pleco not eating - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 15 Old 09-18-2009, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation pleco not eating

i got my pleco 2 days ago and put it in my planted tank with no other fish. (gonna be some tetras in soon) my pleco isnt eating. i have that hikari algea wafers and i put half in per day
Tank specs:
temp: 75-77 F
filter: sponge filter (ordered a penguin 150B)
light:15watt (ordered a 65watt)
tank size: 20-21gal
ph: "ideal for java moss" from a lfs. so the req. for java moss...
anything else? should i just wait a lil bit for it to start eating? please help!
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-18-2009, 10:07 PM
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He's new, give him time to adjust. They also are fairly nocturnal so I'd drop the algae wafer right before "bedtime". Are you still keeping the tank at 75 degrees per your aquarium log? I'd bump to 78 as they prefer it warmer than 75. I'd really like to know what your water parameters are. Any plans to get a liquid test kit? A test kit is an invaluable tool in regards to fishkeeping, a necessity in my book. How long has this tank been set up?

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post #3 of 15 Old 09-18-2009, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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i have a tester strip thing so ill go do it now
nitrate:15
nitrite:5.0 (ima try again my other tank is fine. could it be the fertilizer?)
hardness:200
chlorine: absolute 0 (i have well water)
alkaliity: 150
ph:7.8-8.4

second test
same...
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-18-2009, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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tank has been set up for like 3 weeks but plants are brand new.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-18-2009, 10:56 PM
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Nitrite is 5.0?? That is majorly toxic and can kill your fish, if that is indeed an accurate reading.
7.8 to 8.4? Quite a differnce between those two levels. If it is 8.4 that's much too high, IMHO.
I'm hoping your strips are inaccurate. They are known to be notorious for their faulty readings.
Do you know your ammonia level? When did you set up this tank??

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post #6 of 15 Old 09-18-2009, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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i did a couple more test with some different strips (newer ones) and got 6.4 ph and 2.0 nitrite
i put the gravel and water and filter, light 2-3weeks ago and i put the plants in 2 days after the pleco. like 3 days ago
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-18-2009, 11:47 PM
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There are several issues:

1. Your tank doesn't seem cycled at all.
2. Turn your lights out to drop the wafers in... don't let the wafers sit more than 2 hours. The leftover food may be contributing to the poor water parameters.
3. Temp is fine at 75 for a pleco though I prefer 78 or so. Plecos tolerate a wide range of temp.
4. Plecos prefer PH in the 6.5 - 7.5 range.

Just because a pleco can tolerate 73 - 83 degrees and a PH of 6.5 - 7.5 doesn't mean you should allow your tank to fluctuate much. Gradual changes in thee paramters is fine as long as tehy stay within the optimal range for your fish

5. The fish is new... under optimal conditions your fish may take a couple of days or a week or so to aclimate befoe it starts eating. Based on your previous info this doesn't seem like the reason... it is your nitrite.

Your target water parameters should always be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 or less nitrate (your 15 is fine... it will get removed with your PWC (partial water changes).

I would strongly recommend doing a PWC of 30% or more ASAP. Just make sure that the new water is properly treated and that the temp. is the same as your tank water.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-19-2009, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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ok well ill do a PWc tommorrow morning (after soccer game at 8:00) and ill go put a wafer in now cause the lights are off.
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-19-2009, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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ok so i ust walked in to my pleco roaming the tank! im happy that its not just hiding. it was eating its little wafer but the second i turned on my room light he hid. i think he is ok now but ill still do the water change
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-20-2009, 06:58 PM
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Hope not to off topic. I dropped in a wafer the other day for my pleco, though it was in the middle of the day, and one of my cichlids went after it and ate the whole thing(there small). And yes I feed my fish regularly. Will feeding at night help this from happening
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