considering getting a pleco, thoughts please?
Firstly, tank specs:
Planted with bogwood
Gentle filtration (homemade)
Medium-fine gravel substrate
Temp 26 celsius
Current inhabitants: 4 cherry barbs, 5 glowlight tetras, 2 peppered corys.
I haven't been on TFK for ages and since I last posted on here quite a lot has changed with my tank situation. I originally bought 5 peppered corys, but several died due to unknown causes (I suspect stress was the main reason, although I think there was some fin rot.) I haven't had much luck with corys recently I'm afraid :-( I don't know why - back before I really knew what I was doing with fishkeeping, years ago, I managed to keep corys that were healthy and lived for ages, surviving a heap of cycling tanks and goodness knows what else. I don't what I'm doing wrong now lol!
Anyway, when I added the corys and they started getting sick, I treated the tank a few times with a medication to try and kill off the fin rot that set in. That seemed to really stress out one of my glowlight tetras and it jumped out of the tank, which is why I only have 5 now.
The corys I have left seem to be in a stable condition, if not wonderfully healthy. I am ashamed to say I neglected my tank for a long time because I was so busy and the glass got absolutely covered in algae and the water became extremely acid, althought the fish seemed unharmed. Just the other day I finally did a massive water change and cleaned the glass, and the tank looks so lovely now that I'm feeling quite inspired again.
So I'm starting to wonder about getting a fish I've been wanting for ages, a Bristlenose Pleco. According to AqAdvisor, I would hardly be overstocking if I added one at the moment, but I'm still a little worried about how much damage it could do to the decor and plants. I have bogwood in my tank which creates nice crevices for a pleco to hide in. How good are plecos at eating algae? I have a bit of an algae problem in my tank and it's hard to keep pond snails for long because the water is too soft and acid for them.
What do you think? I can't really think of any other fish I'd been interested in getting currently, and I'm not keen to try corys again after my bad experiences with them lately, although I know there should be more than 2.
But does anyone have any other suggestions? (If it were possible I'd love to get some more small shoaling fish, but I can't do that because there isn't room for them in my tank and they'd attack each other...like my glowlights did before they settled in :-?)
I would be inclined to say you could get a bristlenose. Your tank seems rather lightly stocked. Bristlenose are pretty darn good at eating algae especially when young. I've seen some amazing pictures of what they can do. I don't think they are too keen on eating plants, tho. Good news for you! If you get one, try to get a female. I've heard they can be less pugnacious than males.
As for more schooling fish, I would increase the number of your schools instead. Cherry barb and Glowlight tetra do best in groups of 6 or more. They will also begin to look more colorful.
:shock: They jumped out to escape? Boy. You've got some tough tetra. Maybe adding something else to the water column isn't a good idea. If the heirarchy is established, you wouldn't want to risk more jail breaks. But the pleco would probably be able to hold her own against them.
hmm, one of my corys is looking like he isn't going to make it. much as I love corys (they're one of my favorite fish) I'd kind of be relieved if they both died, awful as that sounds. they just seem so delicate and if they're stressed or sick it just stresses out the other fish and makes me anxious about adding new ones in case they get sick as well.
what do you think about getting a female betta? I love bettas and have had several of them, but I've always kept them in a separate 5 gallon tank. (The separate tank didn't have any substrate or filtration except for the plants, which didn't grow very well because they didn't have enough light, and I think that may have contributed to the early death of my bettas.)
Some of the ones I've had were quite aggressive though, so I don't know if they'd get on with my tetras. I guess I could get one and if there was a problem just put it in the spare tank.
Edit: I just remembered that I did actually put a betta in my main tank once... I moved her from the 5 gallon tank straight into a completely unfamiliar environment with different temp and pH params, and she freaked out and jumped out of the tank! I don't recall her fighting with the tetras though. I think it was just too much of a shock moving into such a different tank so suddenly - I wouldn't do that again! :S
It sounds as if something is not quite right or the fish wouldn't be acting as described and dying. Before adding anything new, you should resolve the issue(s).
Neglecting weekly water changes is almost certain to cause stress on the fish, and then doing a major clean causes even more, ironically.
I would think twice about the pleco. One must remember they only eat common algae, not the problem stuff. Increasing the present fish, assuming you like them as fish and want them, should be looked into once the tank issues are solved.
With betta it is kinda hit or miss with the aggression. Females can be just as bad as male, but they can also be little kittens. Maybe after a few more weeks of regular water changes, your tank will begin to get back in shape and you could try adding one. I'm sorry your little cories look like they are going downhill. Maybe you could try setting up a 10 gallon for a betta and some other cories (if you want to try again with them). Betta usually get along very well with substrate fish.
I really don't know what's up with my corys - both this time and the last time I've kept corys, they've been an absolute pain. I might add that both times (the last time, I had panda corys, which was nearly 2 years ago) none of my other fish were sick, although having sick corys in the tank understandably makes the other fish a bit edgy. Anyway, I don't really want to add any more fish until the corys are either dead (:-() or have got better, which doesn't look likely. Their barbles have completely rotted off and one of them has lost quite a lot of its fins. I thought this was fin rot and treated for it (at a half dose), but the medication seemed to stress out my tetras no end and they started fighting (which has happened before when I've medicated. tetras don't like meds?) It also didn't fix the corys, but maybe I didn't persevere for long enough because I was worried about the tetras.
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