2 Plecos dead, am I missing something?

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dahdahlv

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Jul 13, 2018
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Amanda
Hello all!

I have owned fish in the past, but as I am learning, never kept them humanely and this is my first go at it.

I have a 10 gallon tank with a Betta, 2 neon swordtails, 2 shrimp and 2 frogs. I also have several low light plants (pic attached). The filter is a 5-10 gal filter. There is also a heater and an air pump. I had just an old desk lamp over the left side until earlier this week when I got a Full Spectrum LED Freshwater Fish Tank Light (10-Watt).

I do water changes every 2 weeks to once a month, more often it ends up being once a month. I feed them flakes daily, sometimes twice a day. The last time I did testing (about 2 weeks ago) pH was 8.0; Amonia 0; Nitrite 0; and Nitrate 0.

About a moth ago, I picked up a pleco to help with the brown algae that I was struggling to keep under control. It moved about the tank some, but would stay in one spot for hours at a time and it died about two weeks later. I did some research and became worried it didn't have enough food because of lack efficient lighting and read that the brown stuff isn't enough to sustain them. Armed with my new knowledge. I went and bought another pleco and some PlecoWafers. This new one was so awesome. It moved about a lot and cleaned up so much. I would drop a wafer in when the last wafer was gone or almost gone. To my dismay, I found it dead today.

Any thoughts about what I might be doing wrong?


fish tank.jpg

fish tank.jpg
 

dahdahlv

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Okay, I have been doing some reading in the forums and I think there is a lot I am doing wrong. As I am reading I am seeing I have A LOT to learn. Please help!!
 

Rbishop

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Tank is way too small and the mix not right.
 

OrionGirl

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You do not NEED a pleco. Your tank will not benefit from one, and most will outgrow it quickly. So...just do without unless you want the fish because they are cool and you like them...in which case you need to get a more appropriate sized tank, and go from there.

Brown algae is easily cleaned off manually, and that's going to be the best bet. I'd do encourage you to be more diligent about water changes, and look at what you want from the tank. Right now, you don't have enough plants for it to be 'planted', and the lack of nitrates means the plants you do have are going to slowly decline. That's not tough to fix, but if it's not what you want then there isn't much point.
 

dahdahlv

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Amanda
Brown algae is easily cleaned off manually, and that's going to be the best bet. I'd do encourage you to be more diligent about water changes, and look at what you want from the tank. Right now, you don't have enough plants for it to be 'planted', and the lack of nitrates means the plants you do have are going to slowly decline. That's not tough to fix, but if it's not what you want then there isn't much point.[/QUOTE]

I am doing more frequent changes. I would be happy to have more plants. Will more plants bring up the nitrate levels?
 

the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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What you quoted isn't correct.

I also don't think you have 0 nitrate. Either you tested it wrong, or the test itself isn't any good. You have a cycled tank with fish and minimal water changes. The Diatoms (brown algae) are also evidence for nitrate.
The cycle is as follows:
food->fish waste(ammonia)-> nitrite ->nitrate
Nitrate is used by plants to grow. Obviously they can only do that when enough light is present. You have some Anubias and a sword. Anubias grow very slowly and don't need much light. The sword can get very big depending on the species.
Don't get any more "pleco's". That is a catch all term for a rather big and diverse family of armoured catfish. Many of them grow too big for a 10 gallon, and the pH being 8 could have killed them. Most of them would be bothered by the blue gravel, too.

Just keep asking questions, wer're here to help you with the hobby.
 
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dahdahlv

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What you quoted isn't correct.

I also don't think you have 0 nitrate. Either you tested it wrong, or the test itself isn't any good. You have a cycled tank with fish and minimal water changes. The Diatoms (brown algae) are also evidence for nitrate.
The cycle is as follows:
food->fish waste(ammonia)-> nitrite ->nitrate
Nitrate is used by plants to grow. Obviously they can only do that when enough light is present. You have some Anubias and a sword. Anubias grow very slowly and don't need much light. The sword can get very big depending on the species.
Don't get any more "pleco's". That is a catch all term for a rather big and diverse family of armoured catfish. Many of them grow too big for a 10 gallon, and the pH being 8 could have killed them. Most of them would be bothered by the blue gravel, too.

Just keep asking questions, wer're here to help you with the hobby.

Thank you, I really want to be successful with this. I enjoy having these guys around so much.

I am not sure what you meant by, "What you quoted isn't correct." Do you mind elaborating?

You are correct, I did test my nitrates incorrectly. The last test I did a couple days ago is at 5.0ppm.

I am not getting ant more plecos at this time, maybe later, but that will be in another discussion :)
 

DefJ123

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Jun 24, 2018
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Are you using strips to test water parameter or a liquid test kit? If strips, go buy an api liquid master test kit. Strips are inaccurate imo. How long has this tank been set up? Are you taking the tank down ever and cleaning with tap water? Thats a big no no, dont want to be nuking the tank nitrogen cycle.

Definitely step the water changes up, Id say minimum twice a month depending on nitrate levels. Might be into once weekly.

Id be watching the swordtails for nipping at the bettas fins and causing him a lot of unneeded stress.

How long are you leaving lights on? Excess light can cause extra algae growth. Never buy an animal to do a job like eat algae, buy one because you want one. 10g is way to small for a pleco, even a bristlenose.
 

dahdahlv

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Amanda
Are you using strips to test water parameter or a liquid test kit? If strips, go buy an api liquid master test kit. Strips are inaccurate imo. How long has this tank been set up? Are you taking the tank down ever and cleaning with tap water? Thats a big no no, dont want to be nuking the tank nitrogen cycle.

Definitely step the water changes up, Id say minimum twice a month depending on nitrate levels. Might be into once weekly.

Id be watching the swordtails for nipping at the bettas fins and causing him a lot of unneeded stress.

How long are you leaving lights on? Excess light can cause extra algae growth. Never buy an animal to do a job like eat algae, buy one because you want one. 10g is way to small for a pleco, even a bristlenose.

I do have a liquid test kit. I have had the tank set up since March and I do not use tap water to clean the tank and when I clean the decor, I do it in the tank water.

I will indeed go to once a week water changes.

The swordtails used to nip at him, but once I got several shelters they stopped. (The betta actually goes to bed by like 8 or 9pm!) The light is on 10-12hrs/day. Is that too much?

Thanks for the advice about having animals because I want them and I do want a pleco eventually, I loved watching them. I did originally by for helping with the tank and found they are really cool. I will be getting a 54 gal in a month, I was planning for the pleco to be around for the move. However, I have a lot more to learn and now realize that was probably selfish.
 
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