Is there a trick to keeping plecos?
I read that they are beginner level and are easy to care for, however I have had a few and no matter what I do, they end up dying. I love plecos. They are interesting creatures, but I just don't know what I'm doing wrong for these little guys. I have a 90gal tank and I am interested in the plecos that grow to about 6". Not the common one's in the LFS that get 12"-18". I have put driftwood in the tank, I feed them algae wafers, keep the water temp at 80F, give them hiding places, water parameters are all good.... plecos can get expensive and I don't want to buy another one just to watch him die. What am I missing???? All the other fish in the tank do just fine.
some of the more rare plecos the ones with numbers as names can be very sensitive to water params which also include gh and kh. some well most are also wild caught which can be super sensitive to water conditions.
I would suggest bristlenose plecos. I have two and they get to be about 4 inches long and love to hang out with any of the other fish in tank that will hang out with them...even my male Bolivian Ram accepts them in his space. They are fairly hardy but require supplements because they will consume all of the algae in your tank within a day or two. They seem to always be scavenging for food.
What is your water hardness and pH?
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My PH is 7.2 and I have soft tap water (don't know the exact number, haven't checked recently.) I have plenty of low light plants for the plecos to hide and graze for algae. I use PRIME for conditioning and dose Flourish Comprehensive every few days.
Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.) Profile
They also require driftwood to munch on.
My Ph is 8.0 and the water is soft. I have been trying to get the Ph down a little, but I'm not having too much luck and the fish I have don't seem to mind. I have an EBJD, a few angels and a red tailed shark.
Thank you for the suggestions for the bristle nose. I will look for one (or two) of those :)
well plecos like softer, more acidic water. that could be part of the problem.
First, when you say you have been trying to get the pH lower, how are you doing this? Chemicals to lower pH are detrimental to most fish, and pleco are highly sensitive to such things, as indeed are most catfish. And as GH and KH are interconnected, what is the GH and KH of your tap water? Attempts to lower pH will often fail if the KH in particular buffers it. You can read more on the inter-connection here:
When we have the numbers [you can get these from the municipal water folks, probably on their website] we can consider options, if any are needed.
Second issue I see is the Red Tailed Shark. Have you observed any interaction between this fish and the various pleco? There may well be, in future if not already; have a read of the profile (click the shaded names).
Third, is the EBJD a Jack Dempsey cichlid? This fish is not a good community fish, and being a substrate dweller it may take a dislike to intruders. In any event, having this in with angels may lead to problems as the two species mature. Read its profile too.
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