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My Pleco is being Weird

danaekitty
May 12th, 2008, 07:50 AM
Well, phase three of my mass aquarium remodel is complete.

Phase one was moving my 20G to my new house without killing anyone (success!).

Phase two was erecting and adding water to my 10G that was in storage as well as my new 65G that I bought used in hopes of raising cichlids.

Phase three, my fave so far, was the purchase of 6 kuhli loaches for my 10G and a new tiny pleco for my 20G. The pleco I had in there had started out as a baby but is now pushing eight inches from nose to tail. Although he was not causing any problems in the 20, I thought he'd be much more comfortable in the 65. However, since I transferred him, he's been quite shy. All I've seen of him is the tip of his tail! He was hiding under a bridge for a day or so, and now he's under a pile of large smooth stones. When he was under the bridge, I was scared that he would not be able to get out because the

A couple of things I'm considering: He is now in a soft, sandy substrate. The substrate in the 20 was average gravel sized, and in each place he's hiding, he's nestling down into the substrate so far that he's pretty much resting on the glass bottom of the tank, and leaving piles of sand all around him. Also, the quality of light is different - the previous tank owner had live plants in the substrate, and was using an appropriate light for the plants. Also, this tanks is so much bigger, he may be a bit intimidated.

One thing he is not doing - Eating the algae that is on the insides of the tank.

I'm just concerned that he make himself at home quickly - my cichlids are going in tonight or tomorrow night, and although the Pleco will by far be the biggest fish in the tank, I'm worried that he'll be abused because he's in hiding and they will only see his tailfins.

Anyone ever experienced a shy pleco before???

clm
May 12th, 2008, 11:17 AM
All of the pleco's I've ever had were nocturnal. Never saw them during the day, only saw them at night. Used to provide them with hiding places so they could sleep during the day. A large piece of pvc pipe cutin half to make a large cave would suffice for him.

Cindy

14+kitties
May 12th, 2008, 11:46 AM
My pleco is shy too. I very seldom see him during the day. Or at least I didn't when he was smaller. Now he is bigger he attaches himself to the outside of a log where he thinks he is hiding. Most plecos I have had are a little on the shy side. He probably was very comfy in his smaller tank and now isn't sure what to do with all the space. I would either give him a few days to get used to it or move him back to the smaller tank.

danaekitty
May 12th, 2008, 11:47 AM
I'll try that, but this one has always been happy being in plain view - maybe because his previous living quarters were too small for him to have a good hide.

want4rain
May 12th, 2008, 12:41 PM
plecos are pretty shy but some things you shoudl check before writing this off as a shy pleco-

what was the pH in his other tank?
whats the pH in the new tank??
what are you feeding him?

do you test your water for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates?? if so, the first two should be ZERO!!! the last one below 40ppm.

-ashley

danaekitty
May 12th, 2008, 01:09 PM
There are no other fish in this tank, and his last tank was quite crowded, so I imagine the water quality would be BETTER in this one!

want4rain
May 12th, 2008, 01:18 PM
did you give the bacteria a chance to establish itself?? meaning did you take soem old gravel or filter floss from the old tank and put it into the new one?? if not, do some hefty water changes over the next month, keep a close eye on the ammonia levels and nitrates. they both are part of starting new tanks. it will iron itself out over the next 4 weeks or so, but the ammonia and nitrites are both capable of killing him if you dont keep on top of water changes.

-ash

danaekitty
May 12th, 2008, 04:16 PM
It should be good. I used the filter and substrate from the previous owner - the filter had been rinsed out but the substrate still had a lot of the original moisture to it - quite heavy! Also, the water cycled for over a week before I put the pleco in.

want4rain
May 12th, 2008, 08:57 PM
cool, you could try putting shelled peas, cucumber (but cut the ring so he doesnt get stuck) or zukes.... lettuce... make sure they are all lightly blanched (dipped in boiling water for a few seconds) so he can munch it away. any drift wood in there?

also, what was the pH before you got him and then the pH after you got him?? some of this lethargy could be pH shock. especially if you dropped more than a few points down.

-ash

danaekitty
May 13th, 2008, 07:17 AM
I have no idea what the ph is, I don't have a test kit.

He's hanging in there, though. Still hiding. It looked like his hiding place had collapsed on him this morning, so I moved one of the rocks and he swam around like crazy for a couple minutes, stirring up everything, looking for more places to hide...I put the "roof" back on his hidey spot and he swam right back in there...I swear he glared at me.

