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TheFishObsession
02-03-2014, 12:53 AM
I figured I'd make a separate thread on this topic. Yesterday my 2.5" rubber lip died of this white slimy crap on the side of his body. When I first started with plecos I lost the first one (the rubber lip was my second) he had the same cloudy white slime on his body.

I'm starting to think I should quit it with plecos since the only two I've owned died already. There's got to be some way to treat this, right? Does API make some sort of treatment for this... this... stuff? I don't even know what it is yet, but it's killed my only two plecos in a matter of days.

Both of my previously-owned plecos were purchased from petsmart. Maybe that's what's the cause? The thing is, he didn't have the cloudy slime patch until Friday. How can this kill so quickly? How?!

I read somewhere that you can treat it with some kind of copper-based compound, commonly found in treatments for it. However I don't know what the thing is. Is it fungus? A bacteria? Virus? What?

William
02-03-2014, 12:56 AM
Stay away from copper based meds when you deal with catfish such as plecos. You should also stay away from salt.

Did you happen to take a picture ofit? That might help is greatly.

madagascariensis
02-03-2014, 01:01 AM
1. it is white and covers the body surface
2. it kills really fast
likely diagnosis is columnaris, a bacteria that looks like fungus. you don't need a copper compound to treat it. i am pretty sure that other antibiotics against gram negative bacteria will also work.
it also is not exclusive to plecos. columnaris will affect anything. from what I've read, it is an opportunistic pathogen, meaning that it naturally occurs in tank and only attacks fish when those are weakened.
the plecos were new and they tend not to be treated well in stores, so maybe that's why columnaris killed them.

talldutchie
02-03-2014, 12:24 PM
Most likely hypothesis. If it's correct then using catappa or Indian almond tree leaf will do a lot. That's proven to be very effective against most gram negative bacteria. Problem is that riverine species like these do not take tannins all that well.

Emily
02-09-2014, 12:00 AM
Sorry to hear about your pleco. I, too, have a problem with mine, which I am deeply saddened by. I missed eye cloud on one of my fish, but didn't affect it, and the next day, the bacteria had moved to our pleco. Within 1 day, the eye cloud had infected his 1 eye, and ruined it. I went and got antibiotics for the tank, and put them in, but by the next morning, both of his eyes were infected and eaten away. Poor guy. So I'm sorry to hear about your problems with your pleco. I have had 2 pleco's, the one before this one didn't survive. Hopefully you can find out whats killing them and remedy the problem. Good luck!

TheFishObsession
03-08-2014, 04:39 AM
Is there some way I could treat my next rubber lip before adding it to my 55gal? I read online that columnaris can be neutralized or destroyed by pouring a small amount of tap water (which of course has chlorine) and/or a few drops of vinegar in a small bowl, and let the pleco soak in the mixture for a couple of minutes.

Is this true? Is it proven to work properly?

madagascariensis
03-08-2014, 02:34 PM
Not sure where you got that but my gut feeling says it will neutralize the pleco with it as well.

Trillianne
03-08-2014, 04:52 PM
If you want to protect your 55g, set up a QT tank. Doesn't have to be massive, a 10g is probably sufficient, and you can cycle it using media from your main tank filter. (or run a small filter along side on your main tank when there is nothing to QT)

One thing to note, especially with big box store plecos is you need to take a good look at their belly condition in the store. I've seen some practically starved specimens show up in their supply from time to time.

TheFishObsession
03-10-2014, 06:30 PM
So, Trillianne, I should look for healthy, fat bellies on plecos at the store? I did that with my otos, and six out of the seven I bought have survived, so yeah, for the most part it was successful.

Trillianne
03-10-2014, 06:54 PM
Their bellies should look normal flatish/slightly rounded if they have eaten recently.

This low quality photo is mine to compare normal pleco belly:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-K6e7rvhjs70/Ux4KGr7adQI/AAAAAAAANjY/cj7EKudOtTE/w550-h800-no/CRW_9056.jpg

If it looks more like its swallowed a marble, that's a sign of illness and bloat.
If it looks concave (caved in), then the pleco is starving for some reason.

TheFishObsession
03-12-2014, 03:38 AM
Their bellies should look normal flatish/slightly rounded if they have eaten recently.

This low quality photo is mine to compare normal pleco belly:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-K6e7rvhjs70/Ux4KGr7adQI/AAAAAAAANjY/cj7EKudOtTE/w550-h800-no/CRW_9056.jpg

If it looks more like its swallowed a marble, that's a sign of illness and bloat.
If it looks concave (caved in), then the pleco is starving for some reason.

Ah, I see! I'll be checking in with my pet store to see what healthy ones they have in stock, if any.

I was once told to purchase the largest plecos/otos. Supposedly those are the ones that have survived the longest. Is this true?

MuckyFish
03-20-2014, 07:15 PM
Only as it relates to belly size amongst fish of the same size for the same species. This doesn't apply to all fish but is a good indicator for otocinclus species. If the fish starve too long the theory is that the gut bacteria die off and your new fish has a much harder chance of surviving in your tank.

TheFishObsession
05-15-2014, 11:05 PM
Hello everyone. I hate to gravedig this thread, but I wanted to check up on a few things.

So, treatment against gram-negative bacteria. API MelaFix seems like it'd be decent for columnaris treatment, correct? It is tea tree oil-based (or some sort of tea leaf extract). I'd hate to lose another pleco to this crap. I've read up on columnaris, and it seems like MelaFix could do the job. What does the community think of this?

madagascariensis
05-15-2014, 11:09 PM
melafix is, as you know, a plant extract. I've heard mostly that it works best as a preventative and is too gentle to cure moderate or heavy infections.
Especially with something virulent as columnaris, I would not hesitate to immediately "reach for the big guns"

TheFishObsession
05-16-2014, 02:06 AM
melafix is, as you know, a plant extract. I've heard mostly that it works best as a preventative and is too gentle to cure moderate or heavy infections.
Especially with something virulent as columnaris, I would not hesitate to immediately "reach for the big guns"

And by "big guns" you mean?