What plants to keep with a Pleco?

Waterloo
  • #1
Good morning!

So I love live plants in my tank and the benefits they bring and I am also in love with my common pleco. (Slurpy :happy

For the most part I have Amazon Sword and a few moss balls.

Plecos, like some may know, have no regard for plants and really don't care about ripping them up while on the search for food. Most of my plants now just end up floating around until its time for a water change and I stick everything back in the substrate only to have my energetic fish pull them up again. So seeing how most of my plants float around mid tank are there any good floating plants I could try to use as a good compromise? Was thinking something like duck weed but never housed it and honestly can't remember ever seeing it at my local chain and family pet stores.

Which brings me to question number 2...I am located in the DMV area in Virginia. Any one have any good online stores they can recommend?

Thank you!

~Mikayley
 
bizaliz3
  • #2
Welcome to fishlore!

I hate to say it....but your profile says your tank is only 20 gallons which is waaaaay too small for a common pleco. They need over 100 gallons.

Your plant issue will be resolved if you rehome him. And I understand you adore him. But you are not giving him a chance at a good life if he has to live in a 20g.

Sorry to be so blunt :-(
 
Jellibeen
  • #3
How big is he?

Archibald is in a 90 gallon with a thick covering of duckweed. He will eventually need a bigger tank, but for now the 90 gives him plenty of space.

I’m not really sure where my duckweed came from. It must have snuck in on some other plants. It grows like crazy and spread quickly in that tank.
 
The Fish Nerd
  • #4
Duckweed is a pain. Gets everywhere and is so hard to get rid of if you decide you don't like it.
Anubias and java fern don't actually need to be rooted. You can either tie them to a piece of driftwood or rock with fishing line or you can even use a drop of super glue to attach them.
 
Waterloo
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Welcome to fishlore!

I hate to say it....but your profile says your tank is only 20 gallons which is waaaaay too small for a common pleco. They need over 100 gallons.

Your plant issue will be resolved if you rehome him. And I understand you adore him. But you are not giving him a chance at a good life if he has to live in a 20g.

Sorry to be so blunt :-(


No problem at all, he is still pretty little and slow growing but have another tank ready for him when he needs to be moved
 
Jellibeen
  • #6
I don’t think attaching plants to driftwood will save them from pleco destructions.

Have you tried emergent plants? I have golden pothos and spider plants growing out of my tank.
 
Waterloo
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I don’t think attaching plants to driftwood will save them from pleco destructions.

Have you tried emergent plants? I have golden pothos and spider plants growing out of my tank.

Yes, but won't be able to do it really with this setup.. the lights are embedded in the lid and he is a jumper
 
Jellibeen
  • #8
Yes, but won't be able to do it really with this setup.. the lights are embedded in the lid and he is a jumper

Do you have an HOB filter? You can stick some in there. It isn’t the same as underwater plants, but they still suck up nitrates and look pretty.
 
DiscusxGold
  • #9
I have 2 pleco the 6 inch ones with anubias attached to driftwood and they don't damage it at all . Its more of my goldfish which knocks it around.


20180724_192926.jpg
 
The Fish Nerd
  • #10
If the problem is uprooting plants so that they don't stay planted, this wouldn't occur with anubias tied to driftwood. I'd say it has a better chance of working than not.
 
Thunder_o_b
  • #11
I grow everything from sword plants to Madagascar lace and never have issues with my bristle nose and plants. Beast is 9 years old and Benny is 5 years old. Plants are in sand.

EDIT: did not read as closely as I should have. Common...oops.
 
Awaken_Riceball_
  • #12
Pleco are notorious for uprooting plants including any if most Cichlid species as well! Here are several options:

1. Remove the pleco for now until the plants grow in and obtain a firm hold
2. Use fishing line to attach the plant
3. Use super glue "cyanoacrylate" - Very important as that is aquarium safe. Don't use the other one
4. Purchase aquarium plant weights for root plants to hold it down into the substrate

As far as floating plants, I recommend Amazon Frog Bits. It is an amazing floating plant, grows fast (but not as fast as duck weed), easy to remove, removes a lot of nitrates and has long flowing roots! I'll post a picture later of my Betta that has it.
 
angelcraze
  • #13
It's the smaller plecos like bushynose that behave well with plants. I keep them in heavily scaped planted tanks no problem, but the bigger common plecos can be ruthless.

