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New Fish Mother 04-16-2007 09:45 PM

My Albino Pleco is Turning Red?...
I've searched high and low for the answer to my problem, and have come up with many contradicting answers.

10 Gal tank
3 emerald eye rasboras
2 pearl danios
2 albino plecos

I recently got the 2 albino plecos 2 weeks ago. Since I got them, I've needed to administer Melafix to the tank for an accident that happened to one of my rasboras (got sucked up into the filter, but was ok!), but that was a week ago.

Ammonia is 0, nitrites are .3 (and getting lower), PH is around 7.8-8, and the water is on the hard side. KH is in the normal range.

I've been doing water changes once a day (15%) for the past few days to get the nitrite levels down (they were at the 1.6 mark at one point). I should also mention that I've been putting aquarium salt in the water after reading that rasboras and danios fair better with it (but then read that albino plecos have little tolerance for it, and have since stopped).

I've noticed in the past 3 days that one of my plecos has developed an entirely red head (top and underneath). It's only happened to one, and I've also noticed that the redness has spread to his fins.

There are no sores or wounds on him that I can see, and he has no loss of appetite or energy.

Any insight as to what this is would be greatly appreciated. I've read somewhere that an albino pleco turning red means that it's close to death!

I hope it's not true...

Lupin 04-16-2007 09:52 PM


What is your KH? As for pH, have you used any rocks suspected to contain calcium like limestone? pH is very high even for plecos. Also, what is your nitrates?

No need for aquarium salt in your tank. It was completely a waste of time and cash. Your fish do not need salt.

May I see a pic of your plec? On the side note, two plecs in a ten gallons is pushing beyond the limits.

Good luck.:)

New Fish Mother 04-16-2007 10:06 PM

Thanks for your reply.

My KH is 70. As for the rocks I'm using a gravel and substrate mix (substrate was recommended by sales clerk in fish department to go with the plants we got) Nitrate levels are 0.3, they were however much higher, reaching 1.6 but I think the aquarium is just getting over the nitrate spike that all new aquariums take. I do daily water changes to help keep them low.

As for the pic my cameras not good enough to take a pic of the pleco, he just turns out to be a white blob, and we're upgrading the tank soon to accomodate for the growth of all the fish!

Thanks for your help in advance!

Trishfish 04-16-2007 10:16 PM

Is it a bristlenose pleco or a regular kind of pleco? I've seen some beautiful bristlenoses that are a deep peach and rosy color. They only get to be about 4-5 inches long.

New Fish Mother 04-16-2007 10:26 PM

it's an albino bristlenose pleco. But the problem is .. he looks red, like he's bleeding inside, and there is a red streak on one of his fins, but he doesn't appear to be bleeding and he's not in any distress. He's still happily sucking away and moving all over the tank! I'm really hoping it's nothing too serious!

Trishfish 04-16-2007 10:28 PM

Oh goodness. He might have an infection brought on by stress. Can you isolate him? Maybe Blue is still checking the boards. Good luck with him.

Lupin 04-16-2007 10:32 PM


Originally Posted by Trishfish
Maybe Blue is still checking the boards.

I am.:mrgreen:

There doesn't seem to be anything wrong. I have fish here often getting red streaks but that was because they keep dragging each other out of the way.:roll: I had a BN before and I observed some color change depending on her mood.:)

Just make sure water conditions are ok and she gets strong resistance by providing vitamins.:)

New Fish Mother 04-16-2007 10:35 PM

ok whew... ok now vitamins.. what exactly should I be giving the plecos that won't harm the other fish if they eat it... my danios are pigs and will eat stuff off the bottom too when I give the plecos pellets for bottom feeding fish...

You have no idea how relieved I am. I guess the fact that only one of the plecos is turning this dark shade of red and the other is not has alarmed me!!

thank you so much, I will sleep much better tonite!

Lupin 04-16-2007 10:36 PM

Vitamins are often designed for all fish.:) No worries there. I used Sera Activant if that's available in your area.:)

New Fish Mother 04-16-2007 10:40 PM

I will definately take a look at the pet store tomorrow and if not find something else. thank you so very much!!!

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