View Full Version : Lowest temperature for Pleco

02-09-2013, 10:19 PM
Will a pleco be OK in water that sometimes gets to 60 degrees F?

I have a small pond here in NY for a few goldfish and bring them inside for winter. Temperature gets to around 60. I'd like to add a few small bushynose plecos to help keep the algae in check but am not sure if they will be OK with the temperature. I've kept the common black ones for years and they seem to do well, but I do not know if there are differences in temperature range of other types.

A better question might be: Which commonly available pleco is most tolerant of low temperatures.

Goes to 11!
02-09-2013, 10:24 PM
Different plecs have dif temp ranges & tolerances, BN plecs as far as I know are cool to about 70F. I have kept them in the mid to lower 70s but no lower.

The answer for ALL things catfish though is: http://www.planetcatfish.com/ The search feature there will not fail you. thumbs2:

02-09-2013, 10:26 PM
60 is probably too low for any pleco. They are very tolerant for higher temps usually near 85, but I have not seen anything about lower temperatures.

02-10-2013, 02:42 AM
Thanks for the speedy feedback!

I will look up the catfish site.

As for 60 being too cold for any pleco, I've kept the common black ones in outdoor ponds till late November for years. My current over-wintering tank is unheated, 62 to 68 degrees most of the time. After Hurricane Sandy, our heat and power was out for a week, the temperature was in the low fifties, and my pleco is still OK. Now, I understand there is a difference between a fish thriving and merely surviving, but perhaps some species of our "tropical" fish are more cold tolerant than we think.

02-10-2013, 05:27 AM
Of course they are. Some cories have even survived tanks freezing over.

Problem here is that people ask for "a pleco" without apparently realizing that there's almost 1200 species from all over south America that fit the term "pleco". Bit like asking "can cichlids life in soft water?"

02-10-2013, 02:50 PM
850R is correct as most sites say no lower than 71F. As for much lower - that is beyond cruel. Just because something survives does not mean it is acceptable nor a proper method to determine temperature tolerance. These fish are tropical to semi-tropical in SA and are not temperate fish. Aside: there might be some uncommon species that can tolerate lower than 71F but when someone say's Pleco, that means one of the more common species.