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Page 2 about
Pleco Catfish


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This page contains Customer Comments and our Replies about Pleco Catfish.

Click here to go back to the first page in this discussion about Plecos.

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Customer Comments

Hi, I have a very large pleco, at least 12 inches, and that is at the very least 15 yrs. I've had him at least 11 years and got him from a Petco who got it from a customer bringing it in which I assumed was because of his size, which I thought was big then! My problem is that he is so big and defecates so much that the fish tank he is in is constantly dirty and it seems to be too small for it which is rougly 33 gallon half octagon plexiglass tank.
I recently put it in my 55 gallon turtle tank with one female red slider, heater, floating rock, and a small cement block all in the water with a flood light out of the tank for the turtle. It seemed fine in there untill I realized the turtle was eating the algae tablets and I wasn't sure when it ate last so I moved it back into the smaller tank. Big mistake, it apparently grew in the short two weeks it was in there and definetly is to big for the other tank not to mention my nice clean tank is a mess already. My question is, can I put it back in with the turtle?
The turtle didn't bother it, I would actually see her stepping on it while the pleco just "sat" there, but it didn't swim around much either. The turtle tank is longer but I don't have it filled as high as the smaller tank in which the pleco is constantly coming up to the top of the tank taking what I assume is a gasp of air? No I am not willing to get a third tank, too many now, and I will not get rid of it (I wouldn't know who to give it to in the first place), besides who would take it once I tell them I want to get rid of it because it poops too much?
Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Until then I'll just keep cleaning the tank every other day.
Sue-Ann K.
Reply. There are lots of species of Plecostomus Catfish that grow to various maximum sizes from quite small to huge!

The commonest Pleco species can grow to be over 30" long and live a long time like yours. But other species will never get bigger than 5" long, which is a nice size for most aquariums.

Click here for more about several species of Plecostomus Catfish. You didn't say how big your Pleco is, but if it's too big for a 55-gallon aquarium, it must be huge.

Right now I have a Marbled Sailfin Pleco. that's 12" long, as actually measured by me, in my 55-gallon aquarium, and it's not too big.

So I'm thinking your Pleco is bigger than mine, and that's the problem with the Common Plecos, which are also called Trinidad Plecos by some people.

A Red Ear Slider turtle will bite or try to bite fish and even eat fish. So you'll have to watch what goes on carefully between your turtle and your big Pleco, before here are some bites out of your Pleco. 

Your Pleco is probably more active at night. It would be a good idea to feed it just before your turn off the lights. When the lights go off, Plecos often become much more active. Your Pleco will soon find the food that the Turtle can't see.

Another thing you can do is feed premium foods, which do not produce as much fish waste.

Premium foods don't contain indigestible fillers, and that greatly reduces the amount of fish waste,  aquarium cleaning and maintenance. Plus premium foods are much better for fish.

Click here for more about premium fish foods.

But if you feed a lots of premium food, your Pleco grow even faster. Remember, unlike mammals, fish continue to grow their entire lives.

So even an older fish like your Pleco, can continue to grow. But you can keep this controlled by feeding less.

Plecos seem to do well on less food or more food within reason. You'd probably prefer less, which will reduce growth and "poop".

Another good product is DrTim's WasteAway, which contains beneficial heterotrophic bacteria that are not usually in abundance in aquarium and help digest waste and reduce the amount of cleaning and maintenance.

Click here for more information about WasteAway.

Another idea is to use a Bio-Wheel Filter in your aquarium. They do he best job of filtering, they are inexpensive to buy, use very little electricity to run, and it just takes a minute to change the filter pads.

Usually you can fit two Penguin 350B Filters on the back of a 55-gallon aquarium.

Also it helps to have a magnetic scrubber, which makes scrubbing aquarium much easier.

Click here for more about Magnetic Aquarium Scrubbers.

And finally you should have a Water Changer, which will greatly reduce the amount of work to change water in your aquarium.

Click here to learn more about Water Changers.

One last suggestion. If your Plecos is the species I think it is, then it can easily tolerate water temperatures down to 70-degrees F.

Your turtle can also tolerate 70-degree water. Turning the temperature down will slow both animals metabolism and reduce waste.

