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The Plecostomus Catfish
The Natural Way of Removing Algae from Freshwater Aquariums

A Pleco is a welcome addition to aquariums because it cleans algae from tanks without using chemicals.

A long-time favorite aquarium fish, the Plecostomus or Pleco helps fight the war on algae. It accomplishes this by sucking on the aquarium glass and decorations with its strong mouth.

Latin Name: Hypostomus Plecostomus

Common Name(s): Plecostomus; Pleco; Sucker Mouth

Family: Loricariidae

Origin: South American rivers


Max Size: 20 inches

pH: Neutral

Temp: 65- 88 F.

Tank Size: 45 Gallons (for large Plecos)

Feeding: Herbivorous
Characteristics of a Plecostomus

The Pleco has a long, elongated body and an extra large head. Its body is dark brown with black spots. Its belly is flat and lacks the boney plates that are all over the rest of its body. Its eyes are small and sit very high on the head. There are a large number of species in the Pleco family with new species being discovered and described yearly.
Aquarium Requirements for a Plecostomus

Plecos like to have driftwood, lots of plants, caves and hiding places in the aquarium. When the Pleco is not busy eating algae, it loves to rest on driftwood. It is essential to have driftwood in the aquarium because there is a mineral that Plecos derive from driftwood that keeps them healthy. With the Pleco constant grazing up and down the piece of driftwood, the wood will eventually become smooth and polished.

Plecos are not an extremely active fish so the aquarium size does not need to be the same as that needed for an active fish that grows up to 20 inches in size. It is still a good idea to try to keep a Pleco in a large tank.

There are no special water requirements for Plecos. They will adapt to any aquarium.
Food Requirements for a Plecostomus

No matter how much algae accumulates in an aquarium, it should not be the only source of food for a Pleco. Their diet should be supplemented by feeding other foods such as lettuce, zucchini and spinach. These need to be weighed down so they sit on the bottom of the aquarium where the Pleco can easily access the food.

If there is insufficient algae in the aquarium, algae tablets should be added. Plecos will also clean up food that hits the bottom of the tank, such as frozen foods, live foods, pellets and flakes.
Breeding a Plecostomus

There has been little success at breeding Plecostomus in aquariums because they require a very large tank and it’s difficult to reproduce the substrate conditions. Successful breeding occurs in outdoor ponds in late Spring and Summer. Plecos dig tunnels in the walls of the pond, almost at water level. The female deposits her eggs and the male remains on guard until the fry hatch.
Common Species of Plecostomus

* Zebra Pleco
* Royal Pleco
* Clown Pleco

There is a superstition about Plecos. It is believed that if the name is spelled as Plco (without the vowel), it will ensure good health of the fish. If it is spelled as Pleco, the fish will die soon.


The copyright of the article The Plecostomus Catfish in Freshwater Fish is owned by Douglas DuHamel. Permission to republish The Plecostomus Catfish in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
 

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This article appears to be a bit dated. It's a nice step in the right direction, but some obvious points are:

1. Not all plecos eat algae.
2. Those 3 plecos listed as common are not very common, with the Zebra being banned from export even.
3. Not all plecos require large tanks or grow to 20 inches. People are breeding colonies of L46 and other Hypans in 15 gallon breeders.

If plecos were really this easily generalized, there would not be thousands of pages devoted to their description, care and feeding/breeding on Planetcatfish.com

Anyway, I don't want to belabour the point, but I didn't want people to be misled.

Maybe Charles should write an article here, like he did in the old forum, describing which species is suitable for what purposes and their diets. I believe the old one was "A pleco for everyone".
 

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I wasn't sure why my post got removed. I just simply disagree with some of the points here.

Not all pleco will eat aglae. In fact, most will prefer and need more meaty type food. Good example will be Hyprancistrus type, or Hypostomus type (perhaps will eat algae when small, but will eat anything else but aglae when bigger), or Peckoltia type... In fact, a common pleco will produce more waste than it will clean.

some plecos will require a lot bigger than a 45g tank; especially a common pleco. An adonis will grow to 42" in the wild, and there was one in an aquarium was about 32".

There are special needs for many types of plecos...
L257, will require a faster water moment.
L52, prefer more rocky than wood.
L46, not very common at all, will prefer higher protein diet, and lots of water movement.

The below might hold true years ago. But now more and more people learn and interested at plecos, it is just a too general statement about them.

I don't want to sound offensive. Just want to point out my opinion.

The Plecostomus Catfish
The Natural Way of Removing Algae from Freshwater Aquariums

A Pleco is a welcome addition to aquariums because it cleans algae from tanks without using chemicals.

A long-time favorite aquarium fish, the Plecostomus or Pleco helps fight the war on algae. It accomplishes this by sucking on the aquarium glass and decorations with its strong mouth.

Latin Name: Hypostomus Plecostomus

Common Name(s): Plecostomus; Pleco; Sucker Mouth

Family: Loricariidae

Origin: South American rivers

Max Size: 20 inches

pH: Neutral

Temp: 65- 88 F.

Tank Size: 45 Gallons (for large Plecos)

Feeding: Herbivorous
Characteristics of a Plecostomus

The Pleco has a long, elongated body and an extra large head. Its body is dark brown with black spots. Its belly is flat and lacks the boney plates that are all over the rest of its body. Its eyes are small and sit very high on the head. There are a large number of species in the Pleco family with new species being discovered and described yearly.
Aquarium Requirements for a Plecostomus

Plecos like to have driftwood, lots of plants, caves and hiding places in the aquarium. When the Pleco is not busy eating algae, it loves to rest on driftwood. It is essential to have driftwood in the aquarium because there is a mineral that Plecos derive from driftwood that keeps them healthy. With the Pleco constant grazing up and down the piece of driftwood, the wood will eventually become smooth and polished.