I do hope he's okay - the only reason I didn't switch him with a smaller one at the store ages ago was because I knew he would be comfortable as soon as I put him in the 65.

I've been dropping in his algae wafers, and they disappear - I hope he's eating them. I'll try the vegetables, thanks.

danaekitty
May 13th, 2008, 07:19 AM
I do have a hunk of wood in there too. And some lava rock - peppered with algae.

CearaQC
May 13th, 2008, 02:27 PM
I had a pleco once in with Lake Malawi cichlids.

And they ate his eyes and eventually killed him.

You didn't mention which type of cichlids you wanted to add, but just be careful and watch out for the pleco.

http://www.fishfantasyworld.co.za/malawi/malawicichlids_article1.htm

danaekitty
May 13th, 2008, 02:31 PM
Oh my!!!
I certainly don't want that. I am getting cichlids from Lake Malawi! I was under the impression that as long as the Pleco was much bigger than the cichlids, he would be okay?

CearaQC
May 13th, 2008, 03:05 PM
Well in the wild they don't come from the same area and/or water type. And many African cichlids are quite aggressive.

There are a lot of horror stories out there of plecos being ripped to shreds by Malawi cichlids. It's not pretty. Some people have had a bit of luck using the barbed types, but in general it's not recommended (at least those I have talked to about it in the past) to have plecos with Malawi cichlids. :sorry: There are even stories of plecos just rotting away (fin/tail rot) not long after being introduced to the tank. Something about pH? :shrug:

However I have heard rumor online in fish forums that some plecos can live, even breed in tanks with Lake Tanganyikan cichlids. Just another lake in Africa with slightly different cichlids. :shrug:

The only way I could keep my 50 gal tank free of algae was to manually scrub the glass every few days and then let the external tank filters take care of the rest. If it gets really yucky, you can do a partial water change.

danaekitty
May 13th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Thanks, Ceara! I do have a long-armed algae brush, so I'll work on maintenance.
I also have been getting mixed opinions on this topic. I've posted my question on a cichlid-specific forum, I'll see if they have anything useful to say.
Will keep you posted!

want4rain
May 14th, 2008, 08:11 AM
to also say, regular weekly water changes to keep your nitrates under 40ppm will keep algae to a point where you are scrubbing bi-monthly.

-ash

MyBirdIsEvil
May 15th, 2008, 04:12 AM
There are even stories of plecos just rotting away (fin/tail rot) not long after being introduced to the tank. Something about pH? :shrug:

Severe infections cause that, or else the other fish ate it. Fin and tail rot is usually easily treatable, there's no excuse for letting the fish rot away.


However I have heard rumor online in fish forums that some plecos can live, even breed in tanks with Lake Tanganyikan cichlids. Just another lake in Africa with slightly different cichlids. :shrug:


No, not if you keep the pH to that for Tanganyikan fish. Lake Tanganyika has an even higher pH (sometimes slightly above 9) than Malawi. They're not just slightly differnt lakes, they're extremely different ecologically.
Common plecos are from South America so they should have low to moderate pH at most (not above 8), never high pH (though the hardy species can survive in most water types, which is why they're invasive in Florida).
As far as Malawis eating a plecos eyes, it's possible, plecos often get picked on by other fish, but it also depends on the type of Malawis. Some aren't all that aggressive, but it's always a risk with African cichlids. Tank size and setup is also a factor. The larger tank, less stocking and more places to hide for the pleco (which can be nearly impossible for a very large pleco) the less likelyhood for issues, but still a possibility.

I have two bristlenose plecos and a sunshine pleco in a tank with 3 tanganyikan cichlids and various other fish, but the pH is 7.4-7.5 out of my tap and I don't adjust my water for most of my tanks no matter the species. Most fish are adaptable as long as the pH is stable. My BN plecos breed in there.

The only way I could keep my 50 gal tank free of algae was to manually scrub the glass every few days and then let the external tank filters take care of the rest. If it gets really yucky, you can do a partial water change

Algae is not adequate to properly sustain a common pleco anyway. They need to be supplemented with stuff like peas, zucchini, romaine lettuce, and algae wafers.
If you want to keep your tank healthy water changes should be done weekly regardless. The only exception I personally make to this is a 29g tank I have with one small fish in it. Nitrates barely even read in that tank.
-----

Ok...now I'll try to answer some of the original posters questions, sorry my posts are so long, lol. I just have a lot of various knowledge.

