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Pleco loosing colour??

This is a discussion on Pleco loosing colour?? within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Yes any amount of ammonia is. Your pleco is doning its normal behavior. which it will turn colors when stressed....

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Pleco loosing colour??
Old 11-11-2009, 09:06 PM   #11
 
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Yes any amount of ammonia is. Your pleco is doning its normal behavior. which it will turn colors when stressed.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:52 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieThomas View Post
I noticed that a few threads back I said I suspected the cloudiness was an algal bloom, I meant to write bacterial bloom, sorry if that confused anything.

It really sounds like the discolouration is due to either heightened ammonia levels or the jostling from tank to tank. Just to be clear on the progression of the discolouration, it did not get rapidly worse after the salt but progressed at the pace it was before. The salt was suggested to be added once and then wait a week so no more salt will be going into the tank.

That thread mentions some behavioural changes along with "flaking" and "ich" like spotting. My pleco has none of those things and I haven't been able to locate any online information about plecos losing their colour. He is behaving as happy and active as he always was and the discolouration is exactly that, his sides are turning grey. Oh, and I'm not sure if this helps but he is about 3.75inches in a 20G tank. That should be fine for now, eh? Byron, you mention plecos being extra sensitive as acidic water fish often are, is .25ppm high enough to cause that kind of reaction?
Mollies has subsequently responded on the ammonia, and I agree fully. But just to clear up, my sensitive comment was aimed at the salt.

I know there are two schools of thought on the use of salt in the freshwater aquarium, and clearly I am in the group that says never. Only exception is as a necessary treatment, but then not when something less stressful will work as well or better. And assuming we are talking sensitive fish. All South American fish that occur naturally in very soft acidic water are very sensitive to any chemical, medication, calcium (hard water), or salt. SE Asian fish from similar water are the same. There is scientific evidence of the possible detrimental effects of salt. I do not see any reason to subject such fish to those effects when it is not necessary, in the hope that nothing will happen.

In the article from Practical Fishkeeping that I believe I linked to previously there was back and forth discussion on the effects, but one clear summary position from all the biologists and experienced aquarists: never use salt in a freshwater tank as a general "tonic" or without reason as treatment. And I have read similar articles in TFH. This to me is comparable to keeping rift lake cichlids that "prefer" a hard basic (alkaline) water (pH of 8-9 in Lake Tanganyika for example) in an aquarium with a pH of 6.4 and soft water. I know aquarists who do this. I would not, as the fish are not programmed to cope with such drastic changes, and I do not consider that good aquarium practice. Neither do I consider using salt in FW tanks good practice.

Byron.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:09 PM   #13
 
I did perform a water change after it was suggested that the salt could cause more harm than good as certainly nothing had changed over the following days. I went over the whole tank yesterday trying to come with something that could be doing it and noticed that the temperature reading was quite a bit higher than the heater itself said (81C) I lowered it to 78C which is what I keep my 29G at. After I did a water small water change (about 10%). His behaviour is still normal and here is a picture of his side today...



The grey is now only a saddle mark on his back and doesn't extend onto his head or tail.


Although I understand what you are saying about the salt, I'm not sure it is what made the discolouration worse (and it didn't cause it as it wasn't in the tank before). It did progress as it had been and did not get worse at a quicker pace. I did however perform the water change, lower the temp slightly, and I am keeping a close eye on the ammonia. He is certainly improving. It is a little strange just how fast he is changing though...

Last edited by SophieThomas; 11-12-2009 at 07:14 PM..
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:20 PM   #14
 
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It is not just the issue of whether or not this problem was directly caused by salt. The point I was making was that salt is going to stress this fish. If something else is the cause of the problem, the fish then has to cope not only with that cause but also the salt. In other words, using salt regularly will exacerbate other problems which on their own might be overcome by the fish itself.

