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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Community > Message Boards > Fish > Fresh Water > Breed Information > Pleco Troubles
Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Im having a problem trying to keep plecos in my tank. i have been having this issue ever since two years ago when something went wrong in my tank and i had a major die off. Since then my tnk has been completely cleaned with new water and i sanitized all the decor in it. I also let the tank run with no fish in it for a few weeks and still i have this problem. I have never had this problem before. Can anyone help me.

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

What size tank? What kind of other fish and how many? What are your water parameters?

If you are using an old tank that was previously used for other critters, ammonia could've seeped into the silicone and be present in large amounts which will significantly add to your troubles. Strip and reseal tank.

What did you use to sanitize the decor? were they then rinsed and soaked in clean water several times to remove all traces of this?

Are you feeding your plecos algae wafers and fresh veggies like zuchinni, squash, peasand other? If not they may not be getting enough nutrients from just left over fish food.

Tell us more about your current setup.

One way to cycle a bare tank is to lightly feed it while running.

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Could be a number of things. Do you do water tests and partial water changes every week? If not, you could be having a build up of ammonia, which is toxic to fish. Is you tank cycled? If not, you could not only be having high ammonia, but also high nitrates, which are also toxic to fish. You say you let the tank run a few weeks, but that will not cycle the tank. A tank can only cycle if there is some ammonia in it to feed the beneficial bacteria, which will eventually "eat" the ammonia and keep your water safe. How large is your tank? Plecos get huge and unless it is something like a bristlenose pleco, which are small, you should have a tank of at least 55 gal, when they are small, but eventually you'll either need a new larger tank or have to rehome your plecos to someone that has a larger tank. Being such large fish, plecos create tons of waste, so you need to be diligent in cleaning your tank, including gravel vacuuming and partial water changes. Do you use dechlorinator when you add fresh water to the tank? Otherwise, chlorine/chloramines in your tap water will irritate and potentially kill your fish. Do you have other fish in your tank which are bothering the pleco? I don't think there are very many fish which DO bother plecos, but it depends on the fish.