What is the best substrate for pleco - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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What is the best substrate for pleco

Hey guys set up a new tank and I was wondering
which would be the best substrate sand or gravel for plecos
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Hayad2002 View Post
Hey guys set up a new tank and I was wondering
which would be the best substrate sand or gravel for plecos
It depends. Most species will need natural sand or PFS ( Pool filter sand) but there are a few that prefer gravel substrate. Most of these varieties come from swiftly moving rivers and need highly oxygenated environments. I have one of the exceptions- a L128- Blue Phantom Pleco. He is a big boy- pushing 8.5 inches.

When you select what type of pleco you want, look up that specific pleco species in Seriously Fish and look at where they come from ( Habitat) and what they need in aquarium (maintenance).


Here is an example of what I mean from Seriouslyfish.com


https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/hemiancistrus-sp/


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Last edited by Discusluv; 03-13-2019 at 06:30 AM. Reason: more info
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks that helps a lot
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to go with sand tank came out nice
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 04:59 PM
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My personal experience, The best substrate is zero substrate. Make it a bare bottom tank. Why? Because they are some heavy poopers, I have 9-10inch common place and a 4inch bristle nose place. I'm constantly having to clean the bottom of my 75g tank because poop just accumulates. Also after a month my fluval 406 is just filled with poop. If I squeeze any and all of the sponges it feels like I'm squeezing into some thick nasty mud. But I know that ain't mud.

Also places generally get pretty big and are bottom feeders. Bottom feeds, scavengers generally will eat anything on the bottom including dead fish. And they poop alot! So good filtration is a must. Also plecos in the wild swim over long large surfaces. They need huge rivers and lakes. Not the tiny tanks we put them in. They kick up a lot! Of dirt and sand. You cant have some fancy big planted scapes with most plecos. Because they will just destroy it. So with all if that being said. I wouldnt use any substrate. If your going to get a timiki/bristle node I think their max growth is 4-6inches. That's more doable. Then I'd use sand or any of the plant soil substrates. Gravel would be just fine too.
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