My Pleco Fish Died? They Keep Dying on Me?

Topic: My Pleco just died and this is my 4th common Pleco I have tried. They just keep getting sick or something.. I’m doing something wrong because these fish continuously die in my tanks. Is there some sort of trick or something I am completely missing about these fish? My aquarium is a 75 gallon tank. I need help.


*Awarded Answer
Posted by Kevin B: I find that a lot of people actually starve these fish to death on accident. Most people don’t know these fish are nocturnal. So they are doing most of their feeding at night. You need to drop in some food when the lights go off once and a while. I also will throw in the idea of getting a descent quality food. A lot of the algae wafers are terrible quality. Get some Omega One wafers. Here is a picture and link:

Omega One Veggie Rounds, 4.2 Ounce Container
List Price: $8.49
Price: $8.49
Price Disclaimer

pleco died keep dying

My daughters pleco just died after a year. All the other fish are fine. Water is ok too. Anyone have this happen? He looks like he turned white.
What are the water parameters? Did you test the water with a test kit? If so post a picture of the results.
Im sorry for loss i have never had any luck keeping these guys i would have one for about a yr and all of sudden it would die.
Lots of Plecos starve when they get 2 big my brother had one die he just didn’t realize how much they eat at bigger sizes.
I was giving it alge wafers and cucumber slices everyday.
Hmm so not starved and u said your other fish are fine? That’s a stumper you’d think a desease or fungus would kill the big fish last.
Fish die of old age too .. unless you got it as a fry it’s hard to tell how old they are.
I’ve had three plecos die in my new four week stocked tank.  Don’t know what happened.   But I will be feeding the next one food for bottom feeders.
R.I.P. lil guy. just woke up to my pleco dead. he was laying upside down not moving. idk what killed him. my frontosa seem to be healthy and eating. he was kinda old bought him on craigslist like a year ago and the guy said he had him for a few years.
Mine died a couple of months ago.  He was only 2.  I was so heartbroken.  We couldn’t figure out what happened as all of the water chemistry was perfect.
I had a long finned BN pleco die just after I cleaned the canister filter. All the other fish were fine. After cleaning, the filter blew out some crud when it ran again, and I suspect that stuff rotted, and the resulting ammonia spike did the damage. Parameters were back to normal by the time I found the dead fish, though.
Pleco died.. my water now is fine, I think the other water was just so messed up and it got to him.. however I see this green spot on him, he died maybe 6 hours ago max.. is this him rotting or is this a disease.
Sometimes they like to suck onto the heaters and get burned, maybe he cooked himself?
thing that raises a flag for me is the diet. they arent predominant herbivores, but insectivores/carnivores. the algae that they rasp on driftwood in the wild usually hides microinvertebrates that they chow down. try feeding them meatier foods.
since most are wild caught, i doubt it may have recognized the worms as a food source, since again, the food that they eat hides on algae. sinking carnivore pellets or gel foods may be a better option. also spot feeding helps the fish recognize food items and acclimate better. I kept some difficult eaters in a refugearium before releasing them into the tank.
not that big at all, maybe 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. it is attached to the inside of the tank using suction cups and i have a small pvc pipe in there as well. there are slits at the bottom of the refugearium to allow for circulation. once i have a good feeling that the fish readily takes the food, i release it.
When my fish stop eating it appears to be something like ich attacks and before it’s visible it attacks the mouth and gills.
I’ve never understood why people don’t buy the API advanced test kit for like $20? 

It’ll identify most of your problems and you’ll have time to react before fish die.

I don’t trust buying offline because when my boyfriend did all the tests came out wrong so we think it was expired or something And the kits are $40-$50 in store. And I definitely wouldn’t waste the $10-15 on the little strips because those are garbage.
I’ve never had an exotic pleco but my common absolutely loves the carnivore pellets too. He won’t touch algae wafers but he’ll destroy those pellets.
it’s fairly new. The tank itself is well over 15 years old. I got it out of my moms storage. Restored it, let it cycle for about a month and a half with about twenty gold fish in it. Now I’ve started taking out the gold fish and adding nice fish.
Holy cow,  I’d really test the nitrates then if you did a fish -in cycle with that many goldies. I love them,  but they cab really rocket up the nitrate levels in a tank quick.
my two goldies lived in a 75g tank for nearly 20 years,  and I needed to do pretty hefty water changes every week.  Granted,  they were both pushing a foot long but they are very dirty fish.  And you can’t always tell the tank has high nitrates just by looking at the clarity of the water.
Get a good tester and check it to be safe before trying any more plecos, they are pretty sensitive to nitrates.  Good luck!
I need to get a proper test kit for sure. The water seems clear enough. But I’m not an expert by any means. A proper test will probably reveal allot more.
The price of a master test kit should be the last thing a person worries about. Time you lose a few fish and keep replacing them the master test kit is cheap compared to losing fish. I test probably at least once a month, just so I know I have no ammonia/nitrites and low nitrates. It would drive me crazy if I didn’t know.
A few questions…

1) how old is your tank?

2) test the water, go to your pet shop and take a sample, let them test it so you know for sure what it is (Get them to write your results down too) then buy your own test strips to compare to make sure youre doing it correctly

3) How long were they in that tank? the fact he wasnt moving much since you put him in could mean he was either sick or your water isnt ready.

What is your ph? And yes water params? They need soft wood, not hard wood. Feed more of a protein diet.
What is your ph? And yes water params? They need soft wood, not hard wood. Feed more of a protein diet.
Bloodworms are only bad for pleco fry/babies, it’s fine for adults, fry and the young can choke on it, If you feed it to young plecos then you need to dice it up.
I killed my pleco when it got stuck in newly super gel glued plants. I never heard such a thing. I came in the next morning and had to pry its body off in pieces. I had glued live plants on to driftwood.
How long has your tamk been up?dont use any super glue

Amd put it in ypur tank this will kill them. Your tank be up for a couple 3 mo before u pit pleco ot any fish in your tank .you dont have enougj of wjat they need.hppf luck.

Most ornamental type plecos (and definitely the two you bought) are wild caught and often times come in with parasites. It’s important to quarantine them so you can monitor their eating habits and waste and many times it’s best to treat with something like General Cure. Many good importers do this part for you, but your typical pet store will not. 

Sounds like you offered them a good amount of foods so I wouldn’t be surprised if parasites was indeed the issue. I’ve lost half a dozen or so plecos within the first two weeks due to this but with careful quarantine and treatments I’ve had good luck most recently. 

It helps if they’re added to an established tank so that biofilm and microorganisms may be present while they adapt to prepared foods.