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Old 04-17-2004, 02:23 PM   #1
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Worried about my pleco

I have a Bristlenose pleco alone in a 55gallon tank and he is worrying me a little lately. I have noticed whenever I stressed him out by rummaging around in the tank that he would develop these brighter color patterns on his skin, they are very distinct and symmetric. Well he has that pattern a lot lately even when I am not messing around with the tank. He seems fine otherwise, eating well and swimming around. I have recently added limestone and texas holey rock which have not changed the parameters drastically and he seems to like the THR because I see him sucking on it. I had a blue led moonlight turned on at night that I just made and was worried that was causing the problem so I have turned that off but still seems stressed. Any ideas?
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Old 04-17-2004, 02:27 PM   #2
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It may be that he is maturing and his mature color pattern is showing. I know when fish are stressed, they tend to darken. As long as the pleco is eating well and not acting ill, it is JMHO that he is fine.
To double check, please list the actual water parameters and include pH and temp.
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Old 04-17-2004, 03:29 PM   #3
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I think you're right to believe these markings are indicative of stress. Plecos usually get lighter in color when stressed--an important indicator! Are you making sure the water is completely ammonia-free? I'm guessing so. Slightly more frequent water changes may help, nonetheless.

About the moonlight... I'd take it off. I'm working on breeding some Peckoltia spp. right now, and they don't move a muscle with a weak red light on the tank. They wait for perfect darkness before moving around. On the other hand, my gold nuggets and Queen Arabesque come out when one of the two main lights on my 55 turns off.

Try water changes and perhaps even fewer hours of light per day...
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Old 04-17-2004, 04:42 PM   #4
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My water parameters:

pH ~7.9 (It has been raised extremely slow so i dont think that is it)
Ammonia: 0 (The test card card says 0 is yellow but the tested water
is clear so I figure that must just be 0.)
Nitrites: 0
gH~6
kH~5
Temp ~76ºF


I have turned off the moonlight. Mine is blue by the way. I turn the fish light on at 10am and turn it off at 9pm but I can change that if that would help.
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Old 04-17-2004, 05:10 PM   #5
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Yeah, I thought it would have been blue, not red. But it's a similar situation with low, monochromatic light.

Sounds like the water parameters are fine. Perhaps try 10 hours instead of 11--not a huge difference, though. Also, does your plec have plenty of room to hide?
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Old 04-17-2004, 06:06 PM   #6
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He has tons of places to hide. In the THR, in between the slate I have stacked and on the back of the drifwood where he hangs out mostly.
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Old 04-17-2004, 09:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Ammonia: 0 (The test card says 0 is yellow but the tested water
is clear so I figure that must just be 0.)
Hmmm, does this test have a color indicator? Some tests have a color as being 0 (as your card shows yellow), it is a positive control to show the test is working.
My nitrite test has a color indicator of blue. If the water stays blue, it's fine; but, if the water turns purple, there are problems.
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Old 04-17-2004, 10:21 PM   #8
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Perhaps your test kit has gotten fouled?

I would suggest, in any case, to run a sample down to your LFS just to get a second test to see if your test is reading right, or not.


Since every LFS I've seen does the water test for free, you wouldn't be out anything.
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Old 04-17-2004, 10:38 PM   #9
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I'll do that. But I got the master test kit from BigAl's and it has two bottles of Ammonia tester and both bottle don't turn my water any color. The color ranges from yellow for 0 and green for the highest ammonia.
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Old 04-21-2004, 10:23 AM   #10
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My pleco is still looking stressed, but still eating though. I'll try and get him a picture to show what I mean but hes got these lighter stripes that show of on his back, and a few blotches that show up on his head. Water parameters are still fine!! He's all by himself so unless he is lonely I dont know what's wrong. The temp is around ~78 which is a little higher than he is used to but I doubt that's it.
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Old 04-21-2004, 12:16 PM   #11
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secure1347,
This may seem like an obvious, but are you testing the two Ammonia bottles seperately or are you putting the drops in the same water vial. They are to be mixed together in order to get the correct reading.
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Old 04-21-2004, 12:21 PM   #12
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Old 04-21-2004, 09:21 PM   #13
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yeah thats what happened when i first got my test kit and didnt kno wut to do.. i think i get the same one with the gh ph nitrites ammonia and 1 more i forget. its not nitrates. i think tmc is right unless u are... but if you do have the same test kit it wouldnt turn yellow ata ll.. it would stay clear if you only put 1 bottle in. (waterish)
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:04 PM   #14
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Well Im retarded, I did it with both bottles now but the ammonia is still 0. I just did a small water change tonight but I doubt that should help any. Wondering if he just doesnt like the crushed coral or something. Kinda frustrating since I cant really figure out what is wrong since all the water parameters seem within limits.
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