View Full Version : Pleco has patchy faded spots?

04-05-2012, 07:06 PM
My sailfin pleco is a little less than a year old and has always been healthy and active. He is 4-5 inches long now and it seems as he is growing his coloration is fading out in some spots. It looks like he has patches of normal color and faded color, like dime size spots where his color has faded. He still eats fine and is very friendly and active. Is there something wrong with him or is it just because he's growing? Thanks!

04-05-2012, 07:21 PM
Could be a number of things, stressed plecos do this.

Reasons for stress, bullying fish, no dark hiding area, no natural colours (I.e pink gravel.)

Or it can be camouflage, I know my plec is a fraction darker when scurrying on the dark bogwood as compared to the lighter brown gravel.

04-05-2012, 09:02 PM
Thanks. He doesn't seem to get bullied as he is the biggest fish in the tank, but he doesn't hide a lot either. There are a lot of plants in the tank but I will try getting him a cave type area to hide in. Also the gravel is blue (bought the tank off craigslist and it came with it) I don't like it and would prefer a natural color but didn't think it was a big deal. Would you recommend changing it?

04-05-2012, 09:13 PM
You don't have bogwood in the tank? A lot of plecos require it for their digestion. I think you are under the impression your pleco must be happy as he is biggest and doesn't hide, sounds like there just isn't anywhere to hide, you really gota get some bogwood, perhaps get a couple of bits to create a cave and that kills 2 birds with 1 stone. How about buying a bag of more natural gravel and just layer it over the old stuff.

Just because a fish is big doesn't make it invincible, some tetras of small size can tear up a big angel fish for example. Also I had a dwarf gourami who bullied a firemouth of a bigger size than it.

What are you feeding your pleco?

04-05-2012, 09:45 PM
No I don't have bogwood and was never told about it when I purchased him from the pet store. I guess I should say he seems healthy to me rather than happy, as he is growing and eating well (he will take an algae wafer out of my fingers) . But as far as happy goes he seems to try and hide amongst the plants but there are really no dark dark places in the tank so I will definitely make him a bogwood cave as you suggested.He eats Omega One natural protien formula veggie rounds. Good idea about layering the gravel, I was dreading thinking about taking everything out and changing it. I don't think he is bullied though, I spend a lot of time observing them and I have never seen it happen. Thanks so much!

04-05-2012, 10:00 PM
I would also give your pleco some fresh veg once a week or so, I feed mine zuccinni twice a week. Just stick a fork in a slice and leave it in the tank overnight, they love it!

What's his tank mates?

04-05-2012, 10:15 PM
I bet he would really love that because he's food crazy. He lives with a crowntail betta who is not aggresive, 3 small tiger barbs, 5 guppies, 1 boesemani rainbow, 1 turquoise rainbow and 2 angelfish in a 30 gallon tank.

04-05-2012, 10:41 PM
Hmmmm, don't take this the wrong way but your stocking is pretty bad in your tank.

Barbs are notorious fin nippers when kept in anything less than schools of 10 really.they will bully everything, are your angels a pair? If not then one will get massivly beat up, if they are then the tank will get beat up. Due to finage their can be aggression between angels and gupies and the betta. Rainbows are also schooling fish, there's why your plecos stressed. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

04-05-2012, 11:08 PM
I work from home so i spend a lot of time observing my tank and there isn't any aggression problems. The 3 tiger barbs spend all of their time together and I have never seen them try to nip fins as they seem to be the most skittish in the tank. The angels also stick together and neither of them seem dominant, they are much more interested in food than their tank mates. My betta has lived with guppies since he was very small and is not aggresive. I have never had any problems with fin nipping (except for when I had only guppies, they beat each other up) Of all of them I would say the rainbows like to chase the barbs and guppies but they have never injured each other before and the chase does not go on for long. I appreciate your knowledge but I feel that my community tank is happy. After talking to you I will get some bogwood and give my pleco a nice dark cave, as he is the only fish that has weird stress coloration. Thanks again.

04-05-2012, 11:12 PM
Sounds like most of your fish are juveniles, will change very rapid when they all start maturing, just a heads up.

04-05-2012, 11:51 PM
The rainbows and the angels are young (only had them a month), the rest of my tank are adults though. I will watch out for them becoming aggressive. Thanks for the advice with the pleco, hopefully his color will come back once he has an acceptable hiding spot and some bogwood. The pet store guy told me plecos were really easy keepers and would be happy as long as they were fed so my tank is really catered to my other fish, but that will soon change. Thanks again!

04-07-2012, 12:03 AM
I got him a nice piece of bogwood and propped it up to create a cave, right away my pleco made it his home. Wish I would have known he needed that sooner!

04-07-2012, 09:41 AM
Did you wash, scrub, and soak the wood before dropping it in the tank? Wood can often be very dirty, if not you may notice the water in your tank turning a very dark stained colour, this is the wood releasing tannins. Best to soak wood for a few days before putting it in the tank, some people even boil it.

04-08-2012, 12:56 AM
I got it from the tropical fish store pre-soaked. My pleco loves it, he has been stuck all over it from the moment i put it in. Thanks!

Lady Hobbs
04-08-2012, 01:47 AM
I agree with scottishfish. Two angels (if a mated pair) will work in that 30 gallon all by themselves. Your tank is not stocked well at all and you will soon have some serious problems.

Rainbows are all schooling fish, Tigers belong in large schools, and still there are guppies, a betta and a sailfin? wow Sorry, there will be no happy ending here.

04-13-2012, 06:00 PM
My pleco is getting his color back, which is awesome. He only has one faded spot now instead of his whole body being patchy!

But about stocking, I gave the barbs away to a friend who already had some and I was not aware angelfish were supposed to be alone or mated (thanks pet store)...When the pleco gets bigger he will go into his own house (another 30gal, I knew how big and old he could get when i bought him but figured there was no need for two tanks until he got bigger), Could the angelfish go in there with him too?

I realize certain fish have certain quirks and there are things that should be looked out for, but my betta has been living in a community tank with guppies for over a year and there has never been a problem. My betta blows bubble nests and has a little cave he claimed for his own, he zooms around the tank and ignores the other fish even when they school around him at feeding time. He seems happy and free in the big tank I don't wanna put him back in the 5 gal that he was in (he even had 3 guppies with him in there when i first got him when he was very small). My betta is my favorite! If I noticed him being stressed, nipped at, or overly aggressive I would move him right away :)