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Plec Help
October 1, 2010
5:56 am
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Groahjc
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September 26, 2010
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Hey guys,
I'm new to sf forums so this is my first post! I'm a fairly novice aquarium keeper. I've kept goldfish (ryukins) in a 29 for upwards of 5 years but that is not much help for plecos . I got my first pleco for my 55g aquarium. He's approx 3 inches long, he's a royal pleco so I have some driftwood in there for him. However, he hasn't really been eating. He does t even attach himself to the driftwood, rather he hangs on the back of my hang down filter all day and night. I understand they are notural and I supplement his diet with wafers. His tank mates (for the time being) are two koi that will be sold within the month. He just worries me because I would like to see him a bit more active and hungry? I was thinking my water may be to cold but other than that everything is within normal parameters. I believe the one larger koi may be eating his wafers, he's like a vacuum.
Thanks in advance guys!
Jordan
Ps sorry If I posted this in the incorrect spot!

October 1, 2010
6:34 am
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MatsP
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August 23, 2010
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So, what IS the temperature?

Sitting by the filter may indicate low oxygen levels... But could also be lack of hiding spaces...

What size is the Koi? Have you measured the water paramters - Koi can produce quite a lot of waste in a very short amount of time, and large plecos (even when they are small) like clean water.

What is the shape of the belly - sunken or flat or "beerbelly"? Badly sunken belly is a common problem when buying these type of fish, and hard to recover from, as it's a sign the fish isn't eating and hasn't for some time. If the belly is expanded, it can be a bad sign to, as it indicates internal infection or worms.

It should be just a little bit on the fat side of skinny.

Until we know more, it's hard to make any particular recommendations.

--
Mats

October 1, 2010
8:48 am
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johnpeten
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Provide your pleco with a varied and nutritious diet. You can for instance combine algae based prepared foods with fresh zucchini, cucumbers, kale etc. Green peas are good for the metabolism. It is also important to always include wood in the set up when you decorate the aquarium, because the Royal pleco needs to chew on wood to stay healthy. In the wild, the Royal pleco probably ingests tiny animals while grazing algae and it can therefore appreciate occasional servings of meaty food in the aquarium. These servings must be small and infrequent.
A quote from an internet site.

My Pleco lives in a tank with lots of sunshine and therefore plenty of alga to eat. He also eats normal FD flake. He also eats slices of cucumber. During the night he can consume several slices.
His only activity is from dusk to dawn.

The recommended pH-value when keeping Royal pleco is 6.5-7.5. The temperature should be in the 22-30 degrees C (72-86 degrees F) range. The water should ideally be fairly soft, from 2 dH to 15 dH.

October 1, 2010
1:14 pm
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Groahjc
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September 26, 2010
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Whoops sorry, water temp is 75 degrees. Right now there is no heater in the tank to maintain that, but that's easily fixed if need be. Water softness is 5dh my water is fairly soft. I've been researching these little guys for a fair amount of time and I have read they actually eat the wood in the tank unlike many other plecs. From what I can see his belly is fairly flat. I don't think there is an oxygen problem. My set up has two aquarclear 402 powerheads and a Tetra wisper airpump with a 12 inch long airstone and a 3 foot cylindrical airstone. Tested two days ago after a 20% water change ammonia and nitrites were zero, or below 1ppm I don't like my test strips. Nitrate reading of about 8 ppm not perfect but not bad. I do my best to take care of my fish just wanna make sure this little guy will be alright. I do vary his die but he is not getting any protein via brine shrimp it such, he does get zucchini every night and wafer, but again Hoover the vacuum may be getting the wafers thanks y'all! Any help is appreciated.
Jordan

October 1, 2010
6:54 pm
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Eyrie
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I'd always recommend using liquid kits rather than test strips are they are both more accurate and more economical in the long run. A master kit comprising ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte and pH works out even cheaper.

Mature, sensible signature required for responsible position. Good prospects for the right candidate. Apply within.
October 1, 2010
6:54 pm
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MatsP
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August 23, 2010
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They certainly chew wood, but the nutrition they get most likely comes from the little microorganisms that in turn are consuming the wood (fungi, bacteria and small crustaceans/insects/worms). This information is based on the research done by D. P. German on the very subject of Panaque feeding paterns etc.

And I would suggest raising the temperature a bit. These fish do indeed tolerate quite a wide range of temperatures, but higer temperature helps their metabolic rate, which in turn helps the fish eat more and grow faster (within reason this works all fish, but if the fish get too warm, they can't feed quickly enough to keep the metabolic rate going).

--
Mats

October 1, 2010
9:38 pm
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Groahjc
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September 26, 2010
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Okay got a new heater in the tank. I only had a small one for my 29g before. This is a fluval heater fit for a 65g. What temp should I have this set at 78-80? Should I raise it a couple degrees at a time not all at once? I don't want to shock the fish or allow a disease to become opportunistic. Oh and I appologize for all the conversion I'll start posting in metric I promise! Good news though, the royal pleco found himself a nice little
Cave to hang out in under the driftwood. Again thanks for the help guys.

October 1, 2010
9:51 pm
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MatsP
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August 23, 2010
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Around 78 would probably be good. Seeing as it's only a few degrees warmer than your current temperature, I don't see much point in "going slowly". If you were to go to say 86 degrees, then you I would indeed recommend a method of going a little bit at a time...

--
Mats

October 2, 2010
12:04 am
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Groahjc
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September 26, 2010
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Thanks a bunch mats you've been a great help. Like i said new at this pleco thing!

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