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Old 08-03-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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Unhappy pleco deaths!! HELP!!!

I am having trouble keeping plecostomus fish from dying. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the fish then all of a sudden they become very stressed and die within a few hours of first signs of stress despite any efforts on my part to save them. I havent tested the parameters as of yet as all the other fish in the tank seem fine and have been healthy for over 2 months. I have had this 10 gallon tank set up for about 5 months and the only fish not thriving is the plecostomus. I am not sure the name of the filtration system I am using a it was given to me by my mother, I know that it is designed for a 10 gallon or more setup and that it was bought at Walmart. The tank mates are three Fantails, four Common Goldfish and four Rosy Reds and they are all under 2", some are less than an inch long. I just cleaned the tank the other day, possibly three days ago. I try to do a complete cleaning every seven days or so. I transfer all fish to another tank with the same temperature water from the same source (the tap as I have well water and no additives to it) then I wipe all surfaces clean including the "gravel" which is glass beads, all the fixtures (the pump, the air stone, the castle, the treasure chest and the tank sign.) I refill the tank with fresh water and check the temp and make sure the filter is running then when it has cycled for a few hours I transfer the fish back home. There have been a total of four plecos in this tank and they have all exhibited the same problem. The most recent was 3" but the other three were about 1.5" in length. They were purchased from Walmart and with the frustration of the dying I decided to get a larger one this last time in the hopes that it would live longer and actually thrive. none of them have lasted over 7 days including the 4 day qt in the other tank. The last one died the same day it was added to the main tank. Nothing new has been added to the tank except the external thermometer and the only foods used are TetraVeggie algae wafers and Tetramin large flakes. I never over feed and make sure that the food is all eaten or removed within 5 minutes of feeding. Not sure what Walmart feeds their plecos prior to sale but they do not seem shy about eating the veggie wafers when fed. Also the tank temperature is a steady 76 degrees f. Anyone know what could be happening? Buying test strips again today after work as I have run out and didn't restock yet because all fish were fine except the plecos.

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Old 08-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
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Don't want to be one of those people but, you have way to many goldfish in that little tank. That might be the reason your pleco is dying. Goldfish produce high amounts of waste and and quite a bit of ammonia. I've never lost a pleco but this would be my best guest sorry i couldnt be of more help and hopefully you get some replies soon, good luck!

Oh and here's a link you may want to read.


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Old 08-03-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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Firstly, even small plecos need a tank that is at least 30 gallons. The plecos that I am assuming you bought are common plecos that need at least a 75 gallon tank because they can grow to 2 feet long.

Second, Stocking guidelines for gold fish are a 30 gallon tank for 1 and then an additional 10 gallons for each gold fish after that.

Both of these fish are HUGE waste producers which will put out tons of ammonia. This is probably the reason your plecos are dying.

Have you ever tested the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate of your water? I am worried that your filter can't keep up with the ammonia production in your tank. Skip the test strips and instead buy an API master kit.

Your tank cleaning is excessive. For a properly stocked tank a weekly 50% water change is the suggested cleaning routine.

Take a look at this link, it will have a lot of information on caring for an aquarium.

Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice

Lastly, this was posted in the saltwater section of the forums. You might get more replies if you posted in the fresh water section
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:19 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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oops! Didn't realize I was in the saltwater area, but thank you both for the replies! I will get a bigger tank soon and also the API master kit mentioned and let you know how things are going. On the upside the Betta fry and their papa seem to be doing perfectly in another tank. And thanks for the links also. Great info there! We love learning more about fish!
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death, deaths, eat, plec, pleco

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