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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I'm going to try my hand at breeding plecos. I've kept plecos often, I adore them...but I've never bred them before. They'll be in a 73 gallon pool with caves, plants and sand substrate(may be sharing it off and on with livebearer fry I hope they don't eat...).


I was wondering if anyone had any tips on it. Feeding, water care and parameter needs(currently it's PH 7.4, GH 10-11, KH is unknown...I have API master freshwater test kit, doesn't come with that one, hardness is from the water company. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are zero, temp is 76 degrees...any of that off for BN plecos?), specific types of hiding places/plants/caves etc?

Basically I'd like you guys to give me everything one would need to know to keep and breed healthy BN plecos(possible long-fin variety). =)

Oh, yeah...I had BN plecos for a while that did great, unfortunately I did not QT a new fish and it passed them a nasty. >< That will never happen again. I lost interest after that, but I got it back...anywho, I've never seen or heard about them jumping, but do they ever jump? I am assuming I'll be needing a net over my pool! lol

The pool is indoor, by the way. I've been raising livebearer fry in there and kuhli loaches. But I wanted some friendly plecos in there so I thought I'd go with BNs, smaller and less aggressive than some. I figured they'd like it in there with so much space. I currently have a young common pleco, but he can't stay in there, he's going to get waaaaay too big(ideally I'd want him to have 200+ gallons of space, not my little 55 gallon tank or 73 gal pool....seems unfair).
 

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Mine have breed in ph from 6.5-7.8. Temp is fine at 76. For breeding you will want a couple tight caves. They seem to like those the most. All you will need are 3-4 caves and a male and female. They are super easy to breed. Some things that will help you are. Do some big water changes, try and mimic the rainy season. Also feed them a lot.
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breeding albino plecos

I have a pair of albino plecos in a 75 gal community tank ( 7 turquoise rainbows, 10 red cories, 1 pair German rams, 3 rabbit snails & 25 neons and a pair breeding angels)/ The pleco male is currently on his third brood in 6 months. The first brood, i did not know what was happening and the fry were snacks! The second brood I managed to transfer the fry to a brooding tank before they left the log and managed to raise all of them. I am currently waiting to tansfer the current brood this week.

I am not a breeder == just happened into this with my pleco pair and so far am enjoying the process just for fun!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
lol I love the fork holding down the zucchini. I usually have to stick part under the cave or a rock.

So you move them away from the father? Are you supposed to after a time(I know the father not only takes care of the eggs, but totes the babies around and teaches and babysits them as well), or is it just so the other fish don't eat them all? If there isn't a need to remove them I wont. All the fish in the 73 gal are fry except my plecos, who will likely be young when I get them since I like to raise them myself from a young age to ensure they are properly cared for. I've ordered six who have the long fin gene in them, they should be here soon. :3

Happy, would you happen to have any available? It'd be nice to get other genes in. The ones I've ordered are brown and not albino, but it can't hurt to have the gene, yes? And other genes to lessen inbreeding risks. If not, that's alright. It's very hard to find healthy ones here, especially lately. Most of our petshops that sell fish are losing a lot of business because their providers are sending them all very sick fish and they are all currently changing providers. Once that's done, I'm hoping to find some lovely calico long-fins that are actually healthy and don't cost an arm and a leg. I know where to get some here....usually anyways, but they cost $20-$50+ each. c.c
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Longfins here are usually 10-15 bucks. 20-50 is crazy!
I think it depends on the color. Albinos and browns are usually cheaper,but the calicos I am interested in are very costly and hard to find. Not just hard to find in good shape, but hard to find period. I've only seen them one. I got my hands on an albino and a gorgeous calico...Unfortunately they did not survive an outbreak from a fish I did not QT. =( Stupid me. I haven't seen calicos ever again.
 

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albino pleco fry

I just pulled the new fry from the dad..... there seems to be about 40! ANyway -- I put them in a seperate brooder because they would be eaten in my tank by the Rams or Angels!

I just sold 15 to the fish store, and have about 9 left; I want them to grow a little more. I would hate to ship these guys -- where are you located??
 

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Ya i did. And they say they cant get them :-(. But they get royals, gold nuggets, false zebras, and blue eyed lemons.
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I live in Colorado.


Oh yeah...You guys are lucky. We have about half a dozen petcos and pestmarts in this area...the rareist pleco they get is occasional rubberlips/bulldog pleco I think. I never see anything but normal BN or albino BN plecos, usually half dead, and commons. The occasional sailfin. =) I have never seen gold nuggets, false zebras or real ones, or yellow-eyed lemons.

And for their site...they don't order them in for people, at least ours don't. They do, however, get them in on very rare occasions. When I asked about the site saying what they had, they said it hadn't been updated in a couple years. =-=;; I told them they need to fix that because it's not ok to advertise things they neither have, nor can get for us. They have swordtails on them too, but they never get any at the pestmart I go to. The only ones they ever have are the ones I bring them and they said so. LOL Said they hadn't seen any in almost two years at one I go to because not many seem to want them...turns out a lot of people do, they go fast is all.
 

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Ya my petcos are pretty good. All you have to do is ask them to get something and if it is on the list they will order it! Not petsmart though, my petsmarts suck.
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Discussion Starter #14
It's the opposite here. Our petco has a lot of issues...they are working on it though(like fish care and info giving), so that is a plus. It's our petsmart that is awesome. Two of them are that I like to go to. At petco, I have to try hard not to go over to their fish area. Such terrible care! Well, it's more the provider, petco here tries to do good for them, they just keep coming in with every nasty under the sun. There are three people there I adore. One who is great with fish and knows what she's talking about(I tested her on a few things, so she at least knows a lot and wouldn't let someone have a crayfish for a five gal, said it needed 20 which I had earlier pointed out that it needed "More space" and she agreed marking that off and putting up twenty gallons), a guy there who I think I have a crush on since his tanks are gorgeous...he showed me a photo of a planted, very well aquascaped tank, and another lady who is all ferrets. :3 Our petsmart will NOT sell people animals unless they have proper space. If someone asks to buy a goldfish they are asked how big the tank is. If they say any less than 30-75 gallons/pond(depending on the type of fish), they are refused and told why. lol I love that.

