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 L182 Adults turning white?

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DJ
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PostSubject: L182 Adults turning white?   Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:09 pm

I have a pair of L182 Starlights in my large community tank. I've had them >2 years since babies (when they looked gorgeous), although you never see them in the day as there's so much bogwood - they are 100% nocturnal and very shy.

Something very odd is happening to them, they are turning white. It's not fungus or any other disease I've seen before. This process has been going on for months/years and on the rare occasions I see them they "seem" fine (although to be honest I can't tell a happy pleco from a sick one they are so inactive and reclusive). What appears to be happening is their previously dark brown armoured scales are becoming translucent and the white flesh showing through.

Could it be a nutrient difficiency? They are in a well stocked community tank in soft, acidic water. I have to admit I bought them as algae cleaners so the only additional food they get is infrequent pleco tablets. Like all plecos/bristlenoses I've ever kept I've never managed to get them to eat fresh cucumber/lettuce or courgette as all the books/websites suggest. The fish will not come out to eat the food night or day and it justs rots.

Anyone seen this turning pale/white ?
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PostSubject: Re: L182 Adults turning white?   Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:58 pm

What are your Nitrate/Ammonia values? How big is your tank and how many fish do you have in the community? I'm tending to agree with you about the nutrient deficiency, but I'm wondering if any of the others might be factors to be considered? Question
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: L182 Adults turning white?   Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:16 am

Hi mate and welcome, i also have L182's but havent had this prob...i got mine to eat veggie's by keeping the light off all the time untill they feel confident to come out and try...ive had mine for 7months and ive only just started putting the light on again.How often do you do water changes and how much???
It also seems strange that both your L182's have turned a funny colour at the same time?? you need to test your nitrite and nitrate's and your PH level's then post them on here,, also if you can take a few picture's of them and of your setup and post them on here so we can see for ourselve's.....
Ive heard lots of story's about plec's turning grey or white and in most cases it hasnt been good new's...

How Often do you gravel Vac??

Cheers CuRbY.................................................

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PostSubject: Re: L182 Adults turning white?   Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:50 pm

Sorry I should have mentioned water parameters - they are in a 220L tank with a breeding pair of Discus and other south american dwarf cichlids/tetras in a sort of Amazon biotope. It's a planted tank with loads of bogwood. The tank is filtered by an external trickle filter and internal mechanical sponge. Ammonia and nitrites are always 0 with nitrates reading 0 (but aquarium tests for nitrate are rubbish so I just say below detectable, they won't actually be zero). The water is very soft and the pH quite acidic (6 ish, again aquarium pH tests are very poor). 20-40% water changes are carried out weekly with the gravel being hoovered each time.

The Bristlenose are amazingly reclusive, always have been. I thought the baby male died 2 years ago until I stripped the tank down to catch some Apistogramma fry a few months ago and got quite a shock when a 6" male L182 appeared from behind a piece of bogwood. He appeared to be showing paler, whitish areas too in the brief time I saw him.

To be honest, in a tank with breeding discus, I can't see it being a result of poor water quality. Although could it be a result of the acidic black-water environment? In addition to ignoring all added vegetables, the Bristlenose only eat a very little of the visible algae and seem to much prefer to strip my amazon sword leaves and gnaw on the bog/mopani wood.
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: L182 Adults turning white?   Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:53 pm

Sorry for the late reply mate...
Right just like your's my L182's are also amazingly reclusive lol, more so being the male....
In fact i cannot switch the aquarium light on anymore or i wont see any of them its annoying but i only keep bristlenose plecs(L182's) so it doesnt bother me as you have discus that light needs to be on as they are stunning fish...I also have to agree with you on the water parameter's, if everything is as you say then i cant see any probz atol with your water..........
My L182's are wild so its been a challenge to get them to feed confidentely let alone spawning them...
My male will NOT touch any veggie's, but every night bang on 7pm i will put 5 or 6 Hikari Wafer's in, a couple right near his cave, his cave is right over to the left so once ive put the wafer's in i put a large towel over that side of the tank and as soon as he see's the light's dim he's out and straight onto, this is the only food i can get him to eat freely...as for the female's they tend to be alot less fussy and are quite greedy......

Blackwater is not a problem its more of a must for spawning as in the wild L182's have fast flowing river's that are alway's murky and dull.....so you are doing nothing wrong there.....

