I have two bristlenose plecos. I never knew the genders of either. Obviously one of them is female lol. Her name is Pepper (other is Salt). Yesterday when I was doing a bit of maintenance on the tank (cleaning left over cucumber and algae wafers, scooping out snails) I noticed that Pepper was just...gone. I looked all around the floor because she jumped out once not too long ago (bout 3am, thankfully loud enough to wake me up) but didnt find her, moved everything in the tank, and then thought "no way...he couldnt be" (had assumed Pep a guy till now). I dumped out my hob filter and sure enough, there she was. I read of some other peoples plecos doing the same thing so didnt really worry about it, but wanted to do a water change before bed just a bit ago so got her out and noticed something else in the filter. Figured it was some plant matter that got stuck, but turned out to be a clutch of eggs which is why she kept going into the filter I guess. Now Salt has abandoned his wafer and is laying next to them, not on them, otherwise id be worried hes eating them.
This is my first tank. Ive had lots since I was little, but this is the first tank that is only mine that I get to take care of, so I have no idea what to do now. If Salt is indeed a male and the eggs are fertilized, do I need to do anything to keep them safe. Theyre in a ten gallon with some guppies and baby angelfish. I dont think the guppies will bother them and the angelfish is pretty well occupied with the small snails, but she may try to eat them. Maybe I should let her? It is a ten gallon and Im pretty well stocked. I definitely dont have room for 10 more plecos. I could even move a few to my 20 gallon once its finished cycling, but I had intended to put my angelfish there as well as a couple dwarf gouramis so I dont know how safe the fry would be. And I dont want to promise plecos to friends only to have them eaten before they can even be seen. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Oh yeah, just wanted to add that I do have a tunnel and a small cave which both plecos have seemed to like, so I dont know why Pepper has taken such a liking to the filter :/