Pleco question

ptillett

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Pleco experts. I have a common pleco I got last August (late). It is a decent size now. It is housed in a tank with two diamond back terrapins. I got it upon recommendations that it would be a good scavenger.

Once it attained some size, it did scavenge and is fed its own food.

My problem. My pleco seems to have become very aggressive to my terrapins. He just rams them all over the place and he is obviously a pretty good eater! Wow. LOL

I am afraid he will be getting his own tank. He is too aggressive and once he reaches full size, he might be able to hurt my terrapins.

Any thoughts?

p.s. My tank is 240 gallons. There are a couple of small catfish and minnows in there too. He doesn't bother them.
 

firemouthfreak

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How big is he? My common Albino Pleco used to have use to ram into my fish whenever they ate his Algae waffers lol. I have never seen a pleco eat live fish as their mouths aren't meant for that so to answer your question, I don't think your fish are in any danger, maybe in for some rough times though
 
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ptillett

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It is probably 8-9 inches right now. Maybe pushing 10. I haven't measured him in a while.

He does ram by smaller turtle all over the place. Very agressive when it is feeding time. I worry when he really attains some size!

I might film it. It is amazing to watch.
 

firemouthfreak

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It is probably 8-9 inches right now. Maybe pushing 10. I haven't measured him in a while.

He does ram by smaller turtle all over the place. Very agressive when it is feeding time. I worry when he really attains some size!

I might film it. It is amazing to watch.
Yea.. thats why I gave my pleco away ASAP.. They get huge.. and they lose their cuteness pretty fast.. If you fear for your Tetras lives then you should try trading your pleco for a smaller one of get a Rubberlip pleco, they only get to be about 5 inches long.
 
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ptillett

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LOL, I have aquatic turtles in there! Not tetras. The other fish are not the problem. My high dollar turtles are.

I like the pleco. It is a nice looking fish. It will be taken care of, just might end up with its own condo.
 

gremlin

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Does the pleco have a couple of caves to hide in? It may be a territorial issue if the pleco does not feel that he has his own place to hide. Perhaps try rearranging the ornaments and plants in tank and give the pleco a couple extra caves or logs or ledges to hide under. I have two sailfin plecos that are both over 12 inches now. They love my pond and do not bother my goldfish at all. I've tried turtles and frogs in my pond, but they hop out and disappear, so I just stick with fish. I made a couple of rock caves for my plecos about a month ago. They love them!
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I'm inclined to agree with Gremlin, sounds like territory issues. I have a common Pleco about 9" and he gets along great with everyone. He even shares his zucchini slice every morning with my Silver Dollars. I also have lots of hiding spots for him.
Rearranging your tank sounds like a good idea.

Best wishes.
Ken
 
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ptillett

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He hides under a piece of drift wood. The only cave I have, the big turtle and catfish claim it. I will see what I can do about getting another hide in there.

It can't hurt to try.

But, the pleco does act the most agressive at night and feeding time.
 

gremlin

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He hides under a piece of drift wood. The only cave I have, the big turtle and catfish claim it. I will see what I can do about getting another hide in there.

It can't hurt to try.

But, the pleco does act the most agressive at night and feeding time.
That definitely sounds like territory aggression. Even if you just get a couple of flat rocks and make a cave for him, it might help. Rearranging the tank forces everybody to find new "territory" and if you can add a couple more hiding places at the same time it should really help. I used some big pvc pipe cut in half lengthwise to make a couple of caves. I used silicone to glue rocks on to the pipe and they turned out pretty good... I had a few medium sized flat rock for the top and I used landscape gravel for the sides.
 

chrisb01

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gremlin, thank you, I need to make some of those caves for my BN Plecos. Great idea.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.

Back to the subject. The common Pleco can get very big, and yes, at some point they will stop eating veggies and go for other foods, including swimming upside down to eat flakes and other floating foods.