Stress weakens a fish's immune system. And I believe salt adds stress; and while I cannot prove this as a scientific fact, there is evidence that it does in certain situations. And no one can prove that it does not, in the literature I have so far read. And when the use of any product or practice is one that may carry risks of this degree, it is something that I believe should be avoided unless the situation unequivocally requires it. For example, we know that any and all chemicals and medications will stress corydoras and characins; so we avoid using chemicals and medications except when the failure to use one of them would likely be worse in the long-term, such as curing a disease that otherwise might take the fish's life. In the absence of any such issue, doing something that is likely to cause stress is not recommended.
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:53 AM   #15
 
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It is not just the issue of whether or not this problem was directly caused by salt. The point I was making was that salt is going to stress this fish. If something else is the cause of the problem, the fish then has to cope not only with that cause but also the salt. In other words, using salt regularly will exacerbate other problems which on their own might be overcome by the fish itself.

Stress weakens a fish's immune system. And I believe salt adds stress; and while I cannot prove this as a scientific fact, there is evidence that it does in certain situations. And no one can prove that it does not, in the literature I have so far read. And when the use of any product or practice is one that may carry risks of this degree, it is something that I believe should be avoided unless the situation unequivocally requires it. For example, we know that any and all chemicals and medications will stress corydoras and characins; so we avoid using chemicals and medications except when the failure to use one of them would likely be worse in the long-term, such as curing a disease that otherwise might take the fish's life. In the absence of any such issue, doing something that is likely to cause stress is not recommended.
Oh, no no no, I am certainly not disagreeing with you and I understand why you press the issue. You have definitely communicated sound reason and I certainly have not made it habit to put salt in my tanks. My prime concern is making my pleco better and I am willing to change or develop new opinions in order to make him so. I am very happy that his colour have been returning at such a rapid rate. What I would like to still figure out is what caused it to begin with.

So far we have discussed salt, ammonia, and I am questioning temperature.

Obviously me being new to the hobby it is more difficult for me to pinpoint what is bad based on experience so I rely rather heavily on what I have read. This unfortunately can lead to some pretty poor decisions and I image some nasty results with some people. I have been lucky so far with no fish death and only a mopy looking pleco.

I would love to continue discussing the possibilities of what may have caused it to begin with.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:00 AM   #16
 
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OK Stress thats it. What the stress was caused by we dont know. Lets start here> You said you stoped useing salt? Thats good. Now is your ammonia gone? And what is his diet? And if you were to go turn the lights on right now I bet he would lose some color, then get it back shortly after. They are fish by night.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:45 AM   #17
 
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I second mollies. On the temp, Planet Catfish lists 71-84 as the range for the common pleco, although obviously it is better to avoid the extremes. But that wouldn't see to be the problem here.

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Old 11-14-2009, 01:20 AM   #18
 
I have stopped using salt (only happened once!!! I promise!!!!), ammonia is still at .25ppm, and temp is at about 78C.

He hasn't been moved for weeks now and the ammonia have not changed from .25 since I got him.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #19
 
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I have stopped using salt (only happened once!!! I promise!!!!), ammonia is still at .25ppm, and temp is at about 78C.

He hasn't been moved for weeks now and the ammonia have not changed from .25 since I got him.
We;ve previously determined the ammonia is in your tap water, and using a good conditioner like Prime (or one of the similar) will detoxify ammonia to ammonium at partial water changes. I belive that is it.

B.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:03 PM   #20
 
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We;ve previously determined the ammonia is in your tap water, and using a good conditioner like Prime (or one of the similar) will detoxify ammonia to ammonium at partial water changes. I belive that is it.

B.

I started using Prime for both of the tanks about two or so weeks ago under your suggestion then. I realize I haven't responded to your comments on it here

When using Prime could I still get a false ammonia reading?

Oh, and Mollies, I bugged the poor guy a bit and flicked on his light to see if his colour changes and it does do a bit of a swell and then immediately goes back to how it was before
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