Borneo Suckers- anyone familiar with them? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-16-2011, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Borneo Suckers- anyone familiar with them?

I'm looking for a bottom feeder for my 10 gallon tank. Water is slightly basic (tap is about 7.4-7.5).

Someone suggested a bristlenose pleco. I love that idea, but I have read that they can get to be almost 6 inches long which would require a bigger tank if that's true.

I'm having trouble finding one at any of my local stores. I have however come across a store selling Borneo Suckers (also called Hillstream Loaches, I believe).

Does anyone know much about these? Would one be a reasonable option for a 10 gallon tank? Anything specific to know about them (aggressive, diet, environment requirements, etc)?

I'd love to add a bottom dweller in the next day or so, so suggestions welcome! Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-16-2011, 03:29 PM
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Depends on the type of Pleco. Get one that stays small (3" or so) and you will be fine.

One only.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-16-2011, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
What types of plecos stay small? That's where my trouble is. I'm not very familiar with them. Because my tank is far too small for most of them, I haven't done a lot of research. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-16-2011, 03:50 PM
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Have to search around. The fish profile here lumps all bristlenose pleco together.

Some plecos get massive. 20"+

I'd go see what your lfs has in stock. Write down the names and then search for info on those. You might get lucky and find someone who knows what they are talking about at your lfs. I know I have a few really knowledgeable people at mine.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-17-2011, 11:09 AM
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We have both the Common Pleco and the Bristlenose Pleco in our profiles. They are different fish.

All "bristlenose" are similar in size and requirements as noted therein, the main difference being the "normal" BN and any wild-caught rarer species. All are in the Ancistrus genus so they have similarities.

We also have a couple of "pleco" in the Hypancistrus genus, the much sought-after Zebra Pleco and a relative. Some of these are fine in smaller tanks, though I personally wold not put one in anything under a 20g long.

The Common Pleco is a large fish, and should be avoided except for very large tanks.

Hillstream Loach would be nice even in a 10g, but recognize two things: cooler temperatures (low 70's max) and fast water flow. This is an ideal fish for a temperate tank (not heated) with a HOB filter for lots of current. Obviously other fish in the tank must have similar requirements, and that is not easy. White Cloud Mountain Minnow are about it (but also not in a 10g) unless you are fortunate enough to have some good importing stores/dealers. The most common species of HL is in our profiles, click the shaded name.

Substrate fish are not easy to find for a 10g. Corys obviously work, 3-5 of the average species or 9-12 of one of the dwarf species. Even the dwarf species of loach are too large for a 10g, but perhaps a small group of Kuhli loach would work. Shrimp also work, depending upon upper fish (may eat them). A whiptail catfish would manage.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-17-2011, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
Thanks Byron. My real problem is that I don'thave space or capacity left in the tank to add a school of anything, I really just have room for about 1 more fish, MAYBE 2 if I kept a close eye on it.

I'll so some shopping around and see what my stores have. I have found 3 stores in my area that are AMAZING, independently owned by actual fish experts who are more interested in healthy fish than healthy profits. 2 of them are a bit of a drive though, so I don't go to them often.

It sounds like the temp requirements for a hillstream loach are too low. I have a couple platies and a few neon tetras in there right now, so I can't lower the temp to low 70s. The filter I have combined with the airstones does create quite a bit of current at the surface level, but I don't think there's much near the bottom.

I'm still hoping to get lucky and come across a bristlenose pleco. I'll keep an eye out for whiptail catfish, although I don't think I've ever seen one of those in any of the stores, chain or independent.

I've also never heard of Kuhli loaches. I'll look into those, but again depending on size I wouldn't be able to add more than 2.
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