Pleco Problems

Buzzyhound

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Hello, I'm in need of help with our 24+ year old Pleco. Has been through the wars lately and now has skin lesions as per attached image. Currently treating for Ich but beginning to doubt this is the correct diagnosis. Any hrlp would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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connorlindeman

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Hello, I'm in need of help with our 24+ year old Pleco. Has been through the wars lately and now has skin lesions as per attached image. Currently treating for Ich but beginning to doubt this is the correct diagnosis. Any hrlp would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
ick looks like salt sprinkled on the fish
 
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Buzzyhound

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Hello, any thoughts on what it might be? The Ick treatment was 2 doses, last one 7 days ago, still present in tank, no further dosing at present. I've tried searching online, but nothing that really looks right. Really want to help the Pleco, (s)he's been with us a long time, don't like to see a friend suffering.
 

connorlindeman

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Hello, any thoughts on what it might be? The Ick treatment was 2 doses, last one 7 days ago, still present in tank, no further dosing at present. I've tried searching online, but nothing that really looks right. Really want to help the Pleco, (s)he's been with us a long time, don't like to see a friend suffering.
I'm tagging our disease expert. I understand how you feel. :)
@Colin_T
 
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Buzzyhound

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Thanks for that, 24+ years is a long friendship by most standards! I'm off to bed now, this heat is exhausting. Will login tomorrow AM to see if any news. Once again many thanks.
 

Colin_T

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It's definitely not white spot.

It looks like sores, possibly caused by a dirty tank and an old fish.

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Picture of the tank?
What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?
How long has the tank been set up for?
What other fish are in the tank?

How long has the fish had the problem for?

What is the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate & pH of the water?
What sort of filter is on the tank?
How often and how do you clean the filter?

How often do you do water changes and how much do you change?
Do you gravel clean the substrate when you do a water change?
Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the aquarium?
Do you have separate buckets that are used specifically for the fish tank?

What do you feed the fish and how often do you feed it?
Do you have driftwood and algae in the tank?

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Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week or until the problem is identified. The water changes and gravel cleaning will reduce the number of disease organisms in the water and provide a cleaner environment for the fish to recover in. It also removes a lot of the gunk and this means any medication can work on treating the fish instead of being wasted killing the pathogens in the gunk.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

Clean the filter if it hasn't been done in the last 2 weeks. However, if the filter is less than 6 weeks old, do not clean it. Wash the filter materials/ media in a bucket of tank water and re-use the media. Tip the bucket of dirty water on the garden/ lawn. Cleaning the filter means less gunk and cleaner water with fewer pathogens.

Increase surface turbulence/ aeration to maximise the dissolved oxygen in the water.

Add some salt.

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SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 
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Buzzyhound

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Hello, Thanks for your thoughts, much appreciated.

To answer your questions:
Tank 1000mm x 400mm x 400mm 180litres+
Set up 15+ years
Only other inhabitant for 14+ years is Tinfoil Barb also 24+ years old
Problem evident for 10-14 days
Ammonia 0 to 0.2, normally 0, 0.2 latest reading, possibly false due to blue colour of Whitespot treatment
Nitrite 0, normally 0
Ph 7-8, normally 7, latest reading, possibly false due to blue colour of Whitespot treatment
Filter Fluval external cannister. Polywool, Foam, Ammonia remover and Carbon replaced 3-4 weeks, Biological
material rinsed same time, Filter body and hoses cleaned at same time
Gravel "vacuum" cleaned every 2 days, approx 20% water change at this point.
New water always treated to remove Chlorine etc before adding
Bucket and all equipment solely for use with this tank
Food Cucumber, Peas, Pleco Spirulina Wafers; Tinfoil is fed Flake, Tubifex (dried) and Bloodworms (pre packaged, not fresh)
We allow one "wall" of the tank to grow algae to encourage "grazing" which is often heard at night
Generally we try not to do anything drastic, like more than 40% water changes, change of diet or temperature changes (normally 74-78). This worked fine until the recent hot weather (96) when both seemed listless and lacked interest in food, at the same time Pleco bloated and seemed to develop "Popeye" in its left eye (this eye seems to have been a weak point for a good few years (10+), treated for Bacteriological infection, both seemed to regain appetite and Pleco bloat reduced.
 

Fishmanic

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You really should add some driftwood to your tank. It helps with digestion. I hope you find a cure for his condition.
We hope you enter your Pleco in the FOTM contest. We just have 2 entrants. Your 24 year old Pleco would make a great addition to the contest!
 

Colin_T

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Filter Fluval external cannister. Polywool, Foam, Ammonia remover and Carbon replaced 3-4 weeks, Biological
material rinsed same time, Filter body and hoses cleaned at same time
If you have ammonia remover in the filter, it will stop the beneficial filter bacteria from developing properly and you can have ammonia spikes occurring between the times you change the ammonia remover.

You can recharge the ammonia remover by soaking it in salt water for 24-48 hours. But I would stop using it altogether.

You don't need carbon in the filter either. It is used to remove chemicals after treatment and will remove tannins (yellow staining from driftwood), but these can be removed with water changes.

Polywool can be replaced with sponge. If you want to keep using it, rinse it under tap water and re-use it. Replace it when it starts to fall apart.

Foam/ sponges don't need to be replaced unless they start to fall apart. Most sponges will last 10+ years. You clean sponges by squeezing them out in a bucket of aquarium water and re-using the sponge. The bucket of dirty water gets poured on the lawn.

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Gravel "vacuum" cleaned every 2 days, approx 20% water change at this point.
Bigger water changes are more effective when it comes to diluting nutrients and disease organisms in the water.

You do water changes for 2 main reasons.
1) to reduce nutrients like ammonia, nitrite & nitrate.
2) to dilute disease organisms in the water.

Fish live in a soup of microscopic organisms including bacteria, fungus, viruses, protozoans, worms, flukes and various other things that make your skin crawl. Doing a big water change and gravel cleaning the substrate on a regular basis will dilute these organisms and reduce their numbers in the water, thus making it a safer and healthier environment for the fish.

If you do a 25% water change, you leave behind 75% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 50% water change, you leave behind 50% of the bad stuff in the water.
If you do a 75% water change, you leave behind 25% of the bad stuff in the water.

Fish live in their own waste. Their tank and filter is full of fish poop. The water they breath is filtered through fish poop. Cleaning filters, gravel and doing big regular water changes, removes a lot of this poop and harmful micro-organisms, and makes the environment cleaner and healthier for the fish.
 

anewbie

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Couple of comments:
First that is not ick - it looks like he scraped himself (pretty hard) and lost a couple of scales.
Second - if you have not done water changes in a long time - you want to do very small water changes 2 or 3 times a week for a month (small is like 10%); after that do 25%-50% once a week.

The reason to start with small water changes is the chemistry in the tank is X from the old waste et all; and you don't want to shock the fish by changing the chemistry too fast.
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If you don't have driftwood in the tank then it is a bit shocking he has done as well as he has.
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Ammonia remover near the exit point of the filter won't cause an issue with beneficial bacteria. Personally it shouldn't be doing anything because the filteration before it hit the ammonia remover should have converted the ammonia. Ammonia remover near the inflow the filter - well read what @Colin_T wrote.
 

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