I almost lost my pitbull pleco, Kirby tonight.
Its only a 12 gallon tank and he's usually always out and about, moving around. He's not a shy pleco at all. When I fed the fish, I noticed he was nowhere to be found.
After an hour or so, I still couldn't find him so I started picking up ornaments and looking for him. Still nowhere. Its an Eclipse tank (full hood) so it would have been really hard for him to escape but I started looking around the tank anyway. Finally, I grabbed a flashlight and started looking. I saw a little movement at the end of the Eclipse filter where the water comes in from the tank. There was Kirby!
He's so little, he must have climbed up into where the bio-wheel is and then scurried past the filter pad down into the filter. He kept going in and out of the chamber where the impeller is!
The water level in the filter wasn't high enough for him to get back over the filter pad the other direction. Quickly, I unplugged the filter and took everything out. I pulled the tube off the bottom, picked up the filter and tipped it toward the tank, and he swam happily back into his home. Whew!
I'm so glad I didn't wait to look for him. He's my favorite pleco 'cuz he's so cute and active.
I hope Kirby learned his lesson tonight!