Pleco in a pond?

neverendingninja
  • #1
I live in southern Alabama, just about 45 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. It gets nice and hot around here, the water temp tops out at about 84?F or so, and doesn't get below 45-50?F I would guess. BUT, to get to the point, my LFS has a 14" pleco, and right now he's stuck in a 5 gallon holding tank. He's only $25, and looks so pitiful in there, I'd love to give him a good home where he can stretch out as much as he wants. I know the pond has the capacity to hold him, just not sure if the temp requirements would be met. All of my goldfish and koi do just fine all year round...they get pretty docile in the cold of winter, but never seem to be out of breath in the summer time. Anyway, just looking for some opinions. If you guys get back to me soon enough, I might go pick him up today ;D
 
Allie
  • #2
As long as the water doesn't get too cold...I think that it would been fine. A friend of ours grows them out in their pond during the warmer months.
 
neverendingninja
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Too bad I don't have a tank big enough for him to hang out in during the winter. The pond has so much lush green algae everywhere, he would have a feast!

I'll have to do a little further research, maybe go to PlecoFanatics and ask there.

Thanks for the input!
 
Butterfly
  • #4
He will be fine in the summer but anything under 70F in the winter is too cold sorry. I have had a plec that goes out in the summer and back in in the winter for several years.
goldfish and koi are cooler water fish and being out in the winter won't hurt them.
carol
 
neverendingninja
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Yeah, I suppose I'll have to pass until I get my hands on another 55+ setup. Next summer I may end up with a few fancy plecos in the pond for the summer if I can get them a nice large tank for the winter, however.

Thanks for the definitive temperature range, Carol.
 
Butterfly
  • #6
Thanks for the definitive temperature range, Carol.
Welcome Is the pond too big to put a pond heater in it?
Carol
 
neverendingninja
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I can't answer that for sure, as I've never looked into it. I'd guess its somewhere in the 700-1000 gallon range. I'll do some measurements tomorrow and figure it out a little better. And I'm going to look into some heaters, but its my dads pond, and his power bill, so he'll have to make the call even if I buy the heater
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #8
Just tell him you want a microwave for your room... then.. make a box under a shirt that looks like a microwave.. bam, heated pond. j/k You should always listen to your parents blah blah blah.
 
gremlin
  • #9
I'm in phoenix az and I have a pleco in my pond (about 150 gal) this last summer. It was about 4 inches long when I put it in the pond in July. Now it is 11 inches long. No algae left! He will be spending the colder months in a 29 gal long tank at a friends classroom. Not the best tank for him, but that's all I can afford. The water temp right now still has not dropped below 80 F. It usually tops out about 90 to 95 F in the hottest part of the day. I also have two chinese algae eaters that he shares with as well as many goldfish.
 
KonguZyaNuva
  • #10
So I guess this means I can't put a pleco in a pond in wisconsin (-30 (f) is common on a winter night). Would a de-icer be enough to keep one warm?
 
darkwolf29a
  • #11
You would have to have a big heater, or he'd die for sure. Honestly, I wouldn't chance it.

I have a friend in Appleton that is raising bass, and he has a HUGE heater for his ponds. And he still pulls fish during the winter.
 
KonguZyaNuva
  • #12
You would have to have a big heater, or he'd die for sure. Honestly, I wouldn't chance it.

I have a friend in Appleton that is raising bass, and he has a HUGE heater for his ponds. And he still pulls fish during the winter.

Wow. I'm glad I asked, thanks.
 
gremlin
  • #13
a pond de-icer doesn't heat the pond, it just heats enough to keep a small area ice free. even with a heater, i'm not sure I would risk a pleco in that cold of water...
 
MousePotato
  • #14
As some of you know, Husband and I are moving to east Texas. Our house sits on 17 acres and we have two stock ponds with fish already in them. I don't know how deep they are, but I'm guessing 10-12 feet, maybe more. Would it be completely outrageous to consider releasing one of our plecos into one of the ponds? I know it gets colder up there than it does down here, but the depth is such that the ponds would never completely freeze, although I don't know how warm the water would be. Also, they do not feed into any rivers or streams. I know at least one of our plecos will eventually outgrow even our biggest tank and I'm trying to plan for the future. Your input would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Lucy
  • #15
HI Mouse, good to see you!
I don't really know the answer to your question, but you could possibly monitor the pond temps for 1 winter then decide.

I know other members have plecos in ponds but I don't know where they live and their temps may vary from yours.

Good luck on your move, I'm glad you found a house.
 
