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Think I might be losing my pleco

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Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:34 pm

Not sure what is wrong, but I cannot remember the last time I saw him eat and he will not touch any zucchini and he used to gorge on this stuff.

I have done a few water changes recently such as a 50% about a week ago & another this past Friday morning with a small one yesterday.
On the top of his head, just at the base of his dorsal, it is a bit indented and his underside seems bloated. Not sure if I am looking at the right spot. I was able to grab him with not much of a struggle and I can feel a film on him.
He's around 10+ years old. Called my buddy at Big Al's and he suggested General Cure by API. So I am currently treating the tank.

Not sure what else I can do for him at this point.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Fores41 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:38 pm

May just be age catching up to him? Hopefully the meds work they usually work or kill the fish being treated.
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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by fish lady on Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:51 pm

what kind of pleco
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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:38 pm

He's your typical common pleco. He's about a foot long-ish.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by CAAIndie on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:25 pm

Continued big water changes are probably optimal. Was this the tank you had mentioned the ammonia spike in?

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:47 pm

Yes, that is the reason for the multiple water changes. I was going to do a partial later today (Wednesday), but have to wait til Saturday now due to the medication as it needs 2 doses at 48hrs each.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by CAAIndie on Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:15 am

Have you tested since then? What kind if reading was it/is it?

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:16 am

I didn't get any numbers from the test. But he was saying the liquid was getting greener as time went on.
That's when I did the 50% water change & then the partial the other day. No other reading since.
His colors have not changed. He doesn't seem stressed. He's just sitting in the corner above some algae wafers, but not eating them. I gotta go back to Big Al's anyways as I need Prime & another package of the cure as 2 packs isn't enough to dose a 130 gallon twice.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by CAAIndie on Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:25 am

To be completely honest, any ammonia in the tank and I wouldn't bothering with the medication,  I would be doing huge water changes daily. You need to treat the cause of illness, which sounds like it is directly related to water quality. Anything api gc would be doing would be dealing with secondary issues not the root cause (basically that ends up an unsolvable cycle). That is how I strongly feel hearing the situation.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:55 am

I still need to get some prime anyways.
The sharks seem fine, still eat. Just the pleco is affected.
Before this past weekend, the tank had a sorta strong fish smell.
Now, no smell at all.

Ok, if that is what I need to do already, how much should I do? 50% or partial?

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by GaryE on Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:54 am

I looked up General Cure - it is a pretty wide ranging med -internal and external parasites. I agree with CAA Indie - I never use any med without a diagnosis. You really want to do something with a sick fish you've had for a long time, but other than changing the water and trying to improve their environment, there's not a lot to do. Big fish in "small" tanks don't leave a large margin for error.
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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Suprd71 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:01 am

I agree with a couple points made. Medicating a fish without knowing whats exactly wrong is risky at best. GC is a good all purpose med, but poor water will render any med ineffective. To be honest and perhaps a bit blunt Sandman, I think long term exposure to poor conditions have caught up to your fish. Not something new to you either, you have been told several times in the past that your tank was overstocked and under filtered. And you havent done the massive, frequent water changes to partially compensate. It is what it is. Big fish need big space, heavy filtration and gobs of clean water. Going to BigAls and having them tell you water is "ok", "not bad" or whatever is not definitive enough. And to again agree with Gary, a 130g tank is small for big fish. I have quite a few tanks of that size range and bigger. Most hold 1 large cichlid only, have 2, 3 and 4 filters and get 75% water changes every 3-4 days. Its rare for my nitrate level to get over 10.
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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Mathodo Shire on Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:51 am

If there's still ammonia in your tank, they have these ammonia tablets at Walmart.
I haven't tried them out though so you might have to do some research on it.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:55 am

I've mentioned a few times the gallons per hour this is filtered at and no one said it was good or bad.
How many people run a 10 gallon tub filter on a tank this size? I upped the gph & was told that was a bad idea.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Fores41 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:59 am

I have tried the Ammonia Tablets from Wall mart as I had ammonia in my water from the tap a year ago and the Tablets had no effect. I did a reading before and one after and no noticeable change on reading. They fizz causing ammonia release on water surface just like a air stone but not enough to really lower ammonia level significantly from my personal experience.
I agree with the rest for water changes always help and a good gravel vacuum if it has not been done for awhile. Best of luck
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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by CAAIndie on Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:23 am

@Sandman1969 wrote:I still need to get some prime anyways.
The sharks seem fine, still eat. Just the pleco is affected.
Before this past weekend, the tank had a sorta strong fish smell.
Now, no smell at all.

