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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:55 PM
Writing4Fun's Avatar
Writing4Fun Writing4Fun is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,421
Need Some Advice On Fish!

Hi folks. We have an aquarium - we think it's about 35-40gal (it's a hand-me-down). For quite some time, the only occupant has been a sailfin pleco. We recently added a handful of swordtails and guppies to liven things up a bit. I now have 2 questions for all the fish enthusiasts out there...

1) How often, how much and when should I be feeding these mini vultures? I've been feeding them once in the morning and once in the evening, and they completely clean out whatever I put in there in a matter of seconds. Yet, every time someone walks by the tank, they congregate at the top of the tank like they're being starved.

2) The pleco seems to be developing some sort of illness. He has patches on his sides that look "cloudier" than the rest of his colouring. I'm tempted to say it's a fungal infection, but I really know nothing about these kinds of things. I've tried looking up different "fish doctor" sites, but very few have pictures of the illnesses, and the few that do have pics don't have anything that looks like what my fish has (or maybe it's just in a primary stage and so isn't shown on those sites - I dunno ). Does anyone know what this might be? I saw something called "AP General Cure" that claims to "...treat a wide variety of parasitic diseasess...". Has anyone tried this, and is it worth the attempt?

Thanks a bunch, folks!
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:04 PM
levimh levimh is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 397
First off, fish ALWAYS seem hungry..i'm not sure why this is, but what you're feeding them now is just fine. The rule is, feed them no more than what they can consume in 5 minutes. If they always move to the top of the tank when someone walks by, it's because fish have routines where they remember where you fed them...ie...if you only fed them on the right side of the tank, they'll start to always go to the right side of the tank. So, when you feed them, you are coming towards the tank and then they get fed....they remember this, so whenever someone walks by..they think they're getting fed.

As for the "fungus", I'm not sure what it would be, but if it seems sick, you should probably remove it from the tank, to avoid passing it on to the other fish.

I'm no expert, but that's my advice.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:11 PM
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pollito pollito is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: brampton
Posts: 82
about feeding the fish, I am not too sure how big they are and how much food you give them, it might not be enough for them, but look on this website

in the forum section General Freshwater advice
they will really give you more advice, then I can

And what your pleco has is probably a common problem ich, or ick (not sure how it's spelled, everyone spells it differently) but what you can do is ask them about it or just do a search on that website and it will give a lot of previous topics on ick as i already mentioned it's very common it's a parasite
"Hell is not a place, it's a state of mind and body; hell is an obsession with a voice, a face, a name..."
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:12 PM
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pollito pollito is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: brampton
Posts: 82
it it is ick you just go to your pet store, and ask for medication for ick, they will help you find it and just follow the instructions on the bottle
"Hell is not a place, it's a state of mind and body; hell is an obsession with a voice, a face, a name..."
Eric (The Phantom of the Opera)
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Old May 1st, 2005, 09:23 PM
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Heinz57 Heinz57 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 217
You're feeding them fine for guppies and swordtails. The cloudy look is probably fungus, explain to the fish store (they're usually pretty good arounf here at diagnosing disease), maybe a round of erythromycin is in order, could be velvet amongst other things. Ick is usually tiny flecks, a cloudy patch is usually fungal. If he's really rubbing that side, that would indicate ick as it itches the fish. Hmm, didn't realise fish itched until I re-read that outloud. Wish my head was a little clearer, lol, I'm sleepy.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 09:18 PM
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Sneaky Sneaky is offline
Fish Guru - Formerly sneakypete79
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ladysmith British Columbia
Posts: 536
HI there,
A couple of things.
Do you know about the Nitrogen Cycle?
Do you have Test Kits for your tank for ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates and ph?
If yes, test your water. If not, either buy the kits or have your water tested at the local pet store. They will usually test it for free if you bring a sample in a zip lock baggy.

Also, I am not sure you are aware of this or not, but sailfin plecos reach lengths in excess of a foot. Usually 16 inches is around the average size for a full grown sailfin. These fish require a tank size of 125 Gallons to live their life in, otherwise they will stunt and die. Do not treat this fish for Ich. Plecos do not usually get ich for one, and for 2, ich looks like a fish has been sprinkled with salt, not cloudy patches.

How fast and how many fish did you add to your tank?
If you added a whole bunch of fish at the same time, it is possible the ammonia and nitrites skyrocketed and are causing your fish to have a toxic reaction.
Plecos are virtually impossible to kill, they are very hardy and adaptable.
If you are having troubles with your pleco, my guess is there is something in your water that is causing harm.

How often do you do water changes? What is the tank temperature?
How many of each type of fish is in the tank?
Do you suck the gravel when you do water changes?
What type of filter do you have and when did you last change the media?

If you can provide some answers for me, I can probably help you sort out whats wrong with your fish!
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