What Do I Need To Breed Plecos For Profit?

CatfishGuy

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I'm thinking of dedicating my tanks to pleco breeding but I need to know from other people what the different things I need are. Ive heard some say "you need 5 fully established tanks" and I've heard others say "they'll breed in almost any community! Just drop a cave in and youre good" so I want to see if people on FishLore could give me more accurate answers

I also need to know how to avoid inbreeding and what to feed the fry/adults so I can actually make healthy and profitable fish!
 

75g Discus Tank

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I would go with a 20-30 gallon tank, sponge filtration, 1 small cave(PVC pipe with an end cap will work), some driftwood, a ball of java moss, and slate instead of substrate(Make sure there aren't any gaps).

The tank size is important as the 2 adults will make a lot of waste, so start at a 20 long - 30 gallon.

After the eggs are laid, remove the female but keep the male.

The driftwood is important as it can have some fungus on it which the babies can feed on.
The java moss is for cover and can serve as an important food source.

The slate is used so the plecos can't scratch themselves and serves as a feeding surface.

When I breed my plecos, I will feed the babies a mixture or raw egg yolks, spirulina powder, and crushed up pellets.

This is fed by brushing it on a piece of slate where the plecos can easily eat it.

After a while, the plecos can feed from fresh veggies.
 

bizaliz3

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If you want to make any kind of profit off of pleco breeding, you would have to breed less common types.

Edit...
I just want to add that my babies are eating veggies and wafers the second their yolk sacs have depleted. I've never had to do any special food
 
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CatfishGuy

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75g Discus Tank said:
I would go with a 20-30 gallon tank, sponge filtration, 1 small cave(PVC pipe with an end cap will work), some driftwood, a ball of java moss, and slate instead of substrate(Make sure there aren't any gaps).

The tank size is important as the 2 adults will make a lot of waste, so start at a 20 long - 30 gallon.

After the eggs are laid, remove the female but keep the male.

The driftwood is important as it can have some fungus on it which the babies can feed on.
The java moss is for cover and can serve as an important food source.

The slate is used so the plecos can't scratch themselves and serves as a feeding surface.

When I breed my plecos, I will feed the babies a mixture or raw egg yolks, spirulina powder, and crushed up pellets.

This is fed by brushing it on a piece of slate where the plecos can easily eat it.

After a while, the plecos can feed from fresh veggies.
Right now my biggest tank is a 20 long with an HOB, black blasting sand, driftwood, 3 5" PVC pipes (open on both ends), and a 4 1/2" homemade ceramic cave. As for plecos present I have 2 albino bristlenose (both ~2") and 2 chocolate bristlenose (both ~ 1.5"). Ive been looking/observing them for a while, one of my albinos is growing in bristles, and one brown has a load of dots in a thick mass around the "nose" portion (dots as in patterns, not ich) so I'm guessing I have 1 M and 1 F for both types. Is my tank alright currently? I know I need to use something like a mesh with really small holes (pantyhose?) so the fry don't get sucked in.
 

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I would not try and have two breeding pairs of plecos in one 20 gallon.
Do you have a separate tank to grow the babies out in?

Brown and albino bristlenoses don't bring in much money. So don't expect any significant profit from them.

My plecos do their breeding in community tanks. I do not like keeping even one adult pleco in anything smaller than 29 gallons. Let alone two. They breed well in communities because the males are such good dads and the eggs/fry are well protected by dad in their cave. The trick is to get the babies moved after they hatch, but before they start trying to leave the cave.

To grow out the babies, I remove the cave with dad and the babies still inside of it and put it into a bucket. Then I move the babies into their own 10 gallon (to start) and I put dad back into the main tank. He serves no purpose to the babies once they have hatched and become mobile, so there is no reason to keep him in a smaller tank!!

After a few weeks in a 10g, I move the babies into a larger 40 breeder for continued growth.

And as I said above, no special feeding is needed because they latch onto veggies and wafers as soon as they are ready to eat.

As for using mesh or pantyhose over the siphon, I don't. Because they are messy babies and I want to get all that junk sucked up. If they are healthy, they are too fast to get sucked up. just watch closely as you siphon. Move slowly so they have time to get out of your way as you move along.
 
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CatfishGuy

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bizaliz3 said:
I would not try and have two breeding pairs of plecos in one 20 gallon.
Do you have a separate tank to grow the babies out in?

Brown and albino bristlenoses don't bring in much money. So don't expect any significant profit from them.

My plecos do their breeding in community tanks. I do not like keeping even one adult pleco in anything smaller than 29 gallons. Let alone two. They breed well in communities because the males are such good dads and the eggs/fry are well protected by dad in their cave. The trick is to get the babies moved after they hatch, but before they start trying to leave the cave.

