Question Getting a new pleco

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christine828

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I am going to be getting a pleco soon, we had one before and I thought he was the neatest fish. The thing is, I would like to get one of the smaller ones but I'm not sure what to get. I tried to look some pics up online and I couldn't find a whole lot of pics that went with size info an such. We have a 20 gallon now and will be upgrading to a 46 gallon by the end of the summer. Tank is currently stocked with 2 buenos aires tetra, 1 platy and 1 gourami.

Thanks for any info/advice you may have!
 
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christine828

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I looked at the bristlenose, they are interesting looking. Are they hard to find? I've not seen them at the LFS.
 

e_watson09

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Bristlenose is a good choice. Also some others that will be fine in a 20 gallon would be a Rubberlip pleco, or also a clown pleco. Those are atleast the ones that we sell at work.
 

funkman262

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I think bristlenose plecos are pretty common at most LFS, just ask one of the workers there. Pitbull pleco is even smaller than the BN but I think I recall reading that they should be kept in a small group.
 

Meenu

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Bristlenose is a good choice. Also some others that will be fine in a 20 gallon would be a Rubberlip pleco, or also a clown pleco. Those are atleast the ones that we sell at work.
I was thinking of a clown pleco, too, but then I looked at a couple of caresheets that said 29g minimum for clowns, but 20 minimum for BNs... not sure why the difference.
 
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christine828

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If I went with a clown as a baby, would it be okay for a few months until the move? Just keeping options open in case the LFS has one but not the other. Also, do these guys do well alone or is more than one recommended? If I add one now, will it adapt alright if I add another once we upgrade?

Do I even need more than one or can one do a decent job of keeping the algae under control in a 46 gallon tank alone?
 

e_watson09

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I was thinking of a clown pleco, too, but then I looked at a couple of caresheets that said 29g minimum for clowns, but 20 minimum for BNs... not sure why the difference.
That is weird hummm I always thought the clowns were better for a 20 gallon than a bn. Always learning something new on here everyday.

From what I've noticed the clowns usually seem to stay smaller than the bristlenose but idk maybe the clowns are more active then? Off to do some googling now I'm all intersted in that haha.
 

e_watson09

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Okay I googled all of these that we've mentioned so far and here's what I found on each of them.

Bulldog pleco (ribberlip pleco, rubbernose pleco) can live in a 20 gallon. can get up to 5inches. Very shy only really come out at night.


Bristlenose Pleco Gets up to 5 inches and can live in a 20 gallon. I know the store I work at we only sell albino version of this I'm not sure why but we do. These seem a bit hardier according to temp that they can live in and such.


Clown Pleco 5 inches max it says 29gallons. But then I've also found sites that say they only get 3" and can go in a 10 gallon. Then another site said they get 4" Then fishlore has it at 3.5 to 4 inches and min 20 gallons. Lots of confusion here. When I'm at work I'll read and ask what we reccomend for them. We have a couple books there. I'm thinking it will be fine in a 20 gallon but I would really research more before adding

Pitbull pleco only get up to 2 inches like to be in groups must be kept in a tank with a weak current. Can be in a min of 15 gallons.
 
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christine828

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Thanks for the great information. I think I have my heart set on the BN, I just hope I can find one around here. I do not think I have seen any at the chain stores, but I prefer not to deal with them anyway. Going fish store hunting this weekend.
 

e_watson09

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you can ask around on here you'd be surprised to hear about how many people that are close to you that know where all the good little lfs are (;
 

harpua2002

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If you are interested in small plecos that are a little more unusual, a snowball, orange seam, or queen arabesque would be ok in a 20. They can be a little hard to find but if you track down a good LFS you might be able to have one ordered for you.
 
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christine828

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I brought home 2 very little rubberlip plecos tonight. They are twice the size of the BN plecos the store had and still only a half inch long maybe. They are so cool! And enjoying the algae feast, since I haven't had an algae eater in the tank for a while.

Thanks everyone for the great advice. It was a tough choice between these guys and the BN, hope I made the right one!
 

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Just a word of warning in case you haven't considered it. when your new pleco's finish cleaning the tank you should be ready to start feeding them. The algae will never grow back fast enough to sustain them. They'll usually take algae wafers and dried seaweed (I'd only get the seaweed sold in pet stores), and/or you can prepare your own food zucchini, skinned peas, and lettuce. Haven't tried zucchini yet but my BN pleco didn't care for the lettuce or peas; he did go crazy for top fin dried seaweed sheets. When I get back from a work trip I'm going to start growing my own algae in the back yard.
 

Meenu

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Just a word of warning in case you haven't considered it. when your new pleco's finish cleaning the tank you should be ready to start feeding them. The algae will never grow back fast enough to sustain them. They'll usually take algae wafers and dried seaweed (I'd only get the seaweed sold in pet stores), and/or you can prepare your own food zucchini, skinned peas, and lettuce. Haven't tried zucchini yet but my BN pleco didn't care for the lettuce or peas; he did go crazy for top fin dried seaweed sheets. When I get back from a work trip I'm going to start growing my own algae in the back yard.
Just to add to this post about pleco case, they like driftwood in the tank too. Some plecos actually NEED driftwood.
 
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christine828

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I have some algae wafers from the last pleco we had but the guy at the LFS said not to give them any wafers until they've cleaned the whole tank. I have no idea how long that will take 2 tiny plecos, but they've been going pretty strong since they came home. Any idea how to tell when to toss a wafer or 2 in? The algae wasn't so bad you could see it so it's hard to tell. I was doing lots of water changes for ammonia issues (which are now a thing of the past, yay!) so I'm not sure how much built up.

As for the driftwood, I was reading some of the posts on here, it seems like a lot of work to get it ready for the tank so I want to be sure to do it right. The guy at the store asked if we had any wood in the tank and I told him no, he then said to supplement with the wafers since I don't have any. Seemed to know what he was talking about, this wasn't a chain store.

Very nice experience at the store, he even pulled out baby alligators for my 3 year old to see. And my son got to see a foot long common pleco, he jumped when it swam toward him! LOL! I've never seem so many varieties of fish at one place.
 

blasto172

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I first had mine pleco in a 10 gal. tank that was maybe 60% covered with algae, mostly on the gravel and the back of the tank. He ate all of it with in a week, so I'd say that they should be done within a week or two.

Sorry I forgot to mention the driftwood. I have Mopani Wood (African root) which looks great in the tank, Mopani has 2 colors which stand out nicely. Its pretty easy to prep, just boil the piece in water (some people will tell you for up to 16 hrs.), I boiled mine for about 2 hrs. 4 times, changing out the water each time. After that soak it in cold water at least overnight. It will still leach out tannins but after a few weeks It will become so light that you wont notice it till you remove water for a water change. also running carbon will help with the yellow water the wood will cause (which is not harmful to the fish).
 
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