Red Tail Sternella Pleco L-114 - Dead or Hiding REALLY Well... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-12-2014, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Red Tail Sternella Pleco L-114 - Dead or Hiding REALLY Well...

I just purchased a Red Tail Sternella Pleco (L-114) from my LFS over the weekend, and placed it in my 125 Gallon Community Tank. I watched as it disappeared into a hollow log decoration shortly after placing it in the tank, and have not seen it since. Since this was a relatively large investment for me (I paid $50 for a 2" specimen in perfect shape, this thing is beautiful), I decided to pull up my decorations and driftwood last night so I could rest easy that it is at least still alive. Unfortunately, I'm now worried even more that it is dead. I pulled every single decoration up (including driftwood) and inspected them thoroughly, and could not spot it. My full grown clown and bristlenose plecos are not always easy to spot either, but I can usually spot them without having to move anything around. I was able to spot both of them before my ispection last night... just no Red Tail Sternella.

So here's my question: Does anyone here have any previous experience where they could not find a fish, and then it just showed up later down the road? I'm still holding out hope that I missed him somehow, as there's a big pirate ship decoration in my tank that doubles as a cave that I wasn't able to fully inspect underneath. When I moved it, my bristlenose swam out and darted to the other side of the tank. Or maybe the red tail moved to another hiding spot while I was inspecting things, and I didn't see it. There are quite a few hiding places in a 6' tank. I know that I should see more of this new guy as he gets bigger, but I'm worried that he may have died since I haven't seen him and can't seem to find him in the tank. It seems like there would be some part of his carcass left after just 4 days of him being in the tank if that was the case though.

This has me perplexed to say the least. If any of you have had a similar experience, I would really like to hear from you.

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post #2 of 4 Old 06-14-2014, 01:54 AM
I once couldn't find my altlolamprologus calvus cichlid, and pulled the tank apart looking for him. Then I spotted his dried up body underneath the stand. There isn't much chance of finding a two inch pleco in a 6ft tank. Those things are like ninjas, especially at that size. If you are sure he is not in there, there is a possibility that he has bailed. I hope you find him, cheers, Jim
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jeffcoatbs (06-16-2014)
post #3 of 4 Old 06-14-2014, 06:14 AM
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I'm pretty sure it's still in there - like was said, you're looking for a 2 inch fish in a 125 gallon tank, and plecos are ninjas. Your best bet at seeing it is early in the morning. Sneak up on the tank and don't make any fast movements. It's quite common for plecos to hide all the time at first. Honestly, it was probably inside one of the pieces of decor. In the unfortunate event that the fish dies in the tank and you aren't able to remove it because you can't find it, the fish will break down. In a tank that big you won't even see an ammonia spike.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-16-2014, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Good News! I spotted the little ninja yesterday evening. He's been hiding in a small hole in a large piece of driftwood, and I was able to spot the very tip of his red tail. I shined a flashlight in at him and he burrowed a bit further into his hiding spot, so he's alive and kicking. He was sharing the driftwood with my clown pleco, who swam out when I shined the light. I'm just glad he's still in there.
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