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Fish Loverrr.
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I have 5 tiger barbs, 3 red minor tetra & 1 rainbow shark.

I DID have a common pleco and he was doing great! I had him for a few weeks when something strange happened.

I stayed with a friend for three days but came home during the day once or twice to check on my fish and feed them.

On the third day I came home to feed them and check on them, my pleco was acting strange. He would just sit at the bottom of the tank, not sucking on the gravel or sides of the tank as he always used to.

On the fourth day when I was coming back home, I looked in the tank and noticed my Pleco was missing. Couldnt spot him anywhere so I started to move the decorations around and sure enough I found him... DEAD.

And not just dead. He was just bones and looked as if a school of Paranhas got him! I was horrified!

What do you think? Because he couldnt have decayed down to just bones in one day! Did he die and then the other fish ate him? Or do you think they ate him alive because he wasnt moving much????

I dont know why he was just sitting at the bottom not moving much last time I saw him. And I dont know why he would have died either. My water is fine and so are all my other fish.

WHAT COULD'VE HAPPENED??

Thanks in advance for any answers to this post.​
 

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Loach Lover
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1,506 Posts
If he was acting strange, he probably just died and they ate him. Most fish that aren't actual predators won't eat a fish while it's still alive.
You'd be surprised how quickly 5 tiger barbs (or any five fish, really) can strip a carcass down to bones. Fish are opportunistic feeders and will often start nibbling on a dead fish before you even notice it's dead, and it's probably better that they ate it rather than let it decay and get an ammonia spike.
 

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59 Posts
Yes, I would say that's most likely what happened -- they picked his dead carcass clean. As to why he died if your water was fine -- that could remain a mystery from now on, since you weren't present to observe him or your aquarium frequently throughout the day. Sometimes a fish will succumb despite our best care, and we never do find out what caused it. If all the other fish in your tank are fine, that just deepens the mystery.

As was stated here, it's a good thing he wasn't left to decay, as that would have polluted your water, bigtime.

-- someonefishy
 

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youd be suprised a lot of fish will start picking at a sick or wounded fish and it wouldnt suprise me if the tiger barbs did ive seen a youtube video where a large school of tiger barbs were attacking a completely healthy fish until they ate the entire thing. tiger barbs are some mean evil fish. but it is possible they didnt until he was dead.
 

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My Harlequin Rasboras
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586 Posts
What did you feed him and how often? How long was he in your tank and how big was he?
 

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Premium Member
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Even eaten dead fish make ammonia (more food=more waste), it just broadens the spike some (same total amount of ammonia, but more spread out and lower high point). So change some water for good measure.
 

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Fish Loverrr.
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies, again! Yes, it is quite a mystery. Crazy. I feel so bad. Yeah tiger barbs are pretty nasty and mean at times. I'm almost regretting getting them. They cause quite a bit of ruckus haha. Maybe this will change if I make the school bigger. But I fed the pleco algae wafers everyday and he ate fallen food from the other fish
 

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Fish Loverrr.
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Oh and I had him a few weeks. He was about three inches or a little less
 
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