Would a pleco eat my fishes?

Discussion in 'Pleco - Plecostomus' started by Dasquee, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Dasquee

    DasqueeNew MemberMember

    Hey again guys!

    I'm about to move into another tank (55g) and thought I'd try something a little different then what I have now.

    I was wondering, would a decent size pleco (4-6inches im guessing) eat fish smaller than itself or are they fine with pretty much anything? I've seen a lot of really big ones, 10"+, in tanks with reasonably large fish but none with the smaller types. Wondering about blue gourami's, rainbow shark, small clown loaches and maybe some bristlenose plecos.

    I've always wanted one as they look so cool :D
  2. peacemaker92

    peacemaker92Well Known MemberMember

    Hi Dasquee,

    I don't know much about plecos but have never heard of any eating smaller fish. Wait for other members with experience in large plecos to swing by soon and give their opinions. Good luck and hope to see some photos of your 55g along the way! :;hf
  3. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Dasquee. I've never heard of Pleco's eating other fish either. They are herbivores.
    They love zucchini! I have an 8" Common Pleco and have several 2" Cory Cats. No problems at all.
    I'll be looking forward to updates from you.

  4. DigglyWell Known MemberMember

    I believe they have been known to eat unfertilized fish eggs but not fish.

  5. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    if a fish passes, they will eat them....if a fish is sick and doesnt move much, they will eat them..mine love fresh chunks of haddock, blood worms, shrimp pieces etc..so they will eat just about anything.....but with healthy fish and the ones you are wanting to stock with them, they are great additions..just make sure their diet is varied as most algae eaters, dont just survive on algae .....im a bn fan big time ....good luck!
  6. harpua2002

    harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    Be sure to choose a pleco that stays small enough to live in your tank throughout its lifespan. Bristlenose, clown, and rubberlip are good choices, and some of the fancy plecos stay small as well.

    Clown loaches get very large if kept properly, too large for a 55 gallon. Their growth will be stunted in a tank that is too small. Have you considered yo yo loaches instead?
  7. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    Hello :;hi1 Congrats on the new tank!!

    Imo, clown loaches are not a good fit for a 55g. They grow quite large and are shoaling fish. I wouldn't go less than 75g for them, and 125 would be better. A BN or two would be great in a 55g. :)
  8. gremlin

    gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    My two plecos (sailfin?) do fine with smaller fish. They are in with goldfish which vary in size from smaller than them to larger than them, mosquito fish and american flag fish that are smaller than them, and a cae and 3 cory cats that are all smaller than them. In my experience, the plecos seem to be scavengers. They seem to prefer the algae, and love their algae wafers (when I run out of moss for them), but they will also scavenge leftover food, snails, and whatever else is around.
  9. Bad Wolf

    Bad WolfWell Known MemberMember

    No matter how big a pleco is, it will never hunt down and eat a fish, though if a dead fish is available, they will snack on it.
  10. OP

    DasqueeNew MemberMember

    I always thought that 55 sounded a little small especially when all the fish shops use them and my tank is quite a bit larger. Finally measured it today, as it's a custom tank. According to my calculations it's a little over 80g/300L~. I can definitely understand the loach thing, and I've done more than enough reading on them. The ones I have aren't overly big, but I have plans to get a bigger tank to move them into in the next year so there shouldn't really be any problems.
    So glad the pleco won't cause issues though, I've been wanting one for ages. Time to pick me up a nice sailfin, I love how they look.
  11. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    :) Great - can't wait to see pics of your new buddy! :D
  12. clownloachyNew MemberMember

    Im pretty sure that all plecos are dedicated vegetarians, never heard of anyone having problems with them eating fellow fish. they dont really have the right mouth for it, ya know? i think i've heard of them eating peoples shrimp though. what they really love is zucchini!
  13. OP

    DasqueeNew MemberMember

    Well, I've started looking around but I have a question. I can fairly easily get them at about 2inches long fairly cheap, how fast do they grow? I'm curious as to whether I should try and get a bigger one instead.
  14. gunner13Well Known MemberMember

    Hi Dasguee. The sail fin pleco or GIBBICEPS do get very big(about 2 foot) and are peaceful in a community tank but not with their own kind. If you decide to get one then get a smaller one at this time so you can keep an eye on it's growth rate. They are also big waste producers just to make you aware. Hope this helps.

  15. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    I'd do some research into the plecs your interested in before buying. Like Gunner pointed out some of them get big, really big. Seeing how you only have 50gal to work with, it would probably be a good idea to limit yourself to plecs that get no bigger than 20cm. Much bigger than that & they will be too cramped in your tank. They can also destroy your plants if they are not well rooted. They don't mean to but the sheer bulk of the fish swimming between the plants can be enough to uproot them & cause considerable damage.
  16. gremlin

    gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    My two sailfin plecos were 1/2 inch long when I bought them. They grew to between 8 and 9 inches in one summer. After their second summer outside they are now 10 1/2 inches and 11 inches long. That is just in two summers . . .

    I would go with smaller ones that would have a better time adjusting to your tank. In your 50 gallon, if you wanted a sailfin, I would only get one. And that would be pushing it with how big they grow - just for swimming room.
  17. rottie98Valued MemberMember

    Well I have a common pleco when i got him he about half an inch and now he is about 12 inches. i had him over a year the first couple of months he grew so fast but now he doesnt seem to be growing much but i only have a 20 gal im actually in the process of switching over to a 75 gal, im intersted to see if he grows any bigger. To answer your other question i have my pleco with 2 ghost shrimp and he doesnt bother them at all, cant get much smaller than that. Depending on which kind you get I would do some research you can get some really expensive ones but I know with mine you really shouldnt put 2 in one tank they can get territorial , i had a catfish in there once and my pleco attacked him, at the time i didnt know that was going to happen.
  18. convictleoparddempseyplecValued MemberMember

    i got an almost full grown common pleco who is 17" and a 13" common and a leopard in my 55 gallon get along great, leopard will "try" to chase the 13" common away certain times but never fight. As for eating fish i'd have to agree with most comments here, as they rarely eat other fish, got 20 feeder guppies swimming along side of these large fish and nothing will happen, unless one of my jack dempseys or convict/honduran reds eat them....:;jaws
    anyone know about how to tell sex of plecos?
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010

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