So I've only joined the forum very recently and now all of a sudden we've lost two fish. Murphy's law perhaps?
We set up our 27 liter tank about a month and a half ago. We started with a Betta (Stishy) and had to use it to cycle the tank (only read up about aquariums after we got the Betta) but kept up with lots of water changes to keep the toxic effects of cycling to a minimum. We have quite a few plants in the tank as well as a piece of driftwood (actually a tree's roots) that we bought from a . We tested the water daily, sometimes twice daily, until the cycle was past (took about 3 weeks) and then added 3 Hillstream loaches, 2 Bristlenose plecos and one Banjo pleco.
Since then all the fish have seemed quite happy. We did see a few white spots on the Betta but after treatment it quickly went away and we haven't had a problem up to now. We had only gravel in the tank but read that the Banjo prefers sand so about a week and a half ago I did a major rescaping of the tank. The fish seemed fine after the rescaping although we couldn't find all of them directly after the rescaping but saw them a few hours later.
And yes I know that we have Blacklisted plants in our tank - unfortunately we bought them from the same as the driftwood and we didn't know better at the time.
About 4 days ago we noticed that one Bristlenose pleco seemed lethargic. At one point it fell to the bottom of the tank on its side but when we picked it up a bit it swam away again and seemed fine. I saw the same thing happening the next day and later that evening we found it had died. Yesterday we noticed the same symptoms with the second Bristlenose and we tried to save it by moving it to another container and treating it with both Baktopur and Costapur as we had no idea what might be affecting it. Needless to say that didn't help and we found it dead this morning. Here are some pics although I don't know if you'll be able to see anything from them. They're the best I could take with my phone but I also can't see anything that looks suspicious (to me) on the dead fishy.
Bristlenose dorsal p2 crop.jpgBristlenose ventral p1 crop.jpg
The rest of the fishes still seem fine with no signs of any strange behaviour. We don't know what could've killed our Bristlenoses and after searching the internet I don't really have a better idea. When other people who have experienced similar mysterious deaths posted the replies were mostly on the line of
- It could be a bacterial infection which will explain no outward signs.
- Bristlenoses are more fragile than other plecos and are more sensitive to changes in the water which is why they are affected and the others not.
- Because of their higher sensitivity they should only be kept in established tanks.
- Someone mentioned overfeeding can contribute to their death.
Because it's only the Bristlenoses that are affected we wonder if it can't be the driftwood's fault. There is a strange whitish growth on the driftwood that we're not sure what it is (see pics) but when I tried to read up on that it seemed like most people say fungi and bacteria are just a consequence of the ecosystem and not likely to kill your fish except if it's growing on them.
Driftwood white stuff.jpg
Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!