BUT you also probably know the turtle probably need the proper sort of light to bask under to warm up and get UV rays. Don't lower the temperature too fast, about 2 degrees a day should be OK.

I hope some or all of my suggestions help you. They will each reduce the amount of waste or the amount of work, and together they will greatly reduce the amount of work.

Both my brother and I use all of these products in our own personal aquariums and in our big professional building with more than 300 aquariums.

We like to work efficiently while still taking excellent care of our fish. I'll bet you agree with that!

By the way I think have a huge, old Plecos sounds like fun. Congratulations on keeping yours for so many years. I hope you continue and my suggestions help you and your fish.


Customer Comments

Spotted Rubber Pleco.
Pleco - Spotted Rubber Plecostomus.
Hi, I noticed that you didnt have any pictures of a spotted rubber plecostomus on your site and would like to share a few of mine with you to put on your site. Please feel free to post them.
David H.
Trenton Ohio
Reply. Hello David. Thanks a lot for the cool pictures of your cool Spotted Rubber Pleco. 

Customer Comments

Bushy Nose Plecostomus Catfish.
Bushynose Plecostomus (Pleco) Catfish.
As promised, here are a couple of photos I got of my 4 1/2 year old Bushy Nose Pleco. 
Brian K.
Reply. Hello again Brian. Thanks for the pictures of your very nice fish with lots of bushies and spots too! Congratulations.
Click here now to buy Pleco Catfish.
Pet Fish Talk a Podcast about keeping pet fish in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds.  
Click here to listen to DrTom and Nevin, The Bailey Brothers, interview Chris from Australia about Breeding Ancistrus Catfish.

Customer Comments

I put my 10" pleco (who out grew my 29 gallon tank) and put him (her?) in my garden pond this summer.  He/she has done well but now the weather is getting cool (pond temp now 55 degrees F)  The pond is deep enough that it won't freeze solid.  But we do get periods of extended sub freezing weather here in central NJ.  Can anyone tell me if my pleco will survive the winter in the pond?
Brian B.
Reply. Hello Brian. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to help advise you about your Pleco. In the paragraph just above your email you can read that the ideal temperature for a Pleco is between 72 and 80 degrees F.

But it's very unlikely that your Pleco will survive for very long below 65 degrees F.


Customer Comments

Hi! I hope you can answer my question!  I read your article concerning Plecostomus' eating everything.  I'm wondering ..... will they eat my aquatic plants as well?  If so, is there anything I can do to prevent that?  Any plants that aren't as tasty?
Thanks in advance!
Christine L.
Reply. Most Plecos will eat most live plants. We do not know of any type of plant that Plecos will not eat. That's
why most aquarists keep plastic plants in aquariums with their Plecostomus Catfish.

Incidentally, you should be sure the plastic plants are labeled for use in aquarium and not artificial plants used for table arrangements that may contaminate your aquarium.

Click here for more about not contaminating.

Plecos will not only eat nice tender plants like ones you have in your aquarium. Plecostomus will also eat entire trees including the bark and everything else as described in the story below.

Click here now to buy Pleco Catfish.

Customer Comments

I recently read in another article that you need 1 plecostomus or cat fish for every 5 gallon of tank space.  Your article states only 1 plecostomus is needed.  I have a 10-gallon tank and have now started a 35 gallon tank.
I have a 6" plecostomus that has outgrown the 10-gallon and I planned on moving it to the 35 gallon tank as soon as it has become suitably established.  Will this plecostomus be enough and if not how many more would you recommend.

Thank you for the help

Reply. Hello Alison. You don't need any Plecostomus Catfish, and you should not rely on a Pleco. or any other scavenger to keep your aquarium clean.

Many aquarists have been told that they can keep their aquarium clean by adding Plecostomus Catfish to eat the algae, and Plecos will eat algae from the rocks, ornaments, and even from the glass.

But you should do regular maintenance on your aquarium, even if you have a Pleco.

Click here to read about an aquarium maintenance schedule.

Many times I see aquariums with several Plecos, and they all look skinny. So they're probably not getting enough to eat.

If you keep just one Pleco., it will find more to eat. You may still need to feed it some algae wafers, if it looks thin.

If you like Pleco Catfish, keep as many as you like, but I keep just one per aquarium, and that works well for me.

Click here now to buy Pleco Catfish.
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