Getting new tank with Pleco? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 2Likes
  • 1 Post By
  • 1 Post By
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 03-04-2015, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Getting new tank with Pleco?

Hello everyone, I am acquiring a new tank on Saturday and I have some questions about it. It is really big, not sure of the exact size but I would say 50+ gallons. It currently has one resident Pleco which I will be inheriting with it. I have really only ever had bettas, I currently have two, each has their own 2 1/2 gallon tank, filter, heater, and thermometer. One of my bettas I have had for 3 years now, so I have had pretty good success with keeping them, and keeping them healthy and alive for much longer than your average betta owner. This new tank is an entirely new adventure for me, I would like some details on Pleco care, and also suggestions for good tank mates to go along with my Pleco. (I DO NOT want goldfish for sure). Specifically, my brother has a small algae eater ( 3, 31/2 inches long?) if I took him, would he and the Pleco get along? or would the Pleco kill the smaller fish? (my brother has had this fish for years, so he is full grown, and will not turn into a giant one) Also I have always wanted one of the "sharks" a red-fin or rainbow-tip one, but once again I didn't know how that would relate to my Pleco, and my ability to get other fish. Thank you!
Kkissthestars is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 03-04-2015, 06:42 PM
If it is a common pleco, it will eventually outgrow that tank. As for tankmates, anything that doesn't move super slow and/or sit on the bottom. Assuming that it is a common pleco, he will very shortly no longer eat algae. When he stops cleaning, he will simply eat regular pellet food, or, what he would prefer, is a piece of driftwood sunk in the tank.
Luckily for you, the larger the tank, the easier it is to take care of. For a starting venture into "real" fish (I know bettas are real fish, but I've also had a betta in a vase with a plant in it that lived for about 7 years with only adding water to the vase., quite possibly the easiest thing to care for, but often taken care of poorly, as mine was) I would recommend going with either Tetras, (I do not recommend neons) or any number of livebearers like guppies, platys, mollies, swordtails. These are simple fish, and require very little from you to keep them healthy. They are also very durable, with Tetras being even moreso than the livebearers (with the exception of neons, their popularity has caused inbreeding which weakens their genes) Buenos Aires, Stoplight, Lemon, Black Skirt, there are many you can go with.
chiefacorn is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 03-04-2015, 06:51 PM
New Member
 
Well there are many types of plecos for a 50g I would assume its a bushynose / bristle nose as those are fairly common. That said plecos are poop machines and can heavily impact your bioload so be prepared for that. If it is a BN he'll need driftwood to munch on. Plecos are usually peaceful, they'll flare at other fish but it is usually rare to see them do more. Most plecos enjoy veggies clipped in the tank like zucchini, melon and spinach, but they'll take anything that falls to the bottom, or at least mine does.

Try to decide on the tank you want like sand v gravel v plant stuff. Cichlids v tetra community vs angels or oddballs. Those all impact your stock list but plecos can get along with most tropical fish. I don't keep cichlids so I don't know if plecos would work in that tank but some catfish do.
Celestialsins is offline  
 
post #4 of 9 Old 03-04-2015, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefacorn View Post
If it is a common pleco, it will eventually outgrow that tank. As for tankmates, anything that doesn't move super slow and/or sit on the bottom. Assuming that it is a common pleco, he will very shortly no longer eat algae. When he stops cleaning, he will simply eat regular pellet food, or, what he would prefer, is a piece of driftwood sunk in the tank.
Luckily for you, the larger the tank, the easier it is to take care of. For a starting venture into "real" fish (I know bettas are real fish, but I've also had a betta in a vase with a plant in it that lived for about 7 years with only adding water to the vase., quite possibly the easiest thing to care for, but often taken care of poorly, as mine was) I would recommend going with either Tetras, (I do not recommend neons) or any number of livebearers like guppies, platys, mollies, swordtails. These are simple fish, and require very little from you to keep them healthy. They are also very durable, with Tetras being even moreso than the livebearers (with the exception of neons, their popularity has caused inbreeding which weakens their genes) Buenos Aires, Stoplight, Lemon, Black Skirt, there are many you can go with.

The people I am getting the tank from have had it for quite awhile and the pleco hasn't outgrown it, it also may be larger than 50, I'm not really sure, the owner's aren't sure, and so I will need to measure it when I get it. Also, with the livebearers, is it ok to mix a variety of them ? Or would I need to pick one kind? Also what about the little bitty algae eater that my brother has? Would it be ok in with the big pleco or would that be a bad idea?
Kkissthestars is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 03-04-2015, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsins View Post
Well there are many types of plecos for a 50g I would assume its a bushynose / bristle nose as those are fairly common. That said plecos are poop machines and can heavily impact your bioload so be prepared for that. If it is a BN he'll need driftwood to munch on. Plecos are usually peaceful, they'll flare at other fish but it is usually rare to see them do more. Most plecos enjoy veggies clipped in the tank like zucchini, melon and spinach, but they'll take anything that falls to the bottom, or at least mine does.

