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Old April 17th 06, 01:19 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc
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Default Pelcos- Do they out grow tanks?

On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 06:57:20 GMT, Altum

Trevor Stenson wrote:

I checked out the aquaria faqs and bookmarked it. I'll try not to ask
redundant questions in future, although it might take awhile to go
through everything. Looks like a very useful site and since it is
written, I'm assuming, at least partially by group members I feel pretty
safe taking its advice. There are some many sites and opinions on the
web - it is hard to know what is good advice and what is complete bunkum.

So thanks for that.

As for the Pleco, my final word on it is that I'm going to slowly
reintroduce algae tablets and other food as necessary to make sure I'm
not underfeeding him. I got a good look at him in the open light and my
wife and I are convinced he is indeed a leopard Gibbie. He looks
beautiful and healthy and we are going to keep him until it is no longer
healthy for him or the "tank" for him to stay. I hope after that to
find a good and "better home and garden for him". As for a replacement
aglae-eater I will then try to get a nice clown pleco who can handle the
algae but not overgrow the tank.

Thanks again for the advice (a shout out to you and everyone else that
took time to respond).

You're welcome. Glad you figured out what fish you have. I hope you
can keep him happy until you fall in love with him and buy him a 70
gallon tank. ;-) Your gibbie will need a lot of food as he grows.
Watch his belly when he sucks onto the glass. It should always be flat
or slightly rounded. If his belly ever looks sunken, he needs more to eat.

I'd recommend an Ancistrus spp. (bushy nose pleco) rather than a clown
pleco for algae. Ancistrus grow to around 4-6" depending on the species
and are hard-working algae eaters. Many at fish stores are farmed
aquarium hybrids and very hardy.

The problem with "clown pleco" is that the common name is applied to a
lot of similar looking fish with different behaviors and dietary
requirements. The L168 swarvegorilla recommends is one that eats algae
well. Unfortunately, "clown pleco" also includes Peckoltias like L305,
L121, and P. vittata. Peckoltia spp. are omnivorous and not
particularly good algae eaters. The Peckoltia I had not only failed to
eat algae, but hid constantly. Panaque maccus is also commonly sold as
a clown pleco, and it is a wood eating fish that requires driftwood in
its tank.

The FAQs are quite good. The lighting section is a bit dated now
because it was written before compact fluorescent fixtures were common.
All of the basic fishkeeping information is still correct - the
nitrogen cycle hasn't changed. ;-)

A note for Trevor he Scientific names are a real pain in the anal
fin, but especially with certain groups of fish, they are very
important, as you may have gathered from Altum's words above. Fish
people are discovering new suckermouth catfish at such a rate these
days that they are unable to keep up with naming them properly so they
are given numbers, like L168, etc, waiting their turn to get real
names. This is happening with a couple of other kinds of fish we keep,
but the majority of fish in our aquariums have been well identified
and named both scientifically and commonly. Common names do get used
for more than one fish on occasion, even among the well established
fish, so it can be helpful if you at least give it a try and learn to
recognize the scientific name of your fishes. You don't have to
memorize them or learn to pronounce them, but once you discover them,
write them in your notebook, or in your favorite fish book.

And to emphasize a point from Altum's descriptions above, many,
probably most, sucker mouthed catfish need wood in their diet. When a
description says that you need wood in your tank, this does not mean
wood as a decoration, but wood for the fish to eat. The precise
function of wood in the diet of these fish is still not completely
clear, but we know they need it. And there are a few that don't seem
to need wood, but when in doubt, I put driftwood in all of my tanks
because I know that sooner or later I will probably fall in love with
some sucker mouth and add it to one tank or another.

And you are correct that some of the people who put together The Krib
are regular readers and posters in this newsgroup and others. The Krib
presents the nuts and bolts of aquarium keeping, the newsgroups keep
you up to date on new applications and new technology that have come
along since the FAQs were written. Before you begin working on your
2007 Dodge HEMI engine, you need to understand the basic Briggs and
Stratton on your lawn mower.

-- Mister Gardener