Why Is My Pleco Floating? 4 reasons explained

why is my Pleco floating? 4 reasons explained

Have you seen your Pleco fish float on the surface of the water and maybe upside-down? If you have, this could be very frightful because you might think something is wrong with it or it is dying or sick.

You will agree with me that fish don’t usually do this unless something is wrong and if you see yours doing it for the first time, you did be shocked and would want to know why or what the problem is, well, this article will help you on that.

There are a few reasons why your Pleco could be floating and what to do that could help your fish to start behaving normally again.

Why Is My Pleco Fish Floating?

Some of the reasons why your Pleco could be floating in its tank or stay still for a long time are:

1. The Presence of Nitrate in the water: Nitrate is one of the toxins that could breed in the fish tanks and harm any fish in them.

Although it is one of those toxins, it is not as dangerous as others such as ammonia, nitrite, chlorine, and the rest.

It is not as dangerous as others but it could affect the fins and cause the fish to swim upside-down, stay still and float.

If your fish is floating or staying motionless for a long time, maybe pretending to be dead, then nitrate could be the cause.

Get a water testing kit and test your aquarium water always and do a change of water once you notice any toxin in the water.

As a fish keeper, Water testing kits is very important, so get it.

2. Swim Bladder Problem: Your Pleco may be floating, especially if it is floating upside-down probably because it is suffering from Swim bladder issues.

The swim bladder is an organ in fish that makes them keep balance and swim normally, but when this organ has issues that could be caused by bloat as a result of overfeeding or diseases, the fish will lose balance and will start floating.

If your fish is suffering from Swim bladder issues as a result of the bloat because you overfed it, then I advise you to starve the fish for a day or 2 so that it could empty its stomach.

If it’s as a result of diseases, then getting the attention of a Vet will be the best thing to do.

3. Fin rot: Fin rot could be the reason why this happening.

There are many causes of fin rot in fish and they are, diseases, fin nipping by other fish or animals, dangerous toxins in the water, and many more.

So check the fins when this happens and get the advice of a vet.

4. Lack of Enough Oxygen: Every living thing needs oxygen to survive, including aquatic animals like fish.

If your Pleco is floating on the surface or constantly going to the surface to breathe, then it could be a result of the depletion of the level of oxygen in the water.

As a fish keeper, it is compulsory to buy a filter or air stone so that it could keep the oxygen in your aquarium normal.


It is not normal for any fish to float helplessly, not even Plecos, so these are the possible reasons why such is happening to your Pleco.


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