Are plecos territorial? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-17-2013, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
Are plecos territorial?

I have one pleco that looks to be about 4 or 5 inches. The store owner told me that it as bristle nose but it doesn't have the 'mustache'. I'm not sure if it is male or female. It went 'missing' for about 3 weeks. I'm a night owl so I would check randomly at night, I moved some decorations around but I didn't see it. I also had algae build up on the outside of my tank (for the first time since setting it up) so I assumed my pleco had passed away inside one of the decorations.

Not being able to find my scrub brush, I went out and bought a small Rubber-lip pleco (approx 1.5 inches) and a week later out pops my bristle nose, swimming around like it was never gone.

Are either breeds territorial? Or will they be okay together? and will size be a problem? My tank is 36 gallons.

Edit: I just took a look at my tank and they are both sharing the mouth of my dragon decoration and neither seems bothered by the other but will that last?

Current Residents:
Unnamed pleco
Six Unnamed Male Guppies
One female Molly (black with white spots): Yang
Female juvenile Molly: Unnamed
Rubber Lip Pleco: Flubber

RIP: Ying (White molly with black spots), Molly Twins (fry), Pinky (Rosie Danio), Silver (male white molly), Frogger (aquatic frog named by my son)

Last edited by MidnightBaelfire; 12-17-2013 at 07:59 AM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-17-2013, 08:06 AM
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In my experience plecos are not territorial. If you could post a photo of your bristlenose it would help us give you a positive ID but if it doesn't have bristles at that size and is, in fact, a bristlenose, it's a girl. (: What else is in your tank and what filters are you running? This will help us determine if you are overstocked with the new addition.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-17-2013, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
Right now I only have six male fancy guppies five of them are about 1.5 inches, same as my rubber lip, and one is a lot smaller (runt I guess lol). They are all approx 1 year old.
Yang, my female molly looks to be about half an inch smaller than my bristle nose and her daughter is about an inch smaller.

(Recap: six fancy guppies, two mollies, bristle nose and rubber lip plecos)

I am running a Top Fin 40 filter and just changed it about 3 weeks ago.

Current Residents:
Unnamed pleco
Six Unnamed Male Guppies
One female Molly (black with white spots): Yang
Female juvenile Molly: Unnamed
Rubber Lip Pleco: Flubber

RIP: Ying (White molly with black spots), Molly Twins (fry), Pinky (Rosie Danio), Silver (male white molly), Frogger (aquatic frog named by my son)
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-17-2013, 08:23 AM
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You're not overstocked, but I definitely wouldn't add any more fish. You're pretty well stocked.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-17-2013, 09:47 AM
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Agreed on it being a female, if it is a BN. Yes, plecos can disappear for a period of time. Yes, plecos can be quite territorial. Doesn't mean that yours will be, but it is something to be on the lookout for. Ive keep a female BN and a RL pleco together for years, though not in a tank that small. While things are good now, it's possible that things will change once the RL grows up. In my opinion the RL should go back.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-17-2013, 11:14 PM
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Plecos do hide alot(depending onbyiur tank, tank mates and setup). Some( not all!) can be very territorial. I have no personal experience with RLs butveniugh with others. They do have the potential to be territorial and even aggressive depending on your fish. Oddly enough my little tiny Clown Pleco is my huge ornate bichir are partners in crime. That pleco doesnt share his space well with other and worse so with other plecos! My books also agree theyneed spacevas they are territorial.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-18-2013, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
I've been keeping a close eye on them since I can't return the rubber-lip (past the two week guarantee etc) but so far they seem to be getting a long. Most of the time they are at opposite ends of the tank but every so often I catch them both resting on the dragon ornament, just chillin' lol.

As soon as I can get my camera working, I will take a pic of my pleco. I think you are all right about it being female as it looks exactly like my mother's bristle-nose just no bristles.

Current Residents:
Unnamed pleco
Six Unnamed Male Guppies
One female Molly (black with white spots): Yang
Female juvenile Molly: Unnamed
Rubber Lip Pleco: Flubber

RIP: Ying (White molly with black spots), Molly Twins (fry), Pinky (Rosie Danio), Silver (male white molly), Frogger (aquatic frog named by my son)
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-18-2013, 01:29 PM
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i have a bristle nose,(not literally ) and he's a living monster
i discovered why my bronze cores hide…it's him !!
i'm trying to feed at separate ends…but just in general if they come out
he charges at them,i know that they are eating,but i'm going to set up another tank
after the holidays,and get him out of there.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0391.jpg (32.7 KB, 18 views)

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-18-2013, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
My camera is working but my pleco has been hanging out under the dragon all day. Hopefully she'll come out later and I can get a good pic. She seems pretty laid back

Current Residents:
Unnamed pleco
Six Unnamed Male Guppies
One female Molly (black with white spots): Yang
Female juvenile Molly: Unnamed
Rubber Lip Pleco: Flubber

RIP: Ying (White molly with black spots), Molly Twins (fry), Pinky (Rosie Danio), Silver (male white molly), Frogger (aquatic frog named by my son)
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-18-2013, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
Here's some pics of my bristle nose. I added one of my Rubber Lip cause (s)he's so cute and tiny lol
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_3506.jpg (62.1 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 100_3505.jpg (78.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 100_3507.jpg (79.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 100_3508.jpg (81.6 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 100_3509.jpg (92.4 KB, 14 views)
willow and aussieJJDude like this.

Current Residents:
Unnamed pleco
Six Unnamed Male Guppies
One female Molly (black with white spots): Yang
Female juvenile Molly: Unnamed
Rubber Lip Pleco: Flubber

RIP: Ying (White molly with black spots), Molly Twins (fry), Pinky (Rosie Danio), Silver (male white molly), Frogger (aquatic frog named by my son)
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