Try to decide on the tank you want like sand v gravel v plant stuff. Cichlids v tetra community vs angels or oddballs. Those all impact your stock list but plecos can get along with most tropical fish. I don't keep cichlids so I don't know if plecos would work in that tank but some catfish do.

So I will post a picture of the Pleco, I don't know how to tell what kind he (she? lol) is. Also is it ok to mix a variety of tropical fish, as long as they have easygoing temperments? Also I will be keeping the gravel/rock stuff that is already in the tank, which you can see in the picture of the fish below.

Last edited by Kkissthestars; 03-04-2015 at 08:45 PM.
Kkissthestars is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 03-04-2015, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
11043008_879643985420097_4848799085459757322_n.jpg

I just asked the owner and she said he is about 6in. long and that they have had him for 5 years.

Last edited by Kkissthestars; 03-04-2015 at 09:01 PM.
Kkissthestars is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 03-05-2015, 05:58 AM
Member
 
My pleco is about the same size as yours, hes in a tank with an oscar and a jack. Plecos are tough, should be fine with anything that isn't known for fin nipping.
Embouck7 is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 03-05-2015, 01:15 PM
New Member
 
That looks like a common pleco to me but they can be hard to ID. Pleco growth is usually influenced by feeding so maybe he has been underfed. A full grown will need ~125 gallons but can live in a smaller tank for awhile. If you can get measurements for the tank you can determine the approximate gallons size. The stock will really depend on how big / what you want. Most tropical fish will get along and fall within a 70-80 temperature range. The algae eater really depends on what kind. Chinese algae eater can be known to attack other fish and gets to 10 inches. Oto's are usually peaceful and may die easy with no warning, they need friends 3 oto minimum and need an older well established and planted tank to really flourish. Siamese algae eaters: 6 inches max size, does well in most communities and is usually peaceful.

You can mix some centerpiece fish into a small tropical tank but anything ~6 inches + starts eating the small tropical usually. There are bigger community fish like rainbowfish or the bigger tetras (congo), denison barbs are also schooling 6 fish minimum. Those would need probably 50g minimum and honestly you would probably want bigger to have bigger schools. There are so many fish out there that the best ones may never be recommended. I would try to find local stores and just look and see what they have. You may see something you like that you would of never heard of otherwise. Plecos play nice with a lot of fish so that really doesn't limit your choices to much. Cichlids are pretty but aggression can be annoying to deal with. Also for some fish the online pictures won't do them justice.

Smaller fish, my favorites:
Cherry barbs, albino are really cute. Lemon tetras, x-rays (can be nippy but really active), Endlers livebearers, cories, celestial pearl danios, zebra danios (fin nippers).

About Endlers...they are really pretty but there is arguments about keeping them as the wild species may be extinct. They are bred in captivity but some people get angry with keeping them with other livebearers as to not "dilute the pure lineage". I like how they look but have never kept them as livebearers can be annoying (babies everywhere) and they can be hard to find.

Some bigger fish to check out that may work in a community:

Hoplo catfish- 55 gallons minimum | two major kinds brown and spotted. Spotted is easier to find. Both are peaceful and my brown hoplo is one of the most fun active fish to watch. Good eater, hardy and fairly tame (swims into your hands when doing maintenance). Can be hand fed. Eats everything that gets to the bottom. Max size 6-8 inches. Digs in substrate for food and will swim midlevel at times. Bothers no one. Small mouth so could be kept with smaller fish than other 6-8 inchers. Prefers friends, group of 2-3. I think of mine like a lab dog, always friendly and happy and ready for food.

Leopard Ctenopoma- Argued minimum size, I would say 50g + | Will eat things that fit into its mouth (has a big mouth) so 3 inches + to be safe, No small tropicals. Needs planted tank as well. Ambush predator that is really fun to watch. These are wild caught and can be tricky to feed sometimes. Likes live prey but most will take frozen blood worms / brine and eventually pellets. Can be sensitive to water so must have good maintenance. Will eat bottom dwelling shrimp as well. Species tanks are okay but must be raised together. Could work in african theme tank with a butterfly fish + bottomfeeders. Mixed reviews for angels / gouramis ect. Seems to be pretty peaceful aside from eating smaller fish, can be bullied.

Gouramis- Many many kinds, honey and pearl are 2 popular community ones. Pearl could be kept with smaller tropicals. Seems to like a harem or school, may be aggressive in pairs and when breeding.
Not to familiar with the other gouramis. Opaline can be aggressive. Be careful about housing with fin nippers (danios, barbs, x-ray tetras). Needs plants.