Plecos are not an extremely active fish so the aquarium size does not need to be the same as that needed for an active fish that grows up to 20 inches in size. It is still a good idea to try to keep a Pleco in a large tank.

There are no special water requirements for Plecos. They will adapt to any aquarium.
Food Requirements for a Plecostomus

No matter how much algae accumulates in an aquarium, it should not be the only source of food for a Pleco. Their diet should be supplemented by feeding other foods such as lettuce, zucchini and spinach. These need to be weighed down so they sit on the bottom of the aquarium where the Pleco can easily access the food.

If there is insufficient algae in the aquarium, algae tablets should be added. Plecos will also clean up food that hits the bottom of the tank, such as frozen foods, live foods, pellets and flakes.
Breeding a Plecostomus

There has been little success at breeding Plecostomus in aquariums because they require a very large tank and it's difficult to reproduce the substrate conditions. Successful breeding occurs in outdoor ponds in late Spring and Summer. Plecos dig tunnels in the walls of the pond, almost at water level. The female deposits her eggs and the male remains on guard until the fry hatch.
Common Species of Plecostomus

* Zebra Pleco
* Royal Pleco
* Clown Pleco

There is a superstition about Plecos. It is believed that if the name is spelled as Plco (without the vowel), it will ensure good health of the fish. If it is spelled as Pleco, the fish will die soon.

The copyright of the article The Plecostomus Catfish in Freshwater Fish is owned by Douglas DuHamel. Permission to republish The Plecostomus Catfish in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
 

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Woah, how do you breed colonies in a 15 gallon?
Dont you need a lot more space for them to grow?
This article appears to be a bit dated. It's a nice step in the right direction, but some obvious points are:

1. Not all plecos eat algae.
2. Those 3 plecos listed as common are not very common, with the Zebra being banned from export even.
3. Not all plecos require large tanks or grow to 20 inches. People are breeding colonies of L46 and other Hypans in 15 gallon breeders.

If plecos were really this easily generalized, there would not be thousands of pages devoted to their description, care and feeding/breeding on Planetcatfish.com

Anyway, I don't want to belabour the point, but I didn't want people to be misled.

Maybe Charles should write an article here, like he did in the old forum, describing which species is suitable for what purposes and their diets. I believe the old one was "A pleco for everyone".
 

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The Plecostomus Catfish
The Natural Way of Removing Algae from Freshwater Aquariums

A Pleco is a welcome addition to aquariums because it cleans algae from tanks without using chemicals.

A long-time favorite aquarium fish, the Plecostomus or Pleco helps fight the war on algae. It accomplishes this by sucking on the aquarium glass and decorations with its strong mouth.

Latin Name: Hypostomus Plecostomus

Common Name(s): Plecostomus; Pleco; Sucker Mouth

Family: Loricariidae

Origin: South American rivers

Max Size: 20 inches

pH: Neutral

Temp: 65- 88 F.

Tank Size: 45 Gallons (for large Plecos)

Feeding: Herbivorous
Characteristics of a Plecostomus

The Pleco has a long, elongated body and an extra large head. Its body is dark brown with black spots. Its belly is flat and lacks the boney plates that are all over the rest of its body. Its eyes are small and sit very high on the head. There are a large number of species in the Pleco family with new species being discovered and described yearly.
Aquarium Requirements for a Plecostomus

Plecos like to have driftwood, lots of plants, caves and hiding places in the aquarium. When the Pleco is not busy eating algae, it loves to rest on driftwood. It is essential to have driftwood in the aquarium because there is a mineral that Plecos derive from driftwood that keeps them healthy. With the Pleco constant grazing up and down the piece of driftwood, the wood will eventually become smooth and polished.

Plecos are not an extremely active fish so the aquarium size does not need to be the same as that needed for an active fish that grows up to 20 inches in size. It is still a good idea to try to keep a Pleco in a large tank.

There are no special water requirements for Plecos. They will adapt to any aquarium.
Food Requirements for a Plecostomus

No matter how much algae accumulates in an aquarium, it should not be the only source of food for a Pleco. Their diet should be supplemented by feeding other foods such as lettuce, zucchini and spinach. These need to be weighed down so they sit on the bottom of the aquarium where the Pleco can easily access the food.

If there is insufficient algae in the aquarium, algae tablets should be added. Plecos will also clean up food that hits the bottom of the tank, such as frozen foods, live foods, pellets and flakes.
Breeding a Plecostomus

There has been little success at breeding Plecostomus in aquariums because they require a very large tank and it's difficult to reproduce the substrate conditions. Successful breeding occurs in outdoor ponds in late Spring and Summer. Plecos dig tunnels in the walls of the pond, almost at water level. The female deposits her eggs and the male remains on guard until the fry hatch.
Common Species of Plecostomus

* Zebra Pleco
* Royal Pleco
* Clown Pleco

There is a superstition about Plecos. It is believed that if the name is spelled as Plco (without the vowel), it will ensure good health of the fish. If it is spelled as Pleco, the fish will die soon.

The copyright of the article The Plecostomus Catfish in Freshwater Fish is owned by Douglas DuHamel. Permission to republish The Plecostomus Catfish in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
I have kept both the common pleco described above and many others and I would agree that this post would be very misleading to many people who are keeping the Hypans which in some cases like the L 260 and L 46 need a high protein diet. I'm not even sure a Zebra Pleco, while that is the common name is not in reality even in the pleco family.
 

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Woah, how do you breed colonies in a 15 gallon?
Dont you need a lot more space for them to grow?
Growout would be in a different tank. And lots of water changes. Smaller tank is easy to control in terms of getting the male and female together. Not necessary of course, I know of someone who breeds them in a 240. :D
 
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