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View Full Version : Rubber Lip Pleco Fiasco



pwdonald
12-27-2011, 03:19 PM
So I realize I am not supposed to do this but I took the advice on a pleco from a petsmart sales associate and I am wondering what I can do (aside from returning the fish) to remedy the situation:

I went into petsmart looking for a snail because I noticed some algae growing on my glass and thought it would be entertaining to watch a snail clean the glass. I also have a molly who is acting pregnant. So I was going to get some aquarium salt and a snail. The woman working in the fish department told me I could not have a snail if I use aquarium salt (something I have read is not true) she recommended instead I get a Rubber Lip Pleco. I said, "Don't they get pretty big?" She said it shouldn't grow past 5 inches and would be fine in my 10 gallon tank.

Everything I have read on the internet contradicts what she said. I put the pleco in my tank and everything seemed fine. I woke up this morning with bubbles on the surface and I checked my ammonia levels at it was close to 1.0ppm. Before I was receiving 0ppm Ammonia, Nitrites, and the nitrates were beginning to rise.

Should I just take the fish back or if I keep up with weekly water changes will it be ok? Current stock: 1 black moly, 1 albino cory catfish. My plan was to add a few guppies at some point but now I'm wondering if that would be a good idea.

Thanks!

Strider199
12-27-2011, 03:25 PM
A rubber lipped pleco in a 10 gallon aquarium is pushing it. I would take the pleco back.
Keep up the water changes until your bio-load gets back to normal. It sounds like your filter wasn't ready for the extra load. I am surprised it spiked up that quickly though. Glad you noticed it in time.

pwdonald
12-27-2011, 03:28 PM
Unfortunately i was unable to perform proper water changes before I had to leave for work. I dumped in the appropriate dosage of some betta conditioner I had which claims to "neutralize ammonia". By the time i left for work the bubbles had faded. I just hope the fish survive until I can get home and do a proper water change.

Strider199
12-27-2011, 03:32 PM
Me too.
Not knowing your current set-up, do you have an air stone running? Having an air stone increases the amount of oxygen in the tank and helps to circulate the water which helps a little bit.
A proper water change can't be beat for gas spikes.

pwdonald
12-27-2011, 03:36 PM
I have an airstone "curtain" which I have been told is a bit overkill for my size tank but my fish don't seem to mind. Infact sometimes the female molly will swim against it as if she were playing, then pause and let it shoot her up to the surface.

I also have a few moneywort plants in the tank.

toddnbecka
12-27-2011, 06:35 PM
Bubbles would be the result of increased surface tension, caused by organic compounds (fish wastes) in the water. Nerite snails are fine with salt, though mollies are actually fine w/out it, so you can go either way on that count. Pleco's don't like salt, too much will kill them. I lost 3 of my 4 L-204's when I used salt to treat an outbreak of Ich.

pwdonald
12-27-2011, 06:43 PM
I went home on lunch and did a partial water change. Seemed to lower the ammonia below 0.25ppm.

I am only using the recommended dosage of aquarium salt (2 tbsp per 10 gallon) do you think that will harm the pleco?

Strider199
12-27-2011, 08:43 PM
I've never used aquarium salt in a tank with a pleco so I can only say what I've read.
Pleco's dont take to salt.
Keep up the w/c and Mollies can live without salt.

Ellen4God
12-27-2011, 09:16 PM
I honestly would take the pleco back and then up the numbers of the fish you have. However, I wouldn't keep albino corys in a 10g. If you can't do anything with the cory though, then make sure you're taking care of water changes and such. And keep both the molly and cory happy by adding more of their kind.

And don't feel too bad. Most of us have bought a fish on impulse or without fulling research beforehand. :)

toddnbecka
12-28-2011, 05:07 AM
I went home on lunch and did a partial water change. Seemed to lower the ammonia below 0.25ppm.

I am only using the recommended dosage of aquarium salt (2 tbsp per 10 gallon) do you think that will harm the pleco?
I really don't know how much salt that species can tolerate. Never kept them myself, and some species are more sensitive than others. Most of my BN survived the salt treatment, but I did lose a few of those as well.

pwdonald
12-28-2011, 02:18 PM
Both the cory and the pleco seem to be doing fine with the salt added. I put an algae wafer in before I turned the lights out. The cory was having a feast on it but I figured eventually he would go to sleep and the pleco would come out of hiding and eat it. I woke up this morning to find the obvious cory bites (smaller nibbles) and a large chunk of the wafer eaten. I assume the pleco got his share but he didn't eat the whole thing.

Is it normal for them to hide this much? Or is he still acclimating?

Trillianne
12-28-2011, 04:53 PM
My rubberlip is quite bashful and especially right after things have been rearranged or when he was in a new tank.

However, he's also a bit of a bossy snit once he's settled.

fishguy66
12-28-2011, 04:58 PM
So I realize I am not supposed to do this but I took the advice on a pleco from a petsmart sales associate

NEVER take advice from anyone @ Petsmart, Petco, etc. 99.9 % of these clowns havne't got the 1st clue on aquarium keeping!! :22:

pwdonald
12-28-2011, 08:23 PM
Well, I plan to start saving now for a 40 gallon aquarium. By the time this pleco gets too big I should have it.

Strider199
12-28-2011, 10:03 PM
A 40 gallon sounds like the right size for that rubber-lipped pleco. Dont forget to feed some zucchini once a week. They love it.