View Full Version : Changes Color?

06-21-2009, 02:13 AM
I have a 4-5 inch sailfin. Every day, his colors go completely dull and washed out, but within minutes of actively feeding his coloration comes back to normal (leopard with nicely defined light/dark spots). His colors fade back within a couple of hours after actively latching onto something. I know he is eating. I feed algae chips, and a smattering of sinking pellets. His stomach is nicely rounded and he is in great shape otherwise, seems healthy and is growing. He is active, has plenty of room, nooks to hide in/under and no competition for food. Any thoughts? Thanks!

06-21-2009, 02:44 AM
Could be his mood... could be that he's feeling stressed for some reason... could be water quality. Do you test your water?


PS: If I'm not mistaken, Sailfin Mollies like a some what brackish setup. He could just need some salt... hard to tell, need more input.

06-21-2009, 03:51 AM
Its in the Pleco forum, they are talking about a Sail Finned pleco.

Fish color is determined by many things, such as diet, stress levels, water quality, etc.

My first guess would be poor water quality. What are your Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels?

06-21-2009, 03:57 AM
Plecos change colors to darker and lighter all the time. They are like a mood rings!! The bright colors are usually when eating, breeding, getting spooked, showing off, defending their truf.....so on and so fourth. The lighter colors are usually relaxed states and sleep. Well atleast with mine anyhow. I am pretty sure that yours is just fine. Test the water just to double check, and keep an eye out for signs of illness as always, but I think its normal.

06-22-2009, 10:19 PM
Hi all.

Water levels this afternoon were:
Ammonia - 0
Phosphate 2 -3
Nitrate: 0
Ph: 6.6
Nitrite: 5ppm

Needless to say something is amiss cause levels were dead on early last week. Did 50% water change, vacume, added Start Right & salt (phosphate sponge) and I'll monitor.

The pleco was having the color changes when my water was quality was good as well, so I'm not so sure its a water quality issue, but the water certainly had to be taken care of anyway!

Could it be diet related? He will latch onto anything, and I give him 1 algae chip daily and 2 pinches of sinking pellets every other day. He doesn't touch cucumber...haven't tried spinach or zucchini yet. Any rule of thumb on how much to feed? (Stomach is rounded and he is growing at a steady pace)

06-23-2009, 04:52 AM
Its in the Pleco forum, they are talking about a Sail Finned pleco.

omg, I'm such an idiot, sorry. I saw Sailfin and immediately thought 'Molly'. heh.


06-23-2009, 06:57 AM
plecos will change colors all the time. They can turn light and 'washed out' or turn dark as well. They can also have patches of light and dark coloration. I believe it depends on their mood.

06-23-2009, 08:31 AM
How long has your tank been set up for whyo? What filter do you have on it?
(the pleco is in you 55G right?)

My sailfin changes colour all the time too. And like Gayle said, my guy changes if he's sleeping or active etc. So don't worry too much about their colour changes.

Your water might have contributed to him being stressed the last couple of days though, so you need to figure out why you've got nitrites in your water:sconfused:

06-23-2009, 11:42 AM
Yes, the pleco is in my 55 gal. The tank has been set up for a couple months now. This is the first time I've had an issue with water quality. Been stocking really slow. Just a couple fish every other week. Less than 20 fish in tank. Filter is an aquaclear 70.

06-23-2009, 01:29 PM
Whats wrong with your perameters?
Plecos need NO salt!

07-12-2009, 04:28 PM
Hi all....I know this thread is a few weeks old, but here goes. I have what I am pretty sure is a sailfin pleco. I have had him for 2 yrs, and he is about the same size as when I first got him - 4-5 inches. How fast do they grow? He is very active, loves the driftwood, has very strong colors and great fins. Just seems very slow growth rate. Just curious - never had great luck with plecos in the past. This one holds the record for longest lived in my tank!

07-12-2009, 06:54 PM
Their growth rate depends on their living conditions. Food, water parameters and how much room they have. I think he may grow more in a larger tank. Do you feed him fresh veggies??

07-12-2009, 07:10 PM
Has he got driftwood to chew on?

07-12-2009, 07:37 PM
I'll try to post pics at some point. He hangs out on the driftwood during the day, and is very active at night. I will occasionally feed cucumber, which he seems to really like.