Bottom feeder with red tail sharks

LoLiJuBri

I’m asking on behalf of my father who just recently lost his favorite Pleco.

He’s currently got a 20 gallon with a couple Malawi Cichlids, tiger barbs and red tail sharks. He also has a 35 gallon with a couple white mollies and some neon tetras.

He wants a new bottom feeder but I am having a heck of a time trying to find a compatible bottom feeder that might live well with the sharks he has, since they can be aggressive. From what I was told, his Pleco was fine with his sharks. Any ideas on a compatible bottom feeder that might play well with his red tails?

Personally, I would move those sharks into another tank with the tetras, and get some Plecos, loaches or Corydoras to go with his tiger barbs and cichlids and call it a day, but I digress.

Thank you all for your wisdom and insight. We’re still both really new to the hobby.
 

John58ford

Since the red tail carp as an individual would be starting in a 50+ gallon tank, I'm not sure there are many options to keep them in a 20 with a pleco. Depending on size of the cichlid I think you're likely right that leaving the cichlids and barbs and moving the red tails would be a better idea. Maybe find him a new tank as a gift and help him start it?
 
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Ksway

Hi, I wouldn't move the sharks in with the tetras the will be an expensive meal (if small now will be adventually will be without a doubt) also I would try and just keep one in that size tank as they get very territorial as they get older and will fight. A pleco is probably the best bet as the have a hard skin so shouldn't be bothered.
 
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LoLiJuBri

Since the red tail carp as an individual would be starting in a 50+ gallon tank, I'm not sure there are many options to keep them in a 20 with a pleco. Depending on size of the cichlid I think you're likely right that leaving the cichlids and barbs and moving the red tails would be a better idea. Maybe find him a new tank as a gift and help him start it?
I have been looking for a new tank for him. I know someone that has his garage filled with many 55+gallon sized aquariums not currently being used.

His Cichlids are adults ranging between 4-5”
 
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Rcslade124

Ok I am no one for advising stocking much. But according to the original post. There is multiple of all the fish in 20g. I wouldn't add any other fish. Pleco are not bottom feeders they don't feed from the sand they feed from the glass ornaments and wood. Bristlenose pleco are the smallest of pleco.
 
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LoLiJuBri

Hi, I wouldn't move the sharks in with the tetras the will be an expensive meal (if small now will be adventually will be without a doubt) also I would try and just keep one in that size tank as they get very territorial as they get older and will fight. A pleco is probably the best bet as the have a hard skin so shouldn't be bothered.
Thanks for the advice. I figured since the tetras were mid to upper level swimmers, fast and robust they might be able to do well with the sharks. Perhaps an excuse to get some danios or gouramis or something?
 
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A201

Botia Loaches such as Tigers, YoYos & Red tails can coexist with Red Tail Sharks. They are very active scavengers.
 
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Ksway

Ok I am no one for advising stocking much. But according to the original post. There is multiple of all the fish in 20g. I wouldn't add any other fish. Pleco are not bottom feeders they don't feed from the sand they feed from the glass ornaments and wood. Bristlenose pleco are the smallest of pleco.
They are not bottom feeders per say but they will certainly feed on the bottom, if you throw algae wafers in or other protein. They will also graze on algae on gravel. As in the above post I recommend 1 red tailed shark. Yes the tank is too small for all these fish clearly. But people will continue to add big fish to small tanks regardless of advice, I know this from working in pets stores. Sometimes you have to let people learn on there own as they will soon realize. You would also be really surprised what stocking some people can get away with in small tanks I've heard of ludicrous tanks that somehow people manage to keep them alive.
 
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LoLiJuBri

Ok I am no one for advising stocking much. But according to the original post. There is multiple of all the fish in 20g. I wouldn't add any other fish. Pleco are not bottom feeders they don't feed from the sand they feed from the glass ornaments and wood. Bristlenose pleco are the smallest of pleco.
He lost his Pleco and is looking for a bottom feeder. It doesn’t have to be however, so forgive me if I have that impression. I believe he is simply looking for an algae bottom dweller type fish.

When speaking with him yesterday, he has realized that he needs to research his fish more carefully in the future before making any of those “those look cool, I’ll get a couple of those” purchases
 
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LoLiJuBri

TheyYou would also be really surprised what stocking some people can get away with in small tanks I've heard of ludicrous tanks that somehow people manage to keep them alive.
Im guilty of it myself. I think if constant water changes and work doesn’t put you off, then you could probably be alright with an overpopulated tank. I’m still very much a beginner but I’m guilty of having upwards of 17 fish in a 10g. Not necessarily on purpose and have since moved up to a 30g with a 55-60g on the way. I may develop MTS or I may not. Live and learn hahaha.

My dad is looking into a larger tank since speaking with him today and I have given him all the advice you kind folks have shared with me. He completely understands now how important research is going forward so I think he’ll be just fine
Botia Loaches such as Tigers, YoYos & Red tails can coexist with Red Tail Sharks. They are very active scavengers.
Thank you for that. I’ll let him know. I do know that he does like loaches so he might just go for it!
 
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Rcslade124

They are not bottom feeders per say but they will certainly feed on the bottom, if you throw algae wafers in or other protein. They will also graze on algae on gravel. As in the above post I recommend 1 red tailed shark. Yes the tank is too small for all these fish clearly. But people will continue to add big fish to small tanks regardless of advice, I know this from working in pets stores. Sometimes you have to let people learn on there own as they will soon realize. You would also be really surprised what stocking some people can get away with in small tanks I've heard of ludicrous tanks that somehow people manage to keep them alive.
Yes I agree. Ample water change schedule. And good cleaning the fish will survive and people do stock alot in smaller tanks. One reason I am not a big fan of judgement on stocking. My concern is the large aggressive fish in a smaller tank. But I bet the tank looks great and with the right care fish will survive. Sorry if I can off condescending!
 
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LoLiJuBri

Yes I agree. Ample water change schedule. And good cleaning the fish will survive and people do stock alot in smaller tanks. One reason I am not a big fan of judgement on stocking. My concern is the large aggressive fish in a smaller tank. But I bet the tank looks great and with the right care fish will survive. Sorry if I can off condescending!

I agree. My suggestion for my father was to find a new tank for his sharks and stock with fish that will be good tank mates. He admits, he didn’t do his research and definitely went with the “those look cool” method.

The take away for him was good. He’s learned a ton more about the fish he keeps and the importance of knowing what will make his fish healthy and happy and is willing to put in the effort to make adjustments.
 
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