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I have a 20 gallon tank healthily planted:

10 dwarf onions
1 banana plant
clover patch
2 indian red swords
5 nerite snails
5 cherry barbs

This is my first attempt and have concentrated on the plants during my first 6 months (the cherry barbs were a demand from the girlfriend).

So we both like the Gold Nugget Pleco a lot. Will a pleco eat/dig up my onions or banana? Can i feed him well enough to leave my plants alone? If a Pleco is not a good choice what is a good bottom feeder to have slinking around my tank? I was interested in the banjo fish but dont know much about the relationships with plants...thanks all.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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There's actually several species of plecos that go by "gold nugget." I had 2 and they ate my swords. :( I hear that not all the GNPs will eat plants, though.

All of them will get too big for a 20gal tank, though. I'd go with some Otocinclus or Cory catfish (3-5) or even a BN pleco if you're faithful with water changes.
 

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I had a plain-o Amazon Sword in a low light 29gal tank with a male bristlenose pleco and he did not eat it. There was not enough light for the Sword in that tank, so I moved it to a higher light 55gal with a female bristlenose pleco. Someone in that thank is turning the Sword into Swiss cheese. I assume the pleco...everyone else in the tank is a strict carnivore but the clown loaches rosey barbs. The Sword is growing a lot better but all the leaves are developing a bunch of holes a little less than one cm in diameter. Most holes are just holes, but some still have the center still attached at one edge. Looks exactly like what a suckermouth might do sucking too hard on a leaf.

So, answer is, some pleco's will ruin the swords.

For the most part, the main difference between the tanks other than liglht is that thae 29gal where the sword didn't get butchered has tons of driftwood and the second tank, the 55gal, has none, except for a tiny hidden piece in there in case the pleco really wants to gnaw on some. Don't know if that matters, just sharing.
 

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I've had a full grown BNP for about a year now. The first 6 months or so he never touched my amazon or melon swords, then suddenly he got a taste for them. The amazon sword used to grow well past the top of my 20" tank. Now the leaves don't get more than 8" long before they have to be pruned because they are so damaged. I've tried supplementing his diet with a lot more veggies and algae wafers than usual, but that has not made a difference. :(
 

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yep, they will... I had a req Pleco, and ate (tried) most of my plants and specially "Vallisneria Sp" he ate'em like spaghetti! I finally took him out and put 4 Ottos and 2 Clown Loach in my 55... I'd put Cories and Ottos in ur 20 gallon like most suggested. g'luck. :proud:
 

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banjo catfish? Those should be ok. I actually almost bought a few more of these today, but they would probably eat my small shrimps. Just watch out if you plan on having smaller fish. As catfish can fit things in there mouths and bellies that you wouldn't think they could. They grow up to about 6 inches some larger. Usually the ones at the LFS are 2-3 inches. Also be prepared to NEVER see this fish. They are nocturnal and hide very very well during the day. But still one of my favorites.

Also another very cool algea eater is a farlowella. I just got one today with some oto's. Maybe a little bit rare at the LFS, depends on the type of store it is. I would make sure you have a constant food supply (algae, spinach, zuchinni, flake food, algae waffer) and have a piece of driftwood for them. Mine has been munching non-stop and he's only been in the tank for about 2 hours. I don't think I will have to scrape glass anymore.
 
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