Adding Plecos And Driftwood To My African Cichlid Tank

Kyorkie21

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I am new to cichlids and eager to make it beautiful yet homey to my babies! I was thinking about adding a Pleco or two and some driftwood. Currently my African cichlid tank is rocks and some other ornaments and artificial plants to provide plenty of hiding places. My two main questions are is it okay to add plecos to my tank and what specific types of wood are okay for the tanks as well?
 

Fahn

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Plecos do quite well in cichlid tanks. Mopani, manzanita, and spiderwood would be great. How large is the tank by the way? We can recommend plecos based on the size.
 
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Kyorkie21

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55 gallon for now. I have 2 plecos currently in two separate goldfish tanks which are too small for the plecos as they continue to grow. I was hoping to put them in the larger tank with my African cichlids. The tank contains 18 cichlids as I have done some research that overstocking can be a good thing for African cichlids. Am I on the right track? Also is it okay to add the plecos if I do not yet have driftwood? They have been doing great for about a year in my smaller goldfish tanks.
 

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55 gallon for now. I have 2 plecos currently in two separate goldfish tanks which are too small for the plecos as they continue to grow. I was hoping to put them in the larger tank with my African cichlids. The tank contains 18 cichlids as I have done some research that overstocking can be a good thing for African cichlids. Am I on the right track? Also is it okay to add the plecos if I do not yet have driftwood? They have been doing great for about a year in my smaller goldfish tanks.
Yes, you want to slightly overstock with cichlids because they are highly sociable. Use -heavy- filtration.

What type of plecos do you currently have?
 
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Kyorkie21

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Oh that I’m not sure. When I started with fish a year ago I didn’t know the importance of knowing what specifically I had in my tank. I’ll upload a picture
 
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Kyorkie21

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I have dual filtration and each filter is designed for a 60 gallon tank
 

Fahn

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Common plecos, 120 gallon minimum for one. They get very large and produce a ton of waste. My advice is rehoming them, or consider a much larger tank.

What is the turnover rate (gallons per hour) on those filters?
 
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Kyorkie21

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Well I’m going to get a larger tank. That’s my plan which I will do very soon. They have been living in separate 10 gallon tanks I just did not know until now!!! 330 gallons per hour and I have 2 so what’s that...660 gallons per hour
 

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Well I’m going to get a larger tank. That’s my plan which I will do very soon. They have been living in separate 10 gallon tanks I just did not know until now!!! 330 gallons per hour and I have 2 so what’s that...660 gallons per hour
That's plenty of filtration, just consider the plecos.
 
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Kyorkie21

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Absolutely! Is driftwood a necessity for them and what about PROPER diet? I’m obviously giving them algae wafers should I feed them something more?
 

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Absolutely! Is driftwood a necessity for them and what about PROPER diet? I’m obviously giving them algae wafers should I feed them something more?
Every pleco I've had spends most of their time on the driftwood in my tanks. They need the biofilm and wood fibers in their diet.

Algae wafers, fresh veggies, and meaty foods are always welcome.
 
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