View Full Version : So I'm thinking about getting a little pleco...

07-14-2015, 04:40 PM
My LFS currently has some orange spot plecos, and I was wondering if it would be appropriate for my tank, since they only grow to about 130mm and my tank is quite small.

Current parameters are:
pH slightly acidic (~6.8)
GH a little high (It took me a while to realise why it wasn't going down with PWCs, it's because the local municipal water itself is a bit hard. I'll use bottled mineral water in future to amend that.)
Temperature around 26°C
Substrate: off-white 1-5mm gravel
Plants: Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, Lobelia cardinalis, Ludwigia repens (I'm not 100% sure on any of them but those are my best guesses based on some thorough Googling and image searches.)
Decor: a resin cast "knot" cave hiding place thingy, a small clay pot, 4 flat black pebbles in/near the pot so it looks like they spilled out,, 8 round white pebbles forming a path.

I've been soaking a piece of driftwood for the past ~3 weeks so it gets waterlogged, after scrubbing and boiling it I'll add it in. I know plecos like gnawing on driftwood so I'll do that before adding the fish.

What do you think?

07-14-2015, 04:48 PM
Should be OK, although there are smaller plecos than 5".

Here's some good info: http://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=732

I really like my pleco...when I see him...he hides 99% of the time, blends right in with my DW and decor

07-14-2015, 05:15 PM
This pleco is part of the panque family meaning it is a wood eater and needs a good piece of DW in the tank to eat and hide on (also needs other foods). He also requires a tank with a current ensuring highly oxygenated waters, since they come from flowing rivers/streams. I don't remember what tank you have, if it is deep and you have a HOB-he may not get enough current to thrive/succeed in your tank.


Is this going into the 30 liter tank?

07-14-2015, 07:02 PM
If this is for the 30 litre tank, I wouldn't do it. That's about a 5" fish. Too big for that tank. How about a few otos?

Richard Peche
07-14-2015, 07:19 PM
Second the Oto suggestion.

07-14-2015, 07:37 PM
I agree-otos would be better suited to the tank. How long has it been set up? Otos (and plecos) need well established tanks (mainly for the food but also so the water parameters aren't fluctuating).

07-14-2015, 08:09 PM
See my dilemma is that my nearest LFS is a 20min drive away, and the second-nearest is a half-hour away in the opposite direction, and on top of that around here they are generally rather poorly and irregularly stocked. So it's more of a "take what you can get" than "wait for them to have this" because you'll be waiting forever.

Otos would be a good idea, but I sort of have my heart set on some kind of armoured pleco. As a kid my parents often took me to this one restaurant that had a tank with a bunch of carps and a huge common pleco, and I would watch it scrape the glass for the entire time we were there in utter fascination.

What about a clown pleco, if I can find one? If that's still too big then I guess I'll go for an oto.

EDIT: My tank has been running for about 3 months. I don't really have any significant amount of algae, only some light frilly stuff on my plants that doesn't seem to grow past 1mm.

07-14-2015, 08:22 PM
Depending on the clown pleco type it can get over 4". I would stick to otos since they dont get more than 1.5".

07-14-2015, 08:33 PM
I have a clown, and never see it, I also have 2 candy stripes and see them less, but I have a 75 gallon (~284liter) tank, with 2 filters rated for 159 gallons each. The recommended tank size is still 36 inches with ~110 liters, since they are panaques as well they also eat wood and with this diet they have a large impact on the bioload of a tank so they need a large tank and good filtration to accommodate them. Same for the candy stripe plecos, though they are not panaques (wood raspers)-they still need driftwood to hide and as extra fiber in their diet though they have an omnivore diet.

There really isn't a pleco small enough for your 30 liter tank. I am sorry to say. If you are able to get a 100 liters tank you can put a smaller pleco like a clown or candy stripe, even a smaller bristlenose in it in the future.

07-14-2015, 08:48 PM
It will hard to find a pleco for that size tank. I'm afraid.

You will need significant algae growth, or otos would starve to death...they feed constantly

And they are social fish, I wouldn't get less than 6

07-14-2015, 09:04 PM
I'll leave my tank stocked as is then. I don't want to be cruel.

