View Full Version : Sudden Pleco Death

09-14-2008, 12:48 AM
So I come home to discover one of my plecos dead in the corner of my tank. I assume it happened recently because the eyes were barely clouded over and it wasn't rigid yet. At first I wasn't even sure it was dead until I went to scoop it up and examine it. It was very dead to say the least. I have no idea what would have caused this. It didnt have any signs of wounds or diseases and was fine this morning when I did my morning feeding and fish count. My other pleco in my tank is totally fine, but I am worried it too will suddenly drop dead. Both plecos are/were 3.5" in a 36 gal tank and always fed together, so I don't think the other died from not eating or the other one being territorial. Any insight would be great. Oh, and the water chemistry is fine, nothing alarming in any test.

09-14-2008, 01:08 AM
Was it old?

09-14-2008, 01:49 AM
Can you give us the exact water parameters?

09-14-2008, 06:31 AM
Was it old?
he couldnt have been old if he was 3.5 inches but it could of just been a strange coincidence

09-14-2008, 10:24 AM
what were you feeding?

09-14-2008, 12:11 PM
what were you feeding?
They fed off of a piece of driftwood with a lot of algae on it, I also fed them algae wafers and they ate the leftover fish flakes from my top feeders. I plan to start giving my remaining one lettuce and cucumber pieces occasionally.

09-14-2008, 12:57 PM
It seems sudden to you but to your Pleco it most likely wasn't.

09-14-2008, 01:08 PM
Can you give us the exact water parameters?
It's an acidic tank:
pH: 6.5
Alkalinity: 80ppm
Chlorine: 0
Hardness: 75ppm/soft
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm
I can't find my ammonia test...>_<

That's what it was when I discovered him, however, this morning I did a test and my Nitrates and Nitrates had skyrocketed.
Nitrate: 160ppm
Nitrite: 10.0 ppm

Since I couldn't find my ammonia test, I can't test that, but as far as I know, a raise in Nitrites and Nitrates normally means an ammonia spike. So I immediately performed a 25% water change and added an ammonia treatment to my water. So far I have not lost any more fish *crosses fingers*

09-14-2008, 01:17 PM
Not good but first.. What are you using to test? What kind of kit. Second, how many fish are in there? What filtration do you have? How often are you changing the water.

09-14-2008, 04:32 PM
Not good but first.. What are you using to test? What kind of kit. Second, how many fish are in there? What filtration do you have? How often are you changing the water.
I use the Mardel Test strips. I have 19 fish in the tank with an AquaClear 500 filter turned to low since it's a filter for 75-100 gal and mine's only 36. I change the water about once every other week to once a month, it has been twice this week though. I always do regular water tests, normally at least twice a week so that if something happens then I can change the water. I also always watch my fish and look for signs of stress and disease.

09-14-2008, 08:46 PM
Silly question, but are you allowing the test strips to develope completely before you take a reading? Like everything else in this world, those strips need a little time to develope and aren't "instant read" like Litmus Paper (though that would be nice).

I can't explain the sudden skyrocket any other way, that and everything in your tank "should" be dead with 160ppm of Nitrate. I'd test again and see what's what to be sure.

A more regular water change regiment would be advised, though I know most of us at one time or another have missed a water change for various reasons.