Am I Fully Stocked?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Kiks, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. KiksWell Known MemberMember

    Hello everyone,

    I have a 30 gallon (112 L) aquarium. It's been running for about 3 months and is fully cycled. I tested the water today:
    Ammonia: o ppm
    Nitrite: 0 ppm
    Nitrate: 5 ppm
    pH: 8.2

    The parameters have been steady for about 2 months. I've had some issues with columnaris that I'm still dealing with in my 14 gallon (54 L) aquarium.
    The 30 gallon aquarium is planted and has 4 pieces of driftwood.

    In the tank I keep:
    6 Guppies (1 male, 5 females)
    3 BN Plecos
    4 Amano shrimps
    5 RCS

    The three Plecos look to be one male, one female and one who's too small to be gendered. The smallest one is about 1.5 inches (4 cm), the male is 2 inches (5 cm) and the female is 2.3 inches (6 cm). I've watched them a lot and they seem to be okay living together. They've found each their spot where they hang out most of the time.
    I know the Guppies will produce a lot of fry and I have options to rehome them when they inevitably will come.

    Am I over stocked?

    Thanks in advance for any help/comments!
  2. Mike the fish keeperValued MemberMember

    I would say yes because of the 3 plecos. They produce a lot of waste and are very territorial. I would rehome the one you dont know the gender of and if the other two dont become a breeding pair then I would rehome the other one

  3. KiksWell Known MemberMember

    How do I know if they become a breeding pair? What can I do to make that happen?
    When my 14 gallon tank is ready I have plans to move the smaller Pleco there.

    Thanks for your comment!

  4. Mike the fish keeperValued MemberMember

    Im not very sure about plecos. I just know BN plecos are very east to breed in captivity

  5. Lemonz13Valued MemberMember

    A 14 gallon tank is not big enough for a BN pleco (they are a big bioload). Their minimum tank size is 29gallons. I recommend rehoming the BN instead of moving him to a tank that is too small.
  6. KiksWell Known MemberMember

    I'll definitely rehome him if that's the only way he can have enough space. Right now it's still very small so can I keep it in the 14 gallon until it gets bigger? Or is it already too big?
    In the store where I bought the three Plecos the woman working there said that three of them could live comfortably together in a 30 gallon... /sigh

    Does anyone know how I make the male and female Plecos a pair?
  7. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    They just pair up with the right conditions. The male guards the eggs until they're free swimming. If you want them to spawn give them some sort of cave.

    I have a pair with one kid (everyone else either got eaten when they were young or were given away) in a 22 gallon long. They're doing fine for now but when the baby (about 1.75"-2") gets a bit bigger I'll move it to my new tank that's still in the making.

    I think your stock is fine. What kind of filtration are you using?
  8. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    As long as your filtration and water change schedule is good you aren't overstocked. But the other posters are right that they are big time waste producers those plecos. Though the males will get territorial as they age so if you see them bickering it's probably best to rehome one. Just keep a close eye on your water parameters and stay on top of your water changes (you may end up having to do WCs ever 3-4 days depending on the poopy-ness of the tank) and it should be ok.

    Guppies are pretty big waste producers too for their size.
  9. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    I think that if you have to do more than a water change per week you are overstocked.
    IMO 3 Bristlenose plecos sound excessive and kind of the problem in your tank. I would get rid of 2.
  10. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    Plus those 6 guppies will be 20 or 30 soon. Lol.
  11. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Doing more than 1 water change a week isn't a gauge of being overstocked or not. Some fish produce more waste than others and thus require a more frequent maintenance schedule.
  12. BeanFishWell Known MemberMember

    Some fish produce most waste than others and so require bigger tanks.
    Just my thoughts on the subject, you are entitled to your own opinion.
  13. KiksWell Known MemberMember

    Two of the four pieces of driftwood has holes in them, which kind of works as caves. They like to be there and all, but I don't know if they're good or big enough for breeding. I always liked the more natural look than the pipes you can buy. Other than that they have many hiding spots.
    Do I need a "real" cave?

    I use a canister filter that came with the aquarium and I actually don't know a lot about it. It's been in the tank since the beginning and has always seemed to do a good job. I change 25 - 30% of the water every week and my nitrates never rise above 10 ppm. I test the water every other day. I know Plecos produce a lot of waste and I'm okay with that, since I really want them. I just don't wanna keep fish that would be better off with bigger space, cause that is something I can not offer them at the time.

    The two Plecos that seem to be male and female don't really have anything to do with each other. They stay in each their favorite spot most of the time and if the other one comes close, it sometimes gets chased away. By chased away I mean that one will move a little towards the other and the other will swim away. They never really touch each other.
    They don't seem interested in each other at all and especially not in a breeding kinda way?

    Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it!
  14. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    Patience if you want them to spawn. Do you have any photos of them btw? You don't need a real cave. Just something cavelike. My pair spawned in between huge rocks and behind driftwood which is covered with plants. They will hangout mostly at the darker areas of the tank. All three of my plecos hangout together. On one side with all the driftwood. My female is looking plump so I'm expecting eggs soon. [​IMG] if you look closely you'll see fry in there.
  15. KiksWell Known MemberMember

    Looks to be a very great cave with lots of space for fry!
    I'll take some photos of all three of them including some of the places I call caves.
  16. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    That's their favorite place. Unfortunately all the fry got eaten. I have forgotten that I bought the South American bumblebee catfish and they ate all the fry. The gold ram tried but they didn't fit in his mouth. [​IMG]
  17. KiksWell Known MemberMember

    Really sad if you wanted to keep the fry. What do you do with fry? Sell it? Keep it?

    Here are some pictures (if I'm doing this right...)

    Here's the small pleco that I can't gender

    Here's the female pleco (not happy to get its picture taken)

    Here's the one I'm assuming is male
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  18. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    Can't see the photos. Broken link probably. :(
  19. KiksWell Known MemberMember

    Alright, fixed it. Don't know why the last two pictures wont show, so you'll have to click the link.
    I've gendered them exclusively based on bristles/lack of bristles. The female is a bit bigger than the male and the male seems to be growing bristles, so I'm thinking that if the female was a male, she'd be growing bristles by now like the other one.
    Also, the male seems to have a more slender face. If you look at him from the side, his face is skinnier than the females. Don't know if that means anything.
    Oh, and yeah... I have some very social RCS, haha.
  20. cjbart1009Valued MemberMember

    Hmm the assumed male I'm not too sure about. Some females get bristles as well. If you want a pair I would wait and see how they interact with each other.

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