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Old 12-04-2013, 01:04 PM   #1
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my pleco suddenly died

Hi , I have recently done 2 water changes at once,due to extreamly high ammonia levels.
for the past few nights my father was concerned about the pleco if he was eating enough. So every morning and every night the pleco got an algae wafer, I did not remove the wafer(father told me keep in in there) I did a 50% water change today and tested the water after the results where ph 8, ammonia 2.0ppm and nitrites 0 nitrates 0, the tank was at 72 this morning so, I took the fish out put them in a bowl and cleaned the gravel, and took out 50% of the water. After I added warmer water and had warmed the tank to 74 and put the heater on to maintain it there (my father took the heater out thinking I'm cooking the fish at 75degrees that's why it was at 72 this morning). After the 1st water change I placed all the fish back in and tested the water. Noticing high levels of ammonia, after I had left the fish in the tank and did a second water change the results were ph 8 ammonia 1.0ppm and nitrites 0 nitrates 0. Just a few minuits after I added the new water my pleco went belly up! After about a min he darted off from floating belly up.. thought he was ok...but wasent, he folated belly up again after he darted off ...i checked him, he wasent breathing, and his eyes dnt respond with flashing a light there....i thought he fainted? Left him there for about 30mins....and still wasent breathing, floating belly up....so I realized he died...all the other fish are ok. Any reason why this happened???...
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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There are lots of reasons why this happened. Primarily though, I'd say your pleco died of a combination of being too cold and being in an un cycled aquarium.

Look up the nitrogen cycle and fishless and fish-in cycling on this website. Also, never, ever take the fish out of the tank for any reason. You can vaccuum the gravel with the fish in the tank. And never change more than 50% of the water at once. Make sure the new water is the same temperature as the water in the tank.

It sounds like you and your dad need to do some research. Start by reading those two articles I mentioned. Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
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I'm guessing it was the stress from the ammonia spike. 72 degrees is fine IMO.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:12 PM   #4
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I'm guessing it was the stress from the ammonia spike. 72 degrees is fine IMO.
Not for tropical fish it isn't.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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Not for tropical fish it isn't.
For a pleco, yes. I honestly doubt that had any part in its death.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:23 PM   #6
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For a pleco, yes. I honestly doubt that had any part in its death.
We don't even know what kind of pleco it was . They can't all be kept at 72. You can get away with it with a common pleco but even they prefer warmer water.
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:29 PM   #7
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We don't even know what kind of pleco it was . They can't all be kept at 72. You can get away with it with a common pleco but even they prefer warmer water.
True. Most likely its a common or bristlenose, but I feel it was the ammonia that was the killer.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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I think that your pleco was probably under a lot of stress from the combination of temperature change, environmental change (when you moved it from the tank), and ammonia. Any time the ammonia level is over .25 ppm, it can cause damage to your fish and that's not a good thing. Also, a pleco only needs to be fed a few times a week, not every day, an definitely not twice a day. Plecos get part of their nutrients from algae that may grow on decorations and the glass. Perhaps you and your father can do some more research on your tank inhabitants so that you can find a happy medium for everyone. If the temperature is changed too much and too fast, it can cause the fish to get sick, and left untreated can kill them.
I hope this helped you some. Welcome aboard!! Ask whatever questions you have, as it's better to learn the correct information rather than always wonder.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice everyone, first off, the pleco was a common, secondly I always kept the heater in the tank and kept it at 25-26, also with the pleco I originally was feeding him a couple of times a week, and my father said the pleco is starving feed it more, there wasent much I could do..but listen... :P and if I dnt feed him and try to control the situation my father fed the pleco anyway -.- ......not an easy situation..he started to get vry fat...his belly was rather....balloon like when he died today..also, another question, I used to have a 20gal this 15 is a new setup, for about 1month now, and the ammonia is always at .5 ...due to tap water being .5 :P is there anyway to somehow remove it???
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
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If the pleco had a ballooned up stomach, he could have been constipated which could cause swim bladder disease, or he could have had dropsy. Do you know if he was defecating when he was alive? How are your other fish acting? Any puffiness in the fish?
You may have to start buying purified water to do water changes with, I'm not completely sure what your options are with that, hopefully someone else can suggest something about this aspect.
And lastly.. Parents! Gotta love them!
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