Can't Keep Pleco's Alive! Help! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-10-2009, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Can't Keep Pleco's Alive! Help!

So I have a 46G Bowfront that doesn't need a Pleco, but my 10G Community does need one for clean up and algae maintenance.

So far I've had two 1 1/2" Pleco's in that tank and they've lasted a total of about 2 weeks.

The tank has been cycled and up and running for about 4 months now. The fish in there are 3 white skirt tetra's, one male/female Betta, and a small red-tailed shark who leaves everyone alone.

The water is a perfect 7.0 pH and nitrite/ammonia/etc are fine as of the last water change about 4 days ago.

I've tried giving them algae pellots and everything but for some reason they just don't eat them and die out of nowhere after looking completely healthy for a week. There's never signs of Ich or external diseases, I'm just wondering if I'm missing something or they're just hard fish to keep alive..although it seams like everyone has a Pleco in their tank....

Please help!

Thanks,

Dan

46 Gal. Bow Front
-Blood Red Parrot (orange)
-Green Terror
-Jack Dempsey
-Blood Parrot (yellow)
-Large Gold Gourami

10G Community
3 White Skirt Tetra
3 Black Skirt Tetra
1 Otto
1 Rainbow Shark
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-10-2009, 05:27 PM
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I think the diet is messed up. I would purchase HIKKARI ALGAE WAFERS. I have had great success with plecos with these for 3 years. P.S. Don't tell anyone this is my big secret.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-10-2009, 05:51 PM
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I think your tank is way to small. Or maybe they are dying of stress. Are your other fish bullies?
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-10-2009, 06:03 PM
Plecos do not handle water changes as well as alot of people think maybe you've done water changes that weren't perfect, you do treat your water BEFORE adding it to the tank right?Is your tank fungus free? Because i actually had a pleco and a baby channel cat die after cleaning up after my (use to) overfeeding.You may also think about feeding zucchini at night.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-10-2009, 08:31 PM
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His tank isn't too small yet, but it will be soon.. I bought my pleco when it was about 1 1/2" as well about 5 months ago, and now he's pushing 5 1/2". I don't know if this is the problem, I'm not an expert by any means but I had problems with one of my LFS selling me very young fish like that and they weren't very healthy and couldn't handle the stress of moving. Maybe try buying one that's just a bit older, or switching your LFS? I don't know if that;s the problem, it's just a suggestion.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-10-2009, 09:47 PM
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first off. is the tank cycled?

second, are you sure your adding a pleco and not a ottocinclus? ottos are very sensitive so this may be your problem. common plecos also reach up to a foot and a half if not larger and the red tailed shark will grow very large and become extremely territorial in a 10 gallon before you know it.plecos also have a very large bio-load adding more to the problem then fixing it. i advise to either move these fish to an aquarium that can house them properly or return them to a fish store for credit. If you dont over feed, scrape the glass,cut back on your lighting (possibly change the bulbs if they are really old) and do gravel vacs/water changes weekly/bi-weekly you shouldnt have that bad of an algae issue to begin with.

let me give you an analogy, someone has 100 mice. they buy 100 cats to get the mice but then they are stuck with 100 cats so they buy 100 dogs, then they are stuck with 100 dogs.. see where im going? ultimately they could have gotten a few mouse traps and been done with it. why buy a problem to fix a problem?
you cant just throw a fish in a tank and expect it to take care of it, does that make sense?

Last edited by onefish2fish; 01-10-2009 at 09:49 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-10-2009, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hm, everything said makes complete sense, but it was a common pleco, well they both have been in fact.

I do weekly water changes, gravel vacuum, glass cleaning, etc.. and do treat the water before adding it to the tank with Prime and pH 7.0 and test it before adding to the 10G tank.

The other fish are by no means bullies. The Red-tailed Shark is still a baby and he is a little scrappy by himself but he doesn't ever pick on the white-skirt tetra's or my male/female betta's.

I know the 10G is small for a larger Pleco, but I also have a 46G for when it would get about 3" and when the red-tail grows up a bit. Also, I'm getting a 125G for my Oscar's in the spring and eventually I would love a large Pleco to go in there.

onefish2fish - the tank did cycle for about a month. I watched closely as the process ran it's course and did necessary water changes, then when everything was perfect I added the 3 white-skirts and they've been doing great since the beginning.

This is the tank, BTW the Comet's were removed asap and placed in a different tank, now it's just the fish listed in my first post.



I really appreciate the feedback though :)

46 Gal. Bow Front
-Blood Red Parrot (orange)
-Green Terror
-Jack Dempsey
-Blood Parrot (yellow)
-Large Gold Gourami

10G Community
3 White Skirt Tetra
3 Black Skirt Tetra
1 Otto
1 Rainbow Shark
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-10-2009, 11:07 PM
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ok tank is cycled so thats not the cause unless you had a spike in something.

the red tail might just be the cause of the problem. i know they are territorial fish. he may have not bothered the others as they are faster swimmers and the pleco has a kind of lazy grazing attitude.
a 46 gal isnt even big enough for a foot and a half pleco or a fully grown red tail. the red tail will think the tank is his (due to territory issues) and show his aggression on the tankmates.
i think the 125 will be a better enviroment and look into bristle nose plecos as they max out at about 6 inches.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-11-2009, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9311dan View Post
So I have a 46G Bowfront that doesn't need a Pleco, but my 10G Community does need one for clean up and algae maintenance.

So far I've had two 1 1/2" Pleco's in that tank and they've lasted a total of about 2 weeks.

The tank has been cycled and up and running for about 4 months now. The fish in there are 3 white skirt tetra's, one male/female Betta, and a small red-tailed shark who leaves everyone alone.

The water is a perfect 7.0 pH and nitrite/ammonia/etc are fine as of the last water change about 4 days ago.

I've tried giving them algae pellots and everything but for some reason they just don't eat them and die out of nowhere after looking completely healthy for a week. There's never signs of Ich or external diseases, I'm just wondering if I'm missing something or they're just hard fish to keep alive..although it seams like everyone has a Pleco in their tank....

Please help!

Thanks,

Dan
What test kit are you using? Please post exact water parameters. How much water is replaced weekly? What else do you feed aside from algae pellets? Who is your source for plecos? What species of plecos have you tried so far?

For future reference, there are over 400 species of plecos. Some are hardy, some aren't. Common plecos are easy to keep. How did you acclimate your plecos?

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