Animal Welfare Vote
milesy31 milesy31
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  • Posted on: 20/10/2012 8:34
Help! Pleco red stomach floating around :-( #1
Help!

We bought a 3" common pleco about 2 weeks ago from our usual fish store. He was fine in our tank to begin with, pretty active. Then in the past few days he was hiding at the back of the tank, very quiet. I can downstairs this morning and found him floating around on his back with this red mark on his stomach, as well as this little bit of red stuff sticking out of his ?bottom? He is still breathing but I'm not sure for how much longer

Our tank is 65L.
Our nitrate levels are 0.
Fish shop constantly monitors our water for us and they haven't been concerned.

Hope someone can help! Thank you.

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milesy31 milesy31
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  • Posted on: 20/10/2012 9:13
Re: Help! Pleco red stomach floating around :-( #2
Just run another test now...

Nitrate 10
Nitrite 0
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 20/10/2012 9:17
Re: Help! Pleco red stomach floating around :-( #3
Hi

How long has the tank been set up?
What other fish are in there?

If your nitrate level is 0 that indicates that your tank is not cycled. This means that toxins such as ammonia and nitrite will build up in the water and poison the fish. The symptoms your Pleco has are classic for ammonia and nitrite poisoning.

The first thing you need to do is return the Pleco to the shop as he cannot possibly live in a 65 litre tank. Common Plecs grow to at least 15 inches long - some bigger depending on exact species and need very large tanks. They are also "dirty" fish who produce a lot of waste which is why this has happened over the few days you've had him. He has polluted the tank which is not cyled so his own waste is poisoning him.

Beyond that, for the sake of your other fish you must get your own test kit and test regularly. Shop testing is not enough as it can be days after a problem starts before you happen to have it tested and by then fish can be very ill. One man's "fine" is another man's "toxic soup" unfortunately, as seen by what's happened to the plec.

At this point you'll need to be testing daily and doing large partial water changes to remove any toxins that show up on the tests. This article explains what to do if you have an uncycled tank with fish in. Get a quality liquid test kit such as the API Master Test Kit - don't use test strips as they are not accurate.
milesy31 milesy31
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Re: Help! Pleco red stomach floating around :-( #4
Thank for your reply.

We upgraded our tank to the 65L about 4 weeks ago, so technically it's probably still cycling. We also have our own test strips which I use, as well as taking samples of our water to the shop to be tested too.

The shop told us that our nitrate/nitrite levels should be 0 so I am very confused!!
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 20/10/2012 9:31
Re: Help! Pleco red stomach floating around :-( #5
Unfortunatly shops don't always employ staff who know the subject. The article I linked to explains the nitrogen cycle in detail but essentially once a tank is cycled it works like this. Fish produce waste which breaks down into ammonia. Bacteria "eat" the ammonia and produce nitrite. More bacteria "eat" the nitrite and produce nitrate. Nothing deals with nitrate so it builds up in the water and has to be removed by regular partial water changes. As nitrate is the final product of the cycle if it reads 0 in a tank with fish then the tank can not be cycling.

That aside, a Common Plec can't live in a 65 litre tank so even if you get a proper test kit (strips are next to useless) and deal with the cycle using our emergency guidelines, he will have to go both for his own good and for that of your other fish. The amount of waste he produces is more than that amount of water and that size of filter can deal with, and the tank is physically far too small for him.
cathie cathie
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  • Posted on: 20/10/2012 10:14
Re: Help! Pleco red stomach floating around :-( #6
Omg what were they doing selling you a common plec
[url=http://www.bigfishcam