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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a couple algae eaters. Had a bunch of algae growing in my 55 gallon. Researched it and learned that lots of food+fish poop = algae.

I was told a healthy fish is a hungry fish, so I don't feed my fish a lot. So it wasn't me. After a short investigation (my aquarium is in the middle of my office) I found that I was getting a little "help" feeding the kids (6 Tiger Barbs, 2 AFricans and a Rainbow shark).

The girls in the office like the barbs (Apparently they're cute) so they were all feeding them snacks

The guys like the Africans (They dig and protect their territory) and the shark (who wouldn't like a shark?) so...more snacks from the male contingent.

So I put the kids on a diet and bought a couple High Fin Plecos, expecting them to bring the algae under control after a couple weeks.

Not only do they look Awesome, but I came in the very next morning and OMG - no algae on the glass. None. And the plecos are only 2 or 3 inches big.

So if you need a first class algae eater, I recommend the High Fins - they get the job done.
 

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I have to agree 100% with you! I had a similar issue in regard to algae developing in the tank. Went out and bought the most active pleco at the lfs. It wasn't even 24 hours later and the tank was spotless. It also makes for a great scavenger, picking up all the uneaten food at the bottom of the tank. I have been extremely happy with this guy!
 

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Hi Fins get big.. and make lots of poop. They also dont like algae much especially as they get older. I would suggest taking away the food and putting notices not to feed the fish. The african cichlids and the shark will eventually kill the barbs as well.
 

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Okay that High Fins? Take them back to the pet-store and you need to go in time out. You have done a very bad thing. If you don't know what it is let me show you an adult high fin pleco:


Now you take those fish back and you bring home a bristle nose pleco. That won't outgrow your tank.

EDIT: TO be clear "High fin pleco" is often a term interchanged with Sail Fin Pleco. If that is indeed what you have...you will end up with something that will die a horrible death in your tank due to it's organs outgrowing it's stunted frame. If it is just a regular common pleco you are still in trouble. That too is going to grow too big for your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yikes. What if the store won't take them back? I got them at a Petsmart. They had bristlenoses too. I even told them I had a 50 gallon.
 

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Sadly I believe it is some store's policy to not refuse a sale... (for any reason).
If they won't take them back you may end up having to re-home them.
Interestingly up here in Ontario a major LFS chain, Big Al's for lack of a better term... "rents" those super large Common Plecos to pond owners for the summer. I remember asking one winter trip to the store why they had SO many large Plecos!!... He said, "oh they're here for the winter... pond owners will come in an get one just for the summer to keep their ponds clean." They are tropical though so can't winter over like a Koi or Goldfish can (in +3' deep ponds) and need to be housed elsewhere/indoors. Just a suggestion if you have any other stores in your city or know someone who needs one for their pond.
 

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I don't mean to sound harsh but if the store doesn't take them back, its your own fault. A common mistake people make is not doing the proper research on a fish before making the purchase. Same for plants. Know what your getting before you get it. Most chain fish stores in my opinion do not have very knowledgeable fish keepers. They will tell you anything due to the fact that they don't know any better themselves. This is not always the case but more times than not it is. Don't always rely on a store making your decision. Do the homework and/or jump aboard a forum such as this and get advice/suggestions from experienced keepers and not one that is just there for a paycheck.
 

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I think most people don't realize that people at petsmart and petco (and even local fish stores) are hit or miss. Usually miss. They don't get very good training apparently. It seems to be a common thing not to realize how big plecos get and how large of a tank they need. Most people get plecos and they don't get large before they die (due to space constraints stunting and killing them) and so it perpetuates the idea.

I think it takes a mistake or two before any of us realize there's more to fishkeeping than the oversimplified "put fish and water in an aquarium and feed them" idea that chain pet stores like people to think. Not to mention the myths they keep up about fish growing to the size of their container and such...
 

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If it's a Bristlenose Pleco you'll be fine, I've had mine for a year now and it quickly went from 2" to 3" in 3-4 months and since then it's stayed at 3".
 

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On second thought, I think I'll keep them both and when they get bigger, I'll just upgrade to a 120 g.

:)
Please rethink about re-homing them. It really is the for the best. They might be small now, but they grow up to be tank busters...provided they grow up. You might plan to have that 120, but life has a tendency to delay even the best plans. Even assuming you do get the big tank, how do you know you got it in time to prevent stunting since you're going to use the size of your fish as the basis? When these guys get bigger, they get territorial with each other. It's very possible you eventually end up with one dead loser and a stunted winner (not sure if that actually counts as a win). Try to re-home them and when you get that big tank buy another. They somewhat sadly (for reasons like your situation) aren't that hard to find.
 

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If it's a Bristlenose Pleco you'll be fine, I've had mine for a year now and it quickly went from 2" to 3" in 3-4 months and since then it's stayed at 3".
Have you noticed any plant damage from the Bristlenose Pleco? What kind of plants do you have?
 

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quick question... What kind of Africans are in there. And how long have you had this tank running with this mix?
Even before you answer I will say I'm a bit concerned that each and every one of those fish have different KH and PH needs.. some drastically different.
 

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I don't mean to sound harsh but if the store doesn't take them back, its your own fault. A common mistake people make is not doing the proper research on a fish before making the purchase. Same for plants. Know what your getting before you get it. Most chain fish stores in my opinion do not have very knowledgeable fish keepers. They will tell you anything due to the fact that they don't know any better themselves. This is not always the case but more times than not it is. Don't always rely on a store making your decision. Do the homework and/or jump aboard a forum such as this and get advice/suggestions from experienced keepers and not one that is just there for a paycheck.
So true I have spent over $200 on plants that were sold as aquatic but turned out to be semi aquatic and lost all plants got them at a pet store and they said aquatic plants. Same place I once got a corn snake and they told me to feed it crickets. Pet store employees really don't know much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
agent, they've been together for about a year and a half so far. They all get along great and everybody seems very healthy and active. No fighting. I'm re-thinking about taking the plecos down to that fish store I told you about - it's probably the better choice. I'm going to ask their advice on what to do first and see what they say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The africans are malawis and my research showed that all of them do fine around 7 Ph which is right where my water is - I check it weekly.
 
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