Louis Louis
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  • Posted on: 6/10 14:50
My Pleco died and I don’t know why #1
Hello,

I am new to the Fishkeeping hobby however am aware of how much effort and research goes into keeping and maintaining a happy and healthy tank hence I have tried to make sure I know as much about the fish I purchase their tank conditions so that I can provide the best life and care for them.

A few months ago I bought a pleco and some tetras and placed them into a quarantine tank before adding them to my main, display tank which houses one single betta. I added the tetras in I mistakenly caught them and netted them individually and placed them into the tank, to which the betta then chased them and they all died with 6-7 hours later, my guess is due to shock and/or stress. So with my pleco, which I saw as my prize possession, I made sure to acclimate it properly following the steps I read on a website. Temperature acclimating it and then ph acclimating it. However it also did not survive the night, moreover the betta showed no signs of aggression towards the pleco instead it would swim away whenever the pleco moved so I can’t see stress from the betta being a cause of death. Whilst the ph level of my display tank is between 6.5-7.0 (which I know is low for a pleco) the quarantine tank was at 6.5 when I moved the pleco and he had been living happily and showing no signs of distress or illness for months in that tank and the nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels were all equal in both tanks (actually there had been an unusual and bizarre ammonia spike in my quarantine tank (despite showing positive nitrate readings) so if anything the display tank was healthier). So my question is, what could have caused my pleco to die as I believe my conditions would be hospitable for my pleco?

I realise that this is a long winded post however I wanted to reveal all information to help any responses have a clear idea and thus cause of my issue.

I hope someone can help me with my problem and get back to me soon so I can amend it and prevent it from happening again.

Thank you
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 6/10 15:17
Re: My Pleco died and I don’t know why #2
There's nothing wrong with the pH as all plecos are soft water fish. Can you post actual test results for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, please? Also what size is the tank? What species of pleco is it?
Louis Louis
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Re: My Pleco died and I don’t know why #3
Hi!

Yes,
My ammonia readings were at 0.25ppm in the display tank, my nitrites were at 0ppm and nitrates at 5ppm. The quarantine tank had spiked to 4ppm! And whilst this number is high, this isn’t the first time my quarantine tank has had anomaly readings and they usually only last 24 hours before dropping back down to 0-0.5ppm, and the nitrites and nitrates were both 0 and 5ppm respectively.

My tank is a 64l tank and he was a king tiger pleco.

Thank you for your response and I hope this information helps!
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 7/10 16:59
Re: My Pleco died and I don’t know why #4
Ammonia should always be at 0. Unfortunately, Hypancistrus species (which the King Tiger is) are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite) and the spikes in both quarantine and display tanks are most likely why he died. Additionally, I don't know what temperature the tanks are running at, but it needs to be about 28C for a King Tiger.
Louis Louis
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Re: My Pleco died and I don’t know why #5
Thank you so much for your help and knowledge,

My tanks run at 78F so they may have been slightly cold for him and I did predict the ammonia spike could have been the cause, however part of me believes that this wouldn’t have happened if he’d stayed in the quarantine tank as that had spiked on occasions before my tragedy. However as you said their species is sensitive so I’ll take your word for it and in the future I’ll make sure my tanks don’t have any increase in ammonia or nitrites before adding any fish.

Thank you so much for your help!