Need help with Pleco! - Floating/bouyancy issue
I have a 8-9 inch common pleco in my 125 gallon tank. He is kept with cichlids. I do regular weekly 25% water changes. I have a Otto Canister filter and a big rio pump. I feed regular flakes, African Cichlid Attack small sinking pellets, and large Hikari Cichlid pellets for the big eaters in the tank. Also cucumber and romaine lettuce a couple times a week.
For a few months now the pleco has developed a new behavior where he floats at the surface belly up. I have tried to research this behavior and I get two possible scenarios: its either "normal behavior" or an illness.
It has progressed to the point where he rarely leaves the surface now. When he does do down to the bottom, he usually has to wedge himself under a rock or piece of driftwood to stay down.
Please, any information or advice you can offer me is greatly appreciated. I don't want to lose "Pleky" to a treatable/preventable demise as I am quite attached to this reptile-like fish.
Any information on possibly treating him and what kind of medications would be reccommened for him would be great.
Does the fish happen to posistion itself near the return from the filter? If so this could be indication that oxygen level's are low near the botom, and fish is hanging out at surface where oxygen levels are higher. More filtration and or large sponge filter or air stone may bring relief. What may have been suitable filtration months ago, may not be sufficient now as fishes continue to grow,eat more,and produce more waste.
Same for volume of water being changed each week.
I might consider the above before I began medicating for unknown.
Parameter's for ammonia,nitrites and nitrAtre's were not posted, but they should be Zero for ammonia and nitrites,and nitrAtes should be no higher than 20 ppm .
My common pleco does the same thing. Whenever I start feeding, he does it and I will drop some food into his mouth. I think it just means he wants food. I have seen Synodontis catfishes do this too.
I had a pleco that would come up whenever I fed the other fish, swimming upside down the entire time to "skim" the food off, then return to the bottom and act normally.
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