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Old 03-02-2017, 07:21 PM   #1
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Malnourished Pleco

Hi All,

Really starting to wonder if this hobby is worth it lol. Indirectly got myself into a 'fish-in' cycle and I'm almost ready to call it quits..

My RCS population has been decimated with only a few left and now my ancistrus pleco is on its last legs from malnutrition. I actually went to net it this morning because it was lifeless until it got to the surface of the water and lethargically swam back to the bottom.

Is there anything I can do to force it to eat? Ive tried zucchini and algae wafers with no success. Theres also a small amount of hair algae growing throughout the tank it can snack on.

Ive literally just left an algae wafer under its mouth to see if it will nibble but not sure what else I can do?

Have you got any ideas or is it time to put it out of its misery? - never thought I would have to euthanise
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:55 PM   #2
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Hi All,

Really starting to wonder if this hobby is worth it lol. Indirectly got myself into a 'fish-in' cycle and I'm almost ready to call it quits..

My RCS population has been decimated with only a few left and now my ancistrus pleco is on its last legs from malnutrition. I actually went to net it this morning because it was lifeless until it got to the surface of the water and lethargically swam back to the bottom.

Is there anything I can do to force it to eat? Ive tried zucchini and algae wafers with no success. Theres also a small amount of hair algae growing throughout the tank it can snack on.

Ive literally just left an algae wafer under its mouth to see if it will nibble but not sure what else I can do?

Have you got any ideas or is it time to put it out of its misery? - never thought I would have to euthanise


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This is the current situation, i forced it to lay on the zucchini..

Look at how skinny it is, im at a loss of what to do because i dont think its eating any of it
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:11 AM   #3
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Another update: poor pleco didnt last much longer after this. If you're reading this because you have the same problem, i dont think theres much you can do. Id highly recommend not enduring a fish in cycle because youre fish get stressed and dont lead a very good life at all..
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:51 AM   #4
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Everything can live fine through fish in cycling as long as you keep the nutrients at safe levels. Fish in cycling is a lot of work but does work if done properly.
You mention fish in cycling but not levels?
IMO they would be why the little guy was not eating...
If the cycle is really the problem they sell cycled sponges online that will solve your issue almost overnight...
Biologically Active Sponge Filters for Aquarium
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:17 AM   #5
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Everything can live fine through fish in cycling as long as you keep the nutrients at safe levels. Fish in cycling is a lot of work but does work if done properly.
You mention fish in cycling but not levels?
IMO they would be why the little guy was not eating...
If the cycle is really the problem they sell cycled sponges online that will solve your issue almost overnight...
Biologically Active Sponge Filters for Aquarium


I have been doing pwc's daily (sometime twice daily) and never let ammonia get past 0.5 while nitrites and nitrates are still 0. Ph is constant at 7.4 kh and gh now sitting at 5.

Unfortunately i live in Australia where none of the lfs's sell established media nor does it make sense to order it online from overseas where it will most likely die in transit. Ive just started using seachem stability as the others ive tried (api quick start and a Australian made powder bacteria that just clogged my filter and nothing else) havent worked.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:43 AM   #6
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Maybe Delapool can point you in right direction for medias or specific brands .He also is from Australia.
The bio/bacteria stuff is not all bad and should help some.
.5 is not high IMO but on cycling I am less 'tight' then on other issues.
I think you can go up to 1 ppm and then change 50%. This has always worked for me ,but last cycle for me was YEARS ago.
The shrimp are very sensitive again IMO to cycle with so be rough on yourself.
A simple fish should survive what you have going on without issue.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:52 AM   #7
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Maybe Delapool can point you in right direction for medias or specific brands .He also is from Australia.
The bio/bacteria stuff is not all bad and should help some.
.5 is not high IMO but on cycling I am less 'tight' then on other issues.
I think you can go up to 1 ppm and then change 50%. This has always worked for me ,but last cycle for me was YEARS ago.
The shrimp are very sensitive again IMO to cycle with so be rough on yourself.
A simple fish should survive what you have going on without issue.


Thanks, i try to keep water changes to around 20-30% as recommended in another thread because my livestock start to stress if i do anymore than that (even though tap parameters are fine, i use seachem prime, stability and match the temps of the water!?). Its safe to say that Ill be very glad when the cycle is complete!

I appreciate you responding to my thread and ill touch base with delapool to see if i can get my hands on any media.

Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:49 PM   #8
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Do you have natural driftwood in the tank? It's a must for pleco's imo.
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:16 PM   #9
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Do you have natural driftwood in the tank? It's a must for pleco's imo.


Yeah i have some driftwood (about the only thing ive done right so far lol)

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Old 03-04-2017, 10:10 AM   #10
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Yeah i have some driftwood (about the only thing ive done right so far lol)

Attachment 295809


I got my pleco through cycle but water changes is the only way to do it. Had an ich treatment halfway through as well but changed 25-50% of water daily for about two weeks. You are probably almost there it's worth it once you get through it.
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:03 PM   #11
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I got my pleco through cycle but water changes is the only way to do it. Had an ich treatment halfway through as well but changed 25-50% of water daily for about two weeks. You are probably almost there it's worth it once you get through it.


Awesome i hope so. I'll definitely add another pleco when the cycle is done because i love watching them. Ive been going about 3-4 weeks so far with daily pwcs and no diseases to contend with as of yet touch wood! I think that would be the icing on the cake if that happened..
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:44 PM   #12
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I have been doing pwc's daily (sometime twice daily) and never let ammonia get past 0.5 while nitrites and nitrates are still 0. Ph is constant at 7.4 kh and gh now sitting at 5.

Unfortunately i live in Australia where none of the lfs's sell established media nor does it make sense to order it online from overseas where it will most likely die in transit. Ive just started using seachem stability as the others ive tried (api quick start and a Australian made powder bacteria that just clogged my filter and nothing else) havent worked.
I'm in Australia too. You don't get a lot of option here.... There is this stuff called smart start. And is sold in almost any store around try that and it immediately cycles your tank in 24-48 hours
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:51 PM   #13
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I'm in Australia too. You don't get a lot of option here.... There is this stuff called smart start. And is sold in almost any store around try that and it immediately cycles your tank in 24-48 hours

I'm very skeptical about products that claim to do this in such a short period of time.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:11 PM   #14
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I'm very skeptical about products that claim to do this in such a short period of time.
Me too I'm never sure but some of my friends live by it and have done so for more than 10 years
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:00 AM   #15
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I'm in Australia too. You don't get a lot of option here.... There is this stuff called smart start. And is sold in almost any store around try that and it immediately cycles your tank in 24-48 hours


Thanks for the recommendation, ill keep an eye out for it and grab some if the seachem stability doesnt work.
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:02 AM   #16
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Thanks for the recommendation, ill keep an eye out for it and grab some if the seachem stability doesnt work.
Glad to help😄
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:30 AM   #17
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Sorry to here everything is going poorly, and about the fish and shrimp losses. The bad parts can be bad, but now that you are learning what to do right it should get better, because you will be armed with good, accurate, useful info which you can use to do most things right. (there is always something to cause a problem, even for intermediate and advanced aquarists)
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:04 AM   #18
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Sorry to here everything is going poorly, and about the fish and shrimp losses. The bad parts can be bad, but now that you are learning what to do right it should get better, because you will be armed with good, accurate, useful info which you can use to do most things right. (there is always something to cause a problem, even for intermediate and advanced aquarists)


Thanks, yeah definitely learnt alot so far!
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