New Freshwater Tank, 20g Stocking Help, Baby Bn Pleco Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Paper Spiders, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Paper Spiders

    Paper SpidersValued MemberMember

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    Hi Everyone!

    This is my first post, but I've been reading lots of threads up until this point. I once had a 10g freshwater tank about 6-7 years ago, but I am pretty new to the hobby. I have had some troubles, but I think I am on the right track. My question is about my albino BN pleco baby, and if I should replace him with a school (I'm thinking 6) oto cats. Please let me know if I have made any glaring mistakes.

    Some background:
    This is a low tech, heavily planted 20 g long tank with anubias, crypts, swords and frog bit. Probably some other plants I am missing. There is a lot of driftwood, and the substrate is Fluval stratem. I have a heater, and two filters running on opposite sides: a Marineland Penguin 100 and an Aqueon Quietflow T15.

    The tank has been set up for two weeks, at 80*F. The tank is cycled, I'm guessing. From what I tested this morning my PH is 7.4 - 7.6, my ammonia is 0, Nitrates are 0 and my nitrites are less than 10 ppm. I have been doing 10% water changes every day, since I figure it cant hurt and I use the water to water my plants. Again, this is a 20g long tank.

    Current inhabitants: 2 ADF, who are very active and happy, 2 black Khuli loaches and 2 striped kulhi loaches, 1 tiny albino BN pleco and a couple shrimp. I know the loaches need more of their own kind to be happy, so I am planning on getting 2 more of each color, to make a community of 8.

    The BN pleco has been my problem. I bought one from Petco as a baby and he died the next day. When I tested the water, there was 0.25 PPM ammonia that day. I waited until everything was back to 0 and bought another. Not smart of me, but the Petco lady assured me my tank was perfect for a BN pleco and I love the look of plecos. I should have done more research. THIS baby is now not looking so hot. It doesn't look like he has been eating (tried zuchinni, hikari algae eafters) though he sucks a lot at the glass and driftwood. His sides are sunken. I did some research and realized that BN plecos are not going to be happy in a 20g, but since he is only about an inch long, I don't think that is a problem yet.

    Now, I love the look of plecos, but it looks like they are just not a good option for a 20g tank. If this little guy dies, should I stop looking at plecos? I just love that kind of fish, but I don't want to kill any more! Someone suggested to me that a school of otos would be a good choice, but is 6 going to be too many for my tank with 8 loaches and 2 ADF? Please advise. Any suggestions are very appreciated.


    Thank you!

    -Melissa
     
  2. KasumiKi

    KasumiKiValued MemberMember

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    Your tank is still very new and so that means that water parameters are still going to be somewhat unstable. So spikes in ammonia and things are going to be pretty common. If you want to get oto cats you shouldn't have less than 6. They are found in the wild in shoals of thousands of them and they're very social fish. Less than 6 is just going to create some depressed oto cats. Some people have had success with having less than 6 but in general 6 is a safe start if you don't want to risk it.

    Most oto cats ONLY eat algae since they're generally wild caught and they can be a little sensitive to water parameters since they're usually treated pretty badly before getting to you. There's also a risk of them having diseases since they're wild caught and not treated well so make sure to have a quarantine tank or do some more research on them to see what a healthy oto cat should look like and such. I wouldn't buy any oto cats from any big chain store though. Best to buy them from a local fish store where they are more likely to be taking better care of their fish. Petco is notorious for not having the best information about any fish anyway.

    I don't know much about plecos. Have you done any research on what kind of water parameters they need? Like I said, Petco doesn't have very reliable information. Anytime I've asked them about things I've always ended up correcting them or finding out that they were extremely wrong later.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Paper Spiders

    Paper SpidersValued MemberMember

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    Yeah, I heard they were a social fish so I definitely would get a decent school of otos. I did some research on BN plecos (after I got mine, unfortunately) and it looks like my parameters are OK, some say 20g long is ok, some say they need a minimum of 30g.

    Given the choice, I'd rather have a pleco, but I want healthy fish above all.
     
  4. Princethepurplebetta

    PrincethepurplebettaWell Known MemberMember

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    Be a little careful having a Bn with african dwarf frogs. Every bn i put with mine tried to eat the frogs after the bn was past 4inches long.
    Its up to you if you want to keep the bn in there though just keep an eye one them!
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Paper Spiders

    Paper SpidersValued MemberMember

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    So far the frogs are the fattest and most aggressive out of the bunch, but I will take that into consideration.

    Everything is pointing to NOT getting another pleco if this one dies. I'm a little disappointed...plecos and catfish are my favorites. I really wanted a loach tank, but I'm realizing I can't have everything I want.

    Thank you for all of the replies!
     
  6. Marzahtha

    MarzahthaValued MemberMember

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    Do you have nitrates and nitrites mixed up in your water parameters? Because your fish would be dead with 10ppm of nitrites.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Paper Spiders

    Paper SpidersValued MemberMember

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    oh gosh, yes I do. They have 0 nitrites and 10 PPM nitrates. Thanks for catching that. I get that confused all the time.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Paper Spiders

    Paper SpidersValued MemberMember

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    Good news, the pleco is eating! He looks chubby and happy now. He's so small, less than an inch with his fins, so I guess he needs to be fed more than every other day. I give him veggies on a clip every night, but I am going to add a algae wafer now also.
     
  9. Marzahtha

    MarzahthaValued MemberMember

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    Yay, glad it just needed time to acclimate.
     
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