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BN Pleco is Bloated. Salt bath?


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I recently merged 2x 29g tanks into one 75g and just before I transferred my breeding pair of BN plecos, I noticed the male was SUPER bloated in his belly. The pics are before and after, but I don’t have a great one of him inflated. I tried giving him a shelled pea (a common remedy for constipation) but he’s not interested thus far. 

I’ve read dozens of blog and forum posts about salt being helpful but also dangerous for scale-less species. Many suggest halving the dose but few say what a safe dose is. 

If I was going to treat him in a 5 gallon hospital tank, how much salt, how often, and how long? Thanks. 



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cant say what is wrong with it, but even his eyes are bugging out from whatever it is. at the point that fish is in, i would try about anything, as i dont think it will make it much longer without help. 1-3 tablespoons of salt per gallon are the common remedies, with as far as it is along id probably start at 2 , and see if it does anything.

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It look like a nasty bacterial infection I would start treatment with maracyn and salt 1table spoon for 2gallon you might have do two  courses of maracyn if  you see no improvement with maracyn try maracyn2  one treats gram positive and treats  gram negative bacterial infection

6 hours ago, Saltinthedesert said:

These are a bit better. 




Edited by Colu
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  • 2 weeks later...

Update. He survived a week in the salt bath. Put him in a breeder box to help transition back into the 75. He ate some zucchini, so I put him back in the tank. 

24 hours later, his back and dorsal fin have a white marking he didn’t have previously. Is this infection or just healing process from whatever he had before?


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13 hours ago, Saltinthedesert said:

Full recovery. Doing well and eating again. Salt bath for a few days shrunk him down considerably but his color is back and the white markings are now fully gone. Thanks y’all. 


Great to see they are doing better. What ratio of salt did you end up using?


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