HELP !! Pleco(s) dying -other fish A-OK. (w/test results) ??
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HELP !! Pleco(s) dying -other fish A-OK. (w/test results) ??

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HELP !! Pleco(s) dying -other fish A-OK. (w/test results) ??
Old 05-21-2007, 11:50 PM   #1
 
HELP !! Pleco(s) dying -other fish A-OK. (w/test results) ??

Hello,

We have a 40gal Aquarium with the following healthy fish:

Pair o' guppies
2 sunburst wag platies
2-3 velvet red swords
5-6 tetras (strawberry)
2 scavanging catfish (small)

Been up and running since 1/3/07 - slowly adding fish.

I previously lost two plecos and a catfish in relatively short order. Chaulked it up to perhaps not enough food for scavengers, so left it alone with the two small scavengers (catfish).

There's plenty of visible algae now :)

Well today, I added one pleco (relatively small about 1.5" long). I just spotted him upside down on the bottom still breating.

I am scratching my head trying to figure out what might have gone wrong.
I thought plecos were practically indestructable.

I do water changes every 2-3wks and my test results, look pretty good.
Here's the latest after doing an H20 (40% change) a couple of days ago.
I add FritzGuard, Fritz deChlor & salt per my LFS recommendation.

Nitrates 20
Nitrites 0
Hardness 25
Alk / Buff capacity 300+ (related to PH below?)
PH 8.0 to 8.4 ( a little high, but hard on the pleco?)
Amonia 0

I think (perhaps I should do another H20 change ASAP?)
What about the pH, I've heard conflicting info there.??
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:35 AM   #2
 
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Why is your PH so high!

That seems to be problem, pleco's ph range is around 7.2
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:43 AM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anemone
Why is your PH so high!

That seems to be problem, pleco's ph range is around 7.2
I don't know ?

I asked my LFS if our city H20 leads to high pH and they say No.
The pH test is from a strip (Mardel), so may not be accurate ?
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
 
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Ah, that could explain your reading, as test strips are notoriously inaccurate.

I would advise you to get a liquid test kit and re-check all the water parameters.
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:23 AM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kateyoup
Ah, that could explain your reading, as test strips are notoriously inaccurate.

I would advise you to get a liquid test kit and re-check all the water parameters.
Considering all the above, what can (now kill) a pleco soooo fast.

I put him in the tank yesterday afternoon, with a slow introduction to the tank. By last evening, he was sideways on the bottom breathing, then came back right side up. This morning he was dead'r than dead. Gone.

I did a partial H20 change, though have no reason to suspect anything is wrong. ?????

Not this time, but last time I took my H20 to my LFS and they said all is well with my water.

So, I am stumped??? What things can kill a pleco in a matter of hours?

Again, all other fish seem to be Aok
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
 
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There could be a number of contributing factors.

Firstly - why are you adding salt to the tank?

I would recommend weekly water changes rather than every 2 - 3 weeks, and are you using a gravel vac to clean the substrate?

I'm thinking that it's most likely something to do with your water parameters, and you should get a test kit asap and check them out for yourself.
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:16 AM   #7
 
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A few things....

plecs dont do salt, full stop. If you LFS has recommended adding salt to a tank with a pleco in then get a new LFS.

Your pH is a bit too high, plecos on the whole enjoy soft slighty acidic water. Thats not to say that it cant survive at pH 8 it just wont thrive. I would imagine it has died due to pH shock, remember the scale is exponential so 7.1 is ten times more alkaline than 7.0 ( i think) so if your LFS water is say around neutral then being put into the equivalent of an african rift lake is liable to kill it, no matter what your other parameters.

'Not this time, but last time I took my H20 to my LFS and they said all is well with my water.' - what is fine? get them to give you the results not just tell you its fine, what may be fine to them may not be to us (see above salt comment)

lastly, plecos are hardy given care, but they are not indestructible. Too often they are seen as only there to clean up after other fish, simply not true they all have there own care requirements dependant on sp./genus

hth
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:41 AM   #8
 
Salt / pH .....

Thanks all for your comments.

I am thinking the salt may be the issue?? DOES Aquarium salt affect pH? I didn't think so?????

I was adding salt with each H20 change on the belief that it was helping reduce stress and helping water condition not hurting....

Plan.....

1) Do several H20 changes over the next few weeks, sans salt.

2) Gradually space H20 changes back out to 2-3 wks

3) Get a liquid based kit.... I know it's done to death here, but quick recommendations on kits?

4) Pending results of above, give the pleco's a try in a month or so.

I really like plecos, not only because they are a 'cleaner' but think they are pretty cool.

We are no fish experts, but not devoid of knowledge either, this 40gal is my 1st aquarium in over a 10 year absence and then only had a 10gal for a couple of years, we we're learning again and appreciate the advice here.

As for my LFS, I only have a choice of two and am using the best one already. Next closest would be miles/miles away :(

Mark
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Old 05-23-2007, 03:55 AM   #9
 
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Re: Salt / pH .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Us5Camp
I am thinking the salt may be the issue??
Very likely.
Quote:
DOES Aquarium salt affect pH? I didn't think so?????
No, it doesn't. On the contrary, it is not recommended nor is it necessary. Did you even dissolve it before adding?
Quote:
I was adding salt with each H20 change on the belief that it was helping reduce stress and helping water condition not hurting....
Salt is not important until necessary.
Quote:
3) Get a liquid based kit.... I know it's done to death here, but quick recommendations on kits?
API.
Quote:
I really like plecos, not only because they are a 'cleaner' but think they are pretty cool.
I'll tell you one thing. They are not cleaners. They need dietary supplements as much as other fish do.
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Old 05-23-2007, 05:47 PM   #10
 
Just a note that my pleco had a very bad case of ich and was treated (along with the rest of the tank) with the ich salt/heat treatment and came through the salt treatment fine and was cured of the ich. (Salt was regular table salt, 1 tsp per 5 gallons, disolved slowly directly into the tank.)
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