MyBirdIsEvil
May 15th, 2008, 04:38 AM
However, since I transferred him, he's been quite shy. All I've seen of him is the tip of his tail!
That's normal. Try leaving the lights off for awhile.

When he was under the bridge, I was scared that he would not be able to get out
You're actually right to watch closely with that. I have known of plecos dying because they wedged themselves into something (usually driftwood) and could not back out when their spines got caught.

The substrate in the 20 was average gravel sized, and in each place he's hiding, he's nestling down into the substrate so far that he's pretty much resting on the glass bottom of the tank, and leaving piles of sand all around him. Also, the quality of light is different - the previous tank owner had live plants in the substrate, and was using an appropriate light for the plants.

It's normal for a pleco to bury itself, he's just settling in.
What wattage and type of bulbs are in your light? You may actually want to change them out because if they were good high wattage plant bulbs (doubt it but possible) they will grow certain types of algae like CRAZY with no plants in there. That is good for your pleco only if it's the types he prefers to eat, but it likely won't be.

I'm worried that he'll be abused because he's in hiding and they will only see his tailfins.

That's possible. Watch him, if he gets picked on at ALL remove him immediately. For temporarily removal of fish you can use a water tight rubbermaid tub until you can get them into other housing or to the fish store.

You also need to give him a hiding spot like clm mentioned, something he can completely fit in comfortably to hide.

There are no other fish in this tank, and his last tank was quite crowded, so I imagine the water quality would be BETTER in this one!

You can actually stress a fish moving it directly from a tank with high nitrates, nitrites and/or ammonia into extremely clean water. He'll likely recover since they're tough, but that could be part of your issue.

Also, the water cycled for over a week before I put the pleco in.

Sorry to say, you let the bacteria die then, unless you were adding an ammonia source. Cycling the water doesn't culture the denitrifying bacteria on the filter. You let the bacteria sit with no food source. Some may have survived if there was already detritus in the substrate releasing ammonia, but they will still have to build back up. It's part of the nitrogen cycle.

Read Freshwater Cycling (http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84598) :)

I have no idea what the ph is, I don't have a test kit.

Please please please by a master test kit. (pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate).
You can't know anything about your water quality without testing. Water can look clear and pristine and be quite toxic.

I've been dropping in his algae wafers, and they disappear - I hope he's eating them. I'll try the vegetables, thanks.

He's probably eating them, he just doesn't wanna come out.
Veggies are always good, you may wanna drop a worm in there too, they love those and they actually benefit from a meat source periodically, though not as a staple.

I'll have to disagree with want4rain on blanching though, that's mostly to get the food to sink. None of those veggies absolutely need to be blanched, in fact they're more nutritious rinsed and whole. My plecos and clown loaches have no trouble eating raw veggies, they just have to be weighed down or they'll float. :)
You would be surprised what plecos can chew on. I had one once that cracked open all my hard plant bulbs abandoning them one by one as he realized nothing he wanted to eat was inside..

And now I'm done because my posts are WAY too long. Sorry guys!
(That'll teach this website to have a fish section :evil:.)

want4rain
May 15th, 2008, 06:49 AM
you know in all this time ive kept fish i have never kept a pleco?! nor cichlids. :laughing:

-ash

danaekitty
May 15th, 2008, 07:12 AM
EvilBird: THANK YOU!!! You've made me feel a little more confident about at least giving this co-habitation a try. I've been so nervous I was about to give up on cichlids completely and stick with regular tropicals, but at least now I know it's possible, and that his current behaviour is normal.
I didn't know that you could buy a complete testing kit - I imagine they're quite expensive...but I do go to my fish store pretty frequently, so I guess I'll bring my water in more frequently.
Fingers crossed! And please, I love your posts! Don't shorten them!

danaekitty
May 15th, 2008, 07:14 AM
w4r: Plecos are COOL!!! I love how their markings develop as the get longer, especially on their bellies. I just got a teeny weeny one to replace the big one in my 20g and haven't seen it since I plopped him in there...the little ones, although cute as a button, are not quite as striking.

