might go with a pleco instead of a raphael. thoughts?
I had originally planned on getting a Raphael catfish for my 29g blackwater community because I was going to upgrade the tank in the spring. However with the way my car is going tax returns may need to go towards a different vehicle, so I may not be able to get a tank suitable for a larger and still growing Raphael. I was on liveaquaria.com and saw a few of the smaller (like 3-4" full grown) plecos and figured they would a good option as a replacement, bottom dwelling center piece. Two stood out to me, the zebra pleco and the rio-negro pleco. Both seem to be unique and have a bit more color to them than other plecos. Has anybody had any experience with these two? Or have any suggestions for any other small plecos along those lines that might not have been mentioned on liveaquaria? Thanks as always y'all
I'll look up the Rio-Negro pleco for you since I can't recall care off the top of my head. As for the zebra pleco, well they do their absolute best in super high current and high temps. One other thing...it'd probably be cheaper to upgrade your tank than to get a zebra pleco.
Oh wow. Yeah I just saw some prices on that zebra pleco. Never mind on that one. Haha. My ammonia and nitrites are both 0 and nitrates hold steady between 5 and 10 ppm. The tank stays between between 78 and 78.6 degrees. The pH hovers just shy of 7, like 6.8 or 6.9. My tap water is right at 7.0-7.1 but its come down a little bit with the tannins and driftwood
Here's info for the Rio Negro Pleco. This seems to be the species listed at LiveAquaria.
Peckoltia braueri • Loricariidae • Cat-eLog
I've never ordered from LiveAquaria so I really can't speak to how good or bad they might be. Shipping fish though in general can get expensive. Just something to keep in mind if you want a fish from the West Coast.
The one pleco I'd really love to have for my blackwater is L183. I've seen them various places online, but just haven't gotten them yet.
I've also had red lizard whiptails. Not really centerpiece fish, but I loved them and would like more someday.
Those aren't all your choices, just the ones I like best ;)
Those are good suggestions that I'll look in to. That red whiptail is pretty. But so is that starlight one. My local petland is very much on the up and up when it comes to their fish. They all seem very healthy and have never seen dead ones in their tanks. Anyway I met the guy who does their ordering and he said he would be willing to order me just about any fish I can think of and have it brought in with their usual shipments. I figured I'd do my research and then go to him with a list of candidates and see what he can and can't order for me. That should eliminate expensive shipping charges.
My main concern is that all of these plecos seem to prefer a current, but how much is enough? I have current from my filter and I can see it goes deep to the bottom of the tank when the flake food sinks and gets caught in it. Its not super strong, but it will push the flakes from one side of the tank to the other (length wise). I would call it a gentle to just above a gentle flow. I wonder if that would be enough current to keep them happy?
Did you have any others specifically in mind that you were wondering about? Most Ancistrus and Hemiloricaria/Rineloricaria will be fine in your setup. Hypancistrus species on the other hand are usually river dwellers that need a degree of oxygen, that why the current.
Ahh ok. That makes sense. Do any of these I'm wondering about eat algae? Even just a bit?
All the genuses I mentioned will eat some algae. Maybe not a ton, but they'll eat it. They're omnivores so since you have cories planned they will eat all the same foods. The medusa bristlenose is the only one I can think of off the top of my head that is more carnivorous than omnivorous. You wouldn't keep them anyway as they prefer rocks to wood and like some flow.
OK cool. I did have my eye on the gypsy king tiger pleco. Its a pretty fish
You don't like the cheap fish ;)
L066 is another Hypancistrus current lover.
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