Advice for overgrown Pleco? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-21-2012, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Advice for overgrown Pleco?

Hi! I'm new. Here are my 2 tanks:
Display Tank - 25 gallon Freshwater fish tank
Hospital Tank - 5 gallon Freshwater fish tank

First off, I recently got these tanks and fish from people who took advice from the local pet store. I know that the Pleco is a really bad fish for what I have and needs a 75gal tank, but I can't afford a bigger tank or find anyone to take him and he's been in that tank for ~8 years. (He was only 1-2 inches originally.)

According to them, once he hit 9 inches, he stopped growing. He was kept with a similar sized Ghost Fish and a Fruit Tetra (1.75in, one of the ones I have now). Well, their Ghost Fish died and they got 2 Black Skirts, 3 Serpaes, and 2 Gold Barbs. (AKA, what're in the two tanks now.)

When I got the tanks, they'd just bought the hospital tank and put 2 of the Serpaes in because of popeye. (I also suspect a bit of fin rot.)

Is there any way I can salvage this situation? I can't get a bigger tank, and no one wants to take the fish. I was thinking of making a pond for the Pleco but am not sure how. Help, please?
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-21-2012, 10:40 PM
i would try even harder to find someone else to take him if i were you.

as far as i know, plecos are tropical fish and need the warmer water like other tropical fish do. not sure a pond would be good for him, plus it'd be more expensive to set up, and get up and running than just buying a bigger tank.

if you can't afford it, keep looking for someone with proper space to take him. common plecos get 14in+, and its a little known fact that when fish "only get as big as their space allows," their organs keep growing, and this kills them waaaay before their time.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-21-2012, 11:24 PM


Sorry to hear no one wants your pleco. Have you called around the local fish stores to see if any will buy him off you? My LFS gives store credit towards other fish.

Or maybe someone on Craigslist or your local equivalent?

Looking forward to seeing some pics of your tank!


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post #4 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by djembekah View Post
i would try even harder to find someone else to take him if i were you.

as far as i know, plecos are tropical fish and need the warmer water like other tropical fish do. not sure a pond would be good for him, plus it'd be more expensive to set up, and get up and running than just buying a bigger tank.

if you can't afford it, keep looking for someone with proper space to take him. common plecos get 14in+, and its a little known fact that when fish "only get as big as their space allows," their organs keep growing, and this kills them waaaay before their time.
Oh my god. I had no idea the organs still grew. Yeah, will definitely try harder to give him away. After I do, do you think the DT is big enough for the remainder of the fish?
Also, I know all of the others are school fish, which means 5+, but they seem to have formed their own school. Do I need to get more of each breed?
Thanks for your advice!

Contacted a fish rescue (Aqua Seal of Texas) and they offered to take and rehome all my fish! PM me if you'd still like one of mine and are willing to pay shipping. Just note that Mon Fishie and Neon are old (~8 years).
Fishy names: Common Pleco (9in)- Mon Fishie; Albino Black Skirt 'Fruit' Tetra (1.75in)- Neon; Black Skirts (1.5in)- Lady, Empress; Serpae Tetras (2x1.5in, 1x1in)- Trick, Or, Treat; Golden Barbs (1in)- Electric, Zapdos.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 07:08 AM
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Many people like to buy the larger species already well grown. So, a LFS might find the Pleco attractive. You have room to add additional fish to your groups; however, unless you like them, that would kind of be a step backward. Additionally, the serpae and black skirts can be nippy and limit what other species you could add in the future. Maybe you could make the fish you don't want part of a package deal with the LFS.

