View Full Version : pleco is small tank - need advice

11-22-2010, 09:26 PM
Hi everyone - I currently have a 10gal community setup and have a 3.5" sailfin pleco that seems healthy, happy and content at this point. I know the little dude will become a big dude and I need to upgrade to a bigger tank. I have no objection to that - (already OK'd by head of household...:hmm3grin2orange: ) My question is one of timing. Since I am not going to go out and get a 75 gal later today, and currently the sailfin seems fine, how much time do I have before the upgrade becomes a "must do"? Is it a month, 3 months, 6 months???

thanks for help!

11-22-2010, 09:33 PM
I have a sailfin that is about 4yrs old .He is 10" atm and should be 15".He was brought up in a heavily planted 58 gal tank and was well cared for but ended up stunted anyway.That being said he is very healthy but needs a 100 gal tank.I cant give him away casue no one wants him so Im stuck.The stunting happens slowly,I have heard different reasons for it but wont quote any of them cause I just dont know why.If you can get a 75 gal within 6 months you should be fine.Just keep up with good water changes and dont add other fish till you do.What other fish are in there with him?

11-22-2010, 09:39 PM
I have 2 red eye tetras, 2 halequin rasboras, 2 corys, and 3 platys - I do 20% WC about every 7-10 days. I also vacuum the gravel at every water change

11-22-2010, 09:44 PM
Thats not bad without the sailfin. Plecs are serious poopers,you need to up the water change to 50% once a week.What type filter do you have ?

11-22-2010, 10:01 PM
I have a "hanging on the outside" type. Forgot what those are refered to here in AC shorthand. Not sure if it is sufficient enough, but it came with the tank as a set, and I do not want to spend $ to upgrade now since i am going to be getting a different tank anyways. --Agreed about the poop factory! I have no problem upping the WC to 50% - seems like a real easy task to perform, so I don't mind.
I am assuming that on my upcoming larger tank I will have a canister filter???

I also should mention that I run a little airstone for added O2...

11-22-2010, 10:09 PM
Remember to never change out that filter on the HOB [ac shorthand].If you do,all the beneficial bacteria goes away.Yes for a 75 gal you will want a canister.

11-22-2010, 10:13 PM
just to make sure, (and to point out my newness), by the filter, you mean that white sack/bag cartridge deal with the chacoal in it, right? I've changed it before but am catching on to not doing that anymore. I think the sales gimmick is that the BB is on the platic part (frame/cage) that "holds" the cartridge. So no matter how brown and gross the cartridge is - leave it huh?

11-22-2010, 10:15 PM
Oh its carbon too.Just rinse the whole thing very well in some of the water you remove for water changes and keep using it.

11-22-2010, 10:16 PM
awesome - thanks for all the help - I'm sure I'll be back with more ?'s - glad I found this site!

12-22-2010, 06:59 PM
Need to breath new life into this thread. My sailfin is continuing to grow (of course) and I am starting to get concerned that my 10 gal is too small. Looking into larger tanks right now.
Considering a larger tank is essentially a piece of furniture, I do not have room for a 100 gallon bathtub. If I limit myself to a 3 foot to 4 foot long tank, I think I am limited to a 40 maybe a 55 gallon unit? Does that sound right? I do not want to get an overly tall/deep tank to keep cleaning/vacuming easier. What do you guys suggest I look for?

12-22-2010, 07:37 PM
If the most you can do is a 4' tank, I would look for a 75 gallon tank - that's 48" long by 18" deep/wide by 21" tall. That's about as much space as you can give a big fish in a 4' length, unless you find a tank with a 4'x2' footprint, which is less common.

12-23-2010, 04:49 AM
Tank size is limited by your budget, space, and desire.
I happen to prefer breeder style tanks as the extra front to back gives so many more options for plants. A 40L can look perfect or too short depending on plants chosen and fish choices.
A standard 55 can look empty unless you select bottom, middle, and top cruising fish.

I'd be looking to swap a sail fin for a bristle nose before it gets too big to re-home but that's me.

A suggestion - A 65 gallon tall tank while not optimal for a sailfin, would be better and if stocked with only male cichlids, would be beautiful.

12-23-2010, 05:17 AM
how big typically would a bristle nose get compared to the sail fin? I do have an excellent LFS actually 2!) in the area and I am sure they would do something like that. I have to admit thought that I really like the look of the sail fin.

My plan as of now is to stay with a community tank with a good mixture of top, middle, and bottom swimmers.

12-23-2010, 02:05 PM
Bristlenose plecos reach 4-6", whereas sailfins reach 12"-24". Obviously a bristlenose is going to be a much better choice for small and medium sized tanks.

12-23-2010, 02:55 PM
Thanks for the suggestion and information. Your idea makes total sense to me, now I will just have to explain this reality to my 7 year old son. That may be the toughest part.

I am sure my LFS will be happy to play ball wth me on the trade in.

Lady Hobbs
12-23-2010, 03:03 PM
Trading him in is really the only choice. When you are under stress of knowing your tank size is too small, and trying to crunch up the money to buy a larger one, then it's less stressful to get rid of the problem and work with what you have.

We often see here that someone will buy fish not suitable for their tank at all because they have plans to buy a larger one later. Never works!

12-23-2010, 03:10 PM
It can definitely be tough talking to your kids about fish. At least you can tell him that the fish is going to a bigger home where he'll be happier... trying to explain that fish have died is much worse.

12-23-2010, 05:56 PM
When I originally bought the pleco, I bought it at one of the big box joints (PetCo) and was not told really what i was getting into. I regret that for sure. I no longer go to the big boxes now that I have found "real LFS's" in my area.

Life will go on, and i bet my kid will dig a male brstle nose with all the "horns" on the head. I am sure it will work out fine...Now just to get through the holidays here....

12-24-2010, 03:11 AM
Kids can be touchy about things like this.
Explain, show if there are specimens in the shop's show tank, how large the pleco can become and how it would be unkind to keep it when there are better larger homes for it.

Try to do so in a manner that won't let him even consider that you might do the same to them. People who haven't had kids are probably thinking I'm nuts about now. Parents aren't.
There is a tale in today's NY Times about worst Christmas presents. One was a kid whose parents bought them a brand new personalize suitcase. The writer said for years afterward they weren't sure their parents weren't going to get rid of them. Ouch!