View Full Version : Looking for info on plecos

11-30-2013, 10:17 PM
I'm researching various unusual plecos for my 65g tank, and I have some questions regarding various plecos I'm reading about.
1: Blue phantom plecos. Around 7" long, right? I've read these guys are from blackwater rivers and need more than just water. My tank is usually tinted slightly by tannins, although the levels drop with every water change. Do they need actual blackwater, or just some tannins? Also, what do they usually go for?
2: Green phantom plecos. These are GORGEOUS! The one place I found with a size range said they can get 8-10" long, is that right? They'd probably be too large, in that case...
3: Leopard frog pleco. 4", I believe, omnivorous. Anything too unusual about these? Am I likely to actually see it instead of having it hide all day? And what do they usually sell for?
4: L-183 starlight bristlenose pleco. Something like 5", I believe. Anything weird about them? How much are they usually sold for?
5: Red or brown lizard whiptail pleco. This looks like a twig cat to me, but it isn't a farowella... What can you tell me about them? Average price?
6: Zebra pleco. 4" or so, right? Anything unusual there?
I'd rather not go for a fish that's much over $55, I'm on a budget, and I don't want anything that's going to be huge. Tankmates will be mostly small fish like pencilfish, the only exception being a farowella of some kind (twig, royal, not sure yet). Also, is there such a thing as a black farowella?

12-01-2013, 12:33 AM
Two more things. I just read that green phantoms will dig up plants, true?
Also, pleco choice #7: Gold nugget pleco. Something like 4-5", right? Nothing too weird about the care?

12-01-2013, 12:45 AM
First thing I would do is go here http://www.seriouslyfish.com/ it has abt every fish i can think of and all the info on them.

12-01-2013, 12:49 AM
I just did a ton of researc h on plecos trying to find good ones for my 75 gal tank. Most of them get very big so watch it. also ple3cos are omnivores so depending on the size fish in your aquarium they could get hungryu.

If you want a couple suggestions I would look into the bristle nose the albino and the green dragon are really nice they in the 3 inch range when mature if I remember correctly and really colorful when mature. Albino is a misnomer cause they are actually a yellow to yellow goldish color most any I have seen.

Stay away from stuff like the king tigers and green phantoms etc unless you have a big tank and equally large fish for they community.

Thats my suggestions but im still a noob i just been doing a ton of research so let us know how big of a pleco you want when it is mature and what its tank mates are and we can best help you out then.

12-01-2013, 12:52 AM
ps forgot to mention unless you have a really active circulation system with a strong current in your tank your gold nugget wont be happy as they come from the rapids in the rivers they like really fast rushing waters of rapids and waterfalls

12-01-2013, 02:43 AM
Alright, thanks a whole bunch! I guess the gold nuggets are out, the tank will have two strong filters but they'll have flow dampers, probably. Shame, those are gorgeous fish.
Here's my whole stock list:
Female betta Peacock gudgeon
Spotted Headstander
Either mated pair of German blue rams or a single one if I can't find a pair
Farowella catfish of some sort. Royal, maybe, or just twig if I can't find a good one
Five bluefin notho killies
Three checkerboard chiclids, one male two females.
15 rummynose tetras
20 pencilfish, which will be a mix between Beckford's and dwarves. Ten of each, probably, which makes one big school of two different patterns and similar colors.

And one pleco of some sort. I don't really know how big a pleco can fit... Maybe 6" or so? I figure the green phantom plecos are probably too large...

Wow, the green dragon bristles are really neat... Might have to start looking for those. Do you suppose I could fit two, if they really are that small?
I considered zebra plecos, but they seem to be pretty darn expensive. Royals are beyond gorgeous but too large, in fact that's the problem with most plecos I found. I'm looking for something reasonably unusual, around $55 or less, and reasonably small. I'll check out that site, thanks!
I have to ask... Am I forgetting something, or are large plecos okay with small fish? I mean, it's not like a common pleco would go and chase after tetras or something, as far as I'm aware... My LFS has this gigantic pleco that's like two feet long and at least six inches wide at the chest area, and it has some tetras in the tank with it, they don't seem bothered. It's not a common pleco, I don't remember what kind it is, but it has bristles around its gills.

12-01-2013, 06:16 AM
PErhaps it will help if you'd stop thinking about them as "plecos". There's a lot of differnt genus. http://www.planetcatfish.com/ is the best place to look for information on these fish.

12-01-2013, 06:46 AM
I know they technically aren't all plecos, but that seems to be the term people use for most suckermouth cats... Aside from farowellas. This site looks pretty good, thanks!

12-01-2013, 08:56 AM
Bristlenose, green dragon or otherwise, are probably the most adaptable since they've basically been bred in aquariums so long they're pretty well domesticated now. They eat algae throughout their lives, so they're quite helpful for keeping the glass clean. They're also available in brown, albino, calico, and super red color morphs, and all but the super red in longfin as well, all selectively bred lines of the same species of Ancistrus.
Leopard frogs and zebra pleco's will seldom be seen in a "community" tank, same with just about any Hypancistrus species. I have L-333's and leopard frogs; given suitable cover they take advantage of it.
The L-183 generally require softer/acidic water if you want to breed them, though not necessarily just to keep them alive. Never kept those, not sure if they're lifelong algae eaters or not.
The red or brown lizard cats are simply color morphs of the same species. Not too demanding as far as water conditions IME, breeding wasn't too difficult, but raising the fry is another matter.
Catfish aside, pencilfish do require soft water if you expect to keep them alive very long. The checkerboard cichlids are also very particular about their water conditions, basically the same as discus in that respect.

12-01-2013, 09:56 AM
I would say a couple green dragons would be ok they only get abt 3 inches. you can find them a lot of places for around 5 - 8 bucks. there may be some breeders on this forum even. I know of one on another that should have another batch soon. there is a local guy here by me but I dunno if he sells them or what. he is offering me a pair but i might go with albinos im having a hard time choosing as they both look nice

here is link to her and a pic of one of the females http://www.aquariumforum.com/f35/green-dragon-bristlenose-34923.html

12-01-2013, 07:37 PM
Alright, thanks for all the help! I think I'll go with two green dragons... Unless I happen to find a lizard whiptail somewhere that isn't too expensive.
Don't worry, everyone, I'm doing my research on everything on my stock list and making sure I can provide proper conditions, food, etc. for them.