View Full Version : Pretend I know nothing about Plecos....

12-26-2011, 09:14 PM
.... because... well, I really don't lol

My dad use to have fish when he was little (and my grandfather had them for some time) and I finally got my 1st real fish tank!

I own a 40G tank and I'm going tropical, semi-aggressive!

He likes Plecos (or sucker fish as he called them until he re-remembered/re-researched them lol) so I want to get one (as they do like in his house lol) plus they are good for the tank (I THINK, remember, I know very little about these lol).

I'm not planning on getting one soon, as my initial stock isn't even in there yet lol. But probably in the spring after my spring semester.

So here is what I know... They "suck" on the side of the glass, decorations, and floor?? They have some kind of L # (though honestly that is just confusing to me, probably not the real Pleco lovers out there, but for a newb like myself lol)

I have a giant "log" (its really like a hallow "log" with openings throughout it to swim through and is more like a maze... kinda think only smaller fish can go through them.. we will see soon lol). and some fake plants and different heights. I have a natural colored gravel bottom and there will be other fish in the tank...

Now my questions...

I know these things can huge (probably much bigger then a 40 gallon tank, even though mine is kinda tall... not to tall but taller then a regular "long" tank). I don't think that can fit in my tank lol, is there a smaller ones that can fit in my tank?

Also, are they solo fish? do they school? (somehow) do they NEED to be the only pleco in the tank?

And what do they eat? other then the bacteria/algae in the tank? do they just eat the fish food I put in there? or do I need to hand feed them?

thanks all!

12-26-2011, 11:35 PM
Ok there are many different kinds, and there are several you can get that will fit in a 40G tank. However, the most commonly sold in big box pet stores, the "common pleco" will outgrow the space.

Try looking up Clown Pleco, Bristlenose (or bushynose) Pleco or Rubberlip Pleco as three fairly readily available plecos that should fit in your tank.

You mentioned a log, is that a real wood log or a plastic fake log? Most plecos need real wood as a part of their diet. They rasp the nutrients that build up on the surface of the wood.

Most plecos are more happy being a single of their species (or pair). You may be ok getting a couple different plecos depending on how you decorate your tank and the room left. I'd suggest starting with one.

Plecos like to have a varied diet and should not solely rely on algae growth. Plan to have some sinking algae wafers and perhaps some veggies and fruits to supplement their diet. You do not need to hand feed, just have the food available.

DO wait until your tank is established well before adding any bottom feeder such as a pleco. Poor quality water builds up more quickly at the bottom of the tank first. So take the time while you are establishing the tank to do some homework on plecos to get what you want. :ssmile:

Couple good resources for pleco info:


12-27-2011, 12:15 AM
A rubber lipped bulldog pleco would be great in that 40 gallon. Fresh cucumber or zucchini is a must along with algae wafers.

As Trillianne said, make sure your tank is well established (we're talking 4 months) before you add a bottom feeder such as a pleco.

As a side note; a live plant or two would be a great addition to that tank.
Research some easy to keep plants for your lighting and it will do wonders for the pleco and your fish.

12-27-2011, 12:28 AM
thanks everyone!

Yeah the wood is fake.. as are the plants, maybe when I come back from school (I get out before May 1) I'll convert to live plants and try to get some wood or something in there for them!

Also... do these REPLACE catfish altogether?:??

12-27-2011, 12:33 AM
Also... do these REPLACE catfish altogether?:??

Interesting question.

By catfish I envision the bottom feeding Corie's which are busy going through the gravel looking for uneaten food and the predatory catfish which wait for anything that fit in their mouths (usually in the dark).
Pleco's are veggie (some need driftwood) eating fish that keep the green algae at bay.
I would say they do not replace Corie's.

12-27-2011, 03:46 AM

oh wait one more :) lol sry about all the questions, I like to know things before I do them all in advance!

Are they okay in a semi-aggressive tank? or will they be harassed by other fish?

12-27-2011, 05:43 AM
What are the other fish that would be with the placo?

From what I read/ experienced most of them can handle agressivity. They ushally will hide, and just such on glass and wood cleaning. So, the fish probably won't really do anything to them.

My biggest advise is what ever you do makesure you don't buy a common placo, I don't think they will ever stop growing.

12-27-2011, 04:18 PM
a small school of tiger barbs (6) and a red tail shark is all that I have right now (I dont even had the RTS yet and adding 3 more barbs to get to 6) this is a way in the future plan

12-27-2011, 05:01 PM
I think you will be fine with most plecos and those two species you have picked out.

12-27-2011, 08:48 PM
Totally agree with the above post. thumbs2:

12-28-2011, 05:45 AM
The rts will likely become a problem when it grows a bit larger, they really should be kept in a 4' (or larger) tank.
As for pleco's "replacing" other types of catfish, that depends on the species. Ancistrus (aka bristlenose) pleco's are mainly algae/veggie eaters their whole life. ill eat just about anything, but do need some veggies to keep their digestive systems in order. I breed them by the hundreds, feed them NLS pellets, spirulina flake, and occasionally canned green beans.
Hypancistrus species are generally more attractive, omnivorous, and nocturnal fish that you'll seldom/never see. Will clean up uneaten food after the lights are out.
Peckoltia species like the common clown pleco mainly eat wood, will actually die w/out it in their diet, and are generally useless for cleaning up leftovers. Also nocturnal fish, you'll likely never see them unless you disturb them when cleaning the tank.
DON'T buy a common or sailfin pleco. They're the most commonly available species, and will quickly outgrow a 40 gallon tank. They actually need at least 125 (or larger) to be properly housed when they mature.

12-30-2011, 04:41 AM
Thanks everyone!