There's a red amazon frogbit variety available that is very pretty, but I've been replacing my red floaters with water lettuce lately. I like the long roots. I also plant my swords and other heavy rooters in glass pots and bury in some tanks. It keeps them and nutrients in place.
 
Waterloo
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Pleco are notorious for uprooting plants including any if most Cichlid species as well! Here are several options:

1. Remove the pleco for now until the plants grow in and obtain a firm hold
2. Use fishing line to attach the plant
3. Use super glue "cyanoacrylate" - Very important as that is aquarium safe. Don't use the other one
4. Purchase aquarium plant weights for root plants to hold it down into the substrate

As far as floating plants, I recommend Amazon Frog Bits. It is an amazing floating plant, grows fast (but not as fast as duck weed), easy to remove, removes a lot of nitrates and has long flowing roots! I'll post a picture later of my Betta that has it.


Frog bit! was trying to remember the name earlier today! I will have to look into that one.. I really liked it in another tank I was looking at
*Highfives*
 
Waterloo
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
It's the smaller plecos like bushynose that behave well with plants. I keep them in heavily scaped planted tanks no problem, but the bigger common plecos can be ruthless.

There's a red amazon frogbit variety available that is very pretty, but I've been replacing my red floaters with water lettuce lately. I like the long roots. I also plant my swords and other heavy rooters in glass pots and bury in some tanks. It keeps them and nutrients in place.


I think I have a few terracotta pots in storage..could I use those? I like the idea of using pots
 
Jellibeen
  • #16
I think I have a few terracotta pots in storage..could I use those? I like the idea of using pots

Yes! Terracotta pots are fine. Make sire to rinse them in warm water.

I thought plants attached to driftwood wouldn’t be good because plecos eat driftwood. I could definitely be wrong.

On a somewhat related note, are red rooters a type of frogbit? I didn’t think they were the same species.
 
angelcraze
  • #17
I meant red floaters. Yes, red frogbit. I could be wrong, but it looks just like frogbit although red leaves.
 
Bryangar
  • #18
Red root floaters aren’t a type of frogbit, they look completely different. You usually won’t get the red though unless under good light.
 
angelcraze
  • #19
Wish I had a pic of the stuff in my nursery tank. I'll try to find one. I can find what it looked like online, but I don't think that's allowed here. It was the leaves that are red on top and bottom. Maybe roots, but I'm not sure. Yes, it needs bright light to turn red on top. The bottom of the leaves turn red before the top does.

Edit:
Found one pic of the stuff in my 120g, but it's not that red because it floats around. Behind the red frogbit is val rubra.

20170621_004520 (1).jpg
My nursery was packed with it and it stayed in place, allowing light on them all day. They were completely red below the light.

I thought this was frogbit, but maybe it's frogbit that I never had and only red floaters.

I just looked at red root floater pics and the type I have does not grow long red roots. They are always short in my tanks and white despite the red leaves. What is it? The plants are tiny, only about a 1/2 inch in diameter.
 
angelcraze
  • #20
I took a pic of the same plant in my low light pleco tank. They are all mostly green in there, with a few leaves having a light red color on the underside along the edges similar to the least red leaves in the first pic I posted.

20180920_160228.jpg
Also in the pic is riccia and the larger furry leaved minty green floater is water lettuce. All these plants are floating plants with bolbitis attached to driftwood underneath.
 
Bryangar
  • #21
Wish I had a pic of the stuff in my nursery tank. I'll try to find one. I can find what it looked like online, but I don't think that's allowed here. It was the leaves that are red on top and bottom. Maybe roots, but I'm not sure. Yes, it needs bright light to turn red on top. The bottom of the leaves turn red before the top does.

Edit:
Found one pic of the stuff in my 120g, but it's not that red because it floats around. Behind the red frogbit is val rubra.
View attachment 481219
My nursery was packed with it and it stayed in place, allowing light on them all day. They were completely red below the light.

I thought this was frogbit, but maybe it's frogbit that I never had and only red floaters.

I just looked at red root floater pics and the type I have does not grow long red roots. They are always short in my tanks and white despite the red leaves. What is it? The plants are tiny, only about a 1/2 inch in diameter.
that’s giant duckweed
 
angelcraze
  • #22
that’s giant duckweed
Ok, red floater giant duckweed? It's very undisputedely red in high light areas both on the top and bottom of leaves. It was given to me as red frogbit, I guess I never had it then.
 

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