View Full Version : Clown pleco died .... unsure of cause

05-06-2009, 04:39 PM
Had a clown pleco in my 29 gallon tank. He was doing fine imo. He had a piece of driftwood and was receiving algae tabs as needed. The tank has some algae growth. I dont use live plants ... I have silk, so I was staggering my cleaning of the plants to leave some with algae in the tank at all times as well as leaving portions of tank glass unscrubbed to supply some algae. I went to work yesterday, he and the rest of the tank were fine. He was hanging out in the lava rock cave. When I came home I found him dead in the corner. No signs of a fight, pale in the face area - guessing that was the first stage of decomposition. Is it possible he choked on a piece of gravel while getting algae off? Tankmates are all community type, gourami,corys, platys and rasbora.

Had just taken readings that day and took them again after I pulled his body out: Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate- around 10 ... all basically good readings. PH was in the 7.0 range, alkaline just under moderate. Anything I might have missed that plecos specifically need? Now I'm a bit leery of getting another... I may just get more corys and deal with the algae the old fashioned way.

05-07-2009, 08:04 PM
This is not what killed him but most of your fish need soft water. What type of gourami do you have? The same thing happened with my otto. I would get another pleco if I were you.

05-07-2009, 09:36 PM
The water hardness tests right at 75, which equates to soft. The gourami is a neon blue dwarf and from all my observations he has shown a very mild temperment. As long as he gets his share of the dinner, and I make sure he gets my first attention, he is fine. The corys will bounce off him when he gets in the way of where they want to go and he doesnt even react to them. I never saw him give the pleco a second glance. I may get one again but it may be a while until I see another that I think is healthy enough to get. This one was very vibrant in color and not a flaw to be found in finnage.

05-07-2009, 10:21 PM
Maybe it was just his time. How long did you have him? How big was he? I would get a small group of them instead of a solitary one.

05-08-2009, 01:07 PM
He wasnt very old by my guess. Clown plecos get to about 3 inches and he was under 2. I personally had him about a month, and like I said, all was fine. That is why I'm led to believe it was something unusual such as inhaling and choking on a piece of gravel that killed him. There just wasn't any evidence I could see indicating a fight or disease. With a 29 gal tank, I dont know if a group would work. Finding a group in this area is also hard. Common plecos are everywhere, but clowns are hard to find.
If I were to consider a group of algae eaters for my tank, the Oto's would probably be my first choice.

05-09-2009, 01:05 PM
I recomend the ottos. Did you see anything strange about the pleco?

05-09-2009, 01:19 PM
Sometimes fish just die for no preventable reason.

Lady Hobbs
05-09-2009, 01:33 PM
New tanks don't offer much food for pleco's and many will die if purchased too soon in a new setup. They should be given cucumbers, aglae pellets, shrimp pellets, etc, to keep them fed.

Clowns get around 5 inches as adults. You do not want more than one in your tank due to fighting between them.

05-09-2009, 02:01 PM
I went ahead and boosted my Albino cory from 3 to 6. They should be happier in this larger group. Didn't have cucumbers for the pleco, but he was getting algae tabs at all times and there was growth in the tank as well. As previously mentioned, I was being sure to leave algae available on plants and glass. In any event I think I'll wait a while before considering adding any algae eaters ,another clown or oto group, so the tank can continue to mature. I picked up some shrimp pellets for my corys so if I do add a pleco again he will have an added dietary choice. Thanks for the replies.

05-09-2009, 02:08 PM
Only a few plecos eat algae! Most like veggies.Spinach,Romain lettuce,cucs,zuchinni...It may have starved to death!
Algae wafers are more of a treat not a sustainable source of food! IMO
How long did you have it?
How long has your tank been running?

05-09-2009, 02:18 PM

He may not have gotten fresh veggies, but I don't think starvation was the issue. Algae and tabs are listed as a food source, not just a treat. I did research them before I got one. That is why there is a piece of driftwood in my tank I normally would not have.

05-09-2009, 02:22 PM
Well than maybe it was internal!
Sorry! lol I wasn't saying you are a mean and nasty fish keeper that buys fish to watch them die!
What did it look like when you found it?
Was there anything that stood out or sunk in?

05-09-2009, 02:32 PM
No, He was in great shape, appearance, shape, finnage, eyes, everything. He stayed that way from when I got him til I came home from work and found him dead. I looked at him then too. his shape was still good and his underside was clean and white. No bulges, discolorations or anything suggesting any infection. Thats why I was puzzled and could only think some fluke like swallowing a piece of gravel did it. Anyhow, I will wait before considering adding any algae eaters again. Clowns are rare around here. Ive never seen a bristlenose and the commons get way too big.

05-09-2009, 02:52 PM
You can try ordering a bn from your lfs.
I have no selection here.I can order fish but I have to take whatever comes in and pay in advance.
Lousy selection that way but if they can get you the fish you want it is worth it.