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Old 06-30-2004, 03:41 PM   #1
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He was doing so well, too

My boyfriend had a dwarf gourami that was being picked on.. so since I now had an empty 29gal I moved him to the new tank and bought him a buddy. His color was coming back and his fins were growing back as well (he was being nipped on a bunch). And for one reason or another I found him dead a few minutes ago.

Half of his scales were sucked off by my pleco and Im worried now because I don't know if he died and then the pleco feasted on him or if the pleco feasted on him and he died because of it. Some of you might remember the same pleco feasting on my sick goldie.

I feed my pleco more than enough algea wafer things. *sigh* Im not sure if its the pleco or just a sick fish.

I felt bad having to break it to my boyfriend that Dale died. I removed the fish before he could see his scales were sucked off.

Bleh
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Old 06-30-2004, 03:48 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear of your loss.
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:15 PM   #3
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Regardless of the past, I doubt it was the plec. I'm pretty sure the gourami was not well. Also, what do you mean by "I bought him a buddy?" Male dwarves are very competitive and aggressive. If two males were in the tank, the one might have killed the other.

Just FYI, there are parasitical catfish that do feast on fish scales and gills, but they're not Loricariids, like your pleco. Conversely, there are also cichlids that feed on catfish scales!
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:37 PM   #4
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Well, its a 29gal and he was the bigger of the two and neither were picking on one another at all. His buddy is very mellow and they stayed away from each other...so I don't think thats what did it.

Well, with my goldfish, I caught him in the action of sucking off the scales while my goldie was alive, so I wouldn't put it past him to do it again. I have also seen him do it to dead fish as well. I know it was him who sucked off the scales, I just don't know if he did it while the fish was alive or dead.
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Old 06-30-2004, 06:30 PM   #5
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Plecos will suck the slime coat off fish given the chance. The fish would have to be very slow moving in order for the pleco to do so.
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Old 06-30-2004, 09:51 PM   #6
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I agree that the pleco did not actually kill the fish. I think the fish was impaired and the pleco was opportunistic. It is a shame, but it might have happened anyway, no matter where you moved him to.
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:29 AM   #7
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Agreed. Tankgirl put it nicely.

Just FYI, animals that eat other animals' scales are called Lepidophages.

Here are some of the parasitical catfish I was talking about: http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/com_index.htm Go to "Parasitic Catfish" in the left-hand column (3/4 of way down). And: http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog...and/1229_f.php

Some *other* types of parasitic catfish:
The Candiru: http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog...ensi/775_f.php
And perhaps best known, Synodontis multipunctatus: http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article...ipunctatus.php

And here is the cichlid I was talking about, Docimodus evelynae: http://www.malawicichlids.com/mw08039.htm It eats the scales of Malawi catfishes.
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