My out of water pleco - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-04-2013, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
My out of water pleco

On Monday morning my Pleco Jethro, evidently jumped from his tank and ended up under the cabinet. I noticed him missing a little after 9 am, he was not found until almost 6 pm. We were amazed he was still alive and put him back in his tank dust, dirt and all. Outside of seeming a little ticked off swimming back and forth very quickly slamming into the the sides of the tank he seemed ok. Today, Friday, I noticed his fins look like the are shredded and parts of them are falling off. I assume this is because they dried out but will the grow back? Jethro is 12 years old and 14" long. He summers in our pond but this being NW Ohio he spends the rest of the year in a 50 gallon heated tank in the house. Any help would be welcomed. Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-04-2013, 03:46 PM
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I can't offer any help, just wanted to say how amazing it is he lasted so long outside the tank!

-Kristen's tanks:

14g Tall:
Planted, eco-complete, Red Cherry Shrimp

16g Aqueon Bowfront:
Planted, eco-complete, 8 Ember tetras, 7 Green neon tetras, 6 Harlequin Rasboras

36 Aqueon Bowfront: Planted, sand, 10 Julii cories, 8 Zebra Danios
7 Cherry Barbs, Asst snails & Ghost shrimp
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-04-2013, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KPainter View Post
I can't offer any help, just wanted to say how amazing it is he lasted so long outside the tank!
Yes, I started referring to him as Frankenfish. We did a partial exchange and added salt, kosher at 1 teaspoon per gallon. He looks horrible. I want to cry every time I look at him.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-05-2013, 11:11 AM
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I don't think salt is good for plecos, or for this particular issue for any fish.
Kosher salt is not good either as it tends to have anti-clumping chemicals added to it.
Go for ultra clean water, lots of water changes.
I'd also keep the lights low to reduce stress.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-05-2013, 11:46 AM
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I have had several experiences with fish transported to me with severely damaged fins. Proper water conditions for the fish, food and time are the best remedies. Damage between the rays of the fins can grow back. Whether your fish's fins will grow back will likely depend on damaged structure. I have had an oscar survive being out of the water ~3 hours. Your 9 hrs takes the cake. That is just amazing.

I don't agree with using salts in freshwater unless its to remove parasites or in African Cichlids tanks. Not wanting to start a debate on salt as there is already plenty of coverage of this issue all over the internet. Search the net for more information on this and ignore any site that is selling them. Freshwater salts have a ridiculously high profit margin and these site have a good reason to push these products.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-05-2013, 12:02 PM
they can last a little while out of water. where they come from there is a dry season and they have to move from one shallow pond to another. they can live up to 30 hours out of water. they adapted the ability to breath thru their skin.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-05-2013, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
It wasn't a site that sold anything that said the best thing was salt. It was a "sick fish" type site. Several different sites suggested salt to restore their slime coat and for for general healing. They all said table salt without iodine, preferably kosher because it does not have additives. But if frequent clean water changes are the thing you suggests, you guys are the tropical fish people.
It is good to know that his skin will probably grow back and he isn't truly a Frankenfish. But he is a rare one.
I'll keep you posted. Thanks.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-11-2013, 03:37 PM
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any update on the plec ?
i saw on a fish site once(and i wish i could remember where) a seriously
damaged bristlenose,that had been caught up in roots or thread that
had been used to attach a plant ,and they had realllllly badly
cut into it's skin,it was truley awful...anyhoooo the lady kept the water
as clean as humanly possible and treated the tank with melafix..she
kept a photo diary of the outcome...the fish made it. !

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-11-2013, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
Jethro seems to be doing fine. He actually ate his zucchini and his shrimp pellets. The area where the skin came off his belly is looking so much better, no longer red. I talked to my niece a few days ago, I had forgotten her husband keeps tropical fish, and he said about the same thing. Frequent clean water exchanges, Aquasafe, and a little salt won't hurt him. A friend has asked me if he is a male. I have no idea but I have always called him a him and named him Jethro after the main character in the show NCIS. Anyone know if you can tell if male or female? I'll try to keep you posted on Jethro's condition. Thanks everyone.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-11-2013, 05:41 PM
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Does he slap the other fish on the head?

-Kristen's tanks:

14g Tall:
Planted, eco-complete, Red Cherry Shrimp

16g Aqueon Bowfront:
Planted, eco-complete, 8 Ember tetras, 7 Green neon tetras, 6 Harlequin Rasboras

36 Aqueon Bowfront: Planted, sand, 10 Julii cories, 8 Zebra Danios
7 Cherry Barbs, Asst snails & Ghost shrimp
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