Common Pleco In A 55g

SunEater

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On recommendation from an employee, my mom got a suckermouth catfish that I'm pretty sure is a common pleco from Walmart for her 10g tank to clean the algae. Since it was already 3-4 inches, and I know how huge they get, I offered to take it and now have it in my 55g.
My question is, is how long can I keep him in there before he outgrows the tank and is there anything I should know about plecos besides the stuff I'll be learning researching the basics for the little guy?
 

Fashooga

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Maybe a few months. Perhaps just take the pleco to a LFS so you can get rid of it before it becomes a problem.
 

DarkOne

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Depends on how your 55g is stocked. Plecos in general are heavy bio loads in an aquarium so you should have adequate filtering (canister would be much better than a HOB). A common pleco can get more aggressive as it gets older. They are omnivores so you need to feed it a varied diet as well as have driftwood for it to rasp on.

At 3-4", you have at least a year before you need to rehome (if at all). The more/better you feed it, the faster it will grow.
 
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SunEater

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Fashooga said:
Maybe a few months. Perhaps just take the pleco to a LFS so you can get rid of it before it becomes a problem.
Yikes, that fast? I know my local Petco will take him as well as the family-owned lfs. They keep pond aquariums just for the big plecos, so I've got a plan for him already.


DarkOne said:
Depends on how your 55g is stocked. Plecos in general are heavy bio loads in an aquarium so you should have adequate filtering (canister would be much better than a HOB). A common pleco can get more aggressive as it gets older. They are omnivores so you need to feed it a varied diet as well as have driftwood for it to rasp on.

At 3-4", you have at least a year before you need to rehome (if at all). The more/better you feed it, the faster it will grow.
My 55 isn't too heavily stocked. The only adults are 5 albino corydoras and 5 neon tetras and some shrimp and snails. The rest are fry, and the molly fry I'm giving to the lfs within the next week. I wanted to make sure the pleco was healthy before I passed him on to any stores. I'd hate to give anyone a sick or stressed fish.

For now he's got driftwood, shrimp pellets, bottom-feeder pellets and an occasional blanched vegetable that I use to feed the snails. Do you think it will be alright to keep him for awhile or should I go ahead and look to rehome him?
 

Alex Pasquale

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Some of these guys will tell you a few months, maybe more maybe less, but it all depends on how much algae accumulates inside your tank, how much you feed your fish, how many fish you currently have, etc. Just keep an eye on him, and when YOU think he's too big for your tank take him to a LFS and put him up for adoption or try selling him.
 

Ulu

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One thing to consider is that the huge bioload of the plecostomus is not averaged over the day but occurs in spikes as he defecates.

This is a big problem if you have any tank mates which are sensitive fish, because has he grows bigger the ammonia spikes grow wilder, and your companion fish will grow sicker.

It has been my experience, after 40 plus years, that I no longer keep other fish in a tank with a pleco unless I must.
 
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