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Old 08-02-2011, 10:09 PM   #1
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Post Pleco & Bristle Nose Catfish Fin Issues... :(

So, here is my situation. My pleco and Bristle Nose Catfish seem to be having fin issues. Meaning that they seem to be either eaten away by someone or something. I don't believe it is fintail rot as no other fish in my tank are experiencing this issue. The other fish I have are Corys and also barbs and a small convict. To the best of my knowledge and while watching the fish, nothing is picking on them. Everyone is getting along so I don't think it would be another fish doing this damage. From last night till now, I would say over half of the small pleco's tail fin is gone and his dorsal fin is also looking tattered.


My water is currently about 85 degrees and I have 1 TBSP of salt added per gallon of water as I am in the second week of treating Ich. No signs of Ich for about 5 days now. This coming Sunday will be two weeks of treatment.


This tail issue with the Pleco and Bristle nose seems t0 be a new development over the last two days or so and no new fish have been introduced to the tank recently so I don't think it is a disease of any kind that was carried home to them. Is it possible the salt and heat treatment that is causing these issues for them?


Any advice or thoughts will be greatly appreciated and I have answered the requested questions below.

1~What type of fish is afflicted? In addition, please describe what is wrong with the fish to the best of your ability (i.e. cotton like growth, bloated, etc.). - Pleco and Bristle Nose Catfish / Fin issues
2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values. - Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, Nitrate 40 ppm (nothing I can do to bring the Nitrate down as I have Nitrate in my tap water)
3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up? - 37 gallons & A couple of months
4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known. - AquaClear 70
5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes? 4 Tiger Barbs (about 1 inch each), 3 Clown Barbs (about 2 inches each), 1 Convict (about 1.5 inches), 4 Cory Cats (up to 1 inch each), Bristle Nose Catfish (about 2.5 inches), pleco (about 1.5 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? Yesterday evening, I try to do a little each time, 2-3 times a week right now as my filter is fairly new and I have this Nitrate tap water issue I'm trying to deal with and find a solution for. About 20-30% I would say.
7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them? - About 3 weeks to a month and they acclimated by floating and then slowly introducing water to their bag over a time frame of about 30 minutes after floating.
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? - No, new was added week before last. Old filter media is still in new filter to seed it.
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently? - Flake 1 -2 times a day and an algae wafer at night for bottom feeder but everyone jumps in and enjoys themselves.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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My guess would be that the tiger barbs are getting nippy as they are pretty notorious for it, however if you are able to keep them in a larger group of say six or eight they are more likely to leave the other fish alone. Also for future reference, common Pleco's can easily grow to a foot and a half, so he will out grow that tank pretty quickly.

The nipping is probably occurring when you use the algae wafer since all the fish are trying to get at it. You could try supplementing with some blanched cucumber or peas at the same time. That way they would be less likely to all be attacking the same small algae disc. Just be sure to remove the uneaten vegetable in the morning.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitacrux
My guess would be that the tiger barbs are getting nippy as they are pretty notorious for it, however if you are able to keep them in a larger group of say six or eight they are more likely to leave the other fish alone. Also for future reference, common Pleco's can easily grow to a foot and a half, so he will out grow that tank pretty quickly.

The nipping is probably occurring when you use the algae wafer since all the fish are trying to get at it. You could try supplementing with some blanched cucumber or peas at the same time. That way they would be less likely to all be attacking the same small algae disc. Just be sure to remove the uneaten vegetable in the morning.
I don't think it is the tiger barbs. I watch the fish a majority of the time they are eating the wafers as they are so funny. I do understand them being nippers though but they don't seem to do this and seem to run around in their little group of 4 and entertain themselves. The clown barbs also pretty much run around in their group of three and are not aggressive that I have ever seem. The pleco and bristle nose pretty much hide out in a cave all day for the most part and only come out for the wafers for the most part. Last night I saw them both last after feeding and then again tonight for their feeding and the fins were much worse.

Thanks for the advice on the pleco. I am aware how large they grow and will have a larger tank before he gets anywhere close to needing one.

The advice you have written is indeed possible and I can not dispute it as I don't know for sure. I will check again tomorrow to see if it's any worse. Am just not sure how I could have them for weeks and no issue but all of a sudden in about 2 days all of the damage has occurred.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:01 AM   #4
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Someone else may chime in with another theory, that's the nice thing about the forum you get alot of different input from people with different opinions. I wouldn't rule out nipping just because it is a sudden issue though, fish are complex creatures. For example, I have a 55 gal cichlid setup and had a peacock eel in there. The eel was raised with the cichlids and was moved from my 29 gal to my 55 gal with the cichlids with no problems. Then one night probably three or four weeks later, I found one of my fish was taking bites out of my eel's tail.

But like I said Im sure other ideas are going to come in. Good luck~!
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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Unfortunately the pleco passed last night so I think it was definitely something other than nipping. When I took him out today to dispose of him he was covered in what looked like some sort of white slime. Maybe that's normal but I'm not sure.

Anyway. I hope my Bristle Nose doesn't meet the same fate. All other fish seem to be doing fine and seem to be normal.

Any other thoughts or advice? Should I maybe end the high temp and salt treatment early since it has been about 5 or 6 days since I have seen any signs of Ich?

Thanks again to anyone that can provide input. All advice is appreciated!
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:49 PM   #6
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Hope this helps

First, if the pH is too low, a condition called Acidosis results. Symptoms are anorexia, and then production of excess slime, isolation, and resting on the bottom, finally, streaking of the fins, and death will occur.

This I just got from the internet. I heard of this excess slime before but can't remember what caused it. Perhaps it is from too low pH?
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishtanksailor View Post
First, if the pH is too low, a condition called Acidosis results. Symptoms are anorexia, and then production of excess slime, isolation, and resting on the bottom, finally, streaking of the fins, and death will occur.

This I just got from the internet. I heard of this excess slime before but can't remember what caused it. Perhaps it is from too low pH?
Thanks for the information and symptoms sound kind of right but I don't think that would be it as my pH is stable at about 8. He may have been white and a little slimy from being in the water dead until I removed him also. I don't know how long it takes a fish to start decaying.
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:47 AM   #8
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Ph

Ph should be at around 7. If yours is at 8 thats 1000 times stronger then 7. And at 6 up to 7 its only 100 times as strong. But it all depends on the fish you have and what they can withstand. You'll have to looks it up. Buy either way sorry to hear about the death of your fish.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishtanksailor View Post
Ph should be at around 7. If yours is at 8 thats 1000 times stronger then 7. And at 6 up to 7 its only 100 times as strong. But it all depends on the fish you have and what they can withstand. You'll have to looks it up. Buy either way sorry to hear about the death of your fish.
Thanks much for the information! I appreciate that. I hear that water from RO system comes out in the 6ish range so when I start mixing that with my tap water for the aquarium it should buffer it a bit and maybe it will bring that 8 down to something better in the 7 range somewhere. I'm going to be doing a lot of experimenting when I get the RO system installed. I'm going to be setting up a QT tank when I get the RO system and I'm going to use that tank as the guinea pig as I'm fishless cycling it.

Thanks again!
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