MyBirdIsEvil
May 15th, 2008, 07:31 AM
you know in all this time ive kept fish i have never kept a pleco?! nor cichlids. :laughing:

-ash

Lol.

I started out with a betta and then kind of skipped over all the normal fish to oddballs at first. The BN plecos I only got because they had a whole ton of babies at one of the stores in town and they were labelled as common plecos so they were cheaper than they should have been.
The sunshine pleco my husband ordered in. Actually that's why we have so many fish, we both are into the hobby so when we see things we want we tend to buy them and it adds up. There is no "Don't we have enough fish?" or anything.

Speaking of the sunshine pleco, when we first got him he wouldn't even eat and we just started seeing him come out recently even though we've had him for several months. At one point we thought he was dead because we couldn't find him, so there's a good example of how they can be when you put them into a new enviroment. I dunno how long he went without eating, but his belly was kinda flat for awhile. Now he's pretty fat but still kind of shy.
Plecos can be kind of moody.

MyBirdIsEvil
May 15th, 2008, 07:45 AM
Danaekitty, liquid test kits run 15-20 dollars here, I dunno about there.

This is the one I use http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4345+4454&pcatid=4454.

Well, at this point I don't buy master test kits because I never run out of the same solutions at the same rate, but that's the brand I use.

And I just realized I keep calling my husband's pleco a sunshine pleco when it's a gold nugget. They do look similar, but I should probably know the approximate species of my own fish :laughing:
If you want good color they look very nice http://planetcatfish.com/catelog/species.php?species_id=154

danaekitty
May 15th, 2008, 07:45 AM
Sunshine pleco, eh? Do you have a pic?

That makes sens that they're moody - I've often thought by looking at their eyes that there is more intelligence there than in any other of my tropicals.

My dad says I tend to give animals human qualities to the point of ridiculousness, but I SWEAR my last betta was constantly copping attitude with me. I don't think he liked me AT ALL. He had a very strong personality, that's for sure.

danaekitty
May 15th, 2008, 07:49 AM
And I just realized I keep calling my husband's pleco a sunshine pleco when it's a gold nugget. They do look similar, but I should probably know the approximate species of my own fish :laughing:
If you want good color they look very nice http://planetcatfish.com/catelog/species.php?species_id=153

COOL!!! That one pic of the guy holding a huge one at a lake...the fins look crazy! I really like the spots. There are some really cool plecos at my local fish store right now - they're so expensive though.

I wish my bf were more interested in this hobby. He likes to say that it's cruel to keep them and makes fun of me for killing everything, even though there hasn't been anything I haven't been able to save for quite a long time (except for my poor blue tetra that I'm pretty sure had a parasite). Anyway, his lack of interest hasn't stopped me any - the sound of lights, pumps and running water fills our house!

MyBirdIsEvil
May 15th, 2008, 07:53 AM
COOL!!! That one pic of the guy holding a huge one at a lake...the fins look crazy! I really like the spots. There are some really cool plecos at my local fish store right now - they're so expensive though.

I wish my bf were more interested in this hobby. He likes to say that it's cruel to keep them and makes fun of me for killing everything, even though there hasn't been anything I haven't been able to save for quite a long time (except for my poor blue tetra that I'm pretty sure had a parasite). Anyway, his lack of interest hasn't stopped me any - the sound of lights, pumps and running water fills our house!

I switched links, try clicking again. Accidentally posted the wrong one the first time (there's 3 species listed as gold nugget). That's what he has, but all 3 species are really neat looking.

Don't feel bad about killing fish, I accidentally killed quite a few at first too...Even after I know what I'm doing I've stilled killed a couple for really stupid reasons when I should have known better. I've also had several die over stuff that wasn't my fault, it sometimes happens.

danaekitty
May 15th, 2008, 08:06 AM
Ever had to euthanize one? I probably should have euthanized my blue tetra but simply couldn't bring myself to do it.

want4rain
May 15th, 2008, 08:31 AM
i never got a pleco because i knew how much went into them before i had a tank large enough. *grin* my dream tank is a 150-200g with a pair of scarlet (ugly buggers arent they) plecos(L025), 6 discus, 20 or so oto cats or goby plecos(LDA25).... a dozen or so cory cats (not sure which yet) and 30 or so dither fish.

plecos have to be, hands down, some of the most... alluring fish ever. maybe a pair or trio of L200?? call them all Green Lantern.... 1, 2 and 3!

