I can't keep a clown pleco alive for the life of me

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Improperbeard

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Apr 30, 2020
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No, I dont have any spare tanks or filters/heaters. But they were active and there for three weeks with no problems. I did feed them mosquito larva so maybe that brought something in?

He is swimming normal now. Just at the top of the tank by the plants.
 

the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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I don't think so, did the other fish also eat these mosquito larvae? Where did you catch them?
If that store has central filtration, I wouldn't buy more fish from them, get them from the other store. If you don't quarantine fish (for a month) there is a real risk they're carrying diseases, and when something happens, you have to treat the main tank too.
 
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Improperbeard

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Yes the other fish are them. My coworker got them from his koi pond. I rinsed them in spring water, then strained them and put them in a syringe filled with aquarium water and spot fed fish.

All my fish are them, but I'm wondering if something was I'm the water that wasn't fully rinsed.

All the fish there look incredible healthy and active so I'm not sure.
 

the loach

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It's not the mosquito larvae, it's the store or poor quality stock that they buy. Same story with your plecos, and all the other fish people post here about every day that get sick and die, they were just swimming fine at the store and some time after. That just doesn't say anything.
 

Improperbeard

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How can you decipher a reputable store then? I had this great place called jb tropical, but the caretaker was older and shut down due to covid. Shame.

Is it better to source online? Do you use any specific stores?
 

the loach

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It is hard for the unexperienced to discern what is a good store and what not. It is likely to be a small privately owned store over a large chain store, though neither guarantees anything. You could check if they have central filtration for all the tanks... (most have). That is not a good sign. All diseases will spread throughout the system. Selling pacu's, iridescent sharks and all of those monster fish to unsuspecting customers is a bad sign, just as selling goldfish for small tanks and bowls. Colored water from medications is a bad sign (unless it's not central filtration).
At some point you become experienced enough to see the quality/health of the fish though this isn't a guarantee as well as most diseases aren't visible with the naked eye. I have been doing it for over 40 years I look at the whole school/stock but LFS's are not the only problem there has been massive inbreeding at the fish farms the past decades, as long as the fish still lives at the LFS but dies after a couple of weeks at the customer, that's good enough for them, they go for that as long as you keep buying fish.
I have no recommendations for stores or sites, I personally no longer order online it is hit or miss. Done it a couple of times they can't even get the fish right. It is hard for me as well to get extra stock.
The best method would be to buy from hobby breeders, put an add on Craigslist for some fish, some people in your area might want to get rid of their fish. Maybe join an aquarium club.
 

Improperbeard

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Thank you for all the insight. Should I continue treating the whole tank with herbtanna for a couple days to reduce potential spread?
 
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