They will get aggressive and kill and eat other fish. I had three, one of them albino. I was wondering what was happening to my Angelfish, and sure enough, I found one eating one of my larger Angelfish one day. I started to observe them and discovered that they were not only attacking the Angels, but also eating them.

You can give them their own tank or get rid of them. I gave mine to a LFS in Winter Haven, FL.

9 inches is not a full sized common Pleco, more like 15-18 inches.

Now I keep and breed Bristle Nosed Plecos. They grow to about four or five inches tops, but no bigger than that. BN Plecos also work on algae 24/7.

And, I have them even with my Guppies and Tetras.
 
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ptillett

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Thanks for the replies. Worst case, it will get its own tank. I will build an extra hide this week and see how that goes for a while.

I realize it is not full grown. That is what worries me! What happens when it reaches full size.

The pet store person that talked me into the pleco warned me about putting it in with certain fish. They will chew on them at night.
 

gremlin

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As long as the pleco has sufficient food available and sufficient turf (including hiding places) to call their own, there should not be a problem with aggression. They are scavengers, not predators. My two plecos are both over 12 inches and are not aggressive at all. They have ample hiding places and a variety of food including moss, algae wafers, and bottom feeder omnivore tablets. They also have all the snails they want to eat (if the cories leave any behiind). They completely ignore my goldfish.
 

chrisb01

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They have ample hiding places and a variety of food...
You know, come to think of it, they probably just grew on me and I never changed or increased the amount of food I was feeding.

Maybe when they were turning upside down to eat flakes from the top of the water, they were trying to tell me something. The bigger they got the more food they required, and I was probably not supplying the correct amount of food.

Hmmm...I wonder if the LFS will give them back to me. Maybe not, probably already sold. They were beautiful, especially the Albino one with ruby red eyes.
 

gremlin

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It's possible. We think of the scavenger fish as getting most of their food from what is leftover from other fish or from the moss growing in the tank. I think it is probably very easy to overlook the fact that these guys grow too, and there may not be enough food for them to scavenge so they turn to other sources of food. I've tried to be sure to feed mine plenty and have had no problems with aggression. Several friends of mine are school teachers (or work in the school system). They have classroom fish tanks and some have plecos in their tanks. They have had problems with the plecos chasing the other fish. I suggested a more varied diet and more hiding places and (in one case) a larger tank. Once the changes were made, there was no more aggression.
 
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ptillett

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It's possible. We think of the scavenger fish as getting most of their food from what is leftover from other fish or from the moss growing in the tank. I think it is probably very easy to overlook the fact that these guys grow too, and there may not be enough food for them to scavenge so they turn to other sources of food. I've tried to be sure to feed mine plenty and have had no problems with aggression. Several friends of mine are school teachers (or work in the school system). They have classroom fish tanks and some have plecos in their tanks. They have had problems with the plecos chasing the other fish. I suggested a more varied diet and more hiding places and (in one case) a larger tank. Once the changes were made, there was no more aggression.
Thanks for the advice.

My pleco can chow down. It is impressive how much he can take in. I think as much comes out! LOL

It is difficult to decide how much is right. Everything stresses on not over feeding. Then I worry about them not getting enough.
 

gremlin

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Thanks for the advice.

My pleco can chow down. It is impressive how much he can take in. I think as much comes out! LOL

It is difficult to decide how much is right. Everything stresses on not over feeding. Then I worry about them not getting enough.
You are very welcome.

My two plecos probably eat as much as (if not more than) any 5 of my goldfish. That's why they are such poop machines!

It is hard to not overfeed plecos since they do eat more than we think. That's why I love that mine can be in my outside pond and clean the algae for me. I don't have to worry about the algae or moss going "bad" like fish food does, and there is plenty in the pond for the first month or so of summer. Once they finish cleaning the bottom and sides of the pond, I'll start putting the waterfall sections down in the pond for them to clean overnight. Then I'll have to start worrying if I'm putting enough algae wafers in for them to eat. They eat the moss faster than it has a chance grow!
 
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