How long can a Pl*co survive out of water

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blitzcat

AC Members
Apr 19, 2008
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These are fantastic stories, am pleased it wasn't just us being careless with our fish!! Glad they all lived to tell the tail. Do have to say our plecs are doing alright now, it is something I'll never forget and will tell the tail for many years.
 

emptywallet

another youngling who is clueless
Apr 19, 2008
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Ohio
Real Name
David
These are fantastic stories, am pleased it wasn't just us being careless with our fish!! Glad they all lived to tell the tail. Do have to say our plecs are doing alright now, it is something I'll never forget and will tell the tail for many years.
same thing happened to me with my snowflake eel. he just decided to jump out one day while i was on the comp and like 30 mins later i noticed him motionless and i told my dad and he comes running in and throws the eel in the tank. it just sank to the bottom and all of a sudden sprung with life :devil:
 

necigrad

AC Members
Feb 7, 2007
291
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Las Vegas, NV
I think I read on hear about someone finding a catfish in some driftwood. They bought the driftwood at a store, so who knows how long the catfish was out of water. It was alive BTW.
 

wataugachicken

The Dancing Banana
Jul 14, 2005
5,451
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Charlotte, NC
During our latest move, Wataugachicken and I could'nt dislodge one of the bristle nose plecs from our largest chunk of driftwood. No matter what we did, he would'nt come out. So I sighed, and accepted I was going to lose him. We finished breaking down our multiple tanks, loaded the moving truck, drove it for three hours, spent two more hours waiting for the moving helpers, got the truck unloaded, started setting up the tanks, put the decor back in, added the fish.... and the bristle nose swam out of the wood when we put in algae wafers....

I'd say it was perhaps seven hours total just stuck in a piece of damp wood.
not only that, but it was december, around 50 degrees most of the time because we put the wood into the back of the moving truck.

I also have another bristlenose (brother to this other one) that jumped out of the tank when he was just a bitty baby and lived among the bio-balls in my sump for three days. the water just trickled down through the bio-balls, they were not submerged, but the fish was fine. he's a little smaller than his brothers, but i can't say for sure if the 'incident' has anything to do with that.
 

sillypony

Fish+College=BROKE
Mar 27, 2008
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WNY
It seems i've read about this in other places, and the 'teaching' is that you should always put plecos back in the water when you find them on the floor, because even if they're all dried up and you're certain they must be dead, they may not be.

Something about days without water and burying themselves in mud during dry seasons w/o water??
 

cichlid2006

AC Members
Apr 18, 2008
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Fife - Scotland
Real Name
Dave
my plec survived around 30 minutes out of water. i took an ornament out and forgot to check it as it was hollow and only when i went to find him in the tank did i notice he was missing.
had to smash it. BN plecs, as far as i have been told and in my own experience, hold on to stuff even if they are taken out of water hence he didnt plop back in when i lifted it out. bugger done it again with some wood i removed a couple of months later.
he is fine though and is still going strong, strong enough to fight with a 6" GT and win.
 
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jenratico

Jen
Apr 8, 2008
176
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Denver, CO
Horror of horror a few years back when I got a call from my sister while I was on vacation to find out that my tank had sprung a leak! She came in to feed my fish and the tank was completely empty - all my stock had died and there wasn't even water left on the floor. My pleco (about 3" at the time) had dug himself down into the damp gravel, however, and survived! It may have been a whole day like that....... He lived several more years but eventually mysteriously gave up the ghost. I was bereft - but he now grows rhubarb in the flower bed.
 

Anitajw1

Registered Member
May 16, 2020
1
1
1
52
I am not sure how long my Pleco was out, but when I woke in the morning, I found he had jumped. He was very dried up and looked dead. I touched him and he jumped. Instinctively, I grabbed and put him in the cleaned fish tank immediately. Did some research: gave him one short salt bath in a small recovery tank and then put him back in the regular tank. (I didn't want to stress it too much with back and forth between tank, not myself that I had the correct salt and water ratio!) Just let him rest. A little over a month later and he's healing well. Armor is almost back to normal and he acts like the same ol' fish. Going to attach some pictures from day 1 recovery to today 34 days later.

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