Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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teddyzaper 04-19-2010 07:29 PM

plants and cichlids.
I have a 55gal tank that has been up for about 3 months and i am getting tired of the look.

in the tank i have these fish:
5x yellow labs
1x jack dempsey (ruepert)
1x pictus cat (jerry)
1x common pleco

I really want to put plants in there and im willing to do almost anything. i will be getting a new light when i get some money and i got that sorted out. If there are any what kind of plants can i put in my tank? my water is about 7.4 ph but my test kit doesnt test anything else. also my pleco poops SOOOO much, is there any way to get it to not look so ugly, i clean the tank one day and there is a pile of poop the next day, i clean it up with a siphon tube, but is there a way for something to obsorb the poop, like plants but faster?


Mister Sparkle 04-19-2010 09:30 PM

In my experience, Jack Dempsey's and Plecostami are absolutely brutal to aquarium plants.

Byron 04-20-2010 10:18 AM

No amount of plants will handle the waste from a large pleco. And this common pleco gets to be too large for a 55g. I would consider returning it to the store.

If you want plants, you will have to rethink your fish.

teddyzaper 04-20-2010 10:24 AM

its not really a common pleco, i IDed it a couple weeks ago and i figured that it grows 10inch, let me go find the name really quick

teddyzaper 04-20-2010 10:26 AM

Trinidad Pleco Hypostomus punctatus, it says 11inch and need 70gal tank, is it possible i keep it? i have a filter rated for a 75gal tank, its a marineland canister which i really like.

Byron 04-20-2010 10:50 AM

Potentially large fish (and 11 inches is large) require adequate tank space throughout their lives. It is not onlythe physical space (in terms of the area) but the water quality that exists in that space. Both of these, and especially the latter, influence the growth (and health) of a fish throughout its life. As a fish grows (which is does all its life), its internal development continues. The quality of the water affects this development quite a bit. It is for example possible to raise fish in smaller tanks, but it requires extensive water changes to maintain the water quality. Filtration does not achieve this. Jack Wattley has written of raising 75-80 1-inch discus in 20 and 30 gallon tanks--with partial water changes of 50% several times each and every day.

A filter only circulates the tank water through media. The larger the filter the more media so the more space for nitrifying bacteria. But this is only a small part of the issue. The water is still the same water, and there are all sorts of substances in the water from each of the fish. Some of these affect different fish in different ways. Which is why it is so important to carefully select tankmates.

redchigh 04-21-2010 04:59 PM

I definately agree with byron and all of the other comments-
The fish you have do not like plants, and I've heard that in a tank thats too small plecos can become extremely aggressive.

Is it worth the risk of the pleco suddenly deciding that he wants to be the only fish in the tank, and attacking everything?

Back on plants, you could TRY java fern and anubias on rocks and such... and floating plants might work for a while...

I have some green terrors in a tank with some planted driftwood (java moss and fern) and hornwort... but they're basically still fry. I'm expecting them to suddenly decide one day they hate plants, and destroy them overnight.

teddyzaper 04-21-2010 09:08 PM

i understand its a big fish, but im willing (and i do) to clean the tank at least 3 times a week. ive been doing 2 times, and the water stays almost clear, i just got a new piece of driftwood so the tannins leak a bit. i hope i dont have to take him back :( if i HAVE TO could i fit another fish in or is that about it.

1077 04-22-2010 12:43 AM

Trinidad pleco is a herbivore which does not offer much hope with respect to planted tanks. Do also consider that the Jack Dempsey is another large fish that can push 10 inches as adult. It too would not be a good fit for planted tank and would likely destroy plants.
Is good that you are changing water as you have been but were it me,(and it ain't) I would be searching for a larger tank. I would keep the yellow labidochromis? in the 55 gallon with perhaps a few more smaller cichlids ,and I would house the jack Dempsey and the Pleco in something larger.
Do see that the trinidad Pleco is getting some vegetable matter on regular basis and perhaps occasional cooked pea or two for the Jack dempsey along with meaty foods such as shrimp,krill,earthworms,and or blood worms.(no feeder fish!);-)

teddyzaper 04-22-2010 08:56 PM

i cant have another tank due to my moms rules (only 3 tanks allowed) so Im not sure what to do. the pleco gets his zucini, and the others get bloodworms each time my friend comes over (he enjoys watching) which is about 1nce a week. if the pleco and jack dempsey have to go then ill probably sell them all and start up a discus tank or a water/land vivarium. i would be excited to do that but im attached to my jack :cry:

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