To grow out the babies, I remove the cave with dad and the babies still inside of it and put it into a bucket. Then I move the babies into their own 10 gallon (to start) and I put dad back into the main tank. He serves no purpose to the babies once they have hatched and become mobile, so there is no reason to keep him in a smaller tank!!

After a few weeks in a 10g, I move the babies into a larger 40 breeder for continued growth.

And as I said above, no special feeding is needed because they latch onto veggies and wafers as soon as they are ready to eat.

As for using mesh or pantyhose over the siphon, I don't. Because they are messy babies and I want to get all that junk sucked up. If they are healthy, they are too fast to get sucked up. just watch closely as you siphon. Move slowly so they have time to get out of your way as you move along.
I see. I know albino and brown bn plecos don't necessarily bring in the money, but I'm hoping to get a decent amount of babies to slowly make up the money ive used up already. My next biggest tank is a 10 gallon. I'm thinking of either selling them to my lfs at 3-4 months of life or at 2". And I got 4 plecos to hopefully get a good ratio of females to male(1m:2-3f)

NavyChief20 said:
do you have a buyer?
No but I'm very sure my local lfs will accept some (theyve done it before, and very often)
 

bizaliz3

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So.....what you are saying is you are hoping to use a 20g and a 10g to house 4 adult plecos and all of their babies for 3 months at a time??? I am sorry, but that just isn't feasible.... :-(

I don't want to be a downer, but if all you have available for pleco breeding is a 20g and a 10g, you really aren't in a place to be breeding plecos. Maybe one pair, with the adults in a 20 and the kids in a 10. But in my opinion, 20 is WAY too small for a permanent home for two adult plecos, and a 10G is not big enough for a large group of fry to grow at a healthy pace. Its just not ideal at all. But to each his own.

What exactly are you thinking you are going to get for each baby? Store credit for most LFS would just be a couple bucks each. Have you spoken to the store about what kind of store credit they will give you for little basic BN pleco babies.....do you even know if it will be worth it?
 

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CatfishGuy said:
I see. I know albino and brown bn plecos don't necessarily bring in the money, but I'm hoping to get a decent amount of babies to slowly make up the money ive used up already. My next biggest tank is a 10 gallon. I'm thinking of either selling them to my lfs at 3-4 months of life or at 2". And I got 4 plecos to hopefully get a good ratio of females to male(1m:2-3f)
I wouldn’t count on the LFS buying your pleco babies, this I know from experience. I had a 40 gallon tank with two very young albino bristlenose pleco, a few months later I ended up with a pair that successfully bred and at that time I had to bring the tank down. I sold the pair to my LFS but kept all the babies in a 10 gallon that wasn’t cycled, and because of that I lost over half of them. The LFS wouldn’t take them unless they were over 2 inches and even then they would only accept 6 at a time. Less than a few dozen survived to be sold, at the beginning there were around 50 or more babies. If you do decide to breed them, be prepared ahead of time and make sure the tanks are actually cycled. Don’t expect to get your money back so soon, it takes months for all the babies to reach 2 inches. And like I said, your LFS may not buy them from you. They certainly didn’t sell very fast at my LFS for months afterward and as expected I didn’t get a very good deal. I don’t think your tanks are large enough to house all four in the same tank, I believe adult bristlenose plecos need about 20 gallons each but that’s just me.
 
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CatfishGuy

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Mbross325 said:
I wouldn’t count on the LFS buying your pleco babies, this I know from experience. I had a 40 gallon tank with two very young albino bristlenose pleco, a few months later I ended up with a pair that successfully bred and at that time I had to bring the tank down. I sold the pair to my LFS but kept all the babies in a 10 gallon that wasn’t cycled, and because of that I lost over half of them. The LFS wouldn’t take them unless they were over 2 inches and even then they would only accept 6 at a time. Less than a few dozen survived to be sold, at the beginning there were around 50 or more babies. If you do decide to breed them, be prepared ahead of time and make sure the tanks are actually cycled. Don’t expect to get your money back so soon, it takes months for all the babies to reach 2 inches. And like I said, your LFS may not buy them from you. They certainly didn’t sell very fast at my LFS for months afterward and as expected I didn’t get a very good deal. I don’t think your tanks are large enough to house all four in the same tank, I believe adult bristlenose plecos need about 20 gallons each but that’s just me.
They do grow up to need 20 gallons each, but this is basically a growout until sexual maturity I'm going to have a 55 gallon from a friend pretty soon. Also, I'm planning to grow the fry out at least a month after they're big enough to be sold just to be sure. This is the only lfs I have that actually has at least half decent living conditions for the animals in the city, so any fishkeepers that want bn plecs will most likely go there.

bizaliz3 said:
So.....what you are saying is you are hoping to use a 20g and a 10g to house 4 adult plecos and all of their babies for 3 months at a time??? I am sorry, but that just isn't feasible.... :-(

I don't want to be a downer, but if all you have available for pleco breeding is a 20g and a 10g, you really aren't in a place to be breeding plecos. Maybe one pair, with the adults in a 20 and the kids in a 10. But in my opinion, 20 is WAY too small for a permanent home for two adult plecos, and a 10G is not big enough for a large group of fry to grow at a healthy pace. Its just not ideal at all. But to each his own.

