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Old 04-24-2018, 07:08 PM   #1
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Pleco looks like it may have fungus

Hello all, this is my first post here. My pleco seems to have developed some fungus on him. He's in a tank with another pleco and 5 cichlids. The other fish look perfectly fine. I just put this one I to a 30g quarantine tank to avoid any contamination. I have the water set to 78 in my display tank (55g bow front). And set the temp to 80 in the 30g quarantine tank. I read that a higher temp can stimulate the immune system. See photos for water quality I think everything looks good. Just did a filter cleaning with a 30% water change after I quarantined the pleco. Water was a little higher in nitrates and oh. But not much.
About 10 days ago my water temp dropped because my fluval 300w heater with the digital temp failed to hold the temp. Amazon sent me a new one and that one too failed to hold the temp so I put the two in the tank and it was able to hold the temp to 78. Water temp went down to 69.4. I now have a 300W Eheim that is the size of the two fluval 300w heaters combined. And it's working perfectly. I also got a digital temp reader to make sure all is good. Filter is an Eheim classic 250.
Any advice to save this guy would be much appreciated.

Tank is temporarily in garage so it gets down to about 62 at night and about 85 to 90 during the day but I have a large fan blowing on the tank during the day so for the water temp ranges from 78.8 at night to about 81.9 during the day. I also have large frozen cooling packs to use if it goes higher then 82 that bring the water down 2 degrees but I don't like using them because it does it in about 20 minutes and I feel like that could shock the fish. I have been putting my canister filter in a large container with the ice packs and that seems to work much better to keep the tank cool without a huge change in temp.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:28 PM   #2
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1~What type of fish is afflicted? Pleco (fungal)

2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5.0, temp 79.1, pH 7.3, pH high 7.8
3~ How large is the tank? 55g bow front. How long has the tank been set up?*9 weeks.
4~What type of filtration are you using? Eheim 250 classic*
5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?*7 fish/ 2 pleco(4 to 5 inches), 5 cichlids (2 are about 1.5 inches/3 at 2.5 to 3 inches)
6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?*I only did my first water change 3 weeks ago for about 30%, did my filter cleaning at 4 weeks and another one at 8 weeks and did one yesterday which is a week apart because if the fungus I seen. I use water from the tank to clean it and prime with tank water.

7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?*Tanks 9 weeks old. Ran filter with no fish only substrate, driftwood and stone for 4 weeks, added 2 pleco and 4 cichlids. I used API quick start at day one and added the stress reliever when I added the fish. At 7 weeks I got 2 more cichlids. Had one die to the drop in temp and a week later had another die not sure why. He was fine then dead and the pleco was sucking on it when I found it.
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? Added a plant the same day the water dropped.
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?*Blood worms and mini pellets
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:08 PM   #3
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Looks more like ammonia burn. I also think your cleaning your filter too often for it being a new tank set up. Tanks need time to mature. From your pic of your tests, your nitrate should be more of a red color.
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:23 PM   #4
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Looks more like ammonia burn. I also think your cleaning your filter too often for it being a new tank set up. Tanks need time to mature. From your pic of your tests, your nitrate should be more of a red color.
I only cleaned it as Eheim recommended a carbon filter change at 4 weeks and a substrate cleaning at 8 weeks. The one I just did was more of a precaution. As for the ammonia burn. How is that possible if my ammonia levels have been no more than .50 which was at about the 5 week mark and since have stayed at 0 or less then .25
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:48 PM   #5
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How often have you tested? Your test in the pic. Shows no nitrate. If you have no nitrate your tank isn't cycled. Ammonia will spike at anytime in a tank. Even more with a new tank. The nitrate test has to be followed to a T by the directions. I will suggest to do another test for nitrate. If you get the same color as the pic you posted. I'd test for ammonia tomorrow and the next day. It could be fungus. But he's got red along the edge looks more like a sore/ burn.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:06 PM   #6
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Fungus only attaches to dead or decomposing tissue or other organic matter. It is also a fibrous, fuzzy growth. The white patch on the pictured Pleco looks smooth. As noted, a white patch on an aquarium fish could be a symptom of ammonia burn, especially in a relatively new tank.
A smooth white patch could also be damaged flesh from a bacterial infection. Research
Columnaris. In particular Columnaris, strain AJS-3 & strain AJS-4.
Treatment usually involves salt dips or as a last resort antibiotics.
Good luck.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:18 AM   #7
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Ok so I was convinced to retest my water and geez. I didn't realize I was doing it wrong this whole time... 🙁
Nitrate looks to be about 55 to 70ppm, nitrite is 0ppm for sure, ammonia is darn near 0ppm, high range pH is 7.8, and pH is 7.6.
Photos attached for review. How do I treat ammonia burn if that's what it is? None of my other fish have it.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:41 AM   #8
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Change water and install extra prime to detoxify any nitrite or ammonia.
I am tempted also to say columnaris unless you have seen your cichlids picking on the plec..They look to be a tough mix of fast aggressive fish .
Fungus usually only occurs on injuries..
I have seen plecos wedge them selves inbetween heater and glass and get burned ,could this be possible ?
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:08 AM   #9
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That looks more like it on the nitrate. I agree with bandit about the heater. If he was behind the heater when it stopped working, something could of happened to where the heater tried to heat up causing it to over heat and then quit. He could've got burnt from it. It's a thought, knowing that no other fish has it. Usually can tell if it ammonia burn from his bellys color. That wound be a sign of ammonia poisoning. But, anyways keep his water clean and try to keep the temp steady. Condition the water so he can heal faster. pleco wafers, and/or zucchini would be great. You can shove the wafer in to the zucchini too, he'll love it. Hopefully he's still eating. Best of luck to You!
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:45 PM   #10
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Change water and install extra prime to detoxify any nitrite or ammonia.
I am tempted also to say columnaris unless you have seen your cichlids picking on the plec..They look to be a tough mix of fast aggressive fish .
Fungus usually only occurs on injuries..
I have seen plecos wedge them selves inbetween heater and glass and get burned ,could this be possible ?
Thanks for responding, what is "prime"? I'm guessing it's the same as API Stress Coat?

As for the heater being a possibility, the old heater by Fluval has a plastic shroud around it which leads me to believe that it's unlikely. The new heater is an Eheim 300 which there is plenty of room for him to get stuck in but with this heater the water has never been below 78 so I don't know if normal operation of a heater would do this. The heater is rarely on as it's pretty warm in my garage. Average room temp is 86 up to 93 during the hottest point. Tanks maintaining 80 right now. Controlled with cooling right now.

Pleco is getting a cotton like build up on the sore. I have kept lights off to avoid disturbing the pleco while it's in quarantine tank. Checked water and ammonia and nitrites are at 0. pH is 7.6 while High range is at 7.8. Nitrate is at 40ppm. This is all water and filter media from my display tank. To setup quarantine tank I used old filter media and 10 gallons from display tank and added 10 gallons from tap and put in API Stress Coat at 10ml for each 10 gallons of water(double the recommended level) as it says to do on label.
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