i could go on and on and get lost in planetcatfish for hours.... lets just say its quite the desire. :)

-ash

danaekitty
May 15th, 2008, 08:39 AM
Catfish really are ridiculously cool. I also LOVELOVELOVE loaches, all of them! I just got 6 kuhlis, and my clown is the coolest. Bottom feeders seem to have such great character.
I really like gouramis too, but I had a bad experience with a bully dwafr that killed off any other mid-tank dweller I put in with him.

want4rain
May 15th, 2008, 08:56 AM
i had some of these (http://www.loaches.com/species-index/botia-kubotai) until just recently. they found new homes!! but they were some of the coolest fish i have ever kept. my little freshwater dolphins. :)

-ash

MyBirdIsEvil
May 15th, 2008, 09:18 AM
Ever had to euthanize one? I probably should have euthanized my blue tetra but simply couldn't bring myself to do it.

Nope. I usually try to give them a chance as long as possible since I've had a few miraculously recover when they seemingly should have died.

never got a pleco because i knew how much went into them before i had a tank large enough. *grin* my dream tank is a 150-200g with a pair of scarlet (ugly buggers arent they) plecos(L025), 6 discus, 20 or so oto cats or goby plecos(LDA25).... a dozen or so cory cats (not sure which yet) and 30 or so dither fish.

I don't think scarlets are ugly, I think they're one of the best looking ones. We had the chance to buy a very large one awhile back but decided we didn't need another big messy carnivore in our tank, plus it was ridiculously expensive (worth it if you're into plecos, but there were other fish we wanted).

I've never seen those little Botia kubotai loaches in person before, if I had I probably would have bought some since I'm collecting loaches :D. I do have some Botia striatas (http://www.loaches.com/species-index/botia-striata/?searchterm=botia%20striata)and a couple of yoyo loaches though, and of course my 11clown loaches. They did always remind me of dolphins too. It's funny how they go around "sniffing" other fish, and the other fish always seem to get kind of uncomfortable because I guess they don't know what they're doing lol. They have to smell and taste everything in case there's food, even other fish.

danaekitty
May 15th, 2008, 09:22 AM
That zebra loach is cool!
I only have ONE clown loach in my 20g tank...I just read about them on that same site you just linked to and it showed HUGE ones! It also said they should be in at least groups of 5...Uh oh. Now that we've been discussing all this, I almost want to abandon the cichlid idea altogether and go for more tropicals! I could get 4 more clowns and transfer my current one into the larger tank, and get some gouramis...
What do you think? I don't actually have any cichlids yet, and there are so many cool possibilities...
Bird? Any thoughts on cichlids vs. tropicals?

danaekitty
May 15th, 2008, 09:23 AM
Bird - How many tanks are you running and how large are they? Specifically the loach ones.

MyBirdIsEvil
May 15th, 2008, 10:05 AM
Right now I only have 7 up. I had 11 or so but I took some down and traded for bigger tanks. When my husband gets back from work I'm gonna trade one of our 125g (it has an arowana, bullhead catfish and red devil cichlid in it) for a 220g since the owner of the pet store we frequent can't get the bigger tank out of his store. I guess he figures he can sell our 125 which is almost brand new easier than the 220 (it's been sitting there for months now) which no one has room for and we'll pay the rest eventually since he trusts us.

Anyway, right now I have up two 90g tanks (one saltwater), two 125g tanks (one has the loaches in it), a 65g, 29g and 20 long.

I have some pics of the loaches in this thread http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=48065

Bird? Any thoughts on cichlids vs. tropicals?

If you have a clown then yeah, he honestly should be with others. They're a shoaling fish, they're really not as comfortable alone. And yeah, they can get big, up to a foot long (sometimes more supposedly) but they grow slow. Eventually even a 65g is too small since they should be in groups. Think 125g and up.

But yeah if you're gonna transfer your clown to that other tank you might wanna go with something other than the cichlids. Gouramis would be a good choice.

danaekitty
May 20th, 2008, 09:17 AM
Update for my fish friends!

My 10g is complete - 6 Kuhli loaches and a betta. Will post pics for you soon, w4r!

My 65g (the one with the oddly-behaving pleco - some weird stuff is going on. I decided against the cichlids, since I've always wanted some larger tropicals but never had the room. So I bought two baby clown loaches and three two-spot gouramis.