Ok, if that is what I need to do already, how much should I do? 50% or partial?

I would do 50%+ as frequent as you can. If you are going to go to the lfs too, bring a water sample and ask to the exact parts per million number. Make sure they leave the water sample for a few minutes as it takes time for it to develop. Anything above 0.25 ppm and it'll cause serious stress on the fish (and would result in many negative effects long term).

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:02 am

Ammonia is at .25 right now. Doin another water change at the moment.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:20 pm

My pleco, Dyson, has died.
He was around 10 or so years old. We've had him for about 5 years.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by alexmtl on Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:27 pm

Sorry to hear about Dyson Sandman1969
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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by CAAIndie on Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:28 pm

Very sorry to hear.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:32 pm

This **** will always hit me hard. My fish are my family.

Question; as I was wrapping him up in stretch wrap, to prevent smell in the garbage, blood seemed to have come out of his anus. Any ideas?? There wasn't much of any indentation nor was his color different. Till I flipped him over after he passed. He was reddish underneath & heavy for a pleco. Not sure if he was bloated or not as I am unsure what that part is supposed to be like.

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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by GaryE on Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:39 am

Suprd and I have totally different fishkeeping interests, but we've come to a similar point of view.

You are trying to make the best of a bad situation. You are putting up quite a fight, sandman. But at the end of every thing you try, you are still grossly overstocked.

Even if you maintain ideal water readings, there are hormones, stress levels, behavioral issues etc that won't show up on a test kit.
You could have a dispenser dropping ammonia tabs in every 5 minutes, and automatic water changing system, the works. You'd still be overstocked and one power blackout or heat wave away from disaster.

You have more filtration than most people with tanks that size do, but it isn't enough. No one can fault your effort level, but you have a fishload that would be a fulltime job to deal with in a tiny tank (for them - huge to me with my interest in smaller fish).

It's the old story - you made a serious stocking mistake back in the past, and now, it's reaching a serious bump. I hope all the fish get through it. Most of the time when I have seen fishkeepers in your situation, the tank has slowly wiped out and the test of where they were going and what they had learned was how they used their space and experience the second time around. I have seen a few go out and buy another pleco and more bala sharks, for sure. Most get fish that can thrive in their temperatures, space and budget.
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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:16 am

It just seems odd that it would take 5 years if the water was truly that bad. It's only been over this past week that he had changed. He was about as active as a pleco his size normally is.
The small shark I have, I had moved him into the 125g tank til he got sick from that. He turned green. That's when I moved him back to the 130 and his health came back pretty quick. Just trying to make sense of this as it doesn't. How did he get healthy so quick if the water quality/filtering is bad? How is that possible?
Also, the sharks shouldn't be able to grow if it was that bad should they?


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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Suprd71 on Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:40 am

Sorry about your plec Sandman. Not gonna heap all the blame on you, after all, you had it 5yrs and you claim it was about 10. The first 5yrs of its life may have been rougher tan the 5 with you. 10yrs is "ok" for a common plec, although they can make 20. Genetics, and how they are raised when small play a big role in any fish's longevity. Its imperative that young still developing fish get optimum care to secure a strong immune system. If your guy had a particularly rough start to life, then he may have done very well to make 10yrs. You still have big fish on hand, I suggest you up your water change sched to give them a better chance at long life.
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Re: Think I might be losing my pleco

Post by Sandman1969 on Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:44 am

The 10yrs is a guess, going by the ribs on his dorsal fin. We found him at a smaller fish store in a tiny aquarium. He was almost a foot long when we found him.

Any ideas on the blood like substance that came out of his underside while wrapping him?

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