New Fish for me! - Snail Eaters & Pleco - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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I was at my LFS looking for something to eat some snails and Botia Dario (Queen Loaches) were recommended to me. I picked up two on Saturday. These guys are great. They are VERY active & seem to possess a lot of character. The only fish that pushes them around is my Red Tailed Shark, but that's if they intrude on his cave.

The red tail has a very dark hole he prefers, which is also a popular snail egg laying spot, and the Dario's really like to go in there. Ofcourse when the red tail see this the swims up along side the darios and pushes them out. Odd though, he doesn't chase after them trying to give them a nip like I would see when a tetra gets too close to his territory. He swims up along side them and pushes them out with the side of his body.

The darios also seem to really like the front corners of my tank. They swim up and down the glass with their faces shoved in the corner. I've seen this type of behavior before with many fish but never heard why they do it. My gourami prefers the front middle of the glass swimming back and forth with his side pressed to the glass. Sometimes my Tetras mimic the Gourami and hang with him while he's swimming back and forth. It's a strange school to watch.

I had about 7 or 8 pretty nice size snails (3x the size of a pin head) in there but the darios didn't go after them right away the first day. So yesterday I picked two snails off of some driftwood, crushed them and dropped them into the general area the darios normally swim and scavenge. These guys love snails, they just didn't know it yet. The next day I don't see any snails having free reign of the tank, but I've still got some egg bubbles on a few plants so there will be a few more treats yet to come.

The Darios bothered my bamboo shrimp at first the first night, but since he's 3x their size he put them in their place right quick. Too bad I won't be able to get any amano shrimp though. :cry:

I was also looking for a pleco that was a little more exotic than the common pleco, but wouldn't get too big. (something like a tiger pleco or yellow prince tiger would have been great) The label on the tank said Butterly Pleco, but from the searches I've done it looks like something else. It looks like two circles pushed together with a short sharp tail, kindof reminds me of a stingray actually. He's a light greenish brown with small black dots all over the place. You can also see some of his internal organs when he's up against the glass...including a very good view of his heart which you can actually see beating. :shock: Very cool.

He's a rather active pleco, always moving around on the glass. Often I'll be watching another fish and I'll see something streak across the tank and when I follow the path I see the pleco sitting there. A VERY fast fish indeed. He also doesn't appear to mind the light so that's pretty cool.

Unfortunately he doesn't appear to be a very avid algae eater, atleast not the agea I want rid off. I've had him in there for a few days now and the front glass is still spotchy. Oh well, maybe I can get a tiger pleco after all.

Can you mix differant plecos in a smaller tank like mine?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 07:08 PM
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Swimming up and down the glass is something many new fish do in your tank, they seem to explore the limits and learn that glass is something they can't get beyond.

Do you think the botias would consider Amano shrimps as a snack? I have some pretty sizeable Yoyo loaches, and they leave the glass shrimps alone. Might be risky though.

The pleco you describe seems to be a Hillstream loach, it goes under different names in pet stores. Being from fast-flowing mountain rivers, they like lower temperatures and ample water movement. I believe they prefer brown algae, you might need to experiment with various algae wafers and vegetables to find something they like.

For a 25 gal tank I would not recommend a regular pleco. Get an algae scraper instead to keep the front glass clean! A "Bristlenose Pleco", Ancistrus dolichopterus, would be the only pleco I know of that would fit in a tank that size.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Huh. Looks like my LFS thought they sold me something else. I thought I was buying 2 loaches and a pleco and I got 3 loaches.

Oh well, loaches are fun and this guy is a treat for a sucker. I'll probably just have to find something else to clean the glass.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 11:16 PM
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Hillstream loaches don't eat the algae, they eat the microbes that live with the algae. I have 2 of them and they are pretty territorial, they will sit on the same rock for hours, and if another fish swims by they will dart after it. They also fight with each other (which looks like bumpercars).
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