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Fish/sucker fish in distress?


Hi.I'm a brand new fish owner. I put a drop of the ick-away medicine for my betta as well as added a tank-heater. The tetra and betta in the tank seem very happy with the changes, but the sucker is behaving strangely, maybe in distress. I took him out and put him in a separate container with part aquarium water and part fresh water. Should I keep him in his own space until the betta's treatment is over? Or is the heater the problem?
Thank you.

Hi Julianna

Most fish medications are toxic to scaleless fish such as Plecos (sucker fish) I would keep him in his own space until the treatment is over and enough water changes have been done to remove all traces of medication from the main tank. I would do another small water change in the temporary tank to make sure it is free of medication. The heater is not a problem, they need warm water too! Make sure the temporary tank has a heater and the water temp is 74-78 degrees.

When medicating any tank with scaleless fish, check with your local fish store about medications that are safe for scaleless fish, or move the sick fish to a temporary tank to treat them.

Hope this helps, good luck!



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Richard Hight


I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.


Many years of personal experience with fish and aquariums

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