Status: One gourami died two days after purchase. Fish store has a good guarantee policy, as long as I bring the body in with my receipt. Unfortunately, the guy died Sunday evening, and the fish store isn't open until Tuesday, and I can't go until after work, so the poor little body has been locked in a tupperware bowl for two days. :eeew: The other two seem to be okay for the moment - they kind of hide all the time, but they appear to be eating.

My pleco is feeling a little more at-ease, now that the clowns are in there. He's got a bit of a sore on his forehead - I think from trying so hard to hide under rocks last week. I'll have to keep an eye on it...maybe some extra water conditioner would help?

My two new loaches are attracting the cats big time! I fed them mid afternoon yesterday, and was alarmed because they didn't eat anything for the rest of the day...all they do is swim up and down in the corner of the tank, repeatedly, for hours! It's kind of weird, but the cats are mesmerized. Anyway, I woke up this morning and the shrimp pellets were all gone, so I'm thinking they may eat nocturnally and I should feed them after dark? What do you think?

Also, I think I'm going to replace the light bulbs, if I can. When the lights are on, EVERYONE hides, so I think they may be bad for them, even though I saw them in action with a huge herd of angelfish.

I really want to put my larger loach in there with his future best buddies, but with the death and everything, I just don't know if I should just yet.

Any thoughts?

danaekitty
May 21st, 2008, 07:22 AM
That was my 300th post!!! :highfive::clap:

want4rain
May 21st, 2008, 07:47 AM
Update for my fish friends!

My 10g is complete - 6 Kuhli loaches and a betta. Will post pics for you soon, w4r!

just keep up with WC's in there!! a 10g is a little small for the kuhlis but with good husbandry they should be fine. into adulthood you may want to put them in the 65g though. ive done a little reading up on them since we last talked about them.

My 65g (the one with the oddly-behaving pleco - some weird stuff is going on. I decided against the cichlids, since I've always wanted some larger tropicals but never had the room. So I bought two baby clown loaches and three two-spot gouramis.

could i suggest some dither fish?? something that catches your fancy and schools midlevel like some smaller tetras or schooling rainbows (threadfins maybe??).

Status: One gourami died two days after purchase. Fish store has a good guarantee policy, as long as I bring the body in with my receipt. Unfortunately, the guy died Sunday evening, and the fish store isn't open until Tuesday, and I can't go until after work, so the poor little body has been locked in a tupperware bowl for two days. :eeew: The other two seem to be okay for the moment - they kind of hide all the time, but they appear to be eating.

thats unfortunate. how did you acclimatize them? do you know the stores tank pH compared to your pH? you should always try to find that out so you know how long to spend acclimatizing them. did they pack the gouramis together in the same bag?? you can keep your dead fish for return in alcohol and they wont smell so bad. ;)

My pleco is feeling a little more at-ease, now that the clowns are in there. He's got a bit of a sore on his forehead - I think from trying so hard to hide under rocks last week. I'll have to keep an eye on it...maybe some extra water conditioner would help?

do you have live plants? if not a little bit of aquarium salt will help. maybe 1tbs/10g?? some plants can handle low doses of salt. how well aerated is the tank? can you maybe put a bubble wand across the back to move the water around more?
also making sure he has good cover will make him feel more bold. if you can prop a piece of slate up or bash out the bottom (file down the rough edges with a rock??) of a terracotta pot thats big enough for him to squeeze in?

My two new loaches are attracting the cats big time! I fed them mid afternoon yesterday, and was alarmed because they didn't eat anything for the rest of the day...all they do is swim up and down in the corner of the tank, repeatedly, for hours! It's kind of weird, but the cats are mesmerized. Anyway, I woke up this morning and the shrimp pellets were all gone, so I'm thinking they may eat nocturnally and I should feed them after dark? What do you think?

youre probably right but if you want to feed them and SEE them eat, keep offering the food while you give them face time (ie train them to associate your face with food).

Also, I think I'm going to replace the light bulbs, if I can. When the lights are on, EVERYONE hides, so I think they may be bad for them, even though I saw them in action with a huge herd of angelfish.

how many watts are the bulbs? what kind of lights are they? incandescent? florescent? it would have to be an expensive set up for you to have lights that are too bright. ;)

I really want to put my larger loach in there with his future best buddies, but with the death and everything, I just don't know if I should just yet.

