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LongTimeAquarist 01-23-2014 06:51 PM

Pleco and Live Plants
I'm planning on buying a clown pleco for my 20 gal tank, yet I also want to buy some live plants. Question is there a way to keep the pleco from turning the plants into a salad bar or should I stick to the plastic ones I have now?

SpyceyMeatball 01-23-2014 10:55 PM

I have had lots of good luck with plecos and live plants. Seem to be good at taking algae off heavier leafed plants such as anubias. Stay away from wisteria, anacharis, hornwort, cabomba, and the like, and stick to your swords, ferns, anubias. I also noticed that more driftwood seems to take their attention away from eating plants.

LongTimeAquarist 01-24-2014 01:26 AM

You mind telling that to me in layman's terms because some plants look the same to me and I have better luck telling most fish apart then I do plants.

SpyceyMeatball 01-24-2014 02:11 AM

Haha sorry about that.

At your LFS, look for some plants with "anubias" in the name of it. Only downside to this plant is that it is REALLY slow growing. Some people say 1-3 leaves per week. I would say like 1-3 every 2 weeks.

"Java fern" is another rock solid option. Its "roots" aren't actually roots, so dont bury them. (same with anubias). My favorite thing to do with these guys are rubberband/fishing line them to driftwood and they will attach and start sprouting all over the place. They reproduce by splitting off the leaves from the main plant. First you'll see a black thread, then bam a leaf, then bam a baby java fern is clogging your filter.

Amazon swords are another good plant for your substrate. Bury that bad boy and hold on tight. Can grow huge with big leaves. Some plants start small, but grow huge relatively quick. Good idea to trim any brown or rotten leaves when you get it, I have noticed that encourages growth.

Plants with "crypt" in their names are also good. Reproduce quickly in pretty low light conditions. Herbivores tend to leave it alone too. Plant that in the substrate and hold on tight.

Plecos should avoid those plants I listed. I keep them in my african tanks, and my mbunas just like to eat algae that grows on the leaves. Google the names to give yourself an idea so you know what to look for at the store for plants.

LongTimeAquarist 01-24-2014 02:17 AM

And what about lily and aponogeton? those are the two that you find hanging on walmart shelves.

SpyceyMeatball 01-24-2014 02:38 AM

You can find all those I mentioned at petco/smart.

When I had lilys my plecos loved to clean the tiny stems the leaves were attached to and would make a huge mess.

They left my aponogeton alone, but that was a pain in itself. It was cool when it flowered, then it didn't stop. Huge mess.

I say why not all of them?!

Most important is that you have some good pieces of driftwood for your pleco. The more driftwood, the happier the pleco, and the less of a chance of eating salad.

LongTimeAquarist 01-24-2014 03:27 AM

Yeah, but the sand thing is that the nearest petco is in the next big city up, which is at least two hours away. Right now I'm just going to try to get maybe 3-5 plants and see what happens later. Basically I'm hoping I have better luck with aquarium plants then I do garden plants since green thumb is more brown. Anyway, which plants can I plant into gravel because that is all I have?

SpyceyMeatball 01-24-2014 12:02 PM

Lily's and aponogeton would work. Plant the bulb with 2/3rds exposed from the gravel and wait.

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