View Full Version : What is a good small cleanup pleco?

12-12-2009, 11:31 PM
I was at the fish store looking for something to help with cleanup in my 50 gallon, and someone there suggested a bristlenose pleco. I have a large piece of driftwood in my tank that so far has always had some kind of algae growing on. Its like little tufts that grow on it, and it actually looks pretty cool, but I don't want it getting all overgrown. Is there some small kind of pleco or other fish that would take care of that? I bought some otos and they are doing a great job cleaning the leaves. If there is a kind of fish that is pretty cool looking and doesnt get over 3 inches or so, I might not mind having one. Any suggestions, or is this worth it?

R2 Ranch
12-12-2009, 11:38 PM
Rubber Lipped Pleco are so awesome. They stay small and will work for algae.thumbs2:

12-12-2009, 11:53 PM
Bristle noses will do the job as well.

12-13-2009, 12:05 AM
Rubberlipped or bristlenose. Either works well and both stay about the right size.

12-13-2009, 01:09 AM
Nothing more to add except I have a bristlenose pleco in each of my tanks and not only do they do the job well, but they are a great conversation piece. thumbs2:

12-13-2009, 04:19 AM
If it's tuft like it might be blackbeard algae. That stuff is evil and only a true SAE will touch it. If it is BBA then your best option is manual removal by whatever means necessary.

12-13-2009, 07:24 AM
How big does your bristlenose pleco get?

I don't think it is black beard algae. I looked up some pics on the net, and I am not sure. Its not thick covering the whole wood, just in spots. I'll try to post some pics of it.

12-13-2009, 07:45 AM
If you starve a Black Sailfin Molly, they're going to eat black beard algae btw.

12-13-2009, 05:08 PM
I have bushy nosed plecos in all my tanks even the smaller ones. The smaller ones are less then 1/2" now and the bigger one in my 55 gal. is only about 2". They can grow to 4-6" but I guess it depends on the size of your tank as they do grow slowly and can live 10-12 yrs or more if taken care of. I just love them as They have done a better job then the Ottos cats I had at one time. It only takes a few days to clean algae promblems from tank glass and decorations. They are my little vacuume cleaners for my tanks.

12-13-2009, 05:16 PM
how stocked is your tank? Even though it woould eat algae, the BN would create alot of ammonia.but if you have adaquate filtration and your tank is understocked, you'll be fine.

12-13-2009, 05:31 PM
I have a pair of bristle nose plecos in my 55 tank. I never really cared for them much, but now they are really one of my fave fish. I got albino and it is very easy to see them and they do a great job on the tank. Before I got them the sides and back of my tank was covered in algea and some on the front too. Overnight it was just about all gone, and has stayed spotless ever since. Great fish, mine are between two and three inches.

12-13-2009, 09:26 PM
how stocked is your tank? Even though it woould eat algae, the BN would create alot of ammonia.but if you have adaquate filtration and your tank is understocked, you'll be fine.

I guess I should have put my setup in my sig but I finally did so you can see what I have there. I think there is plenty of filtration with the Eheim 2217. I know now everytime I test I have 0 of ammonia, nitrites and even nitrates and I do PWC every week.

I'll have to pay attention to these fish next I go to the store. They had one that looked kind of cool, I forgot what she said it was but it was some kind of pleco. It was polka dotted and she said it didn't get very big.

12-13-2009, 10:53 PM
The maximum size of a bristlenose will depend on the species. Ancistrus claro will stay very small, maxing at less than 3". Other species will get a bit larger, but none that I can think of that would outgrow your tank.

12-14-2009, 12:24 AM
I also endorse the BN Pleco...hope yours isn't as shy as mine. :ssmile:

12-14-2009, 06:34 AM
After looking at the tank a little more closely and comparing it to picture on the net, it looks like some of that is green beard algae. I think it looks pretty cool on the wood, but when I scrub it with a brush it doesn't come off. It seems very strong on there. So the plecos won't eat that?

And if I do get a bristlenose, will I be overstocked with the fish I have in my sig? I plan to add maybe 5-6 corys, 3 gouramis, and 2 rams.