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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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pleco

So i read up on pleco and it days they need a 55 gal tank. But it seems like a lot of ppl with smaller tanks have them. So whats the real deal?


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 02:45 AM
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There are different plecos that can be kept in smaller tanks like bristlenose or rubber lips. Regular plecos that are kept in smaller tanks either outgrow it or get stunted and die. I think they grow up to like 24"
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 02:47 AM
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So i read up on pleco and it days they need a 55 gal tank. But it seems like a lot of ppl with smaller tanks have them. So whats the real deal?
Some species of pleco grow up to 18" long or more.
Some species never get bigger than 3".
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:11 AM
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some plecos can live in a 10 gallon, others need a minimum of 180 gallons
it really depends upon species
the common plecos tend to be species that get a foot long or more

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Im sure my lfs knows the difference species of plecos. I wonder if box petstores does


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by craigofva View Post
Im sure my lfs knows the difference species of plecos. I wonder if box petstores does
common plecos are pretty easy to tell apart from the other species, you as a customer should be able to tell. google a common, then a pitbull or a bristlenose and it should be pretty obvious.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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I Ok googled it and yea ur right its ez to see the difference


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:21 AM
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I will say that many people dont care what size they get and simply want a pleco to 'clean their tank'. Got a 10 gallon? I want 2!

And commons will be the easiest to get pleco. Whos going to bother looking for a pitbull pleco?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:36 AM
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I have three common plecos because of that very reason -- people bought them to clean the tank and then they didn't want them anymore. I'm saving up for a 180 gallon for when my biggest gets too big for the 55 gallon he's in.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:56 AM
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I will say that many people dont care what size they get and simply want a pleco to 'clean their tank'. Got a 10 gallon? I want 2!

And commons will be the easiest to get pleco. Whos going to bother looking for a pitbull pleco?
Commons should be pulled from pet stores or at least advertized correctly.
They are cheap sure enough and also sure to out grow pretty much any tank they are put in.
Think they are great if you plan on keeping an Oscar tank. Once grown your only choice is termination or being stuck with it because rare is the place that will take one back.
Brown or albino bristle nose Ancistrus (pleco) are a better choice for most.
These generally top out around 5"

This is a male





I like long finned fish

Browns
Last year I kept 6 grow out browns. One standard, five long fins. Teenagers now and spawning.

Standard vs Long fin Ancistrus (my focus again leans to LF)














It would be nice if stores stocked these more often as opposed to the common ogres.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 06:04 AM
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Our store stocks commons and abnp. Another one i cmmonly frequent has those, and rubberlips. Rarely i see peppermints, gold nuggets, etc. Around. Never seen a small species sold.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Wkndracer. I really like the way ur browns look. Do they mess with plants?


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 04:41 AM
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The bristlenose are quite plant safe, and as babies can perch on the plants to eat the algae.
Those are some really NICE fish, wkndracer, I really like the 2nd picture! Head first into the zucchini!

Pleco is a common name that refers to many related fish.
They are Catfish in the family Loricariidae
Plecostomus is the Latin name that the word Pleco comes from. Hypostomus plecostomus is one of the common Plecos found in stores. This species gets a foot long.

Many do eat algae, but many prefer wood, and some like higher protein foods.

If you are looking for a fish that eats algae there are several that are good choices depending on your tank size.
The smallest, good in 10 gallon tanks (or even a 5 gallon, if you feed them) are Otocinclus. In larger tanks about 1 Oto per 10 gallons is a rough guide.
Pitbull Plecos are also quite small, and are good for algae. I do not often see them in stores, though.
Rubber lip Plecos are a bit larger, but OK for tanks of about 20-30 gallons.
There are several related fish sold as Bristlenose Plecos. They are in the species Ancistrus. The more common ones, and the fancy long finned or albino types pictured by wkndracer are good in tanks from about 45 gallons on up. Most are shy fish, good at hiding from boisterous tank mates. Superb algae eaters.

The Peckoltias are another group with several small species, but many prefer higher protein foods, so are not the best for algae clean up. Many are quite nice looking, often with colorful stripes.
The Panaques are mostly wood eating, not great for algae, unless it is growing on the wood. There are several sized fish in this group, some are quite showy.

The Common Pleco most often sold might be any of several species. They may grow to a foot to 2' long, and they grow fast. When they are young they are indeed algae eating machines. They quickly outgrow their usefulness, however. What goes in must come out, and when these fish grow, so does the waste load. It is sort of like getting a cow to eat the weeds in a typical garden. Sure the weeds disappear, but the mess!
Also, these fish have been caught in the act of sucking the slime coat off slow moving tank mates like Goldfish, Angelfish, Discus and Gouramis. I agree with wkndracer: With proper labeling the stores probably would not sell so many, and they really should not sell them at all. Very few people can properly house them, so they are turned loose in warm waters, and can be found in the wild in Florida, and probably many other places.
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