What exactly are you thinking you are going to get for each baby? Store credit for most LFS would just be a couple bucks each. Have you spoken to the store about what kind of store credit they will give you for little basic BN pleco babies.....do you even know if it will be worth it?
I'm going to slowly grow it up, obviously I won't get $30 a fish, but I'm very sure I'll have a pretty okay-ish amount of money after maybe 5 births, I'll let the original pair breed until theyre big enough to FULLY outgrow the tank(by then I'll likely have a 55, my friend has one waiting for me and I've been cleaning up an area just for it) then I'll sell them for a few dollars more (I've seen normal browns go for $60 full grown? Correct me if I'm wrong)

I obviously am not breeding as a main source of income, but In the end it's still a few more dollars saved
 

bizaliz3

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CatfishGuy said:
I'm going to slowly grow it up, obviously I won't get $30 a fish, but I'm very sure I'll have a pretty okay-ish amount of money after maybe 5 births, I'll let the original pair breed until theyre big enough to FULLY outgrow the tank(by then I'll likely have a 55, my friend has one waiting for me and I've been cleaning up an area just for it) then I'll sell them for a few dollars more (I've seen normal browns go for $60 full grown? Correct me if I'm wrong)

I obviously am not breeding as a main source of income, but In the end it's still a few more dollars saved
Where are you located that people are spending $60 on a brown BN plec0??? That's insane. I would say a full grown sexable adult would be more like $20 TOPS. The 2 inchers less than $10. And the store needs to make a profit too. Leaving you with a couple bucks each tops. So, lets Say you spend 3 months growing out 40 babies. You bring them in and get two bucks each in credit. So $80. Approx $26 per month. And that is assuming they are at least 2 inches at 3 months old. If you are growing them out in a small tank, they will very likely need an additional month or two, making it closer to $16 per month. With those kind of numbers....you are doing nothing more than sustain your hobby. You aren't making any money. You are in for disappointment with the expectations you have in your head. I am sorry to say.

BN plecos breed like rabbits. They are not worth much at all for that very reason!! Yes, people might spend a little more on sexable adults in order to save some time growing out their own. But even then, they are not valuable fish. They take little to no effort to breed, pretty much anyone can do it, and they produce babies like crazy. Its just not a fish that is going to bring you income. I hate to break it to you. It can help sustain the hobby, and it can be enjoyable, but it isn't going to bring in any extra spending cash.

I breed blue eye lemon BNs. They have brought in some nice side cash here and there since they are more unique. I sell them myself, I don't let the LFS have them. But my first pair was producing 50/50 yellows and browns. I could hardly give the brown ones away!!!!!!!!!!! I was offering free browns with the purchase of yellows. lol The LFS would only take some of them. Not all. And also for the record, the albinos have become so common that they aren't really any more valuable than a brown.

Have you even spoken to your LFS yet? if not, you are making quite the assumption that they will take in all your babies. You should check with them and see what they will even offer you for 2 inch common BN plecos...at least give yourself an idea of what to expect.

But if your adults aren't even mature adults yet...then you are technically inquiring about fish you might not be supplying them for another year.....
 
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CatfishGuy

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bizaliz3 said:
Where are you located that people are spending $60 on a brown BN plec0??? That's insane. I would say a full grown sexable adult would be more like $20 TOPS. The 2 inchers less than $10. And the store needs to make a profit too. Leaving you with a couple bucks each tops. So, lets Say you spend 3 months growing out 40 babies. You bring them in and get two bucks each in credit. So $80. Approx $26 per month. And that is assuming they are at least 2 inches at 3 months old. If you are growing them out in a small tank, they will very likely need an additional month or two, making it closer to $16 per month. With those kind of numbers....you are doing nothing more than sustain your hobby. You aren't making any money. You are in for disappointment with the expectations you have in your head. I am sorry to say.

