Archive for the ‘Plecos’ Category

Common Plecostomus

July 7, 2008

Common Plecostomus: ( Hypostomus Plecostomus)

Eats algae, grows huge.

Size: 16-24 inches

Aquarium Size: 100-300 gallons

Ah, good old plecos. You see many at the local fish store, anywhere from two inches to a foot. They are generally great algae eaters. But are they really the fish for you? You may not know it, but common plecos grow quite large. They can reach up to two feet long!

Plecos are generally lazy, relaxed, bottom dwellers. They like to hide in caves or near rocks, or maybe cling to the glass. They have armor clad scales, which protect them from predators and machine guns. If you have ever purchased a plecostomus, you will remember that when the pet stores employee put the net into the tank to catch  the fish, the pleco immediately zooms out of sight and goes crazy! That’s right, if alarmed, plecos will dash away very quickly. All plecostomus need hiding spots, such as rocks or driftwood. (Beware that driftwood can alter your aquarium’s pH). Those cool rocks with holes in them also work great. You can buy them in most/all lfstores. At this point I think it is a good idea to tell you that Common Plecos are territorial against each other. They might even “spin” at each other, ramming against each other’s armor plating. One will become the dominant pleco, and the subordinates will therefore get less food, and you know what that means.
Now you are probably saying that I am wrong because you see many plecos coexisting in one tank in the lfs. But things are totally different in the local fish store. They keep dozens of fish together in stuffed conditions. For instance cichlids. If you see that they are getting along at the store, you might buy some, but when they come home, you will be wondering why they are fighting. So please, NEVER use the local fish store as a role model! Now then. It’s possible to keep common plecostomus together. But it’s risky, especially as the grow large. Some get along, some don’t.

Another concern I would like to address is plecos not being able to get their food. It’s simple; other fish may reach their food before they do. Not to point any fingers, but goldfish and large cichlids are some typical culprits. Make sure your Plecostomus is getting his or her food! But what do Common Plecostomus eat? Algae wafers are great. But a diet made purely of these will make your pleco very bored. So throw in some cucumber, or blanched lettuce or spinach. For the cucumber,  cut it vertically so that your pleco doesn’t end up with a ring of cucumber around himself!
Yes Plecos eat algae. They CANNOT live on algae itself. It is only feasible as  a supplement. Nevertheless, they are good at eating it. It’s just that it isn’t enough for them.

Plecos may live well over 10 years with proper care.

Breeding: Documented in captivity, but not likely to happen. You can’t really even sex them :p
If it happens, it will most likely be an accident. If you do, though, good luck!

Plecos do well near a neutral pH, and a temperature between mid 70s and low 80s