Common Pleco Died

PlasticGalaxy

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(Please see all notes and speculation marked with the * at the end of this post)

Today is a sad day! My common pleco (affectionately named Baby for his very tiny size*) has died. This afternoon I found him a completely ghostly white, sat at the back of the tank at the bottom.

Two days ago I moved him from the 54L guppy tank (his temporary holding place) back to the 170L.*

Upon inspecting him, I found no visible injuries except for a few nibbles taken from his tailfin (which I'm assuming was down to my red tail shark or similar fish). I believe he may have died in the night, as I hadn't seen him swimming around when I got up this morning. Hopefully he didn't suffer.

No other fish have died: everyone is acting normal as always and all of my vibrant fish still have their colours on as bright as ever. I have a few ideas as to why he may have died.*

*When I got him from the LFS in January, he was the same size as he is now. He was only three inches long, and I believe he may have either been the runt or had already suffered from stunted growth due to being in a small tank in the shop.

*A few days ago, I decided to remove him from the 54L and return him to the 170L. I properly acclimated him as I do with all my other fish to avoid shocking him, and he had been alright up until now. All of the fish who had been in the 170L previously are perfectly fine and seem happier than before the substrate was replaced with sand.

*Yesterday I cleaned the filter for the tank, which may have caused shock. However, again, none of the other fish suffered or appeared stressed because of this, and I would find it hard to believe that a pleco would be wiped out by this when all of my tetras remained perfectly happy.

Maybe it was a combination of all these things, not sure. Let me know what you think.

What should I do now? I'm left with a bit of a sad feeling and a pleco buried in the garden.

Ammonia is at 0.00ppm,
Nitrite is at 0.25ppm.

At least it was water change day, I guess.
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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I am very sorry for your loss. I think he was stunted from the LFS because he is a common pleco and they are supposed to get big, but he was only 3 inches long.
I just assumed he was very young, but maybe his growth really was just stunted. I have no idea how old he was.
Maybe it was just his time to go. :/
 

OliveFish05

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I’m sorry about Baby :-( I know how much you loved your plecos. I agree it could likely have been he was already severely stunted from the pet store☹️ you took really good care of them, it doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong. It was probably just his time
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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I’m sorry about Baby :-( I know how much you loved your plecos. I agree it could likely have been he was already severely stunted from the pet store☹️ you took really good care of them, it doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong. It was probably just his time
I feel like that's probably the case. It's a shame, really. There were many 15-20 plecos in the shop tank, all a little bigger than him.
 

Sgooosh

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if there is some nitrite in the tank, it is best to remove it. it causes stress and later on, death in fish...
i think a good tip is to always do a good water change after dead fish
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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if there is some nitrite in the tank, it is best to remove it. it causes stress and later on, death in fish...
i think a good tip is to always do a good water change after dead fish
I'll hop on it as soon as I can then. Again, it was already water change day so luckily it isn't going to give me much more grief than usual.
 

Byron

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There are many reasons a fish may die without any external sign. Genetic issues; injury at some time inn the past that caused internal damage; diseases like cancer, liver failure, kidney failure, heart attacks, digestive issues...endless almost.

A couple things occur to me which I will mention as you may or may not be aware of them. If this was a "Common Pleco," the species Hypostomus plecostomus, it is a very large fish, attaining from 12 to 20 inches (30-50 cm), and it needs at least a 4-foot (120 cm) long tank. It must have real wood (bogwood) to graze for its digestive health. It will produce a lot of waste, hence the tank size but also careful monitoring of the biological system over time.

There are many plecos that are much smaller, in the 4 to 5 or 6 inch (10-15 cm) range that would be worth considering.
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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There are many reasons a fish may die without any external sign. Genetic issues; injury at some time inn the past that caused internal damage; diseases like cancer, liver failure, kidney failure, heart attacks, digestive issues...endless almost.

A couple things occur to me which I will mention as you may or may not be aware of them. If this was a "Common Pleco," the species Hypostomus plecostomus, it is a very large fish, attaining from 12 to 20 inches (30-50 cm), and it needs at least a 4-foot (120 cm) long tank. It must have real wood (bogwood) to graze for its digestive health. It will produce a lot of waste, hence the tank size but also careful monitoring of the biological system over time.

There are many plecos that are much smaller, in the 4 to 5 or 6 inch (10-15 cm) range that would be worth considering.
I'm aware of how to care for plecos... I'm not sure if you're insinuating that I'm to blame or something but I really wouldn't say that I am. I'm fully aware of their size and needs.
 

Byron

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I'm aware of how to care for plecos... I'm not sure if you're insinuating that I'm to blame or something but I really wouldn't say that I am. I'm fully aware of their size and needs.

No, I was not insinuating anything. As I think my first sentence makes very clear...fish die from all sorts of unseen issues we cannot possibly know about nor do anything about.

I pointed out the requirements for a common pleco simply because we have many members here who buy one without realizing these needs, and fish stores are more interested in selling the fish than what happens to it. I've no idea as to your tank size, so is it not better to provide advice (that some might find helpful) just in case?
 
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PlasticGalaxy

PlasticGalaxy

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No, I was not insinuating anything. As I think my first sentence makes very clear...fish die from all sorts of unseen issues we cannot possibly know about nor do anything about.

I pointed out the requirements for a common pleco simply because we have many members here who buy one without realizing these needs, and fish stores are more interested in selling the fish than what happens to it. I've no idea as to your tank size, so is it not better to provide advice (that some might find helpful) just in case?
No worries. Sorry if I came off as being overly defensive.

Tank is 3.6ft, 18" deep, 18" high. 170L. The journal with all the stats is in my signature if you're interested.
 

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