View Full Version : Broken skin?

12-16-2008, 11:13 PM
Hi, I will post in the introduce yourself thread tomorrow, really wanted to post this question first!

I have had my common plec for around two years now, he came from a private owner before I took him in so I have no idea how old he is. He has always been happy and healthy, maybe suprisingly active as he's always out and about, very friendly. For the last couple of days when I have come to feed in the mornings I have found him balancing vertically on his head, sticking straight upright and today I noticed his pectoral fins are ragged and the base of his tail where the fins meet his body is torn and damaged. This damage is to his trunk not just fins but as his pecs are damaged I wondered if the spines could be causing the damage to his body? Or could it be bacterial? Or possibly another fish?

I know that's alot of questions and not alot of tank info, I just wondered if anyone has seen anything like this? Any suggestions much appreciated and I will update with more info when I have more time.

Many thanks, Klare.

12-16-2008, 11:17 PM
What else is in the tank, fish-wise? That fin damage indicates a fish has been harassing him at night, tearing the fins as you describe. Also, if that's a common pleco, he'll either reach a foot long or two feet long, depending on the species sold as common plecos. You'd need a quite large tank to hold such a fish.


12-16-2008, 11:55 PM
It is likely to be another fish nipping at him. The angels manage to beat themselves up some time. Is there another big pleco in their with him or a cichlid??? Everyting else okay in the tank? Any other fish exhibiting something like it? Have you added a new fish lately to introduce something in the tank?

12-18-2008, 11:44 AM
Hi, thanks, sorry for late reply!

Ummmmm, where to start, yes we did have a fish that was nipping fins, he was a yellow lab. I was aware that he shouldn't really be in the tank but I used to have a cichlid tank and he was a baby from a breeding pair. Sadly I rather stupidly wiped out most of the tank by overfeeding the fish which caused amonia poisoning, he was the last cichlid to survive and we didn't want to part with him as we had grown attatched, he started off as a little pair of eyes popping out of his parents mouth. Unfortunately we found him dead this morning :( We know that was our own fault and I feel terribly guilty, poor Jeff!

So now we have the one common pleco, a cuckoo syno, one oscar, one silver dollar a blood parrot and an opaline gourami. We have had the plec in both tanks, the cichlid tank and this one which we are keeping minimal as oscar needs the space. The opaline gourami is an old fish so we don't expect him to live very much longer, by the time oscar reaches full size (he is 2 months old now and roughly 5 inches) he should have passed on.
Oddly the blood parrot and oscar get on extremely well, the yellow lab was the only fish we ever observed tearing fins so if you think the damage to the plec was from another fish, my money is on him.

We get regular advice from our local aquarium supplier who is aware of our tank info and helps us alot :) We have a 55 gallon 4 1/2 x 2 x 2 with a fluval 405 filter.

Sorry for the long read!

12-18-2008, 01:00 PM
ok,heres the bad news you are way overstocked,the oscar own its own is enough for a 55g tank,how big is your pleco and other fish?
how often do you do water changes?
please remember that oscars and common plecos are great at producing loads of poo, you could be having a nitrate/nitrite spike which will kill off most small fish,due to poo and fish food as you point out,

12-18-2008, 01:12 PM
I know I am overstocked, as I said I am gradually finding new homes for the other fish with the intent of minimal stocking and eventually a larger tank as Oscar reaches full size :)

The Pleco is roughly 7 inches and the Cuckoo is around 5. Both Oscar and the Parrot are roughly 5 inches and the silver dollar and gourami are between 4, 4 and a half inches.

I regularly clean out any organic matter and large poos daily and ensure any uneaten live food is removed, I do a 20% water change weekly (and monthly at least half) and routine maintainance on the filter. Nitrates are not spiking and current levels are good, although my tank may be running a little warm.

I recieve conflicting advice on water changes and have found the info on here very helpful!

I strongly suspect that the yellow lab contributed to the damage to the plec (which is healing up now) so hopefully as the population is lessened and the environment is calmer, he should be ok.

Any suggestions of good treatments to aid healing? I have a variety but am currently sticking to Cycle and aqua plus at changes.

Thanks :)

12-18-2008, 01:15 PM
ok,as for treatment you could use melafix this is good for wounds and the skin as its torn its what i used to use on my pleco and it did the trick

Lady Hobbs
12-18-2008, 01:16 PM
Yes, you are overstocked. I don't know how old your Oscar is but they get a foot long, the blood parrot 6-8 inches, the common pleco a foot and the Silver Dollar (that is a school fish) will reach 5 inches. Oscars are not fish you can add just anything to their tank. They can get a mean streak and wipe the tank out.

Crowded fish are stressed, their immune system breaks down and they become diseased and ill.

12-18-2008, 01:23 PM
Angelcakes, thanks I will try some of that!

Lady Hobbs, my oscar is 2 months and as I understand it he will easily reach 8 to 9 inches plus within the first year so I still have time to relocate the fish we don't intend to keep, and as I said the gourami is older so we don't expect him to be around long. We do intend to establish a larger tank for oscar as he grows, we have done quite alot of research and get regular advice from our local aquarium and as it stands everything is going ok :) Now the little fin nipper has gone I hope to see no more damage but will keep a close eye!

12-18-2008, 01:42 PM
You have mixed the two differernt types of cichlids, South American and African. The oscar blood parrot and silver dollar are from south america and the yellow lab is from africa.. That is a bad idea because the yellow lab is way more aggressive then the others... The pleco is in the middle of all the fighting between them... I would remove the pleco because he is already injured and vulnerable and could get picked on

12-18-2008, 01:49 PM
Hi, the yellow lab died sadly so he is no longer an issue. I realise I mixed the wrong types of cichlids, my post explains :)

So far I have no reason to believe the plec is at threat from oscar but of course I will do the best thing for him should any scuffles occur! Oscar is quite peacefull really, at the moment anyway, so will keep a close eye on them while the plec is healing which he is doing quite nicely :)

12-18-2008, 02:04 PM
your pleco is not a big threat to the oscar,ive had the two together and they were quite happy,thats 2 oscars and 1 14" pleco:19: