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FAQs on Loricariids, South and Central American Suckermouth Cats 1: Disease Treatments

FAQs on "Pleco" Disease: Loricariid Disease 1, Loricariid Disease 2, Loricariid Disease 3, Loricariid Disease 4,
FAQs on "Pleco" Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Trauma,

Related Articles: Loricariids, OtocinclusFrom Pan-ack-ay to Pan-ack-zee, A Detailed Look at the Bizarre But Beautiful Panaque Catfishes by Neale Monks

Related Loricariid Catfish FAQs: Loricariids 1, Loricariids 2, Loricariid Identification, Loricariid Behavior, Loricariid Compatibility, Loricariid Selection, Loricariid Systems, Loricariid Feeding, Loricariid Reproduction,
Other Loricariid Genera: FAQs on: Ancistrus, Baryancistrus, Genera Farlowella, Loricaria, Sturisoma, Rhineloricaria: Twig Plecostomus, Genera Glyptoperichthys, Liposarcus,  OtocinclusPterygoplichthys, Sailfin Giants among the Loricariids, The Zebra Pleco, Hypancistrus zebra, Hypostomus, Peckoltia: Clown Plecostomus, Lasiancistrus, Panaque, Pseudacanthicus, Scobanancistrus, L-number catfish,


Sic <sic> Ancistrus (another Mela-doesn't-fix-it story; Bob, some input re: treatment) <<>>    8/28/13
I have  two Ancistrus one of which has something growing on it's stomach. I was told to bath them in Indian Bay Leaf oil but there was no improvement.
<Unfortunately most of these plant oil medications are pretty unreliable, and some would say do more harm than good.>
I have included two photos, one showing the pair feeding an a close-up of the stomach showing the parasite/ fungus?
<Yikes, pretty messy. Not really sure what we're looking at underneath this catfish. Would treat as a combination fungal-bacterial infection (e.g., with something like eSHa 2000 or Seachem Kanaplex) because it's hard to specify the exact kind of infection here. If you can, I'd use Metronidazole as well because this treats some of the more challenging bacterial infections well, and also works well against protozoan infections.
Basically, we're taking a broad-brush approach here. I'd also look at the aquarium. The fact the underside of the fish is far worse than the flanks or back suggests a problem with the substrate. Often, these infections start because of anoxic, polluted conditions on the substrate. Poor water circulation is a very common cause, and your big pebble substrate looks a bit off too, not just in colour (bright colour substrates do stress fish) but because it's too big and rough for your catfish to move around easily, and catfish can easily scratch themselves under such conditions. Sharp, jagged rocks for decoration aren't a great idea, either. These are speculations on my part, but nonetheless you'd be wise considering what started the problem, and looking critically at the bottom half of the aquarium in particular.>
The growth is pressed against the glass in the photo, it hangs down about 1/2" while swimming. The problem is getting worse but they still have good appetites. Something needs to be done soon but the more I research the problem the more I realize I nor anyone I have talked to have a clue as to what the growth is or how to cure it. Thank you for your time.  Robert
<Don't think this fish is Ancistrus, by the way. Or at least, none I've ever seen! Too many rays in the dorsal fin (there appear to be 1 spine and 13 rays) and the barbels around the mouth are far too long for Ancistrus.
Looks more like a Pterygoplichthys species to me, rather like Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps though the colours are back to front compared to that species. In any case, Pterygoplichthys get very big, and I do suspect this catfish is suffering environmental stress. Pterygoplichthys are intolerant of one another for a start, so stress or outright aggression could have started the infection or even caused the wounds. Singleton Pterygoplichthys need at least 55 gallons and realistically 75+ gallons to do well, as well as very robust filtration, turnover rates 8 or more times the volume of the tank per hour, and frequent water changes. If you can, try joining the Planet Catfish forum and posting a photo of your catfish up. Someone should identify it very quickly, and maybe will have experienced the same problems as you have, so will be able to give you some more specific advice. Cheers, Neale.><<I do concur re this being environmentally mediated... tumorous... Would improve water quality, nutrition and hope for the best. RMF>>

Help!!  Pleco hlth.   8/7/08 Hi <Hello!> Firstly, sorry if this is the wrong way to contact you guys. I've checked through your (excellent) site but ended up with this email address. <Yep.> Ok, I have a Pterygoplichthys pardalis. I'm just back from hols and had my sister look after the fish when I was away (one week). Since I got back I've noticed that the Pleco has developed a pale colour along its extremities (i.e. edge of tail, outer fins(?), and seems paler around his mouth). <Sounds a lot like Finrot or Fungus. Treat promptly with a suitable medication; in the US Maracyn seems to be the drug of choice, but here in the UK I recommend eSHa 2000 as being reliable and safe with finicky fish. Do remember to remove carbon from the filter (if used).> I've had him for over a year, when's he's gone from 2 inches to 18! <Wow!> I asked in my local store, but was told he's probably ok.. as you can imagine, 'probably' isn't enough. <Agreed.> I'm quite worried and would really appreciate if you could give some guidance. <These are very hardy fish, and assuming you treat promptly, I have every confidence the fish will recover. A photo will help use make a positive diagnosis, but if you send a photo, be sure and follow the rules and keep the file size small (~500 KB). We have only limited e-mail space and big images cause other messages to be bounced back to their senders.> Again, apologies if this is the wrong way to contact you. however I cant find a similar post anywhere. Many thanks Alan <Cheers, Neale.> P Please consider the environment before printing this email <???> <<A spiel re the use of paper et al... vs. some sort of electronic storage/sharing... RMF>>

Re: Help!!  8/7/08 Hi Neale Many thanks for your fast and helpful mail. <Happy to help,> I'm off to the fish store to get the treatment advised (I'm in Ireland). <Very good. Make sure you avoid Melafix (or Pimafix), tea-tree oil products at least some of us here have found to be less than reliable.> Also, I will take a phone picture and send it on to you (if that's ok). <Yep.> Thanks again for your help, its very much appreciated. Best regards Alan <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Help!! Pleco hlth.    8/8/08 Hi Neale <Alan,> Further to the below, please find attached two pictures of our Pleco. I've tried to show the affected part (on his tail) and also a full length picture for information (hope there not too big file-wise). <Hmm... does look like a secondary infection of some sort. I wonder if the fish was scalded by the heater? Does happen. Would recommend putting a plastic guard around the heater where catfish are concerned because they do like to wedge between the heater and the glass.> I have a couple of other pictures if required. When I went to the fish-store, the treatment they had is "Interpet No. 8, Anti-fungus and Finrot", a UK product. <Haven't used this medication for years, but it should do the trick. Do follow the instructions and always remove carbon while treating fish.> Thanks again for all your help, and hopefully the above will help our man get better. <I suspect he will.> <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Help!!  Pleco hlth.   9/11/08
Hi Guys
Just a quick mail to thank you all for your help.
I followed your advice to the letter and everything is right with the world of my Pleco. He's back to full health and everything is in order.
Many thanks again to you all.
Best regards
<Hello Alan. Well, this is great news, and I'm glad that we were able to help. Enjoy your fishkeeping, and thanks for writing! Cheers, Neale.>

Plecos, hold the salt please -- 5/30/07 Hello, <<Hello, Julie. Tom with you.>> I have a question about adding salt to my freshwater tank. I have a 55 gallon tank. Currently, it contains black mollies, gold balloon belly mollies, zebra Danios and one 12 inch Pleco. <<Hmmm'¦okay. Mollies are typically categorized as 'brackish' water fish, Julie. Your Pleco has little, if any, tolerance for salt. Not ideal but let's see what we can do.>> My problem - the black mollies have Ich and I am having trouble getting rid of it. I read that my tank needs salt and this will aid in getting rid of and keeping the Ich out of my tank. <<Salt is one of the 'safest' ways to go, Julie, but not the only one. In this case, a 'treatment' level of salt for Ick will do your Pleco no good whatsoever. We need to look for an alternate course of action.>> I also read that my Pleco will not do well with too much salt in the water. <<True.>> Is there a certain amount of salt that I could add to my tank that might help my mollies but not hurt my Pleco? <<In this case, Julie, there isn't. Plecos can 'tolerate' no more than a dosage of one tablespoon of salt per five gallons of water and even that is 'iffy'. You'd likely need to up this to around two-three tablespoons per five gallons to effectively do battle with this parasite. Not an option, I'm afraid. You should consider Maracide here. Not quite as effective as other forms of treatment but 'scaleless' fish seem to do quite well with this treatment. 'Quick Cure' is a formulation of formalin and malachite green which is very effective, particularly when combined like this but, it does have 'safety' drawbacks as it's toxic to fish and plants if dosing isn't done properly or, if treated for a prolonged period. Treatments with this product can be very successful when half-dosed in 12-hour intervals, however. I'd go with the Maracide here, though. If this were a more serious outbreak, I'd direct you to go with the Quick Cure but I'd rather that you feel comfortable with this rather than put you on the spot. Also, remember to increase the temperature of the tank to 82-86 degrees F. over a period of several hours to speed up the life cycle of the Ick.>> Thanks, Julie <<You're welcome, Julie. Best of luck. Tom>>

Bloated Oto  3/23/07 Hi Guys: <Patrick> I have an Otocinclus that is bloated. He has a bulging belly as you can see in the pictures that are attached. Problem is he is not eating the algae from the tank. Has not been eating for quite a while (a couple of weeks) We thought he was eating excess fish food so we have cut that back and he is still as large, maybe getting larger but not eating the algae. Could he have a blockage? <Yes> We had a clown Pleco that ended up doing this too, getting bigger but not eating algae till we found him dead. <Mmm, what sorts of food/s are you feeding?> Do you suspect constipation?  I tried peas but he hasn't eaten them at all.   Bacterial infection?   <Possibly> What do I use.  One guy suggested Epsom salts, <I do too... safe, often effective... readily available> what levels in what amount of water.   <Posted: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm> I can move him to an alternative tank to set up a hospital tank. thanks for your help P. Carty <This fish may also be developing eggs... perhaps be egg-bound... I would try the Epsom per WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: bloated Oto   03/23/07 As per the web page I will put an additional 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salts to my 10 gal tank (I added 1/2 teaspoon yesterday).  Some additional information that may or may not bear on this issue.  I bought test kits yesterday and did testing of Nitrates and KH hardness.  Nitrates are at 80ppm and hardness at 10. <Yeeikes, both high...>   I have started 15% daily water changes with Reverse Osmosis water.  My goal is to reduce nitrates to 20 or lower and hardness to 7 (as per pamphlet that says tetras like it around 7. <Ah, good> Would these two high values have any bearing on the bloating of the Oto? <Oh yes... of a certainty> You had asked what kind of food I was feeding them when I mentioned our late Clown Pleco.  We are feeding TetraMin tropical flakes. <Mmm, I would augment this with either some other prepared food/s or give them a "treat" of some frozen/defrosted meaty foods at least once a week> Thanks again for your advice. <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Very Sick Albino Bushynose Plecos Hi HELP ! I have an emergency! I have a 10 gallon tank which  I had put about 12 juvenile albino Plecos and one standard juvenile  dwarf Bristlenose in 2 weeks ago (all about 1-2 inches) - I realize  this was overcrowding, but it was a temporary setup until I could cycle  my new 50 gal. -- there is sand substrate, wood, rocks, a few shells, < Lose the shells, they only make the water harder.> and some hornwort. I have a penguin 125 bio wheel filter and 2 aeration  tubes with airstones-water temp has been at about 70- < Too cold. Raise the water temp to 80-82 F.> I had not done a  water change since putting the fish in the tank, and because I realized  it was overdue, I did a 75% water change 2 days ago( I noticed there  were a few dead ones in there that had been decaying or eaten that were  under the rocks)- The fish seemed fine prior to the change, but almost  immediately after the change, the smallest ones started dying! Then  after about a day, I noticed some were starting to get red splotches on  them- at first I wondered if I may have injured them when I dumped the new water in the tank, but it seems that if they get the red, they die  for sure-  I have enclosed photos of one of them before he finally  succumbed.  All the fish seemed to be lethargic, and the small  ones were dying one by one. They don't move until you touch them, and  then quite slowly.  The standard BN is the healthiest looking  one-  I did test the water for all except ammonia- we have high  alkaline water and very hard, but all other things were in the safe  zone. Nitrate and Nitrite was 0. These Plecos were born in the state, so  I think they should be fine with the hard water/ high alkaline-? < Depending on the state water supplies vary from area to area. The best way to know is to test the water yourself and not guess.> I think maybe the ammonia must have been high, and maybe my drastic  water change made them become susceptible to a bacteria...? < Did you add a water conditioner to remove chloramines/chlorine? These chemicals used to treat drinking water are deadly to fish. Get an ammonia test kit and know what you are dealing with.> Well, last  night all the rest of the fish were either lethargic or dying, so I  decided to move them into another 10 gallon that I have had cycling for  a long time that has live plants and a few volunteer snails, but no  fish. Also, I am slowly raising the temp (what should I raise it  to?)- < See comments above.> The smaller ones are still dying, but not as quickly-  it seems that the  tail section is white to transparent looking on  some of them after they die;  I have read that it may be  bacterial, and I have read that it may be treated with salt, Fungus  Eliminator, Maracyn 2, salt, etc. I have also read that treating the  tank can be a bad idea, as the treatment can kill the good bacteria- I  am confused !  I think Plecos are sensitive to salt and a lot of  other treatments- it seems that they are not tough like my cichlids  !  Someone at the fish store told me that my drastic water change  was the culprit, and the fish will either survive it or they won't. I  don't want to believe that without trying to save them- there has to be  something I can do !  HELP! If you can help me save  these guys, I will very much appreciate it! Are albino Plecos harder to  raise than regular BN Plecos? It sure seems like I have had a hard time  with them....... Sheryl < You Plecos were weakened by the cold/cool water and have a bacterial infection. Raise the water temp to 80-82 F and treat with Nitrofuranace. What have they been eating all this time? Have you fed them? Albinos are definitely weaker than normal colored Pleco's. Go to planetcatfish.com, find your Pleco and find out what their needs are to be taken care of properly.-Chuck>
Very Sick Plecos II Hi Chuck, Thanks for your input !  I have been feeding these guys Hikari  algae wafers, Sera Catfish wafers, veggie flakes, and last week started  to give them zucchini. Also a few days ago I gave them a few earthworm  pellets. SO the things that changed within the last week were zucchini  attached to a spoon, and a few earthworm pellets-  I started them  yesterday on Maracyn and Maracyn 2 combined- still losing a few,  but  much slower, and I don't see any new red splotches. I had  already started them on that medication before I got your reply, as I  needed to do something ASAP - do you think this medication will work? thanks tons ! Sheryl < Tank raised Pleco babies can become imprinted on a food and refuse to switch. Some eat only algae while others will only eat wafers. Feeding  a varied diet is a good idea. Using this medication is worth a try. watch for ammonia spikes because this medication may affect the good bacteria that provides the biological filtration.-Chuck>

Very Sick Pleco's II  - 04/24/2006 HI  Chuck, Thanks for your input ! I have been feeding these guys Hikari  algae wafers, Sera Catfish wafers, veggie flakes, and last week started  to give them zucchini. Also a few days ago I gave them a few earthworm  pellets. SO the things that changed within the last week were zucchini  attached to a spoon, and a few earthworm pellets- I started them  yesterday on Maracyn and Maracyn 2 combined- still losing a few, but  much slower, and I don't see any new red splotches. I had already  started them on that medication before I got your reply, as I needed to  do something ASAP - do you think this medication will work? thanks tons ! Sheryl <  Tank raised Pleco babies can become imprinted on a food and refuse to  switch. Some eat only algae while others will only eat wafers. Feeding a  varied diet is a good idea. Using this medication is worth a try. watch  for ammonia spikes because this medication may affect the good  bacteria that provides the biological filtration.-Chuck>

Feeding Baby Plecos  - 04/24/2006 Hi Chuck I forgot - I also fed these Plecos a few pieces of dried seaweed in the last week. thanks ! Sheryl < I would offer algae, guinea pig pellets, zucchini, Tubifex worms, and some driftwood o make sure they were getting something top eat.-Chuck>

Baby Pleco's Continue To Die  - 04/24/2006 Hi Chuck Thanks again ! It is good then for me to ask breeders what food the  babies have been raised on. < Yes> I am still losing these Plecos- they  have tail / fin rot as well now. Do you think I would want to switch to  the Nitrofurazone and forget the Maracyn treatment? I feel helpless  !  I thought things may be stabilizing, but maybe not- just took  another dead one out of the tank. Sheryl < Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with the Nitrofurazone since the other medication does not seem to be helping.-Chuck>

Plecos Still Die  - 04/24/2006 Hi, Thanks again - there are only 3-4 Plecos left- I have tried the Maracyn  and Maracyn 2, and the Plecos were still dropping, so yesterday I tried  something else- it is for external parasites- it seems to be helping,  along with 25% water changes- however, tonight I notice one fin  starting to get the red streak. The stuff is called ProForm-C   ---- it drives me nuts that I can't just get them over this stuff- it  seems like they got everything ! Sheryl <The water changes are probably doing the most good. The medications you are trying do not have as wide spectrum as the Nitrofurazone.-Chuck>

Feed Plecos Guinea Pig Pellets  - 04/24/2006 Hi Chuck, Maybe I will try the Nitrofurazone tomorrow if the Plecos still look  pretty good-I figure at this point I will try anything- these last  ones still seem to have plenty of energy, but they are still 'off' - a  lot of the time they don't even hide- they don't seem to be eating  either. BUT I still have hope for the last few......guinea pig pellets-  I have not heard of that for Pleco food before- I bought dried seaweed  at the Japanese food store- the Plecos seem to like to pretty good. < Fish, humans and guinea pigs can not produce their own vitamin C. These pellets are fortified alfalfa pellets with vitamin C added. Lots of protein and vitamins for young fish fighting a disease.> I  know it is healthy- I really appreciate your help - your site is great  - hopefully you will post one of the photos I sent you, because I found  very little info about septicemia- I think I found only one photo on  it, but the fish was dark colored and I could not see what the symptoms  looked like.  The albino Pleco is an excellent fish for seeing the  red throughout the body that the bacteria is causing. Thanks ! I will let you know if I finally save a few of these guys - Sheryl < Good luck.-Chuck>

Plecos' Finally Cured!!!! 4/29/06 Hi Chuck, I just wanted to update you on my Plecos- after all my Plecos had died  except 4, and after noticing they were also starting to get the red throughout the body, I knew they were also doomed if I didn't do  something different in a big hurry- one had red all throughout the  body, so I certainly didn't think he was going to make it........ I had  been doing 25% water changes with well water from my farm every day  while I was treating with Maracyn and Maracyn 2, combined. Well, I  followed your advice and ran down and got some Nitrofurazone- another  25% water change with the Nitrofurazone, and finally SUCCESS ! !  !   YAY!  The red splotching went away after a few  treatments, and the Plecos are starting to eat again!  The  instructions on the pkg were vague - they didn't say how many  treatments to do - I did 2 treatments- 24 hrs apart with the water  change-the Plecos seem to be better now- SO I put my charcoal filter  cartridge back in, and have started diluting the medicated water - I  also added a little salt (1 TB), and I plan another water change later  tonight, continuing with only the well water- I think the Plecos are  happy not to have all the chemicals in the water, finally !    Do you think I treated them long enough with the Nitrofurazone? <Keep the water clean and watch for ammonia spikes. The medication may have affected the good bacteria that provides the biological filtration. Add Bio-Spira from Marineland if you need to recycle your tank.> Was the  salt a good idea to help them heal? < Salt will help create a slime coat on the fish, but these particular catfish really don't like salt so I would not use it anymore.> How often can/should I do these  partial water changes to keep the tank healthy? < Check the nitrates. Keep them under 25 ppm with water changes.> I want to tell  you thanks for all your help, patience, and kindly responses!  2  thumbs up to you and your crew and great website ! ! ! ! Sheryl < Thank you for your kind words. We are glad we could help because that is what we are here for.-Chuck>

Pleco Melting Away  - 04/11/2006 Hello I have always found your site very helpful in the past, I am hoping you can help me now. My mum has a Plectropomus fish that she has had for about 8 years, he's not very big about 13" long. The thing is all of a sudden he has become very sick, his back fin is all peeling away and looks all shredded and the surface of his body has started going a lighter colour and he has now started getting white looking smears around his mouth and gills. The thing that is worrying me the most is the speed that all this has happened in less then 48 hours he has gone from a happy sucky fish playing with his cucumber to a sorrowful looking sucky fish laying on the floor refusing to move and breathing rather short and heavy, and I fear he will not last long at all. The fraying of his back fin happened so quickly it only took about 5 hours, is this right for this to happen so sudden and quick? No changes have been made to the quality of the water up until he got sick no new fish, ornaments, chemicals nothing. So far since he has got sick I have put in a bacterial and fungus medicine (guessing that it may be something like fin rot) and a aloe vera stress relief tonic. I have also done a strip test and everything quality wise is perfect. What else can I do? I'm just concerned that its happening to quickly to do anything. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks < These nasty bacterial infections can be very difficult to stop. Start by placing the fish in a hospital tank with clean water. I would try a double dose of Nitrofuranace or a single dose of erythromycin. These medications will effect the nitrifying bacteria in an established aquarium.-Chuck>

Rare Pleco disease    1/19/06 Hi! My name is Steve Fawcett and was referred to you people by Drs. Foster@ Smith. I have several L-82 Plecos. 2 days ago I lost one. The stomach swells to the point that the fish starts blowing out the rectum. <Mmm...> Today 1 more fish is doing the same thing. They still eat. The pH is 7.0 temp 82. I have only 5 fish in a 100 gal tank. At first I thought they were full of eggs but that is not the case. I would sure appreciate any help. I have over 150 Plecos with 20 species. I am spawning the L-46 zebra. I have spawned them 5 times. I also spawn the long finned albino BN. Any help would be great. Sincerely Steve Fawcett. Pleconutbuck <Could be a parasitic, and/or bacterial related/resultant situation... not uncommon with wild-collected Loricariids... If it were me/mine, I'd not hesitate to treat for both. One administration of Metronidazole/Flagyl, and a regimen of three doses of Furan compound... to the water and food. I would take great care (very likely you already do) to avoid cross-contamination with wet-gear/water twixt the mal-affected system/s, fish/es. For what you have invested, I would have freshly-dead specimens necropsied.... looked at for G.I. fauna, pathogens. Bob Fenner>

Pleco With Bloat   1/14/06 Hello, I have a Pleco that isn't well. He(?) is about 7 years old & about 8-10 inches long. The other day he started to swim to the top of the tank more often than usual. Now (3 days later) he is violently swimming up and down. I noticed he can't stay down. He struggles and fights and gets comfortable on the glass then his tail slides up to the surface. He has been holding himself down with the heater and return from the filter to just keep under the water. I am very concerned, I don't want him to die, but I'm not sure how to help him. I've read all of the Q&A's on your website, which are very helpful! The water tests fine, no major changes recently. The other fish are all fine. Water quality appears normal. I have recently (3 weeks ago) added a Cory catfish to the tank? I feed them discs regularly and cucumber every now and then. Note from reading your Q&A's, I do not have any live plants or driftwood in the tank? I've never had any? Is that a big issue? Besides the buoyancy problem, I believe he is slightly bloated. Also I have noticed he always had waste hanging from him, but none at all this week. I believe his anus is enlarged/swollen and pinkish in color. I have added some additional stress coat and stress zyme hoping that might help him. I'm trying not to disturb him too much. Any suggestions? Thanks Nicole < You Pleco is suffering from an internal bacterial infection. Probably found an algae wafer in some form of decomposition and the long intestines of the Pleco just could not pass it through in time. Do a 50% water change vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Try treating with Metronidazole. When they are this bloated it is difficult for them to recover.-Chuck>
Pleco Almost Better    1/19/06
Hi Chuck, Thank you very much for your advice, he is doing much better. He is almost normal again. I followed the treatment directions and treated the tank twice. Do you recommend a third treatment? < In your reply you said he was almost normal. I would treat one more time until he is acting normal.> He now has a few tears in his fins and one pinkish sore on his back from all of his thrashing around. Any advice on helping the recovery along? Thanks again for the quick and good recommendation. Nicole < Keep the water clean and watch the spot closely. If it looks like it is getting bigger then treat with Nitrofuranace. This medication will affect the good bacteria needed for breaking down the fish waste. After treatment, use a good carbon to remove any leftover medication and then add Bio-Spira from Marineland to get the bacteria going again.-Chuck>  

Will the Epsom salt treatment mean we have to remove our Pleco?    - 1/6/06 <No.> We have a severely swollen Oscar and assume it is a blockage of sorts.  We thought the swelling was eggs, but are following your suggestions for others who have Oscars with what appears to be the same problem.   Thanks!!  Sharon <The Plec can remain in the tank during treatment with Epsom salt.  All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Re: Pleco white patch picture Hey, Here are two pics, sorry for the poor quality. <From what I can see it does appear to be fungus. Treat as mentioned previously. Ronni>

Re: Pleco, white fuzz Hello, <Greetings> I added a marble horned Pleco to my established 29 gal. tank on Saturday.  Today he was quarantined due to a small patch of whitish-ness above his right forward fin.   <It's very important to quarantine all new fish *before* adding them to your main system.> None of the tankmates have this problem. (elephant nose, Bala shark, guppies, Neons, Corys, Kuhli loaches, a common Pleco, and a few Gouramis) <Sounds as if this tank may be very overcrowded. Depending on the species, the Gouramis can get quite large and the Bala Shark can reach over 12'> pH is 7.01, temperature is 78F, ammonia and nitrite are undetectable, nitrate is between 5 and 20 ppm.  Do you think I should take him back to the shop, or try to treat him? < It sounds as if he has fungus and it can be medicated with one of the Maracyns by Mardel or Fungus Eliminator by Jungle Labs. I've had good results from both of these products and they're easy to administer. I have my doubts that the shop would take him back but you can try if you don't want to treat him yourself.> Thanks, -Brett <You're welcome, Ronni>
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