Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Geomancer 01-09-2012 09:41 AM

Plecos and Plants
I've been reading up on these guys, I would like to have one in the 120g planted tank I'm planning.

A lot of people seam conflicted on this issue. Some say they eat plants, others don't. It would appear that through everything I've read, they CAN eat plants, but generally won't if you provide them with better alternatives (like fresh vegetables).

I know these guys get large (1-2 feet) which could be the other problem ... when they swim through the plants can they destroy them/uproot?

Anyone have one of these guys (an adult pleco) with plants? Does he cause you problems making it more work than its worth to maintain?

Andarial 01-09-2012 10:13 AM

Well there are many different kinds of plecos, common plecos are the ones I assume you are talking about. I am pretty sure they are likely to eat plants but only if they are hungry. But this is only an assumption. There are smaller plecos, like the bristlenose who only get around 4-5 inches who don't really eat plants all that much. Though they must have driftwood. Another thing about having a gigantic pleco is that they are messy. They poop like no tomorrow and it is a constant problem in my opinion, I only had a 6 inch pleco and she was terrible XD. I much prefer my little bristlenose.

lorax84 01-09-2012 10:47 AM

I have kept plecos in planted tanks for a few years and I have never experienced a problem this them eating plants. If I were you I would go with a bristlenose pleco over the common (Trinidad) pleco. Commons get very big and can wreck havoc on aquarium decorations.

Plecos do poop more than other fish but I have never considered it a problem. In a heavily planted tank you wont even notice it.

Geomancer 01-09-2012 10:58 AM

Yeah, this would be for a 120g which is 48x24x24 which should be large enough for the common. I'm not so much worried about them eating plants, as I would make sure they have plenty of other foods, but since they do get so large I would be worried about them just tearing through the plants when they swim around/through them.

Andarial 01-09-2012 10:59 AM

That definitely could happen they are strong enough at that size to do that.

rjwwrx 01-09-2012 12:02 PM

I would just get a couple bristlenose or other smaller variety. I wouldn't want a giant pleco dominating my tank as I don't find them very attractive at that size. They lose all cuteness when they're that big, but that's only my opinion. I feel like it would detract from the other fish, or any center peice fish you might have.

Geomancer 01-09-2012 01:24 PM

haha, I actually saw a full grown one daily for awhile, it was my girlfriend's (now wife) way back in high school.

It was 15 or so years old, and awesome. I don't know why, but I like them ^_^

But, yes, I may have to relent and get the smaller variety just so I have the peace of mind that a few years down the road I won't have a monster tearing up the fields ;)

rjwwrx 01-09-2012 01:37 PM

I'm glad someone likes them. Full grown they look like they could suck down my arm. I prefer small fish though so I guess I'm baised.

lorax84 01-09-2012 02:37 PM

I really like large plecos, If I were to have a tank over 100 gallons I would defiantly keep one of the larger species. I had a large common pleco in with my Oscar a number of years ago. He was over 12" when I sold him. At the time he was only about 3 years old.

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