Big Pleco + Little gravel?

  1. h

    hkyfr3ak91 New Member Member

    I have around a 7 inch pleco in one of my tanks that has no gravel in it at the moment. If I added some gravel, would little gravel be okay or would he eat the gravel?
  2. ryanr

    ryanr Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi Welcome to Fishlore :;hi2

    I don't think your pleco would eat the gravel, but it may make it more difficult for it to get to the stuff in the gravel that it wants, kinda like trying to separate sugar from sand.

    Fish will generally only eat food, and spit out anything that isn't. I haven't kept larger plecos, but my bristle nose don't seem to have any problem with my substrate that would easily fit in their mouth.

    One word of advice though, try not to use sharp gravels as they could cut/irritate the softer underside of your pleco.

    Also - do you have driftwood in your tank? Plecos love to knaw at driftwood, and it's great for their digestive system.
  3. Shine

    Shine Well Known Member Member

    Correct me if I am wrong, but is the tank the pleco is in currently the 10 gallon along with the mollies and platies? If so you are going to have much larger problems then the gravel and fast. If you aren't planning on upgrading to a large tank (and by 'large' I mean upwards of 75gallons) very soon in the future, I would suggest returning or re-homing the pleco
  4. OP

    hkyfr3ak91 New Member Member

    No he is in my 40 gallon with just 4 small bala sharks.

    Thank you for the advice.
  5. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Unfortunately 40 gallons is too small for the bala sharks (once they grow, anyway), plus a waste-producing pleco (they're little poop machines). Would it be possible to upgrade? I think I've heard that balas need at least 75 gallons, but would be happiest in at least 125.
  6. Jaysee

    Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    Fish can tell the difference between substrate and food, and are designed to not swallow it :)
  7. imperess

    imperess New Member Member

    hi i have large pleco :) i HAD him in a tank with smaller gravel when he was younger and he did just fine..
    Some how he always knows what to eat and what to spit out.. he knows that it is not food) so i think adding smaller gravel would be ok.
    Now i have him with bigger pebbles, but he still amazes me with how he can suck up just the smallest flake food and leave the yucky stuff on the bottom LOL