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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My freshwater plecostomas had the company of a large goldfish

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My freshwater plecostomas had the company of a large goldfish years before she died recently. The plec now tends to lay on the bottom of the tank with the dorsal fin permanently down - it used to be invariably raised when the goldfish shared the tank. There are no other fish in the tank now. Is the plec unhappy, or need company?

& welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Now the plecostomus tends to be a species that does quite well with company. Especially if they "grew up" used to companionship of other fish. That said, they are not keen on other members of their species (due to territorial behaviours) but if this wee lad has lived his life with the goldfish, then he may be feeling confused and stressed with its sudden absence. So, you could consider adding a friend at this stage. Of course, do make sure that it is an appropriate size and that you do quarantine it -2 weeks before adding it to your main tank.

Finally, while his signs are not suggestive of overt disease or troubles, I would just note that it is best practice whenever a fish is subdued to consider double checking your water parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrates, nitrates) to ensure there is no other reason potential coincidental bottom sitting and reduced activity. If that is all clear, then again a companion can be considered.

All the best,
Dr. B.
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