View Full Version : Smallest pleco?

05-16-2012, 01:05 PM
I would really like one or two of the smaller/est pleco species for my 35 gallon, but I'm not sure which would be good.

Everyone on this board seems to love bristle nose ones but I don't really fancy them much myself.

Is a bulldog Pleco a nice one? I've read it only gets a couple inches. I was originally going to go with a clown pleco but I was reading that they might have some aggression and I don't want a mean fish sharing bottom with my future cories haha.

What do you all think is a good (and preferably easier to get) pleco? Keep in mind that ordering online isnt really something I can do (most of the popular sites don't ship to Canada and even if they did, if I was at work there'd be no one to accept the package). So distributed in LFS's would be good! :)

05-16-2012, 01:31 PM
One of the various species of Otocinclus will be the smallest.

05-16-2012, 02:19 PM
I have a rubbernose/bulldog pleco, and it depends on what you want in a pleco or niceness.

They don't get as large, topping out at about 5 inches and are suitable for average 20+ gallon tanks.

In my experience.. they are a bit shy during the day and not a good showpiece pleco as they do a great job of finding hidey places.

It has been reported that they do not do well in multiples do to con-specific aggression, but otherwise they are rather peaceful. I have other bottom dwellers, including a different type of pleco in the same tank with mine and have not had any aggression issues.

05-16-2012, 02:54 PM
In chosing a bottom dweller you need to take your tank setup in consideration. What's on the bottom? Is it planted and how well? Water values? Temp? Tank mates? Flow?

05-16-2012, 04:58 PM
Aren't Otos a different kind of catfish? I was purposely staying away from them for certain reasons, which is why I'm looking for a small plec instead. Besides their need to be with at least 5+ of their own kind defeats the point of them being small haha.

I don't mind if they hide, as long as they're happy and eat my algae! I've been reading about them this morning and it seems like they have a lot more personality after a while in the tank, once they're less shy. And I'm fine with only having one, for sure. I just want it to coexist peacefully with cories.

There are no fish in my tank yet, it is currently fishless cycling. This is for future stock. I know I will have cories, not entirely sure which species yet.

The bottom is about 3/4 sand, with gravel on the one side of the tank, the separation lined with smooth river rocks. It is not planted yet but will have lots of driftwood and fake plants to start. I can't do real plants yet till I look into a better lighting system.

Temp is whatever I need it to be, water flow will be the outputs on an AC 50 and an AC 20, plus an airstone. Tank mates I don't know yet besides I want peaceful schoolers and cories. Nothing aggressive or territorial :)

05-16-2012, 05:36 PM
If you have a look in my journal 'scottishfish's 48gallon' I just posted a pic of a pleco I have, L262, maxes at 3inches, beautifull but can hide a lot. Cost me 10pounds! Bargain thumbs2:

05-16-2012, 08:20 PM
Albino bristle nose.

05-16-2012, 08:25 PM
Read this thread: http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=91780&highlight=small+plecos

05-16-2012, 09:57 PM
Are you SURE you don't want one of those nine-foot catfish featured on the nature documentaries? LOL! Seriously, I'm also thinking Bristlenose Pleco for my 65, and am glad they stay small. I just need one that eats algae and will stay peaceful around dojos. A BN seems to fit the bill.

-- mermaid

05-16-2012, 10:38 PM
I love my albino bristlenose pleco. he has personality, cleans well and is very peaceful.

05-18-2012, 11:45 AM
Problem is with "pleco" that there's dozens and dozens of species. What's sold in shops is often mislabled. When you set out to buy one make sure you check planetcatfish for it's statistics and how to identify it.

05-20-2012, 09:27 PM
Problem is with "pleco" that there's dozens and dozens of species. What's sold in shops is often mislabled. When you set out to buy one make sure you check planetcatfish for it's statistics and how to identify it.

Yeah no problems with that. I plan on having my iPhone with me every time I buy a fish to google it to be certain before I buy anything!

05-20-2012, 09:37 PM
The AC is a pretty active place, with your iphone you could maybe upload a picture for I.D when your still in the shop and get advice from us all before you buy it?

05-25-2012, 10:36 PM
I felt the same way about the BN plecos. I hunted high and low for another small, peaceful, good algea eating pleco and I just couldn't find anything that worked (on paper) as well as the bristlenose.

One day I finally gave in and started looking at the BN in more depth. I was finally won over by some of the other color options available out there (red, green, yellow, etc). I ended up with juvie Green Dragons. Although they aren't old enough to be 'ugly' yet, I can't imagine ever owning another tank without them. They are facinating to watch (mine aren't shy at all) and they've done wonders for the overall look of the tank.

Maybe aquabid would be a good option for you if you can't get anything local. Plenty of sellers ship to Canada and maybe they could deliver to your workplace to avoid having precious cargo sitting on your exposed doorstep for hours...

05-25-2012, 10:48 PM
My pick for the 55 gallon planted community I have was a rubber nose bulldog pleco. This is an awesome species as was stated earlier. Peacefull, stays 3 inches or so, eats what you give, (cucumber is a treat), and holds the cichilds at bay when a waffer is tossed in.


05-26-2012, 11:23 PM
For the best dwarf Pleco ever...get the L104/L162 Panaque Maccus!!

I have a pair (male/female) and I LOVE them. I got mine from a LFS in Canoga Park, CA. I would be happy to source you two and ship them.

I paid $11.00 each ($22 for the pair) and I consider it a STEAL. I feel these are worth $25-$50 each and I really like them. I can easily get you two and ship them for around $30-$40 total with overnight. I will try to get pictures of mine but they hide a lot. This is a very shy fish, but o so cool looking.


Try that link for what mine look like. 3.5-4" maximum size. They are the coolest.


05-27-2012, 04:53 AM
I have female BNs so they don't develop the bristles, which I'm assuming are the parts you find ugly. xD

I adore mine! I have one in my 30 and my 70, I love to watch them defending their little bit of rock from my swordtails! So cute. Not shy at all.

One of mine also likes to stick to the edge of the filter outake pipe and sit there for ages with his back-end blowing in the jet of water. So hilarious. Had my whole family crowding in front of the tank in fits of laughter. He reminds me of a dog with it's head out the window of a car going high speeds!

05-29-2012, 02:40 PM
The AC is a pretty active place, with your iphone you could maybe upload a picture for I.D when your still in the shop and get advice from us all before you buy it?

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you. Yes, it's pretty active but there's only a handful of members that I'd trust to correctly identify a south-american catfish species.

Planetcat has a lot more knowledge readily available.