BN plecos breed like rabbits. They are not worth much at all for that very reason!! Yes, people might spend a little more on sexable adults in order to save some time growing out their own. But even then, they are not valuable fish. They take little to no effort to breed, pretty much anyone can do it, and they produce babies like crazy. Its just not a fish that is going to bring you income. I hate to break it to you. It can help sustain the hobby, and it can be enjoyable, but it isn't going to bring in any extra spending cash.

I breed blue eye lemon BNs. They have brought in some nice side cash here and there since they are more unique. I sell them myself, I don't let the LFS have them. But my first pair was producing 50/50 yellows and browns. I could hardly give the brown ones away!!!!!!!!!!! I was offering free browns with the purchase of yellows. lol The LFS would only take some of them. Not all. And also for the record, the albinos have become so common that they aren't really any more valuable than a brown.

Have you even spoken to your LFS yet? if not, you are making quite the assumption that they will take in all your babies. You should check with them and see what they will even offer you for 2 inch common BN plecos...at least give yourself an idea of what to expect.

But if your adults aren't even mature adults yet...then you are technically inquiring about fish you might not be supplying them for another year.....
I can't even get mad at you for giving it to me straight. I just like pondering about ideas and posting threads to see how it can go and get extra knowledge. Like your reply, that informed me and kind of set me straight a bit so I don't gear off too far and invest too early. If I'm still not fully ready to breed plecos, is there any other fish that I can breed for more money that is small enough for my setup? I'll take the risk and if it doesnt work I'll have some most likey pretty nice fish in my tanks
 

bizaliz3

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CatfishGuy said:
I can't even get mad at you for giving it to me straight. I just like pondering about ideas and posting threads to see how it can go and get extra knowledge. Like your reply, that informed me and kind of set me straight a bit so I don't gear off too far and invest too early. If I'm still not fully ready to breed plecos, is there any other fish that I can breed for more money that is small enough for my setup? I'll take the risk and if it doesnt work I'll have some most likey pretty nice fish in my tanks
Ok Phew. I am glad to hear that you aren't upset or turned of by my advice. Depending on how it is read, it could be taken in a rude manner. But I am just trying to help! I've been there. lol

If you want to breed something smaller, and also more rare, see if you can get your hands on some dwarf crayfish. They are pretty easy to breed, very little involvement from the fish keeper, and because they are less common, you could probably sell them on your own (using craigslist or facebook for example) so the LFS doesn't have to get a cut of it.

You don't need huge tanks to breed and raise the dwarf crayfish because they don't get any bigger than 1-2 inches. And they aren't nearly as messy as plecos.

Just an idea!! I have also learned recently that both shrimp and guppies are insanely popular in my area (the more rare kinds anyway). I have never been a fan of either, but at the last auction...shrimp and guppies stole the show! And BN plecos went for next to nothing!! lol So maybe there is a more rare guppy variant you could get into breeding? Or some unusual shrimp?

The fact of the matter is, if you want spending cash, you want to breed and sell fish or inverts that are not easily found at any chain store out there. Or at least different color morphs than what you routinely see at the stores.
 
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CatfishGuy

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bizaliz3 said:
Ok Phew. I am glad to hear that you aren't upset or turned of by my advice. Depending on how it is read, it could be taken in a rude manner. But I am just trying to help! I've been there. lol

If you want to breed something smaller, and also more rare, see if you can get your hands on some dwarf crayfish. They are pretty easy to breed, very little involvement from the fish keeper, and because they are less common, you could probably sell them on your own (using craigslist or facebook for example) so the LFS doesn't have to get a cut of it.

You don't need huge tanks to breed and raise the dwarf crayfish because they don't get any bigger than 1-2 inches. And they aren't nearly as messy as plecos.

Just an idea!! I have also learned recently that both shrimp and guppies are insanely popular in my area (the more rare kinds anyway). I have never been a fan of either, but at the last auction...shrimp and guppies stole the show! And BN plecos went for next to nothing!! lol So maybe there is a more rare guppy variant you could get into breeding? Or some unusual shrimp?

The fact of the matter is, if you want spending cash, you want to breed and sell fish or inverts that are not easily found at any chain store out there. Or at least different color morphs than what you routinely see at the stores.
This may be off topic but I've always wondered how much time (How many generations) it would take to make a guppy's tail patterns/colors/general patterns change? I have an accidental breeding pair of guppies and I want to see if I can pair the next generations with other guppies and make something that is basically never seen at my local chain pet stores but is still cool. In all honesty I like breeding fish and doing different things with aquariums so I don't get bored and impulse buy something in hopes of keeping my interest
 

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being a bristle nose breeder i use two breeding logs and use two pairs in a 3 foot tank and have a 2 foot tank for the fry u need to feed aelge wafers and micro granuels to feed the fry ph should be around 6.5 to 7.5 and use drift wood its hard to sell fry to pet shops
 
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