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Pleco rash?

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Jan 11, 2017
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Hello ,

I am fairly new to fish keeping and if you have seen my other thread i did not get off to a good start. This time it is a question about my 75ltr tank and my 2 plecos that currently live in it.

I have just managed to rescue my tank from NTS and i am worried about one f my plecos.

He has what looks like a faded patch on his side ,i put this down to stress becuase i had such high ammonia levels.

Since i have balenced out the wster levels the rash seems to be getting worse and it is vegining to make his skin look dry and scaley(that sounds silly i know).

I'm not sure wether the ammonia has burnt him. He also spends a lot kf time next to the heater so could this be a heater burn(i really need a cage). My other pleco seems fine and both are eating and pooing normally.He is also look very fat,am i over feeding him? I give them one algae wafer a night that i split it half and drop in.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. :)
Thank you


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It does look very much like a heater burn. from what I can see, and the fish does look very bloated; whether that's from some sickness or overfeeding it's hard to tell.

I would not feed the fish for a couple of days, keep an eye on water quality and see if it improves.

On a side note, I can tell you that that's a gibbiceps, which can grow to around two feet long, so you will have to look at rehoming it, once you're sure it's healthy.
Ok ,thank you for your reply.

I did my weekly water change earlier and noticed skin like flakes floating at the top of the tank and i have noticed the injury on its(not sure if male or female) side looked a lot better. As if the white layer had peeled off. Is this plasable as i dont know what else it could be.(i havent fed them any food flakes)

Thank you fr iding my pleco,how quickly do they grow?

Again thank you for your help.
That does sound like a heater burn; the outer layer of skin has died and sloughed off.

Do keep an eye open for secondary infections, especially fungus, that can attach themselves to open wounds. The fish should heal up, just with clean water,but if you see any fungus, you'll need to treat that and, of course, we don't know how deep the burn has gone.

Gibbis do grow quite slowly, but it needs to be in a suitable sized tank ASAP, or it could become stunted, which will negatively affect it's long term health. A 5'x2'x2' would be the minimum size to house it properly.
Ok ,

I will make sure to keep check the water levels and keep a close eye on him.

Thank you for your help :)
When I woke up this morning I noticed my other pleco sat on the heater like it was a decoration, surely this must be painful for the fish. I had to remove him from the heater myself as he seemed pretty comfy on it.

about an hour later I checked and his belly looked a bit red.

they seem to spend a lot of time near the heater which makes me think its to cold in the tank. My thermometer reads 25degres and my LFS said that this should be perfect for them.

I am also not sure of my other plecos breed. He is black with little white dots on him. Its hard to make out more features as he is quite small but I will post a picture when I get home . if someone could help ID him or give me tips on how to differentiate black spotted pleco breeds I would greatly appreciate it.

thank you for helping a noob.
You're very welcome :)

We need to see a picture to identify a fish. There are so many that look similar, it's impossible to tell them apart without seeing them.

It is very, very common for plecs to sit on heaters; it doesn't necessarily mean they're cold. The trouble is they're covered in bony 'scutes' and literally do not feel the heat until they're already burnt.

All tanks with catfish/plecs/loach should have a guard on the heater.
Heres my other plec,i feel bad becuase had to use the flash:/ but needed so you could his pattern.his pectoral fin has orange spots on but everywhere else seems to have white spots.

Hope you can id him:) and i hope i dont have to rehome him straight away:(

Thank you


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Another pic to help work out his/her id


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