my family voted yes to a bigger tank!

hopesmom

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hi all,
I told Hope (my daughter) that you said the pleco was getting too big for our 20g tank and needed to go...she whined to Todd(my boyfriend) and so now we are looking for a 55g tank! yaaayy! I tried Craigslist in Dallas and the classifieds but not much to see...any other cheap ideas? Petco and Petsmart are high! We have to go cheap...I tried to reply to one ad in Craigslist but it said outlook wouldn't take my email cuz it is hotmail..I am new at computers so I don't know what that means...help? I've heard about ebay but that I would have to pay expensive shipping and I might get a cracked tank, so that scared me off...one more thing..I am nervous about getting a 55 gal when I'm new to our 20 g still...will I need 2 heateres and 2 filters for a 55g? how much substrate do we need? I haven't tried live plants yet, but I would like to, so may as well get whatever substrate is good for that..
I'm so happy to keep our pleco!! He is about 4-5" long and spotted with big beautiful fins! Always crams himself in the little house though and hides..I'll shut up now..I'm just so excited and nervous!! Want to find a tank and get cycling asap! wheee! ;D
 

Boxermom

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I'm sorry to say but a 55g is nowhere near large enough for a common pleco. They get to be about 2 feet long. An absolute minimum would be 75 gallons but 125 is actually best.
 
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hopesmom

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oh my gosh! That is scary! It seems such a big jump for a beginner like me...but we love our pleco! I want him to be healthy and happy...Todd is worried about the cost...what is the price on average? The bigger the tankthe more heaters and filters, too, and gravel - right? How many and how much do you guess? Thanks Boxermom!!
 

Boxermom

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This will help you figure out how much gravel, heaters, etc. you'll need.
Yeah, that's a very big leap for a beginner. To be perfectly honest, you would be much better off taking it back to the store and getting something like a bristlenose pleco. They are quite adorable and max out at about 6 inches. Or pitbull plecos, which max out at about 3 inches and like to be with the company of others of their own type. There are a number of other types of plecos that are a more manageable size and are just as cute, if not cuter.
 

Boxermom

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BTW, setting up my 55 gallon tank has already cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 already for all of the supplies, and I got the tank and stand used (and pretty cheap, too). If you buy new, figure on doubling that.
 
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hopesmom

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oh...this is not going to go over well...thank you for your honesty :'( gonna go break the news to Hope and Todd...

oh and thank you for the site info...will read in a minute..

Denise
 

Boxermom

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Well just tell them that plecos are big poop machines and the bigger the pleco, the more of a poop factory they are. When they get larger, tank maintenance becomes a lot more of an issue, so they become a bigger pain in the butt. Better to return him now than find after you've had him for a year that you're starting to dread having him.
 
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hopesmom

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;D ;D guess what!!? last night we got a 90 gal tank with filters, gravel, scrubber for $100 from an ad in the Greensheet paper! I'm so excited! We get to keep the pleco - his name is Waldo, because we are always looking for him hiding - AND we can take some of the load out of our overstocked 20g!!
Problem #1 - no heater/s and I don't know anything about brands that are reliable. The website Boxermom is great for calculating wattage tho
Problem #2 - tank is FILTHY...have been scrubbing with algae pad and a tiny bit of salt, but not coming clean..pinkish stuff, and white stuff...any ideas? it is a glass tank
thanks!! ???
Denise
 

Boxermom

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Sorry, that tank won't be big enough.


Just kidding. Congrats! For a heater, I only use Visitherm stealth heaters and that's all I recommend. No glass to shatter or burn the fish, has auto-shut off in case you forget to unplug it during water changes (and comes back on when it detects water again), and is very reliable.

Try using some vinegar to clean it. Some people use bleach and/or oxyclean but if you do that, you have to have a LOT of declorinator and rinse and rinse and rinse until you can't smell bleach anymore.
 

Gunnie

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Congrats! You will find that the larger tanks are much easier to maintain, and you will love the bigger tank! Take a look at the Via Aqua titanium or stainless steel heater also. The temp. adjustment is outside the tank, and mine have served me well. I don't buy glass heaters anymore.
 
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hopesmom

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boxermom you won't believe how much stomach clenched up when I read that! ha ha! thanks for the vinegar tip - I had thought of bleach, but was afraid to, so I'll give vinegar a go in the morning...also, thanks for the heater info boxermom and Gunnie! I have one more problem, and that is it didn't come with a hood/light. The lady Todd bought it from had a flourescent work light suspended from the ceiling on baling wire (or something)...can I buy a light/hood to fit or do I have to buy a new tank to get a light? or do you buy 2 small ones? how does that work, and still look - well - good? (no offense intended to anyone who thinks the baling wire rig looks good in a livingroom!! just not my taste) thanks everyone for taking the time to help! I'm so excited about this new journey! ;D Denise
 

Boxermom

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You can either buy a hood with the light fixture built in, or a light fixture and a separate glass hinged lid. If you are going to use artificial plants, stock lighting is fine. If you want plants, you'll need compact fluorescent lighting. Measure the length of the tank. Here's a couple of links that will show you what you need.
stock lighting
compact fluorescent lighting
hinged glass lids (versa tops)
 
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hopesmom

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wonderful! thank you! I did tell Todd how your tank already cost you big bucks, but he was not deterred...I think he's getting into this "fish thing" too! he was making fun of me - constantly online reading and printing out profiles on my fish, and changing the water, and worrying about every little thing....and now TWICE today he's asked me if I'd heard about the lighting, or whatnot, and hasn't made fun of me once! He even came in here a few minutes ago and remarked how funny the frog is...he's laying on the leaf all sprawled out, dreaming... and he has rearranged the whole house practically to fit this big tank in the livingroom without me even helping! yea, he's definitely getting into it...
 

gammerus

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plecos are pretty cool fish but beware of decorating your fishtank. Because as soon as your pleco gets bigger he will never stop rearanging your tank I know mine do.
 
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hopesmom

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so do plecos dig up live plants, or knock over rocks, or what? so far, all he has done is hide in his house, and when the lights are out suck on the gravel and sides of the tank..we only have fake plants and he hasn't moved them..maybe because he hasn't had enough room to manuever, or they don't like fake plants? Haven't decided whether to try live or not inthe new tank..may be a deciding factor? I really like the look of the stacked rocks that form hidey holes..maybe I should glue them like I read in the other post this morning? that is if I find some good rocks...I'm a city dweller..sigh.. :-\ Denise
 

Boxermom

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They don't really dig them up, IME, as much as uproot and/or move them around just by physically swimming by them. Especially with a huge pleco like you're going to have. Personally, with a pleco that size and a tank that size, I'd stick with silk plants. I personally prefer silk to plastic. They look more realistic, move in the current better, and are softer so they are less likely to damage the fish by accident.
 
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