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Many people like to buy the larger species already well grown. So, a LFS might find the Pleco attractive. You have room to add additional fish to your groups; however, unless you like them, that would kind of be a step backward. Additionally, the serpae and black skirts can be nippy and limit what other species you could add in the future. Maybe you could make the fish you don't want part of a package deal with the LFS.
Really? Huh. Okay, will try selling/just plain giving away.
Yeah, I like all of mine and want to add to their number. Actually, (and I hope this is okay), I have a 'stocking advice?' thread with more details on their behavior here: Compatibility Question- Tetras and Barbs

Contacted a fish rescue (Aqua Seal of Texas) and they offered to take and rehome all my fish! PM me if you'd still like one of mine and are willing to pay shipping. Just note that Mon Fishie and Neon are old (~8 years).
Fishy names: Common Pleco (9in)- Mon Fishie; Albino Black Skirt 'Fruit' Tetra (1.75in)- Neon; Black Skirts (1.5in)- Lady, Empress; Serpae Tetras (2x1.5in, 1x1in)- Trick, Or, Treat; Golden Barbs (1in)- Electric, Zapdos.

Last edited by stogucheme; 11-22-2012 at 07:46 AM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 08:17 AM
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You should add to the groups then. I have six black skirts and they only pick at each other (harmlessly). The larger groups are better, in my opinion, and are more interesting to watch.

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, but then the numbers would be: 11.25in, 7.5in, and 15in when they grew up. That's overstocked, unless you think my filter could handle it? Like I wrote in the other thread, I wanna keep my hospital tank.

Contacted a fish rescue (Aqua Seal of Texas) and they offered to take and rehome all my fish! PM me if you'd still like one of mine and are willing to pay shipping. Just note that Mon Fishie and Neon are old (~8 years).
Fishy names: Common Pleco (9in)- Mon Fishie; Albino Black Skirt 'Fruit' Tetra (1.75in)- Neon; Black Skirts (1.5in)- Lady, Empress; Serpae Tetras (2x1.5in, 1x1in)- Trick, Or, Treat; Golden Barbs (1in)- Electric, Zapdos.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by stogucheme View Post
Yeah, but then the numbers would be: 11.25in, 7.5in, and 15in when they grew up. That's overstocked, unless you think my filter could handle it? Like I wrote in the other thread, I wanna keep my hospital tank.
Well, assuming 5 fish in each group and using an average of two inches per fish, that would be 30 inches and that is technically overstocked. I believe that two inches is a very generous average for these fish in all but the largest home aquariums for the tetras at least. Understocked is always better than overstocked. I was thinking that this is what you really wanted to do and that it was doable under good conditions and the fish would still be happy. I'm not really familiar with the dimensions of a 25 gallon tank. What are they ?

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post #10 of 12 Old 11-22-2012, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Well, assuming 5 fish in each group and using an average of two inches per fish, that would be 30 inches and that is technically overstocked. I believe that two inches is a very generous average for these fish in all but the largest home aquariums for the tetras at least. Understocked is always better than overstocked. I was thinking that this is what you really wanted to do and that it was doable under good conditions and the fish would still be happy. I'm not really familiar with the dimensions of a 25 gallon tank. What are they ?
All measurements in inches unless otherwise stated.
Okay, um...about rectangle, 12x24x15 (depth, width, height). Though I only had a 15in ruler, so the width may be off a little bit.
The Serpaes get to about 1.5, the Black Skirts to 2.25 (some claim 3), and the Barbs 3. That gives the measurements I cited, coming to 33.75. As is, that's 4.5, 6.75, and 6, making a total of 17.25. (I think? Arithmetic. Not my strong suit.) With deco and gravel, I was told to assume 4-5gal loss to total volume.
So, that means I have about 3in of fish left to acquire. Unless, again, you think the filter could handle it? Even now, ammonia is at zero. PH is currently my only problem, which I can fix.

Edit: Neon's old, though, so I might be able to call him fully grown and knock off a half inch...

Contacted a fish rescue (Aqua Seal of Texas) and they offered to take and rehome all my fish! PM me if you'd still like one of mine and are willing to pay shipping. Just note that Mon Fishie and Neon are old (~8 years).
Fishy names: Common Pleco (9in)- Mon Fishie; Albino Black Skirt 'Fruit' Tetra (1.75in)- Neon; Black Skirts (1.5in)- Lady, Empress; Serpae Tetras (2x1.5in, 1x1in)- Trick, Or, Treat; Golden Barbs (1in)- Electric, Zapdos.

Last edited by stogucheme; 11-22-2012 at 09:42 AM. Reason: Got a calculator.
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