Any thoughts?

where is your bigger loach now? i may missing something.... i havent had my second cup of coffee yet. :D did any one eat off of the dead one?

-ash

danaekitty
May 21st, 2008, 09:45 AM
could i suggest some dither fish?? something that catches your fancy and schools midlevel like some smaller tetras or schooling rainbows (threadfins maybe??).
I'm really into platys right now, my local shop has tons of them. I was thinking I would fill my 20g with different platys plus my little pleco. If I do that, I can switch my 2 zebra danios into the 65 as dither fish and add some more. It's hard to find really cool danios, I think I'll have to go to a different store to find them. Not looking forward to switching the danios - they are SO hard to catch! I have one loonie (that's a 1$ coin here, lol) sized pink tetra left, not really sure what to do with him.


thats unfortunate. how did you acclimatize them? do you know the stores tank pH compared to your pH? you should always try to find that out so you know how long to spend acclimatizing them. did they pack the gouramis together in the same bag?? you can keep your dead fish for return in alcohol and they wont smell so bad. ;)

The G's were in the same bag. Not sure what their ph was, but I got my water tested when I brought back the dead soldier and they said my quality was perfect. I acclimatized the way I usually do - let the bag sit in the water for a half hour or so, then open it and let in some of the tank water for a bit, then dump the whole thing. I've NEVER had a fish die two days into my care before. This is, however, the first time I didn't cry when I saw a dead guy. Maybe cause I didn't have to flush him...that's the worst part. Such an uncivilized way to go.


do you have live plants? if not a little bit of aquarium salt will help. maybe 1tbs/10g?? some plants can handle low doses of salt. how well aerated is the tank? can you maybe put a bubble wand across the back to move the water around more?
I have a device that swirls the water around on the surface - remember I was asking if anyone knew what it was because I thought I got ripped off when it stopped working? It works now, I just took it apart and cleaned the impeller. I don't have any live plants. I'm wary of salt - will it hurt the loaches or gouramis?


also making sure he has good cover will make him feel more bold. if you can prop a piece of slate up or bash out the bottom (file down the rough edges with a rock??) of a terracotta pot thats big enough for him to squeeze in?

That'ts a good idea, I'll try that. Will I need to boil the pot first?


how many watts are the bulbs? what kind of lights are they? incandescent? florescent? it would have to be an expensive set up for you to have lights that are too bright. ;)

I really have no idea except that they are really good for live plants, which the previous owner had TONS of. I'll have to check the wattage. Although, in the last day or so, they've not seemed to mind the light so much.


where is your bigger loach now? i may missing something.... i havent had my second cup of coffee yet. :D did any one eat off of the dead one?

He's in the 20g. I bought him for my birthday. I don't think anyone ate anything off the dead guy - he was swirling around the top of the tank for quite some time and looked like he was still in good shape. Since the water test came out perfect, I think I'll move him tonight.

danaekitty
May 22nd, 2008, 07:28 AM
So I moved my large clown loach into the bigger tank - it was difficult. He flipped out of the net at the wrong time and ended up on the floor. He flopped around for a few seconds before I got him into the tupperware I was going to use to acclimatise him, and made it to the larger tank, but I didn't get to acclimatise him properly and he was breathing funny for awhile. Seems okay now. The two baby clowns have found him and the swim around in a herd, he seems in good spirits, he's already chasing the gouramis. I put some extra water conditioner in to help his natural slime...I hope he'll be okay. He's my fave.

want4rain
May 22nd, 2008, 08:49 AM
i wouldnt use a 'water conditioner' as all it does is irritate their skin/scales to create a thicker slime coat. i dont think there is a single fish that cant handle 1tbs/10g of salt and quite a few that will benefit from it used regularly. clown loaches apparently are one of them!! :) they are of a family of fish that are considered 'scaleless'. ive kept loaches and used salt with them as an ICH treatment (2tbs/5g) and they were fine but im not sure of the long term use. there is quite a bit of literature on treating them with salt for ICH but very little on keeping them in a brackish or low end brackish system... although a great deal about them venturing into near SW conditions through out their life.
platies do considerably better with hard water and roughly 2-4tbs/10g of salt in their water although they adapt quite well to purely freshwater.

