You want to make sure that you care for your plecos properly. These are great fish and you want them to stay healthy in your aquarium.
When the fish don’t seem to be doing so well, it’s going to worry you. Have you noticed that your plecos appear to have fungus near their mouths?
What is pleco mouth fungus? Is there something that you did wrong that caused your fish to become infected?
Below, you’ll learn everything that you need to know about this mouth fungus issue. Once you’ve read everything, you’ll be able to figure out how to best help your fish.
What Causes Fungal Growths?
Fungal growths are caused by certain types of fungi that live underwater. These fungi might grow in your tank under the right conditions.
It’s hard to say exactly what type of fungi is responsible for the growth near the mouth of your fish. You can be sure that the fungal growth is caused by poor water conditions in the tank, though.
Fungi won’t be able to grow in the fish tank unless the conditions are right. The fungus will thrive if the water temperature is lower than it should be for plecos.
If you keep the temperature in the recommended range for plecos, then problems with fungi shouldn’t be common. People make mistakes sometimes and don’t set the temperature properly.
Plecos can tolerate a wide range of different temperatures, but many plecos do well in temperatures between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It’d be wise to look up the specific recommended temperature for the pleco that you own.
Keeping the temperature of the water higher will make it less likely that fungi can grow in the water. It’s also imperative to keep the water clean.
If the water gets dirty, it’ll encourage bacterial and fungal growth. This is why it’s so important to clean the tank regularly.
How to Prevent Fungal Issues
Preventing fungal issues in your fish tank will be as simple as maintaining the tank properly. Regular tank maintenance is important when you want to protect the plecos.
Above, you learned that you need to keep the water in the right temperature range. Ensure that the heater is working properly so that you won’t allow the fungus to grow.
It’ll also be important to clean the fish tank on a regular basis. The fish tank is going to get dirty over time due to all of the fish pooping.
You’ll need to set time aside to clean the tank each week. It’s also important to change the water weekly.
Keeping the tank clean is easiest when you change the water each week. For the best results, change fifteen percent of the water on a weekly basis.
Maintaining a clean aquarium will be simpler if the tank isn’t overcrowded. Ensure that you aren’t cramming too many fish in one fish tank.
It’s also notable that fish will become stressed if the fish tank is overcrowded. Stressed fish are more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.
Can Fungal Infections Be Treated?
Yes, fungal infections can be treated, but you’ll need to use medications. Fungal infections can be particularly nasty because they will spread fast.
One fish might be infected today, but tomorrow the rest of the fish in the fish tank could become infected. Some choose to quarantine infected fish in separate tanks to treat them in an effort to protect the other fish.
However, you must know that the condition of your tank isn’t likely to be good if a fish becomes infected in the first place. You’ll also need to address water quality issues to protect the fish in the main tank.
Doing water changes will be a good idea to try to get rid of the fungal presence. The fish that is infected will need to be treated with either antibiotic or anti-fungal medications.
Eventually, the infection should clear up. Keep a close eye on the fish and try to feed it high-quality foods so that it will get better.
Can Fungal Infections Kill Fish?
Fungal infections are very dangerous and might kill fish if you don’t take action. If you want your plecos to survive, then you need to be proactive.
As soon as you notice fungus forming on the mouth of the fish, it’ll be time to spring to action. Figure out what is wrong with the water quality and get the medication that you need to treat the fish.
If you leave things alone, then the fish will eventually die. A fish might die quickly or it could take a long period of time.
How long the fish has will depend on the general health of the fish and the type of fungal infection that it has. It’s simply important to know that you must treat the fish or it won’t get better.
If you need help diagnosing the issue, you can speak to an exotic veterinarian. This will cost money, though, and not all fish owners will want to spend the cash.
You can get the medicine that you need from local pet stores or you can buy the right stuff online. Just take the time to fix the problems with the fish tank and then give the fish medicine.
Fungal infections need to be taken seriously. When a pleco has a fungal infection, it’s going to start feeling pretty bad.
You might notice that the fish will struggle to do certain things. A fungal infection near the mouth could keep the fish from eating if things get really bad.
When left untreated, fungal infections can kill plecos and other types of fish. This is why you should treat the fish as soon as you notice that there is a problem.
Fix the problems with water quality in the tank and then give the fish the right medication. It’ll help it to get better and you’ll be able to move on.
In the future, it’ll be best to keep issues like this from occurring. Do a better job of monitoring the water parameters so that fungus won’t be able to grow in the tank.
So long as you’re paying attention and cleaning the fish tank regularly, things like this won’t be likely to happen. Now that you know what to do, it’ll be easier to keep the plecos safe.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.