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Jasey 06-12-2008 10:39 PM

Common Pleco Exchange Value
I am taking care of my mom's school fish over the summer, as she has really needed some help in properly caring for them. She has a 5 inch common pleco that is just too big for its 10 gallon home. The pleco is at least 3 years old, possibly 5 years old. I talked to my LFS and they said they would take him and exchange him for a more appropriate fish. My question is, how much is a 5 inch long common pleco worth? Would an exchange for a bristlenose plec or an otocinclus be equivalent? I actually want to stray away from a pleco because they poop so much.

The-Wolf 06-13-2008 01:22 AM

it would depend on the LFS's policy,
one that I worked in would give a couple of danios (or equivalent) for a common plec (regardless of size) another I worked in would give you a third of what they could sell it for, IE if it could be sold for 12 you'd get 3

in other words, not a lot is the answer to your question

iamntbatman 06-13-2008 02:10 AM

Both of my local fish stores also offer 1/3rd their sell price for the fish. As common plecs are generally the most inexpensive pleco, I don't think you're going to get a more suitably sized pleco for that tank for an even exchange. Otos tend to be a little less expensive, but I would say a pleco is dozens of times hardier than an Oto. I've never had an Oto live longer than a couple of months, and they die without any indication of disease or injury. Some say that many Otos will only eat algae, but I've always put my Otos into mature tanks with tons of algae growth. They certainly made huge dents in the growth, but didn't eat all of it by any means so it seems difficult to put the blame on starvation.

If I were you, I might just spend the extra coin and pick up a bristlenose or clown pleco. Just my experience, though. Others might have better tips on how to keep an Oto alive.

herefishy 06-13-2008 02:35 AM

Maybe $3-$4, at most. They sell for about $6-$8.

Jasey 06-13-2008 04:39 PM

Thank you all for the input.

That's true, batman, I am reluctant to get an oto because everywhere I research for them, I hear it is hard to keep them alive.

But even though I might not get much money for the pleco, I mainly want to give him a new home. Hopefully someone visiting the LFS will buy him and bring him to an appropriate size tank.

thespiff 06-16-2008 08:48 AM

I have 6 Oto's in my 29 gal planted tank that were purchased a month ago and they are doing great. They're all fat and healthy.

Of course, this is a well established tank with quite a bit of algae growth. I've never seen them eat anything but algae.

iamntbatman 06-16-2008 01:28 PM

Different experience, I guess. All of my Oto's were introduced to a tank with substantial algae growth on rocks, driftwood, the glass and plant leaves. All fish were drip acclimated over about an hour and seemed fine when first introduced to the tank. None of them ever managed to eat all of the algae (or even half of it). They wouldn't touch algae wafers but definitely munched on the greens I put in the tank for them (spinach, romaine lettuce, etc). I don't think any of my Oto's starved. I just have to blame their sensitivity and suppose that they were done in by slight water parameter fluctuations during water changes, or something. Definitely the least hardy fish I've ever kept...again, in my experience.

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