View Full Version : What kind of pleco is best?

06-29-2011, 12:29 PM
Hi, i was scheming about a 26 gal tank with a RTBS and a handful of tiger barbs, I was also thinking of adding a pleco. I'm new to fish and don't know much about the pleco and their sizes. If someone has some idea of a good pleco for this tank that'd be great. The decor is probably going to consist of many hiding spots and fake plants.

06-29-2011, 12:31 PM
Bristlenose plecos are the best out there in my opinion and experience. I would add a piece of driftwood for any type of pleco, it is part of their diet and the best batural place for them to seek shelter.

Do you have algae in the tank?

06-29-2011, 12:35 PM
Ok, would they get too big for the 26 gal. I dont have a tank at all. How do i make it an algae tank.

06-29-2011, 01:35 PM
Sorry, I thought you said "Do you have an algae tank." I got a little confused haha.

06-29-2011, 02:34 PM
I would not worry too much about algae, it should come on it's. Extra lighting or a longer lighting period is about the best way IMO.

Your BN pleco will need other foods other than just algae. You should also feed fresh veggies and sinking waffers as a pleco needs more in their diet than algae.

06-29-2011, 03:16 PM
Do you have algae now?
If so, what is your lighting period?

No, they will probably not outgrow a 26.

06-29-2011, 05:23 PM
good to know that they won't outgrow a 26, all the fish in my future tank seem to like cucumber and I'm planing on getting algae wafers. I don't have the tank but I was planing on getting this one (because it comes with a lot of stuff that I'm going to need): http://www.aqueonproducts.com/products/bow-front-aquarium-kit.htm

06-29-2011, 11:14 PM
I wouldn't get a kit, most of the equipment is cheapo stuff that will need to be replaced.

Do you have the tiger barbs or shark yet?

06-29-2011, 11:32 PM
No, i was gunna get those last. I don't even have my tank.

06-29-2011, 11:55 PM
Okay. I wouldn't do the shark in that size tank. I also don't like tiger barbs except in a community of large fish, they can get nippy so I like to keep it safe. There are many barbs and other medium, active community fish.

You will get more gallons per dollar if you stick with a rectangular tank. Get a standard tank, 30long would be great, AquaClear 70 filter, heater (I would go with the black Aqueon since the Stealths are not safe apparently), go with a sand substrate (I recommend Estes' Ultra Reef, best substrate out there and won't mess with any chemistry). Paint the back. I would do black, but any dark color should work well.

06-29-2011, 11:58 PM
so i should just get a big tank, paint it black, and that lives there is sand and a pleco, doesnt sound too fun :/

06-30-2011, 12:02 AM
Have you read throught some tank journels from other members yet? It might give you some other stocking ideas that might work better


06-30-2011, 12:15 AM
thanks, reading those were helpful. Are most barbs or just TB, because if I'm going to have a more peaceful tank (keep the pleco and ditch the RTBS and tiger barbs) any fish suggestions?

06-30-2011, 12:25 AM
It all depends on what else you like. There's a lot of different tetras that you might like. They are great fish to watch and will get along with other fish as well.

Try googling them and check them out

06-30-2011, 12:32 AM
ok so heres what im thinking after reading and googling: pleco (either bn or common), cardinal tetras, and rosy barbs. Are the barbs going to harass the other fish?

06-30-2011, 12:37 AM
NOT common pleco, ever.

Other barbs (not tiger) are usually fine. You shouldn't have any issues with roseys (or gold, cherry, checkerboard, etc.).

06-30-2011, 12:40 AM
+1 to the above

Common plecos get very very big very very fast. They can grow to well over a foot in lenght

06-30-2011, 12:43 AM
Oh my god!How big do BN get?

06-30-2011, 01:08 AM

06-30-2011, 01:17 AM
oh okay, thats not too bad. now that i got rid of the aggressive fish, can i add corys? (1 pleco, 2 corys, 3 cardinal tetra, 3 cherry barbs) is that a good tank (29 gal)?

06-30-2011, 01:40 AM

All of those except the pleco are shooling so are ideally in schools (I consider a school to be at least six). You room for them to be all schools if you do enoguh water changes.

06-30-2011, 01:43 AM
isnt 19 fish a bit too many for a 29 gal?

