Goldfish sucked on by Pleco

//Goldfish sucked on by Pleco

Goldfish sucked on by Pleco

Goldfish sucked on by Pleco. Please help her recover!!

I know, I know it was a horrible idea to have a Pleco and a Goldfish together. After listening to a Pet store clerk 2 years ago we brought ‘Zucchini’ home and tried to make it work when we realized the mistake, since we only had time for 1 tank. 6 months ago our male Goldfish got sick. ‘Zucchini’ sucked on our now deceased male goldfish and got a taste for goldfish slime coat, I guess. We thought if we fed him well he would leave the healthy female alone, they had been living peacefully for 2 years together. But ‘Fortune’ our female Goldfish was aggressively attacked one day when I forgot to put some vegetables on the veggie clip.

We managed to rehome Zucchini, which was a sad goodbye. Leaving us caring for the injured Fortune. She is the only inhabitant now to a 50 gallon tank. It has a 40-70 gallon Aqua Clear filter, Aquatic sand, a bubble wand and silk plants. I haven’t checked water parameters because I’m dealing with an injury and it’s hard for me to use the Master kit.

Day 1- I have been feeding her only sinking pellets and peas because she can’t swim to the top of the tank. I’ve been giving her Vitachem vitamins long term and I’ve been using Kordon Fish Protector with Vitamin B12 and Echinacea since injury as well adding Hydrogen Peroxide to the tank 5Tbs.

Day 2-

I turned off the bubble wand because Fortune is having a really hard time swimming. I continued the Fish Protection and Vitamins according to instructions. Added a dose of Melafix. By night Fortune can’t eat peas, can’t swim. Is laying st the bottom of the tank or occasionally righting herself and floating/struggling.

What can I do? I’m afraid to do a water change in case the Prime water conditioner hurts her fragile tail. I’m afraid to do a salt bath because she is on medication. Not sure how much longer she can stay at the bottom or go without eating!

Photo below show fish with red veining in tail fin caused by nitrite poisoning

Goldfish sucked on by Pleco

Goldfish sucked on by Pleco











by Venus: Nitrate levels were dangerously high. A large water change was performed after the owner noticed the fish wasn’t quite right. Fish is starting to curl due to nitrate shock

goldfish sucked on by pleco

After a few days of deepĀ and heavily oxygenated water, fish isĀ recovering

goldfish sucked on by pleco

Fish swimming normally. Although some damage may have occurred from Pleco sucking on fish, nothing too serious



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  1. That is great photo essay of your fish’s recovery. Great job! Happy for you!

  2. Raingarden is one of the few sites that IDs the fish’s gender. They don’t sell commons, but they do sell some body types similar to commons, usually listed in their “other goldfish” section.

  3. dozierjennifer April 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm


    I have found a good fish online but am going to wait until everything is set up awhile to purchase.

    I am still having trouble with the pea gravel of all things! I really prefer to purchase things online. I bought this one:

    But I am having second thoughts. Isn’t this too small for a big goldfish? I am worried she will swallow a rock on accident.


  4. Venus April 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Yes to everything. You’ve got it

    Go to a local lawn and garden store for pea gravel

    It’s tough, finding a mature fish, and then it’s even tougher to find a male. Most people can’t determine the sex of a fish. I can only do it by watching to see who chases during spawning. Males do the chasing. Your fish looks to be a common, so it would be helpful if you could find a common male. Reason being, fancy male fish might have problems keeping up with her. I don’t have fish for sell right now, and the only common I have is female

    That being said, many a female fish have found relief from the jets of a pond pump. Once she gets used to the action, you might see your fish hovering over the jet stream. The action provides the necessary pressure to release eggs. In the meantime, you might place an ad on Craigslist, looking for mature pond fish

    Shubunkins and comets can keep up with a common fish. There’s a pet shop down the street that’s selling 3″ shubunkins. I know that doesn’t help you, but it should encourage you to keep looking locally. Don’t be tempted to buy a Koi. They grow too big too fast

    Email me your location, and if we get someone from your area wanting to rehome their fish I’ll let you know. Most of these fish are pond fish, ranging from 6 to 10″

    You might find the right fish online. Look for a shu. They’re hardy and beautiful too

  5. dozierjennifer April 14, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    The trip information is helpful, we might take a trip over the summer.
    But I didn’t speak clearly.

    So normally my husband, Farbod will do full water change once a week. Sometimes however we spend a day or two in the city. At those times he will normally skip water changes and go an extra week. Or even if he thinks the water doesn’t need it or he’s tired etc. So in a month with 4 weeks, probably 3 of those weeks get water changes.

    We have agreed to change this. Doing a 7% water change on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Letting the fresh water sit over night with a filter and Prime. In this way we will avoid weekends all together and there for the chance that the water change will be skipped.
    Does this sound correct?

    One pump will arrive on Saturday and one pump will arrive on Wednesday. We should leave the water filter in for a few MONTHS to allow the good bacteria to ‘move’ to the new sponges? We have purchased a screen for the tank. I hope it works with the filter.

    Fortune, our goldfish had floating and sinking issues on 4/13, including the 45 degree angle. But today 4/14, she is swimming normally. Eating while swimming and even picking along the bottom of the tank and through the plants.

    I would love to know how to continue the treatments to ensure the goldfish’s health and recovery. I will continue reading your books and going through the website. But I hope you can tell me step by step as we go along!

    I bought a 1 ounce bottle of Chlorophyll.

