Need help IDing young pleco (photo inside!)

BatKatie

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So I bought a rock from the LFS and later found a hitchhiker in my tank! I have no idea what type of pleco this is, or whether or not I want to keep it, but a friend seems to think the broad head means he/she's a bristle nose. I've Googled my fingers off and can't figure out for myself, so hopefully some folks familiar with baby plecs can help!
 

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monkeypie102

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Sorry I can't help to much but I must say that one of the best hitchhikers I have ever seen!
 

RogueAgent94

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Welcome to FishLore!

Looks like a small common or sailfin pleco to me. I doubt it is a bristlenose. Either way, awesome hitchhiker!
 

monkeypie102

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You could always call your lfs and ask what kind of fish where kept with the rocking you bought.
 
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BatKatie

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Tried that, but they weren't sure - apparently they just toss some sort of algae eater in most of the tanks, and they get 'really random pleco orders', so they have no idea.
 

monkeypie102

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That is really bad management IMHO... they store owner should always know what is in the tank as should the employees...
 
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BatKatie

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Another thing... This is a new tank, just cycled, and I've added rocks and pre-soaked driftwood to make my pH a little nicer to eventually keep some balloon rams. It's a planted tank, but I have a feeling this little pleco will make quick work of that. >_>

I wouldn't mind keeping him, but will the pleco interfere with my plan of some hardier rams and a large group of tiger barbs (large group so they don't stress the rams too much)? And is there any potential for me to keep plants alive decently with a pleco in here?

I've always avoided plecs because of their size/the looks creep me out a bit, but this is a 55 gallon bowfront tank and the little hitchhiker seems meant to be, so I think I'd like to hang on to it!
 

monkeypie102

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My brother and i have always had a pleco, of all different breeds, and not one ever bothered our plants in out tanks...
 

soltarianknight

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It would be nice to keep it, but if it is a Common/sailfin, which i agree with rogue on that, it won't keep in a 55. Those guys all need bigger tanks. 75 for the smallest species of sailfin and 100-120 minimums for the others. Most of them fall between 18-24" commons can get a little bigger then that. They have huge bioloads and none of them are major algae eaters, when they are young like that they will eat some algae but the bigger adults tend to eat decaying organic matter(sick and dying fish included). Commons can also be aggressive. Right now though it should be fine. Keep it for a month or 2, see how big it gets. If it hits 6-7" then it is time to go. I would just find a home for it now though to make it easier.
 

RogueAgent94

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Common Plecos are plant friendly when they are small but as they get larger they tend to tear them apart.

On a side note, keeping tiger barbs with rams is not a good idea. And balloon rams are especially a bad choice IMO. They are actually deformed fish which people find attractive. Their deformity really affects their ability to eat, compete for food, and other such normal activities.
 
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BatKatie

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I'll avoid the rams, then! I know it's off-topic, but do you have any suggestions on a 'centrepiece fish' or two that would fare decently with tiger barbs?

Also, I've got a home lined up with a friend who has an Oscar tank and another she'd like a pleco (of a decent size) in. Failing that, the LFS gives a 'fish credit' for surrendered fish, but I notice they've already got a massive plec someone gave up! The friend has some absolutely massive tanks, so I don't worry about it outgrowing hers if it ends up there. Thanks a ton for the advice!
 

soltarianknight

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Yup. You could go with a Rubber lip, BN, Bulldog or clown once it is all settled. There are a few other not so common species of plecs too. A centerpiece for tigers, sounds like a Jaysee question honestly.
 

RogueAgent94

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I've kept tigers for years. They were actually my first fish! I've kept a variety of fish with them but they really do like a lot of their own kind. How big is your tank? The best fish with them, from my experience, are: Dwarf Gouramis, Flag Cichlids, most loaches, Festivums, Severums, other barbs, and most Rainbowfish. Personally I like to see a tiger tank that includes a type of Gourami and Loaches with some type of glass shrimp on the bottom. Those are all things that are found in their wild environment, usually.
 

soltarianknight

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I could see a DG or a 3-spot doing well with them, id avoid anything small like the pygmy and anything with long fins like pearls though.
 

Ilyas

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Looks a lot like my Florida BN. About how big is it? I assume small since it is a hitch hiker. We got ours real small a few weeks ago and he still i s not big enough to leave our 10g.
 
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BatKatie

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After another trip to the LFS, I spoke to a girl who's generally really knowledgable and hasn't steered me wrong on things before. I showed her the photo of this mystery pleco on my iPhone, and she immediately said it wasn't actually a pleco, but something that's shipped to them as a 'Borneo Sucker'.

While it LOOKS like a pleco to me, she seemed to know a lot about these suckers, saying they're also called a hillstream loach, a butterfly pleco etc. and told me they prefer a strong current and slightly subtropical temps because they're river fish.

So... maybe this doesn't belong in the pleco forum? o_O Now I'm REALLY confused.
 
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