06-30-2011, 02:18 AM
Please read the article I in the link I posted. It will explain stocking a little better.

06-30-2011, 02:21 AM
I did, it was really informative. I was going to edit that post but it didn't let me, sorry. I understand stocking more now, thanks!

06-30-2011, 03:14 AM
Start slow, I would save the cardinals for last, they are the most sensitive. This also keeps stocking lower for a while while you get used to managing the system. Keep a good water change schedule, at least weekly. It usually works best to pick one day and stick with it (something like every Sunday you are going to do a water change). Think of it like what it is, a system. Not like a glass bax that your fish live inside of, but a whole system that needs to be balanced and will change over time.

06-30-2011, 03:21 AM
right. should it stay weekly? is it the bigger tanks get monthly, smaller=weekly?

06-30-2011, 03:40 AM
Any tank should get weekly water changes. This is the best way to keep water quality as high as possible. This means fish are healthier, they grow better, etc. It also means that when life happens and you miss one (or more) there is more room for error.

High quality food and water will allow you to prevent most health problems. When you have any issues at all do a water change. This means algae, stressed fish, a fish death, anything bad is treated with water changes (except the rare case where water changes are causing the problem, even then it is usually how they are done, not water changes in general).

06-30-2011, 03:52 AM
10-20% each time? and do you use a gravel vac to remove the water (then add the chem yo the water and put it back in the tank)?

06-30-2011, 03:57 AM
I would do at least 25%. My tanks get 80% or so, but DO NOT do this, especially not right away. If done right there are no issues, but the larger the water change the more severe any problems are. So if you do 20% and the temp is a little off no big deal, 80% and all the fish could have problems.

When in doubt about temp go slightly cooler rather than slightly warmer. This is more natural for them (rain cools water) and can even trigger breeding.

I am on well water so no dechlorinator for me.

You are on the border line, but I think a water change system that hooks up to the sink is a better option for you than using buckets. Drain the tank, vacuum the gravel (or any debris on top of sand if you use sand), stop the water, add dechlorinator to the tank (when in doubt add a little extra), and fill.

Start with 10-20% and if you want or need to go larger do so at small steps, 5% more each time. Don't just jump into larger water changes.

06-30-2011, 04:04 AM
what do you use to drain the water, and do you use the dechlorinator b4 or after you put the water in the tank?

06-30-2011, 10:09 AM
Have found the free ebook here yet?

It's got a lot of helpful info


06-30-2011, 12:57 PM
The Lee's Ultimate Water Changer and all the other brands' versions (it used to be mainly Python brand, but apparently they aren't making them anymore) that hook up tot he sink use the sink's water to create a venturi suction to drain the tank for you. It is hard to explain but when it is hooked up there is a T-connector that connects the hose to the sink. If it is turned on drains, when you are ready to fill stop the water for a minute, add the dechlor, turn the water changer on fill, and turn the water on to fill.

Add dechlor before adding water to the tank.

06-30-2011, 01:12 PM
okay. how do I put the water back in the tank? do i just dump it back in?

06-30-2011, 02:31 PM
No, the Lee's Ultimate Water Changer hooks up to the sink. When it is set on fill it will fill the tank for you. Just put dechlor in before you start filling.

06-30-2011, 02:37 PM
how longs the hose? because my sink will be pretty far away from the tank..or does it go from a bucket to the tank?

06-30-2011, 04:28 PM
It is all hose, no bucket. They come in 25' and 50' as well as 25' extensions.

06-30-2011, 06:21 PM
if it goes straight to the tank then how do you get the dechlor in?

06-30-2011, 07:58 PM
Put it in the tank after draining but before adding water. This will dechlorinate as water goes in.

06-30-2011, 08:24 PM
oh okay. Is the Lee's water changer really worth the $40-50?

06-30-2011, 11:34 PM
Definitely. It makes water changes much easier, which means they will actually get done. This alone can make or break a tank long term.

07-01-2011, 03:45 AM
is it sold at petsmart/petco? or at a tropical fish store? or do i have to buy it online?

07-01-2011, 03:51 AM
It is probably cheapest to get it online, but it is always good to support your local fish shop, or else there won't be any.

07-01-2011, 04:12 AM
Okay, ill order it soon, thanks!