    Once Fortune recovers I would love to get her a male companion. However the pet stores here only sell feeder fish. These fish are the perfect size for her to eat. She has eaten 2-3 fish in her time. There is a site I can mail order a fish, I think from Hawaii. Or, maybe I can buy a fish of yours when our tank is set up right and everything is healthy? I will be making our own food according to your recipes soon as well!

    So we shouldn’t change the water until Monday? Were not going anywhere, that was a misunderstanding. What is best for the water changes?

    I have been feeding her 3x a day while sick. When she was well it was 4-5. Today I think she will eat 4x. She has quite the appetite. I am only giving her 3-5 peas.

    Also, I am having trouble finding a good pea gravel on Amazon. I am not sure what size to get and I don’t want to buy the wrong thing. Would you please recommend a product?

    Thank you for your help!!!

  6. Venus April 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Forgot to say………….That’s great news; good work :yahoo:

  7. Venus April 14, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Very good readings. It look like the cycle is in tact, but we’ll know for sure by the end of the weekend. It would be nice to see the ammonia levels at zero, but beggars can’t be choosy. I’m delighted to see nitrites at zero

    Your GH and KH readings are healthy. You’re in good shape.

    Continue with the H202 and the pitcher method also, until the pumps arrive. Then you can relax, and let them do the work for you. Don’t remove your old filter after setting up the pumps. Within a few months, the friendly bug colony will move to the pumps, and you can remove the old filter. Maybe you’ll use it in your freshwater bucket

    If the cycle is stable by the end of the weekend, you can go on a trip with no worries if you have someone to feed

    I would say the fish is recovering from the nitrite and nitrate issues, and it will also recover from the floating issue. Continue feeding only peas, and if in a few weeks its not swimming normally, we’ll consider a treatment. A lot of these issues clear up on their own if the diet improves

    What size jug of chlorophyll did you get? Maybe when you return from your trip you can start treatment again. It will takes months for the fish’s body to repair itself, and then only under the best circumstances

    Your fish will never be able to tolerate nitrates higher than 20 ppm, and 10 ppm is preferred. This could be an issue if you’re going to be gone for a week. Here’s what I would do; cut meals in half until you get home, and then very gradually (taking a few weeks) build the meal sizes back up to normal

    You might consider getting your fish a friend. It would definitely perk it up

    Instead of daily water changes, I might hold off for a few days, and let’s see how high nitrates will climb over the next few days. This will tell us what we’re going to be dealing with for the week you’re gone

    How many meals do you feed a day? I hadn’t asked previously. Goldfish don’t have stomachs, and most people have the idea they can be fed only once or twice a day. This in itself causes gorging, impacting a tract. Cut your the amount of food you feed daily into fours, and spread the four meals out throughout the day as much as possible

    You mentioned floating at a 45 degree angle? Nose up or down?

  8. dozierjennifer April 14, 2017 at 10:06 am

    -I upped my dosage of Hydrogen Peroxide after noticing I wasn’t giving enough. 10 Tbs in the pitcher treatment
    -I started giving peas in smaller amounts, making feeding 5x a day 3 peas.
    – I added a standing fan in addition to the ceiling fan.
    -7 PM water parameters:

    Water levels:
    Nitrite 0 PPM
    Nitrate 5.0 PPM
    Ammonia 0.25 PPM
    High Range PH 8.
    GH 9 drops 161.1
    KH 7 drops 125.3

    After testing:
    -We premixed the Chlorophyll treatment and
    -2 doses of Prime
    20% water change, all at once, unfortunately

    We noticed throughout the night the goldfish was getting better. But still having some floating issues. Swimming at 45 degree angle, bobbing around a bit and then bottom sitting.

    Fortune is swimming normally at 8AM
    I gave her a breakfast of peas. We plan to continue the treatment plan until you tell us otherwise.
    My husband did agree when she is better to do small water changes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday instead of during the weekend. The weekend which might include a trip sometimes makes water changes skip a week.

    *Should he do 7%, 3x a week?
    *What is the next step in our treatment of Fortune?

    Still awaiting the pond pumps and thermometer.

  9. Venus April 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    See my post below

    What is the water temperature?

    Continue with the H202 as well as the chlorophyll

  10. Venus April 13, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Yes, let’s do one more dose of chlorophyll

    From the photos, which I’ll post a few on to your original post, I see the curled position we discussed over the phone. Do you see the slight bend?

    Perform the pitcher method of eliminating Co2 two to three times daily, and if possible, set up a fan so it skims the surface

    Continue with 20% (by exchanging 5% every half hour or so) daily water changes, using a double dose of Prime as a precautionary measure

    Before you double dose, test, and take a photo at the time the test matures, send it to me. I may be able to read the parameter, having used a lot of green juice in my time. If not, we’ll just assume whether the cycle is broken or not, it hasn’t had enough time to climb to levels that a double dose won’t convert

    I’m reasonably certain your KH is at 90 to 100 ppm due to the readings of the freshwater you added to the tank a few days ago; maybe a little higher. It’s the oxygen levels dragging pH down

    If possible, go to your nearest lawn and garden center, and pick up a pond pump or two. You need 500 to 700 GPH total, but two half the size would be best

    My thought is, the nitrates were high, but not at deadly levels when a large water change was performed, causing nitrate shock, which is not as serious as nitrate poisoning. Your fish could pull through if you keep doing what you’re doing. The fact is, that the fish hasn’t died yet tell me it’s putting up a fight.

    Continue feeding peas as normal; same amount as usual. Is the fish still trying to eat or is the appetite lost?

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