Clown Pleco/other Plecos Eat Driftwood?

taylormarie213

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Someone recommended to get a clown pleco for my 10gal tank since they are smaller. But I heard that they eat driftwood and possibly shrimp.
I would love to put a nice driftwood piece in my tank since it's going to be a planted one, but I don't want the clown pleco or any other pleco or algae eater to destroy it.
Are there any ways to deal with this? Are there any other algae eater fish that you recommend for me?
Any tips and advice will be appreciated.

Note: my substrate is Flourite Black Sand.
 

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They don’t actually chomp into the wood, they suck on it and slowly extract tannins and break down the fibers in the wood. It would take a long time, well over the common lifespan for it to even make a dent in the wood to where you’d notice it.
 

HairyCatFish

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I've had a clown pleco for over a year, he doesn't actually eat my driftwood, he just sucks on it. He's had the same chunk of wood for as long as I can remember and hasn't made as much as a dent in it, that's noticeable. Besides that he is extremely reclusive and prefers to hide and suck on the wood from underneath.

If you get a clown pleco not only will you NOT notice any damage to your wood but you will also NOT notice that you have a clown pleco as they only come out at night. I see mine maybe once a week, sometimes as little as once a month or more. Sometimes I forget I even have a clown pleco and sometimes I even wonder if it's still alive.
 

DoubleDutch

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HairyCatFish said:
I've had a clown pleco for over a year, he doesn't actually eat my driftwood, he just sucks on it. He's had the same chunk of wood for as long as I can remember and hasn't made as much as a dent in it, that's noticeable. Besides that he is extremely reclusive and prefers to hide and suck on the wood from underneath.

If you get a clown pleco not only will you NOT notice any damage to your wood but you will also NOT notice that you have a clown pleco as they only come out at night. I see mine maybe once a week, sometimes as little as once a month or more. Sometimes I forget I even have a clown pleco and sometimes I even wonder if it's still alive.
Uhhhh are you sure you had a Clown then?

They defintely need and eat wood. If not provided they die after some time.

The amount of waste they leave behind is quite huge. Friend of mine with a tank in the bedroom often wakes up when her clown is rasping the wood.

They are wood-eaters and don't only suck on it.

Panaqolus maccus • Loricariidae • Cat-eLog - planet catfish
 

Islandvic

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I've had 4 clown plecos for a year now. They haven't grown large at all.

Mine love cucumber and zucchini, but also eat sinking pellets and broken up veggie wafers.
 

HairyCatFish

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DoubleDutch said:
Uhhhh are you sure you had a Clown then?

They defintely need and eat wood. If not provided they die after some time.

The amount of waste they leave behind is quite huge. Friend of mine with a tank in the bedroom often wakes up when her clown is rasping the wood.

They are wood-eaters and don't only suck on it.

Panaqolus maccus • Loricariidae • Cat-eLog - planet catfish
I definitely have, not "had", a clown.

Over 1.5 year's old now and looks to be maybe 2.5 inches long. There is driftwood in the tank, there is NOT any wood debris, waste or damage to wood..
685e442b63857b0e175c7e03915bc31a.jpg
 

DoubleDutch

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HairyCatFish said:
I definitely have, not "had", a clown.

Over 1.5 year's old now and looks to be maybe 2.5 inches long. There is driftwood in the tank, there is NOT any wood debris, waste or damage to wood..
685e442b63857b0e175c7e03915bc31a.jpg
Mannnn what do I love those fish. Great pic.

Funny to notice a lot of fish seem to have different behaviour / habits. It might get enough of viber from the vegs you vid.

Think Practical.Fish Keeping Magazine knows its stuff though. I didn't make it up hahahah
 

DannyTanks

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I got 4 clown plecos for my 55 gallon tank when my driftwood got infested by a (common) wood fungus. It wasn't harmful to the tank but it was a bit of an eye sore. The 4 clown plecos cleaned it up in less than 48 hours... completely clean. They continue to suck on the wood and keep it looking fresh. They have not made any noticeable changes to the wood's appearance (other than making it clean). I don't ever notice any sawdust or barely ever notice them. They tend to stay in the secluded areas of the driftwood, out of eye sight and mind their own business. The only time I see them is if I offer a fresh piece of cucumber. Good luck with yours - I love mine.
 

HairyCatFish

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DoubleDutch said:
Mannnn what do I love those fish. Great pic.

Funny to notice a lot of fish seem to have different behaviour / habits. It might get enough of viber from the vegs you vid.

Think Practical.Fish Keeping Magazine knows its stuff though. I didn't make it up hahahah
That's exactly what I was thinking lol, my clown pleco is definitely an oddball and I suppose he's the exception to the rule lol. Honestly I don't know how he is still alive.

I got him as a baby from a Petsmart LFS and there were only rocks, no wood, in his tank. I bought him home and temporarily housed him for about a month in a 5.5 gallon with only lava rock and gravel, no wood. He spent most of the day hiding, sucking the back of the interinternal HOB. At night he came out on the glass and searched the gravel for his algae wafers and food.
I then moved him to my 10 gallon for about 2 month's, also only had lava rock and no wood. Hid all day came out to eat at night.
I then moved him to my 20 gallon, only lava rock and no wood. He spent most of the day inside his aquatic decor "house", coming out only at night to eat. It was at least 2 month's before I finally sourced some driftwood locally and began adding it to his tank. So he lived probably 4 months in total without any wood.

He still lives in that 20 gallon with 3 nice pieces of driftwood, I added a 4th with Anubias attached 3 days ago. He spends the entire day sucking on the bottom or rear of the wood, usually at an angle hidden from viewing from the front of the tank.
 

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