MeGustaUnaPez926
  • #16
Yeah, I think it would be a good idea to figure out the average temperatures the first year you are there, or have a back up plan ready. If you have any friends with ponds in Texas maybe you ask them?
 
MousePotato
  • #17
Thanks, Lucy. It's nice to be back. I've been so busy getting my house ready to sell that I haven't had much time for forums lately. All the fishlorian handymen can put their tools down and stay in their respective states - the new house was built in 2001 and doesn't need much work.

I agree with both you and MeGusta that I need to find out what the temps are in those ponds before releasing him. I know it's safe to do this in the Houston area since we never even get a hard freeze, but east Texas may be different. Houston is sub-tropical and Dallas is Temperate. A back up plan wouldn't be much help because I'd never be able to catch him once he was in that water. I'm not talking about a peaceful little koi pond. I'm talking about a POND!
 
MeGustaUnaPez926
  • #18
Oh my goodness! Is that yours?!? I'm sooooo jealous!! How would you even filter that...
 
MousePotato
  • #19
Yep! That's ours. One of them anyway. So is the land behind it, going back about 3/4 of a mile. Beautiful, isn't it? Welcome to Texas!

I don't think it needs to be filtered. It's a self-sustaining little eco system. I have seen some good-sized fishies in there already, so it must be balanced between them and the vegetation.
 
MeGustaUnaPez926
  • #20
Oh, soooo jealous! So your plan is to add a few of your own goldies, the pleco (maybe) then just leave it be? Would you feed them or let them scavange on their own? Sorry about the questions, but I'd never heard of anyone having a real, natural pond, rather than one that was man made. That is too cool!
 
gremlin
  • #21
I am SOOO jealous! I would stock it with bass/trout and go fishing! Actually, your goldfish would probably be okay depending on what other fish are in there and how big your goldies are. If you have bass and your goldies are small enough to fit in the bass's mouths, your goldies may end up as a snack. As for the pleco, you would need to find out what catfish are in the pond for the same reason. Some catfish will eat smaller fish and if the catfish are enough larger than your pleco, your pleco may be a snack. Other than that, as long as the pond temperature stays 70 degrees farenheit or above, the common pleco/sailfin pleco should be fine. You could look into a solar powered pond heater or maybe see how difficult it would be to run power to the pond. With power, you could have a small gazebo type structure where you could sit to watch your fish and maybe run a light and a pond heater. Definitely check the temp of the pond water over the next winter at least twice a week in the morning just after the sun comes up. That is when the water will be just about at it's coldest. After all night with no sun and before the sun warms it the next morning.
 
Franklin
  • #22
Oh, soooo jealous! So your plan is to add a few of your own goldies, the pleco (maybe) then just leave it be?
In big ponds like that,releasing gold fish is not a good idea unless that is all you want to keep in there.My uncle did that once with a few gold fish won at a fair.A few years later,and the pond literally was orange with all the goldfish in it.They had killed off all the sport fish that had once been in the pond,and he had to add chemicals to kill off all the gold fish and start over.As far as a pleco goes,as long as the temp of the water stays warm enough it would be fine,but you would never see it.So just out of curisoity,why would you want to?
 
MousePotato
  • #23
Thanks for all the input, guys. I do not intend to add any goldfish. I don't even have any goldfish. I am not trying to turn this into a decorative pond. I just know that this pleco (who came with the aquarium) will eventually be too big even for my 110 long. I am thinking about his future and wondering if he could have one out there. It is very difficult to rehome large fish and I don't want him to suffer just because his former keeper was short-sighted in selecting him. This is why I am okay with never seeing him again after he was released. If I could take him back to the river where his kind originated, I would.

All that said, I may create my own koi or goldfish pond in the future, but it would be much smaller and closer to the house. We have two large ponds right now with their own systems established and Husband wants to buy the 17 acre plot next door, so I may have more in my future. Thank you to gremlin and MeGusta for your jealousy. I am amazed myself that this is my home! I've been a city girl all my life and I can hardly believe we own this incredible stretch of land and water!
 
ABCDemily
  • #24
I want a giant pond! I'm incredibly jealous.
As for the Pleco. Monitor the temps for a year if that's possible, and then see how he'd cope. If he does get too big, exhibition tanks in shops sometimes take very large fish.
My next door neighbours fish grew too big. He is now three feet big and happily living away with an eel and a lionfish in an Aquarium Exhibition.
Good luck!
 
bettafish2816
  • #25
*jealous!* wow! I love your pond, it's amazing!
 

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