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Thread: How many ancistrus is sensible?
05-07-2014, 04:48 PM #1
How many ancistrus is sensible?
How many ancistrus can I sensibly have in a 40 gallon tank? I have two already but a friend has babies and wants homes for some. I feed pleco wafers now and again and can supplement with some vegetation if needs be. I was thinking of maybe having a couple more?
05-07-2014, 04:54 PM #2
That depends on..
1. what else is in there
2. current nitrate levels
but most importantly, decor and the fact if you can rehome the babies. These fish are territorial if not breeding so you need territorial boundaries and enough shelters. Also especially the common Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus is inclined to breed like rabbits. With 4 fish the chances of having males and females becomes very high.
05-07-2014, 04:58 PM #3
Currently 4 mollies, 1 swordtail, 1 pearl gourami, 3 platys, 2 khuli loaches and 2 ancistrus. Décor - basic gravel, some plastic weed and a large rock, room to add more hidey holes though. Suspect my current ancistrus are a male and female as bristles on one and hardly any on the other, though the one I think is female is smaller and young still.
Off to look up the difference between the two species!
05-07-2014, 05:49 PM #4
05-08-2014, 05:15 AM #5
05-08-2014, 11:45 AM #6
You don't mention driftwood, but that should definitely be in there, along with some sort of cave-like structures - I use bamboo tubes but there are plenty of options like PVC piping.
If you think you already have a male and female I wouldn't add another. You will have plenty of your own babies soon enough to try to get rid of.
05-08-2014, 05:29 PM #7
Thank you - I was thinking of adding a bit of wood in there anyway so you have helped me to decide on that! Thank you for the advice above
05-08-2014, 09:12 PM #8
You could do 4 ancistrus. I've done so, successfully, but my tank is heavily planted with 3 large pieces of driftwood and plenty of hidey holes. If you have sand, they'll also dig themselves a hole on the side of the driftwood, so be sure that the driftwood you have is sturdy and seated appropriately, otherwise your pleco might create a cave-in and trap itself.
They are territorial and will squabble once in a while, but not often. Their squabbling is also usually harmless and they'll break away and go off on their own. I actually think this is akin to pack behavior, in that they're determining a hierarchy in a struggle for dominance. Hierarchies are often created in schools of fish, and this same behavior can be found among many catfish. I've noticed it among my Striped Raphael Catfish, as well. Once the order of dominance is determined, they live peacefully with each other. I've only seen one squabbling with my plecos and one squabbling with my raph cats and they've been fine ever since.
Add plenty of driftwood with caves, add some additional caves if you want and plenty of plants, and you'll be perfectly fine.
Last edited by KevinVA; 05-08-2014 at 09:24 PM.
05-09-2014, 05:52 AM #9
05-13-2014, 01:52 AM #10