09-13-2009, 04:31 PM
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If you really want a pleco because you like the fish, choose a small species; there are some that grow to 3-4 inches max, although they are usually rare and expensive.
But if you are looking to buy fish for algae eating/control, consider one of the smaller species as someone mentioned. Ottos can't be beat; they need to be in a group, minimum 3 would be OK. Make sure you have algae in the tank when you get them, else they frequently die quickly; once established they will readily eat tablets if algae is scarce.
Or a Farlowella [these are phenomenal algae eaters, comparable to ottos] which like to be in a group but can work singly in my experience. They grow to about 6 inches but they are so thin and produce very little waste by comparison to a pleco. Water qualtiy and parameters are important though, so if the water is hard and fairly alkaline, not a good choice. Whiptail cats are also interesting, and comparable to the afore-mentioned in their algae efforts and effect on the bioload, and a bit more adaptable respecting water parameters.