When you say your L182's are changing colour,?? it could be stress as it doesnt take much to stress this species out ive learned, it seems to be my female that changes colour alot as she is more active during the day so is easy spooked....stress patches will appear first on the top of the head and your plec 's head can turn grey,
The thing with your tank is that you have lots of cichlids in there and as you no can be very agressive toward's other species so it may be your plecs will now and again be attacked or pecked at....and your L182's will turn a very dull grey colour but only in patches, and they can stay like that for hour's...........

My advice would be to monitor your cichlids behaviour towards your plecs especially at feeding time's and if this is the case then i would create a few more cave's or hiding place's for L182's,,,also try the wafer's i suggestid as i swear by them.................

One thing to remember L182's arent just any bristlenose plec they are the largest bristlenose out there so are some what special well in my eye's they hence why i keep them alone.....there are guideline's and fact's poeple tell you to stay to with BN's but ive kept both and both are hugley different in behaviour.......

It would also be great if you could some how post a pic for me to see and i no they are amazingly reclusive but if you could try that would be great.......
I hope there better since we last spoke............

Cheers.....CuRbY.... Smile

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PostSubject: pale BN   Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:45 pm

Hi, this may not be the same thing, but thought I'd share my recent experience this summer just in case.

I had 4 one and a half inch albino BN in a 29gal tank (US). All was well til we had a heat wave. I had a couple of incidents of cloudy water, presumably a bacterial bloom. I turned off the lights and fed very sparingly. The problem was only in this tank as it's been touchy ever since improper feeding killed off most of that tank's inhabitants while I was on vacation several years ago.

Gradually 3 of the 4 young BN started to loose color. I didn't notice right away as the color loss was slow and they were albinos after all. Eventually though it became clear that one was still nice and golden and the others were quite pale. They seemed to eat and their behavior was normal, but the paleness was disturbing.

I tested the water, all was well there, but tests don't pick up bacteria, and because of the bacterial bloom earlier I suspected that was the problem. I did not want to dump a bunch of meds into the tank on a suspicion, so I added some melafix and started to rub their algae wafers and zucchini/courgette with fresh cut garlic.

Two of the pale 3 started to slowly regain their color. They are now almost to full golden color again. (time frame was about a month) The smallest one did not seem to be coloring up and in fact seemed to be getting rather thin. It did come out to eat, but upon close observation, I saw it was usually chased off by one of the others. Yes I did have more than one feeding area, but it was at this point smaller and weaker and being bullied.

I removed it to my quarantine tank where it immediately devoured all the algae off the glass. Its been alone in the quarantine tank for about a week eating like a pig and gaining weight. The color hasn't improved much yet, but hopefully within the month I'll see an positive change there.

I've read posts on other forums and generally loss of color is attributed to internal bacterial infection as I suspect was so in my case.

My fish are all still alive and seem to be responding well to garlic and melafix, but while pale, they were still acting normally. Unfortunately, the posts I've seen where fish were pale and lethargic did not have good outcomes. I would imagine prognosis depends upon how quickly the problem is noticed and addressed and what bacteria is involved.
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PostSubject: Re: L182 Adults turning white?   Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:43 am

good posting amber......i think your pretty much right and most verdict's are almost internal bacterial infection....could be caused by internal parasite's...sometime's its hard to tell with BN's as they change colour anyway mostly when stressed.......
fighting can be a problem with bn's as i found out earlier this month as one of my female's got a small cut because of fighting and a few days later turned very grey but at that point it was to late and i could not save her.......

I think the best answer is as soon as the colour goes then act quick..........

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PostSubject: Update   Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:55 pm

My albino BN have been eating food without garlic and off the melafix for several weeks now. I also added a bubble wand to increase aeration in that tank just in case. The fish evidently liked all this as I was surprised by the hatch of their first spawn.
The fish in the quarantine tank is coming along nicely as well, so there is hope for fish the go pale, especially if the color loss is gradual.
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: L182 Adults turning white?   Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:20 pm

Amber wrote:
My albino BN have been eating food without garlic and off the melafix for several weeks now. I also added a bubble wand to increase aeration in that tank just in case. The fish evidently liked all this as I was surprised by the hatch of their first spawn.
The fish in the quarantine tank is coming along nicely as well, so there is hope for fish the go pale, especially if the color loss is gradual.

this is great news amber not only have you cured the issue but you have also managed to get them to spawn.... cheers

Great posting throughout the thread with a happy ending Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: L182 Adults turning white?   Today at 10:28 am

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