Denison barbs- School of 5-6 +. Minimum 50gallons | Probably better off in a bigger tank, can be pretty active + may jump. Gets to be ~4 inches. I haven't kept them so do more research.

Rainbowfish- These are on my list to get for my new tank. Can be peaceful some species may not be. These are not a south american tropical so they parameters don't always line up but most if not all are tank raised now. Does well with plants + wood. Brilliant colors that are muted when young. Some species get to 4-5 inches others 2-3. Can be active and needs schools 5-6.

Kilifish- Haven't kept these personally. Males can be very pretty and somewhat aggressive. Have to check for tank mates carefully.

Whiptail / farlowella catfish: Cool looking and peaceful , may die without warning. Can be bullied by some plecos. Not super active usually. Size range from 6-10 inches depending on the species.

Kuhli / dojo loaches: Bottom dwellers, 6 inches in size, needs groups of 3 +. May dig so consider sand as a substrate and be prepared to replant plants.

Kribensis- One of the few cichlids that would work in a community tank. Does not play well with other bottom dwellers, will probably eat or just destroy cories. As far as I know can be kept solo to keep aggression down. Bottom dweller.

Ram pairs- multiple kinds, cichlids, will get somewhat territorial, needs planted tank can be sensitive to water quality. Bottom dweller.

Angels- 30 gallon minimum, debatable on whether 1 angel is okay but anymore than 1 and you will have aggression issues. Bigger schools seem safer but need a bigger tank. Angels will form mated pairs and are very hard to sex. Could do 2 and buy as mated pair to be safe but more expensive. May be a sensitive species to water. Likes planted with swim area and taller tanks.

Bichirs - Better in a species tank, size ranges from 1 foot to 3. Ancient fish looks like an eel. Minimum tank size is argued from 40 breeder for small ones to ponds. Most probably safe in 75-90 gallons. Will eat fish that fits into their mouth. One of my favorites but haven't kept any due to size limitations. Bottom dweller.

"eels"- Spiny eel fish morphs. Peacock is probably the smallest and 50 gallon would be pushing it. Fire and tiretrack probably need 90g + and tight fitting lid as they will escape. Few true freshwater moray exists.

Lobster: May not play well with other bottom dwellers, fast mid to top fish are fine.

Shrimp: Cherry or ghost are both pretty nice bottom dwellers. Will limit medications for sick fish. Ghosts are bigger, can be somewhat aggressive and cheap. Their health isn't great so expect 1/2 to die within first week. Will become food for bigger fish. Cherries are smaller and more peaceful but also more expensive. Bother can be bred relatively easy.


Various other catish: synodontis and pictus are probably okay in 50g +, just double check the species and temperaments as there are variations. Pictus need groups and may be hard to net (spines).
Do not get a red tailed catfish- beautiful but max size in 4 feet.
Cories work in a lot of tanks but not with bottom dwelling cichlids.


Most of what I listed would be fine for a beginner just do a lot of research before buying. Aqadvisor website can be really helpful to test out stock ideas. It isn't perfect but can catch some of the lesser mentioned issues of nipping or fish will become food. Figure out your tank size and what you'd be willing to do. Planted tanks do not need CO2 systems and can be done with lower maintenance plants (anubias), good light and some additional ferts. Most community peaceful fish like planted tanks. For bottom dwellers substrate is important. Always check to make sure tank mate temperatures line up, most fish will adjust to pH/ KH and GH but not all. Some livebearers do better in brackish then fresh so be careful of that and really be prepared for babies. Consider a QT tank (rubbermaid box with filter, heater ) be patient and have meds ready if ich appears or various other diseases.

20g Planted - X-rays and grow outs, eventually pearl danios
55g Planted - Stock in progress: Sterbai Cory Catfish, BN Pleco, Hoplo Catfish, tetras (temporary), Leopard Ctenopoma (QT), Pearl Gourami
Celestialsins is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 03-06-2015, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Thank you! That is a lovely list of fish for me to look into! If I got say, mollies, or platy's, do I have to get six of the same variety for them to school? or can I get different varieties?
Kkissthestars is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Got a 55 gal tank to house a pleco who outgrew his old tank, but no clue what kind? kwinnypoo Catfish 4 06-18-2012 01:34 PM
Spotted Salfin Pleco (Leopard Pleco) with plants broujos Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 6 08-02-2011 04:49 PM
Convicts + Pleco = Pleco died - question PaperclipGirl Cichlids 3 06-27-2011 12:32 PM
Found my Rubber-lip pleco pleco dead today :( yodapoolman Tropical Fish Diseases 3 05-14-2011 07:13 AM
Pleco Tank Zooty Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 6 06-27-2010 04:58 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome