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Old 08-28-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Pleco Sudden Death

I've had my Pleco for about a year. He was housed in a 40 Gallon Goldfish tank and seemed healthy and happy. He slept all day and at night was very active. He ate cucumber, algae wafers and other vegetables. The only recent change was, at the suggestion of a friend, I dropped a few chunks of cooked, frozen cocktail shrimp in the tank. The Goldfish ate almost all of it and I never saw the Pleco eat the shrimp. The next day is was very lethargic. I tested the water and the numbers were fine. The next day he died. The Goldfish are fine. Two days later I bought a new Pleco, placed him in the tank and he died within 12 hours. It was very upsetting to see this. Regardless, no more Pleco's in the tank. Here are the numbers:

Temp- 76
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - .03
PH - 7.2
Tank 40 Gal
Other fish - 2 Fantail Goldfish and 2 Commet Goldfish

Any assistance in understanding this would be appreciated.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:00 PM   #2
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Can you add your nitrAte reading?
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:06 PM   #3
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That nitrite reading - is that 0.3, or .03? <I would suspect 0.3 since I don't think kits read that low.>

Any detectable amount of nitrite in an established tank is worrisome. It might mean that the tank is overloaded (how big are your golds?) or something had gone wrong with the biofilter.

How did you acclimatize the new pleco (& what kind is it)? It is possible that your tank parameters are so out of wack that new fish can't adjust. <A nitrate reading would be helpful. So is the pH reading of your tap water to see if the tank had deviated significantly from your change water.>
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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Thats very sad bro, im also have lost few of my pleco due to no power supply for oxygen and once i back home , they already died...
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
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Goldfish are very dirty fish and plecos usually feed on the bottom where all the junk is. Not a great environment for a pleco to start with. If the waste in the bottom of the tank caused the nitrite reading he (or both) were right there in it breathing it in probably causing death. If you took a nitrate reading I would guess that it is high too, which is also dangerous. Sorry for the loss. I would do a check of parameters again, including nitrates, and do a 50-60% PWC to get the nitrites down.
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response. I have no plains on adding a Pleco to my goldfish tank again. I didn't include the nitrate levels because my test kit doesn't include it. I have a test tube kit for ammonia, PH and nitrite. After the Pleco died I performed 25% change. The levels right now are:

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - Between >.3 and .3 (gone down)
PH - 7.5
PH of tap water - 10
Nitrate - Not available

I believe when i added the shrimp, some may have rotted at the bottom which increased the nitrite level. Also, my 4 goldfish are only 1 1/2 to 2 inches in a 40 gallon tank.
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:08 PM   #7
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how do u do a nitrate or other ph and aquarium testings? ive seen the strips they look like pool strips, but ive never understood or done any of this, and ive had beginner aquariums for 12 years. i am scared to do all of it, its intimidating!~
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeynuna View Post
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - Between >.3 and .3 (gone down)
PH - 7.5
PH of tap water - 10
Nitrate - Not available

I believe when i added the shrimp, some may have rotted at the bottom which increased the nitrite level. Also, my 4 goldfish are only 1 1/2 to 2 inches in a 40 gallon tank.
pH of tap is 10??? What kit are you using? Are you using that tap water as your sole water source for your tank? Do you have anything in the tank that is lowering the pH?

I am rather surprised that tap water of 10 will drop to 7.5 in your tank. Something doesn't compute there .....

Having a few dead shrimp should not raise the nitrite .... this is no different than me feeding my goldies a few shrimps for lunch ... your filter should be able to handle that without a spike. I wonder if you had a major spike that killed the pleco & you are just catching the tail end of its resolution.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurasackenheim View Post
how do u do a nitrate or other ph and aquarium testings? ive seen the strips they look like pool strips, but ive never understood or done any of this, and ive had beginner aquariums for 12 years. i am scared to do all of it, its intimidating!~
The best way is to buy a liquid test kit. API's master kit is fairly reasonable & easy to use. Just follow the instructions. It is not difficult to test your water at all .... the interpretation of the results .... well that can be problematic!
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80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:04 PM   #10
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alright thank u jsoong
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