my pleco looks like it is dying idk what to do i need help now

  • Get the NEW AquariaCentral iOS app --> // Android version will be out soon!


Registered Member
May 30, 2020
so this is my bfs issue first off, but a couple days ago (maybe like 4 days ago) my bf got a common pleco from petco at about 5”. he is a beginner at this and did some research and really wanted one, the lady gave us her recommendations which were hardly any and placed the pleco in his tank that had a turtle filter at the time. one day later, he got the correct filter for his 20 gallon tank (we know this size isn’t okay now) and a day after that a heater (that doesn’t really seem to work). today after getting 2 small angelfish, the pleco began to “faint” here and there. it basically looks like he’s dying but trying super hard to stay alive. he sometimes will also go up to the top for air then kind of just floats here and there and will swim for a sec. he hasn’t latched onto the wall or anything else but is still moving but hardly. we have been feeding algae disks and trying to feed him zucchini but he hasn’t gone for it. we want to save him but know a lot will need to be done for this. please give recommendations.

we currently have 3 goldfish, an albino baby pleco (maybe 2”), 2 small angelfish, & the sick common pleco


Eheim User
Feb 9, 2005
Medina, Ohio
Real Name
Welcome to AC!

I would return the common Pleco to the store as it will outgrow the current tank and can get over a foot long.

How long has this tank been set up?

Can you post your tank test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? If you don't have a test kit, either have the store test it for you and write the results down or purchase a test kit such as the API Master test kit and start keeping track of the test results.

What are the dimensions of the tank? Is it a 20 High or a 20 long tank or something else?

You will also need to decide for the future which fish you will be keeping or really want because goldfish and tropical fish such as Plecos and Angel fish don't do well together.
  • Like
Reactions: the loach