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Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Pleco Help

  1. #1

    Question Pleco Help

    0 Not allowed!
    While searching for info on death of plecos I found this site. I, too, am death to plecos. We have a 50 gallon planted tank with about 20 small tetras, 5 angel fish, 4 ottos, 3 cories and 1 coolie loach. We have lost 3 albino bushy noses, 2 brown bushy noses, and 4 common plecos this year. The most recent lasted 4 days. We have also lost 4 corys over 6 months and can't seem to keep snails alive either. The tetras and angels do just fine. We do regular water changes and siphoning. Our ph level is around 7 with little to no ammonia. We live in the country, have hard water and do our water changes with filtered water. We feed a combo of dry flakes, algae wafers and frozen shrimp/worms. Suggestions and help would be appreciated. I like the idea of fresh veggies. Would any of the other fish benefit? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Ypsilanti, Michigan

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    0 Not allowed!
    you say you have "little or no ammonia". There's a big difference between "little" and "no". Zero ammonia is good. Anything above zero can harm fish.

    Since you are having trouble with bottom feeders I wonder what your tank parameters are - ammonia as mentioned above, as well as nitrite and nitrate. Nitrate levels are said to be higher at the bottom of the tank, so bottom feeders are affected more seriously by them. If you don't have a way to measure nitrite and nitrate, you need to get one - liquid testing kits are better than strips for this.

    Your tank doesn't seem too heavily stocked although people who keep angelfish are likely to tell you that 5 in a 50 gallon aren't going to work... they'll start fighting for territory when they mature.
    300 gallon mega tank: sailfin pleco, clown loaches, silver dollars, roseline sharks, congo tetras, new world cichlids
    125 gallon office tank: Africian cichlids, synodontis catfih
    75 gallon community tank: bolivian rams, black skirt tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, corys, harlequin rasboras, otos, bristlenose and bulldog plecos, assassin snails, various shrimp
    60 gallon goldfish tank: fancy goldfish

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Agree with Brhino. Catfish and all bottom feeders have the most toxic water to deal with living on the bottom as they do. Too many bottom feeders also steal food from others and can starve to death. Common pleco require driftwood in their diet and should never go in small tanks.

    5 Angels will never work. One will. I have no idea what you have for filters but you should have very good filtering for your stock amount.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    What type of filtration are you running on your tank?
    My therapist says I need a bigger tank . . . . .

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    I agree with LH on the wood deal . Not sure about All pleco's but the Common Plec does behefit from wood in its diet. I don't have one anymore had to rehome it after realizing that it had been eating all my JD's fry but it was very healthy and did have driftwood to rasp on .Hope this helps . Let us know if you try another one again. and good luck with the rest of your aquatic friends.
    ask ?'s and change some water pair of JD's and loving it.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above on ammonia and filtration.

    I have not kept common plecos, they get too big in my view 1'-2' if I recall.

    I notice you have lost bushynose plecos and not Otos but you can't seem to keep snails, what kind of snails? Good pet snails or invasive horrible little pond snails?

    You say you regular water changes but how frequent are they and how much do you change, as you have some ammonia, how much and what are you testing with, what is your nitrite and nitrate readings?

    What is your filtered water? RO and if so are you reconstituting? My understanding is that bushynose pleco will do okay and even breed in hard water.

    Fresh veggies will help generally I have seen some of mine explode in growth rate once I got the veggies in with that said I have six and some have done really well and one who is a runt, is frightened of anything and loses food to guppy fry. I have started breaking up algae tablets to make sure there is enough different tablet pieces spread out.

    The otos will nibble at the fresh veggies occasionally as will the tetras.

    With your stocking plan I acknowledge one of my own mistakes which is too many species and too many fish feeding off of the same niche in the aquarium. For example the plecos (at certain points depending on age species) and the otos eat algae or live off of the aufwochs layer on wood and stones, I wonder if they are all getting enough nutrition.

    How physically clean is your tank? I don't mean water parameters, but what is the substrate, inside tank walls and water clarity like. Is it a bit mucky with some left over bits of food and some algae on the tanks or is it immaculate crystal clear and ready for military style inspection?

    Are there enough hiding spaces for the plecos and Otos when you have them all?

    Unusually I have nothing more to add...

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