Common Pleco Growth Rate?

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James95

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Hey All,

It's been quite a while since I've been active on this forum. Boredom at work today had me searching for something to do... it's good to be back

About 2-3 years ago I purchased a common pleco and added him to my 90 gallon tank. To be completely fair, I feel like he hasn't grown very much! I would say he was 2-3 inches long and now he is just barely pushing 6 or 7 inches. Not that I am complaining by any means... lol. It just seems odd after the amount of fasting growing and tank busting pleco horror stories I have read over the years.

He has driftwood in the tank, feeds off algae buildup, gets fed wafers every night, and even comes out during the day to chow down on flake food when I feed the rest of the tank. He appears healthy. Should I be concerned? Is there anything that could be causing such a slow growth rate? Or did I end up with a species that doesn't get as big? Thank you!
 

Rshore

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Tank Temperature , food , and water parameters are generally the 3 limiting factors in fish growth, higher temps increase metabolism, grow fish faster as long as adequate food is provided, while good water quality will insure good growth rates. An inch a year does seem to be on the low end of common pleco growth, im gunna assume a Pterygoplichthys sp. But ill also hypothesis that its lack of food not that your starving it but Lorricaids eat alot like ridiculous amount to the point that most people that arent attempting to breed them arent feeding them enough
 
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James95

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RShore, the longest the tank ever goes without a water change is three weeks - and that's only due to an extremely hectic work schedule. Normally I aim for 50% every other week. Tank is always between 76 and 78 degrees. So I guess maybe I'm not feeding enough? It's extremely difficult to even get him fed without my other fish gobbling his algae wafers before they even hit the bottom. I devised a system where I use an extra long gravel vacuum tube to drop his wafers all the way to the bottom near his hiding spot. Not sure there's much more I can do
 

TexasDomer

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There are many different species labeled as "common pleco." It's possible that it's one of the smaller species labeled as a common.
 
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James95

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I'll have to try and snap a pic of him when I get home later, I am not good at identifying all the different species. He was sold to me as a common plec, but he is not that super dark charcoal/black color you see on a lot of commons. He's still got the same mottled pattern, but he's more brown/gray than black.
 

Mike1995

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when i got mine, he was 2-3 inches. less than a year later, he's 8-9. He eats everything and anything
 
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