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Old 11-15-2002, 01:16 PM   #1
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Blemish on 8 inch pleco

I have an 8 inch pleco with what I think is a wound. My wife noticed it two days ago. At that time is was all white and looked like it was due to rubbing against something abrasive. Now there is only a little white left. Most of this area is brown now.

Other than that the pleco is acting normal.

Should I be worried or will the fish heal on its own?
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Old 11-15-2002, 01:43 PM   #2
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Well Robert, it sounds like it's healing, since you said its gotten smaller. For the time being I'd keep a close eye on it, make sure it heals all the way.

Some fish (if not all, I'm not sure) can't really feel heat like we do and can get burned by the heater, I've seen that happen before. It leaves a wound-looking mark, which may or may not heal depending on the severity of it.

Happened to my roomate's piranna back in the day, 1 died from it, another healed up with a scar.
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Old 11-15-2002, 01:50 PM   #3
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I hadn't thought it could be a burn mark. Now that you mention it, I think it could have been that. The last time I reorganized the tank I moved the heater near a corner and he has decided he likes that corner now.

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2002, 09:34 AM   #4
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This morning I looked at the pleco. The blemish has changed. Most of the part that was brown is now dark red. There are two small puffed up areas (like blisters) in the center of the blemish and the center most part is still white.

I just checked again and the center most puffed area seems to have opened and is hanging there. The inner part there is a grayish color.

Is this healing or getting infected?
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Old 11-23-2002, 03:12 AM   #5
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well it is hard to picture it, can you post a pic? is it gray or white looking?
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Old 11-23-2002, 10:10 PM   #6
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The blemish right now is slightly smaller than a dime and is roughly a circle. Its center is white bordered by a thin band of light red. There is at least one raised bubble (like a blister) in the red portion.

Unfortunately, my digital camera is no good for taking pictures of the pleco. All I get is a black area with a lighter colored area to show where the blemish is. I can't get good close up pictures. I wish I could.

The pleco is still acting normal in every way. I'm hoping its just a scrape or a burn as mentioned by Corvuscorax. Could it be a disease that will slowly kill him?
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Old 11-24-2002, 02:11 AM   #7
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Hi Robert,

If it turns out that it was a burn, you may want to consider a heater cover.
It will protect the fish from burning themselves as well as prevent damage to the heater during routine tank maintenance.

They are really cheap and you can find them at most LFS.

Just a thought.
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Old 11-24-2002, 09:28 PM   #8
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I have managed to get what I consider a pretty good picture of the pleco with the blemish. It's the best I can do with the camera I have.
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Old 11-24-2002, 11:32 PM   #9
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Hi Robert,

I think a good course of action here would be a full 7 day treatment with MelaFix from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. If this is an open wound resulting from a burn it is highly likely that a fungal or bacterial infection will occur. Melafix will speed the healing process of the wound.

It is all natural and safe when used per the directions, I use a 3 day treatment when adding new fish and up to 7days when tank life gets a little rough and someone gets battle scars. 8O
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Old 11-29-2002, 03:25 PM   #10
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I feel for you! You'll think I'm nuts, but I cried when my younger pleco died. He was so unusually friendly and always came up to me at the glass. Turns out that he died of starvation Beware of this! Hope your Pleco will be ok (I think it will)
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Old 11-29-2002, 03:51 PM   #11
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Yes, we are very attached to this pleco. He is more interesting now that he is bigger. He hides less. He often will zoom back and forth along the front of the tank when we drop shrimp pellets in. He does this to scatter the fish who are trying to eat his pellets. I've even seen him push the crayfish back into its cave using his head to get it away from those pellets.

He seems to be fine and I doubt he'll starve since we drop pellets in two to four times a day.

The blemish changes a bit day by day but essentially remains the same. The light red parts are now dark red and it still has a white center.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and your concern. I continually watch for signs of problems, but he seems to be doing fine.
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Old 02-18-2003, 01:43 PM   #12
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Just wanted to express a big thanks to this question. I had the same problem and used the Melafix. I am on day 4 of the healing process and the pleco seems to be back to normal with no trace of scars/infection.
Thanks again!
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Old 02-19-2003, 08:26 AM   #13
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I didn't ever follow up to tell you how our pleco did. He recovered and no there is no visible marks nor scars. I never did get Melafix. In fact, the only thing I did was watch the mark closely many times during the day. Now he's as healthy as ever.
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Old 02-22-2003, 01:45 AM   #14
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That's great. I knew he would be ok. Those plecos can survive a goldfish *beep*-storm. (They don't eat the *beep*, of course). Get yourself some Hikari algae tablets. They go crazy over them Take care!
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