View Full Version : growing out a common pleco

03-31-2012, 01:44 PM
So I am just back from the lfs with a 2inch common pleco. I know these guys get to monstrous sizes so my tank is not its permanent home. The guy at my lfs has asked me if I can basicaly grow it up a bit for him and then I will get store credit when its a tad bigger.

Here's the set up:
48gallon bowfront, so a nice sized footprint
1 dwarf gourami
1 spotted queen arabesque pleco (L262)
19 red eye tetras
And some khuli loaches.
In the future a 1-2 inch blue acara will be added

Tank is well planted, and contains 5 or 6 pieces of mopani wood and they are built to create 3 caves.

Water change is 60-70% each week

So here is my questions, up until what size should let the plec reach before returning it? 4-6-8-10 inches??

How quickly do commons grow?

And feeding wise I have algae wafers and fresh zuccinni and prepd peas. Is this sufficient for a common?

Cheers guys!!

Lady Hobbs
03-31-2012, 03:10 PM
Sounds good to me especially when you already know he will have a home once he grows some. I would think it would take him a couple of years but also don't know how large the guy wants him to be before he'll take him back from you. I hope this store credit isn't for $5. LOL

03-31-2012, 03:17 PM
Sounds good to me especially when you already know he will have a home once he grows some. I would think it would take him a couple of years but also don't know how large the guy wants him to be before he'll take him back from you. I hope this store credit isn't for $5. LOL

I get on really well with the guy and he has some other customers who have moster tanks by the sounds of it and they are looking for large plecos. The guy says he will take it back anytime, anything bigger than the 2-3inches that he brings them in at. I like the prehistoric look that common plecos have so thats why I am happy to grow him up in my tank. Nah it will all depend on size for my store credit.

Lady Hobbs
03-31-2012, 03:19 PM
I also think pleco's are cool but never had one because I haven't a tank large enough for one. Being poop factories doesn't excite me a lot, either.

03-31-2012, 03:22 PM
Yeah I have heard they can make a lot of waste! Thats why I am looking for advice on what size to keep it until, dont want a pleco wrecking the harmony that exists in my tank :hmm3grin2orange:

03-31-2012, 06:34 PM
They should grow to about 6-8" in less than a year with a good diet... Kinda depends on the individual pleco too.

If you can keep the nitrates down id give it back when it hits around 8-10". However 6" would be better if you dont want to battle poop every week!!

03-31-2012, 07:03 PM
Do you think it will grow 6 inches in a year? That's quite a lot! thumbs2:

I would be happy to keep up high maintenance to grow him upto 10inches. So in your opinion my tank would be ok with the pleco growing upto 10 inches then returning him.

03-31-2012, 07:55 PM
Common pleco's grow a lot faster than other pleco's!

I mean your tank is probably about 36" long? With high maintenance 10" should be ok.

My old 16" pleco produced tons of waste in my old 211gal... Be prepared to do a lot of hoovering :hmm3grin2orange: !!

03-31-2012, 08:03 PM
Woo! So a year-year and a half I will be handing back a healthy looking pleco then?

I hoover with every water change so should that be ok?

03-31-2012, 09:01 PM
Yeah yeah, a good hoover once a week should do it...

You might be doin 70-80% weekly water change once it gets big.. Just remeber to test your water and keep an eye on the nitrates as it grows.

What kinda filtration you got? Hopefully it can handle the bioload of your current fish and a large pleco?

Try feed it fruit and Veg day before weekly water change. Watermelon seems to be their favourite!! thumbs2:

03-31-2012, 09:11 PM
Watermelon, hmm that's a new one, got some zuccinni in the tank tonite, so far though the algae is proving more to its taste.

Filtration wise it is the big pump that came with the tank, designated as 200 litres I think. Then I bought another one rated for 180 litres, I know you are meant to double the filtration but being a student I simply don't have the cash for a bigger filter the now. I try and compensate with 60-70% water changes per week and ave quite a few plants to help the cause.

03-31-2012, 09:52 PM
madness!!! Theres loads of commons on Gumtree and the like free to a good home all the time!

03-31-2012, 10:05 PM
I usualy scout about on gumtree quite a bit, never seen common plecs on it before. Plnty of huge oscars and green terrors at the moment, must be a shortage in south lanarkshire haha

03-31-2012, 10:10 PM

Theres a few aparently breeding pairs of Oscars on the go too.....

Tempting :)

03-31-2012, 10:15 PM
Tis tempting. :hmm3grin2orange: good excuse for a bigger tank!!

03-31-2012, 11:06 PM
got a spare 300lt sitting in the garage and am collecting a 6 1/2 foot ehiem tank on monday.... choices choices lol

04-01-2012, 08:50 PM
Check you with a spare 300l! I canny wait to get my own place, I want a minimum 75g, I'm so americanised on this forum I'm getting better at gallons than litres haha, is a 300l around 75g?

04-01-2012, 08:58 PM
Around there lol..

04-01-2012, 09:01 PM
Why thank you :22:

04-01-2012, 09:32 PM
80g aye.

I've got an 8lt (2g), 28lt (7G), 30lt(7.5G), 300lt (80G), 340lt (90G)+sump volume and collecting an 800lt (210G) tomorrow.

The 340 and 300 will be getting sold though.

04-01-2012, 09:43 PM
All I can say is wow chris! I thought I was doing ok with a 32g and 48g! I know I'm a bit south from you but have you already sold them? Pm me if you want this thread has got kinda off topic from growing out a common pleco :hmm3grin2orange:

04-02-2012, 08:50 PM
The 300lt has been claimed by a mate, waiting for him to have the money.

The 3x2x2 reef will be on sale once I get the 800lt up and running, might be as late as August however depending when I start going offshore.

I'll give you a shout when it does though ;)

04-02-2012, 09:16 PM
Chhers matethumbs2:

04-23-2012, 07:19 PM
How has growing out the pleco going? We got one on a rescue as a four incher and we are trying to grow it out. There is only one store by me that carries 12 inch commons and for $20. Hoping to at least get a little credit. We have only had him a month and he has grown an inch.

Good luck on the growing...mine just keeps chomping down the driftwood.

04-23-2012, 07:40 PM
Well the aquarium is algae free, he does rather enjoy the iftwood. For some reason he isn't eating as voraciously as my other in another tank when it comes to zuccinni, grown a tiny bit but nothing worth mentioning. Will keep u all posted