african cichlids and leopard pleco - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-02-2009, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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african cichlids and leopard pleco

What I was wondering can the two go together. I bought a 50 gallon from and individual and 9 africans, but what I was wondering is can i put the pleco in there?
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-03-2009, 02:38 AM
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the cichlids may attack the pleco but they may not I have a 55gal cichlid tank with lots of cichlids in it and 2 plecos but one of them I have just noticed that his fins are getting eaten but the other one is fine I think it is because he blends into the rocks that I have in the tank.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-03-2009, 06:53 AM
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Hello Brad!

Its all gonna depend on the individual fishes in the tank................Africans by nature are rather aggressive...........Are your fish juveniles or are they adults?........As they mature, africans become more aggressive, then when they are juveniles..........If your fish are juveniles, it might work better to introduce the pleco now, if they are mature, just keep an eye on your pleco after you put him in........The thing is with african setups, alot of people have success initially with these fish, but after a year they see there attitudes develop as the fish mature and things will get rather nasty for some of the fish in the tank..........Make sure you have at least 2 caves or dens for each african fish, and try to make them not face one another.........Not alot of meaty foods, they are prone to developing bloat if you only feed a meaty diet.........Good luck with your tank and keep an eye on your pleco!
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-03-2009, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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they are about 3" long. I want to add more africans also. Can I?
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-05-2009, 07:12 AM
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well in my opinion, adding more fish is just gonna make the aggression go up a notch...........9 africans in a 50 is plenty...........I know some members here are gonna tell you they have over 20 in a 55 gallon, but there tank is relatively new and there fish are juveniles..........In a year from now thay wont have 20 fish.........You cant blame the fish for there aggression, its there nature, but you can try to curb it by not having so much oppurtunity to take it out on other fish...........Been raising africans for almsot 20 years and i have seen things work out for odd combinations of fish, but i have also seen 1 african slowly kill off all his tankmates in a 55 till he was the only one left.....Africans are beautiful fish, but the stocking suggestions some sites and people make seem to lead people down the wrong road with these fish.........Good Luck
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-06-2009, 09:51 AM
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I have a hyper-aggressive (this is not an exaggeration) Hongi Island-his behavior is typical of his type but on the high end of Mbuna. He is in his own 10 gallon and has picky eating habits. I got an albina chocolate pleco knowing full well the possible issues.

The pleco outgrew the Hongi quickly, and only gets picked on for a day or two when the tank gets reaaranged. After that they each have their portion of the tank and do fine. The hongi likes to eat off the gravel and is very defensive of his food which can be an issue sometimes, but for the most part it works out. Some minor fin damage for the first few days but the pleco always heals up fine.

With that many Mbuna in the tank you might run into issues especially from the little guys who are expressing dominace. Be weary--get a Pleco that is matured, healthy and somewhat aggressive himself and you shoudl be slightly better off.

Either way you have to pay attention. It is a constant watch in my medium tank.

Another thing to remember is plecos are filthy, and Mbuna are just as bad. The two of them in a 10 gallon with 210 GPH of filtration manage to keep the water constantly filthy kicking stuff up, eating and pooping. My parameters are fine but I wouldn't say its an attractive tank compared to my main mbuna tank. With two and 9 mbuna I can imagine it being kind of bad.
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