here are some articles for you to read on them-
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/poeciliids.htm

and your loaches-
http://www.loaches.com/species-index/clown-loach-chromobotia-macracanthus

and your pleco-
http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/species.php?species_id=580
http://badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile34.html

i like www.wetwebmedia.com for most of the information on fish although i try to use most of the sources i find. if i had to make a suggestion, put the pleco in with the loaches in the 65g and keep a real close eye on the water parameters. if it looks like your nitrates are manageable (ie under 40ppm at the end of the week, resolved down to 20ppm after WC) then see abotu adding a few platies. ive only had smaller tanks, nor have i ever kept a pleco or clowns but a few clowns and a pleco seems like a lot for a 65g. BUT neither species should be kept in anything under a 45g.

if i had to make a harder suggestion, take the laoches back and get some smaller ones. :D the loaches ive kept are quite silly little guys and they dont even get a fraction of the size a clown does. yoyo loaches, blue skunk, zebra loaches all stay small also.

oh and one last thing, it is dangerous to net loaches or plecos. they have spines all over the place that can get stuck in the net and become damaged. i prefer to use cups or... well in your case BUCKETS to catch them in. also ive known some serious pleco people who have found their plecos half dried up behind the tank that survived. :) moral of the story?? fish are amazing creatures!! just keep up with the water changes to keep the water perfect, your loach should heal just fine.

-ashley

MyBirdIsEvil
May 28th, 2008, 05:14 PM
if i had to make a harder suggestion, take the laoches back and get some smaller ones. :D the loaches ive kept are quite silly little guys and they dont even get a fraction of the size a clown does. yoyo loaches, blue skunk, zebra loaches all stay small also.


You run into the problem of someone buying them for an even smaller tank when taking them back.
Clown loaches take an awfully long time to grow, so they won't outgrow a 65g for years. Once they reach several inches they go for LOTS of money ($60 for 5 in. isn't a bad price, larger than that it goes up even more since large loaches are very uncommon - you can be looking at hundreds of dollars for a fully mature adult), so in this case I'd recommend keeping them and finding an actual collector to take them if you fear them outgrowing the tank.

want4rain
May 28th, 2008, 06:13 PM
oh my gosh dont go saying things like that!!!!! i want clowns soooooooo badly but have always talked myself out of them because my largest system (currently) is a 20gT.

-ash

MyBirdIsEvil
May 28th, 2008, 07:35 PM
Well a 20g wouldn't last long enough for me to recommend that, especially a tall, lol.

A 65g will last quite awhile, though a 75g would really be a better growout.

The main thing with them is overall they're not as hardy as the yoyos and such, so you really really have to keep up on water changes with them and not let the nitrates get too high. They're also happier the larger the shoal, so though 5 is an ok number, many more would be better. The larger the tank the better because then you can have a proper shoal.

TacoGrl
June 23rd, 2008, 01:02 AM
Ok, so this all has me confused :confused:

I have had two plecos in my life...one lived in a 10 gal tank for 8 yrs and the other started in said 10 gal tank and now has a 25 gal tank-still lives there after 6 yrs. Both were/are the black ones that start tiny and grow to be HUGE! The last one was 5.5" and this one is 7".

Here is what is confusing...

I have never fed them anything other than regular tropical food and whatever they get off the tank...both float/ed on their backs as I dropped food into their mouths...the last one would let me rub his belly, but this one doesn't...now if I start feeding it veggies and whatnot, is it going to start growing even bigger?!? Should I start or will that affect his health since he is used to this diet? He seems very active and colouring seems good...nice fins etc...better to leave well enough alone? What are the benefits?

danaekitty
June 23rd, 2008, 07:21 AM
I recently put a zucchini chunk in my tank, and I took it out half a day later and it had barely been nipped. And I don't think it was even by the pleco.
That's really cool that your pleco is so friendly...Mine is still very antisocial. Also, quite interesting that your only grew that many inches in that many years...Mine is now about 9 inches from tip to tip and I've only had him about a year, maybe less, and I got him when he was tiny. Been feeding him veggie/algae wafers, and I guess he eats whatever's left over in the tank.

I would say don't bother changing your pleco's diet if he's been fine for 6 years and is so friendly and social toward you...sounds like he's quite content with what he's got.

want4rain
June 23rd, 2008, 12:41 PM
Ok, so this all has me confused :confused:

the reason they didnt grow so big is more so because of hormones. the over abundance of hormones in the water stunted their growth. :sad: also not having enough space.

-ashley