is right the sailfin seems a little better and came out to eat yesterday and again last night so we will try moving him back with silver dollars today. the water perameters are all v good. They have plenty of bark 2 caves each and dried olive leaves which they take into the caves (that so cute). We actually caught the common plecco with a torch last night eating his food. So frofro thankyou I think you were right and they just need more time after living in the same tank together for so long.
     
  6. daveandmarion

    daveandmarion New Member

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    I didnt mention the sailfin is 4-5 inches and we had nowhere else but the 48litre in emergency as he wasnt getting any food silver dollars so greedy. As he has come out to feed 2 times now we hoping he will go back to standing up for himself with the dollars. will keep you informed.
     
  7. fluttermoth

    fluttermoth The current Mrs Treguard ;)
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    Do the tanks have cycled filters, and have you tested the water? Is there any sign of fungus where the lost fin is?

    Just wanting to check all is as well as can be x

    You need need to think about larger accommodation for the fish ASAP though.
     
  8. daveandmarion

    daveandmarion New Member

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    I want everyone to know that things seem to have sorted themselves out. I think the sailfin stopped comming out and feeding as poss terrified of the common after he went crazy and took his fin off. I did report that the sailfin did start to come out and eat. We decided to put him back with silver dollars and no 7inch common as he had already moved elsewhere I think the tailfin couldnt believe he had gone. Yesterday he was feeling much better as started to try swimming around in the 48 litre even at only 5 inches tht was difficult. He moved back and muscled in on the silver dollars for lettuce straight away. He been coming out for food and is fine his colour is still a little pale but his behaviour back to his normal self. The 7 inch common who had to move tanks is only feeding in the dark still but only 10mins ago came out for a rummage around. So I have to agree with frofro. We are very relieved they have turned out OK but very worrying few weeks.
     

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