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Pleco Health Pleco ailments and health concerns.

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  #1  
Old 02-06-16, 00:57
Don Don is offline
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Gravid, constipated, or??

Common pleco
~20 years old
~18 inches
70 gal tank (I know, small, but the best I can do. Like many, I had no idea when I bought it it would live this long and get so big. It was only an inch or two, and i was ignorant.)

undergravel and canister filters
water quality well maintained; currently:
  • ph 7.2
  • total alkalinity ~160
  • hardness 120
  • nitrite 0.5
  • nitrite 15

other fish in tank are several corydoras cats, one angel, schools of 5-6 each of neons, danios, 2 other small species.

generally feed bottom feeder algae wafers, also some algae strips
BUT
several months ago i introduced tubifex worms for the angel; the pleco fell in love with them. I was not aware they could cause digestive issues, enjoyed his (her) coming out of the cave to eat them the moment i stuck them to the wall. About a month ago I noticed his/her belly swelling, and realized i had not seen any of the infamous garlands of poop decorating the tank in a while.

I read up, felt stupid, stopped the tubifex, introduced cooked mashed peas and treated with epsom salts.

she/he continues to swell. now huge. no signs of poop, unless it is much different consistency from what I was accustomed to seeing. behaves normally, swims energetically, comes out to stare at me when i sit down across the room. Has learned to like the peas. I mash them and fill small spoons and freeze, then lower the spoon into the tank with a tool. They stay frozen long enough to avoid blowing all over while lowering. The fish gobbles them up within five minutes.

pictures are one from a year or so ago and one from yesterday, plus a closeup of the face

i called the only vet in the area who deals with fish - they wouldn't talk, just said bring him in for exam, xray.also said plecos don't get constipated. It's an hour's drive and $125 just to evaluate.

I'll do it if holds any prospect of accomplishing anything.
If the fish is "jammed up" is there realistically anything that can be done? With a fish 20 years old?

Has anyone experience with a similar cycle that eventually resolved itself (other than just having the fish die)?

Don
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  #2  
Old 02-06-16, 22:40
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Brengun Brengun is offline
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Whats in the tubliflex worms is other infectious worms sometimes as they aren't raised in the most pristine waters. Get a good fish wormer and try that.
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Old 03-06-16, 04:23
Don Don is offline
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good thought! thanks. will a petstore like Petsmart have that?
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