But alas, they never have anything good. However a new petsmart here just popped up. They have HUUUGE tanks for their fish. Right in the center of the fish area they have a few 60+ gallon tanks set up for their goldfish and larger plecos and crayfish. The other tanks are kept properly stocked and are all over 20 gallons. I adored that. It was a small section really, but they did have at least 20 tanks not counting the middle ones for our sweet giants. And THEY had some fish I'd never seen before, cories I didn't know about, oddball loaches and fish. I musta sat there for three hours just staring and drooling. And they had this pretty set up too. ;D Ah, they also have unconnecting filters and QT tanks. I love them, but that selection sin't as big as most...Still, they will do great and probably be able to upgrade if they keep that up! =)


Anywho, my BN plecos should be here tomorrow. I'm excited. I just adore plecos and can't contain my excitement over finally finding what I hope to be good ones. The parents were exceptional. And they were ordered online....you never do know with that, but I've had some good luck. The seller has been good about answering all my questions, even random ones like what their favorite food is back home so I can have it ready just in case they decide to eat...I'm sure they wont be doing any breeding for a while, they'll likely be 3 inches or less. Tie to grow and find some extra genes to add in.
 

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Ya my petcos are pretty good. All you have to do is ask them to get something and if it is on the list they will order it! Not petsmart though, my petsmarts suck.
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Dude.. where the heck do you live?
Only The non large chain LFS's around any area I've been to carry those ones you said and only petsmart has a long list of fish they can order for you.
If petco did that.(which I do have a few really good ones here) I'd have already ordered the false zebra and the royal lol. I have to drive 45mn to the stores that carry those. Luckily the 45mn drive keeps me in check haha.. Instead of dropping in at petco thats 5mn away and dropping hundreds on 3 fish lol. Which means my bank is only in trouble on the weekends . We do have a really good selection in our non petco petsmart stores here. Heck I even have an exotics vet that does acupuncture and surgery on fish..Now that I can swear is not a tall tail. I can link that vets info. I stay in the waiting room longer when I bring my dragons in just to see the crazy stuff people own here ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I got my babies. They're all around 3 inches or more. They're so cute. They arrived well packaged and surprisingly active, didn't seem very stressed. lol That was a shock since plecos can actually be really delicate when stressed, but they were happy to move around, few freaked when I moved the bag. Once acclimated I let them go in the pool, they all went to explore and nibble at the zucchini I put in for them. ;D After I made sure they were alright and settling, I shut out the lights for the day. Three of them look like long-fins, three look normal. Definitely a few males for sure, I see the bristles coming in and those big "Monocles" as I call them since the males usually look like they have those funny half-glasses on. I'm pleased, they look good except one long-fin had a few tatters, hopefully from shipping and some hungry nips, they'll heal up if there are no other issues, and there don't seem to be. They have nice little bellies and don't look thin or poorly cared for otherwise.

I also got a blue marbled self-cloning crayfish. >>; That should be interesting, she seems sweet. Her package had a hole and it soaked the whole thing, but most of the water seemed to be in the bag still and she was active and happy. Even came to check out my fingers but didn't try to pinch. She's cute. lol I love crayfish, hopefully I wont make any fatal mistakes this time like I did with my electric blue crayfish. Had him for months, growing and beautiful and then I removed all the snails and he starved. I didn't think he was eating them! There were so many I was afraid of parameter spikes and illness. >< I put in food for him daily too. =( What a shame.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sure. lol That's an IF...I haven't bred these before, no idea if I can get it right. ^^; Sure, they do all the....making, but keeping the younglings alive, or even getting a pair going, is another matter. The crayfish should clone herself...I'm still working out kinks with the shelled critters. T_T I think I got it all perfect and something happens anyways. @[email protected] We'll see. My tank should be about perfect for her....maybe a bit small. It's a planted 20 gal, I'd prefer a 30 for her, but I don't have that at the moment and wont until my uncles moves out and relinquishes the basement to me. LOL Ma said I can fill it with tanks after that! And I totally will as I can afford.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Plecos or crayfish? The crayfish are supposed to be of the less aggressive sort...but mine is very active and does not seem to be the nicest creature in the world. LOL She doesn't go for me though, I put my hands right in her claws and she's like "Whatever" but if she sees something move in the tank, she blasts over to it. Snails are going to be toast. >>; The ghost shrimp seem too fast for her, but she REALLY goes for them. She chased one for about ten minutes last night before I dropped her some brine shrimp to eat.

Plecos, sure. I'll certainly be needing to find them homes as well.

You know you're gonna have to buy them, right? lol I breed and sell. It makes me back some care money for now, but I'd like to up that a bit...to do that I need to save up money so I can afford more tanks. One of these days I want my own little business. ^_~


I do have a male common for sale though...well, I'm hoping for a local pick up, he's too big to be sending around and I'm fairly attached to him... >< Not comfortable shipping a pleco his size. So far I'm debating on even doing it at all, he seems to be just peachy with everyone, I just don't think a 73 gallon pool will be DEEP enough. Big enough yeah barely, deep enough likely not.
 
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