Kind of sucks having such a tiny tank. :shootself:

07-14-2015, 09:17 PM
Kind of sucks having such a tiny tank. :shootself:

Well then, now's the time to start planning for a bigger one! thumbs2:

07-14-2015, 10:06 PM
I would if I had the space, but unfortunately I live in a flat with very little open counter area. I'd love to have a 100 litre tank like the one my dad had when I was a kid. Mind you, he did have it when my parents still lived in their flat which was smaller than ours... I'll have to think about it.

07-14-2015, 11:22 PM
Start looking for furniture to get rid of, that you don't use, to free up some space.

I've thought about it a time or two, or thirty, but my wife seems to think we need a couch.

07-15-2015, 09:44 AM
Well I just found out that their flat was in fact much bigger than ours so there goes that argument.

Problem is we don't have all that much furniture or shelf space, and we're busy redoing the kitchen and study so kitchen counter and office desk aren't available right now. Currently my tank is sitting on our bedside table, which is why I want the pump and filter as silent as possible.

Perhaps I can coax my boyfriend into building me a cupboard base on wheels... or two... *scribbles some design ideas*

07-15-2015, 12:57 PM
There are MANY DIY plans online for building your own stand...many of us here have...with a little planning and a small bit of woodworking skills, it is not hard to do at all.

07-15-2015, 01:11 PM
What are the dimensions of this tank? I agree, at least 6 otos.
On this note, I was recently researching Loricariidae and found an incertae sedis genus called Nannoplecostomus. There was only one species, Nannoplecostomus eleonorae, and it only gets 0.87 inches!
A candidate for tanks as small as a 10? I hope it becomes available sometime.

07-15-2015, 02:44 PM
There are MANY DIY plans online for building your own stand...many of us here have...with a little planning and a small bit of woodworking skills, it is not hard to do at all.
Luckily for me, my boyfriend is pretty good with wood- and metalwork, and I'm not too bad at it either, if I may say so myself. He's really good with furniture design though.

What are the dimensions of this tank?
460 x 230 x 300 mm (18 x 9 x 12 inches), which is about 30 litres (8 US / 7 UK gallons) to the brim, but I generally keep the water level a little lower, around 25 litres.

07-15-2015, 02:52 PM
That is too small for otos or any pleco, unfortunately.....and rams and Hasemania nana.

07-15-2015, 08:57 PM
Er... exactly what is my tank big enough for then?

07-15-2015, 09:08 PM
I disagree about the otos, I believe you could do 6 in a tank that size..after you have grown a healthy amount of algae for them to eat

07-15-2015, 10:15 PM
My otos survive even without any great amounts of algae. I add veggie tabs and algae tabs often.

I also agree that this tank can support some but I think I'd add about three-four.

07-16-2015, 09:05 AM
I do have some diatoms on my plants, would the otos eat that? The CAE sometimes did.
I mostly feed TetraMin tropical crisps, but I have some Omega One veggie rounds too.
I used to put in about 1/4 to 1/3 of a tab per day when I had the CAE.
If I were to get 3 or 4 otos, would that combo be fine?

07-16-2015, 01:38 PM
If I were to get 3 or 4 otos, would that combo be fine?

Yes....try the Hikari Algae Wafers, ALL of my fish/shrimp/snails love them


07-16-2015, 05:44 PM
Sweet, thanks. I'll look out for some otos and those wafers next time I go to my (not-so-L)FS.

07-16-2015, 06:01 PM
I go through them so quickly, I've started buying the bigger pouch, and freezing half of it

07-16-2015, 06:37 PM
I disagree about the otos, I believe you could do 6 in a tank that size..after you have grown a healthy amount of algae for them to eat

An 8 gallon is not enough for otos. I would do a betta, OP.

07-16-2015, 09:57 PM
I'm not too fond of bettas... I find them clichéed, and quite frankly they look ridiculous. No offence but I'd rather have a fish that looks like a fish, not a stage curtain/peacock hybrid.

I know it's not ideal, but my current fishes seemed perfectly fine with the CAE, so I don't see how a few less obnoxious fish instead would be worse.