Plecostomus - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-10-2008, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Plecostomus

Okay, so I've had my new 55 gallon tank set up for a few weeks now (I think about three weeks), and currently have five Red Eye Tetras, five Serpae tetras, five Glo-fish, and ONE neon tetra. I KNOW I should have a ton of them to have them shoal, but I've had six and this is the only one to survive from Walmart...I will get 9 more to replace them next weekend.

I have about 20 silk plants, which are so beautiful, and about 50 lbs of black substrate (sand). I also plan to add some McFarlanes Water Dragons as decorations, and some huge/medium castles. Yes, I have plenty of room for them all. My fish are so happy, except my poor little neon. But when it gets some more friends, I think it will be okay.

My question!! Is it okay to have a Plecostomus in a tank that has sand substrate?? I've had plecos before, but they were in a huge pond outside, so I didn't know if they should only be in tanks with larger substrate or not. Thanks!
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-10-2008, 09:25 AM
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The reason they were in huge ponds is because they can grow in excess of twelve inches and assuming you are talking about common plecos would out grow your 55 gal. Quickly. Not to mention the waste(poop) they create.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-10-2008, 10:02 AM
there is also smaller species of plecos that would do well in a 55 gallon. a bristle nose pleco (or busy nose as they are somtimes known) grow to about an average of 5 inches. the males develop growths that look like bristles on the top of their mouth (best place i can describe it) and the females dont usually have bristles. they eat algae, zucchini, algae wafers and other veggies, and they arent that high matinence. they do need driftwood to knaw on though.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-10-2008, 11:46 AM
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Clown plecos also stay small.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-10-2008, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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No no, the reason they were in a huge pond, was because I built the pond for my koi that I had, so I had a friend give me a large pleco to put in it.

I know there are smaller species of plecos, but my question was
"Is it okay to have a Plecostomus in a tank that has sand substrate??"
I just wanted to be sure that the sand wouldn't be harmful to plecos. What other types of bottom feeders are good for a 55 gallon freshwater community tank?
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-10-2008, 05:25 PM
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I think plecos would do ok in sand. Cories and loaches are other good bottom feeders and prefer sand.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-10-2008, 06:26 PM
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I've got 9 juvenile bristlenose plecos and one *very* expensive L200 pleco in my tank with sand substrate. They're all quite happy and the picture of health. Sand is actually a much better substrate for them than rough gravel, which can hurt them as they spend so much time lying on the substrate. They will take up sand when they eat, but they spit the sand out of their gills and swallow the food.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-11-2008, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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^_^

Quote:
Originally Posted by okiemavis
I've got 9 juvenile bristlenose plecos and one *very* expensive L200 pleco in my tank with sand substrate. They're all quite happy and the picture of health. Sand is actually a much better substrate for them than rough gravel, which can hurt them as they spend so much time lying on the substrate. They will take up sand when they eat, but they spit the sand out of their gills and swallow the food.

Perfect, that's what I was looking for!

I think I may do one loach, a smaller species pleco, and maybe a cory. I haven't decided yet. Thanks for the information! Now I know it's safe to have any of them, minus the possible temperament of the pleco.
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-11-2008, 11:54 AM
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Loaches and cories both prefer to be in groups so I would do either a group of one or the other with the pleco. Research the loaches as I know they get to be varying sizes but Kuhli or Botia Striata I think would be ok. Here's a link to some info:
http://www.loaches.com/

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-11-2008, 06:36 PM
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jeaninel is right about the loaches- any loach that doesn't like to live in a group is going to be too aggressive and territorial for the tank.

you've already got over 45 inches of fish in your tank (including the 9 neons you intend on adding). granted, the inch per gallon rule usually ends up being wrong, but it's still a good guideline. you've also got a very crowded middle and will end up with not much top or bottom action. I'd recommend focusing on 1-2 shoaling species and rehoming/returning the rest. that will leave more room for you to mess around with stocking.

For instance, you could have a shoal of hatchetfish and 1 gourami on top. the current schoolers you decide on keeping would take care of the middle. the bottom could be a shoal of cories/loaches and a cool pleco. this would also leave space to add another fish that may catch your fancy later on.
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