General Aquaria Discussion • Pleco's and Cichlids?

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Pleco's and Cichlids?

Postby steve426 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:09 am

I have heard mixed opinions on keeping pleco's in an aquarium with cichlids. I have been told that the pleco's will sometimes kill cichlids in the middle of the night. Just wondering if anybody has had any bad experiences after mixing pleco's with there cichlids?
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Postby cindylou » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:52 am

I added a pleco w/ my cichlids hope that is false...So far so good... :fish: :fish:
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Postby lloyd » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:42 am

IME, it depends very much on the variant of either. many fancy/small pleco can get killed outright when added to established cichlid tanks. but not too often seen the other way around.
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Postby DJRansome » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:48 am

I have a bristlenose pleco with my cichlids as I wanted an algae eater. She is doing well. I think bristlenose have the best odds of success, and odds are improved when the bristlenose and cichlids are young and all introduced to the tank at the same time.

The danger is to the pleco, however. Cichlids like to peck at the eyes, sometimes killing the pleco in the process.
125G Aulonocara, Malawi Haps, Vics (trial), S Polli
75G Demasoni, Labs, Cyno hara, Met estherae, S Multipunctata
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Cyp Kerenge, S Petricola
33G Neo omnicaeruleus; 33G Flameback Kisumu; 33G P nyererei Igombe; 33G Hap ruby green
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Postby Toby_H » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:18 pm

If you put a 12" Pleco in with a 3" Cichlid... the big fish might eat the little fish...

If you put a 12" Cichlid in with a 3" Pleco... the big fish might eat the little fish...

It's in a fish's nature to eat smaller fish... But if you take size and aggression into consideration when choosing tankmates, there is no reason why you cannot keep Plecos with Cichlids....
The happier you make your fish the happier they will make you

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Postby lloyd » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:29 pm

to better address your Q: what type of pleco vs. cichlid mix are you considering? :)
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Postby cindylou » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:27 pm

My Pleco is already in the tank..Not sure what kind he is..LFS sold him to me and said he would be fine...I also have 3 Syno cats in a quarantine tank that I just bought waiting to go in there..

55g.
2 Acei
2 yellow labs
2 jewels
1 bumble bee
1 auratus

:fish: :fish: :fish:
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Postby steve426 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:44 pm

My tank is a 90g all male mix. it has just about everything you can imagine.
1 Red Shoulder Peacock
1 Lithobate
1 Venustus
1 Sulphur Head Peacock
1 Sunshine Peacock
1 German Red
1 Blue Neon Peacock
2 OB peacock
1 Red Empress
1 Rusty Cichlid
1 Cobue Afra
2 Frontosa
1 Crimson Tide
2 Species 44
1 White tail Acie
1 Hap Ahli (Electric Blue)
1 Strawberry Peacock
1 Eureka Peacock
1 Platinum Zebra
1 WC Tangerine Tiger (Protamelus)
1 Chilumba Peacock
1 Masoni Peacock
1 Yellow lab
1 Copadichromis Kandango (Red Fin)
1 Mamba Bay Peacock
1 Albino Peacock
1 Strawberry Peacock

It might seem like alot for one tank but only a couple of them are over 3 inches, many are still Juvies. All are very colourful and there is little to no aggression between the fish. The Pleco I added is an L014 Sunshine Pleco about 2.5 Inches.
Last edited by steve426 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DJRansome » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:44 pm

cindylou, I think the pleco/malawi mix is not the only problem. In a 55G you have best odds of success with 3 species of mbuna, so first I would choose 3. Then, malawi do not pair, they are harem breeders. Each male needs three or more females to spread his aggression. So once you have chosen your 3 species, buy extra females. Auratus and Bumblebee are not a good fit for a 55G. Jewels will kill everything in the tank when they spawn. Acei and Labs like to be in groups of 5-6. So I'd buy 3 female Acei and 3 female Labs. Plus choose one additional mbuna species and buy 1m:4f.

Best of luck!

steve426, how long have those fish been together? I always thought more than one year was enough to judge compatibility, but I saw cichlidaholic say two years was better! :thumb:
125G Aulonocara, Malawi Haps, Vics (trial), S Polli
75G Demasoni, Labs, Cyno hara, Met estherae, S Multipunctata
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Cyp Kerenge, S Petricola
33G Neo omnicaeruleus; 33G Flameback Kisumu; 33G P nyererei Igombe; 33G Hap ruby green
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Postby cindylou » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:17 pm

I know I am new at all this and listened to the LFS..Did no research at all till I found this forum..I am hoping everyday that they keep getting along I see very little agression so far..( a little chasing)...I heard cichlids could be aggressive but I didn't realize to what extent..I will keep my quarantine tank handy for emergency's..I set the tank up the end of Aug. so it hasn't been very long.. :oops:
Now that I am attached to my fish what do I need a 1000g. to keep them all safe? :lol:
I will keep you all posted as to how my little unresearched hobby is going... :fish: :fish: :fish:
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Postby lloyd » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:15 pm

steve426 wrote:My tank is a 90g all male mix. it has just about everything you can imagine.
1 Red Shoulder Peacock
1 Lithobate
1 Venustus
1 Sulphur Head Peacock
1 Sunshine Peacock
1 German Red
1 Blue Neon Peacock
2 OB peacock
1 Red Empress
1 Rusty Cichlid
1 Cobue Afra
2 Frontosa
1 Crimson Tide
2 Species 44
1 White tail Acie
1 Hap Ahli (Electric Blue)
1 Strawberry Peacock
1 Eureka Peacock
1 Platinum Zebra
1 WC Tangerine Tiger (Protamelus)
1 Chilumba Peacock
1 Masoni Peacock
1 Yellow lab
1 Copadichromis Kandango (Red Fin)
1 Mamba Bay Peacock
1 Albino Peacock
1 Strawberry Peacock

It might seem like alot for one tank but only a couple of them are over 3 inches, many are still Juvies. All are very colourful and there is little to no aggression between the fish. The Pleco I added is an L014 Sunshine Pleco about 2.5 Inches.


best bet is to stuff the pleco in a corner, or lay it across the top of the other fish. otherwise, you might never see it again. :roll: my bet is that it hides 24/7/365. you simply have too much going on in there to entice any pleco out into the open. IMHO.
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Postby lloyd » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:19 pm

cindylou wrote:Now that I am attached to my fish what do I need a 1000g. to keep them all safe?


not quite, but a 6 foot tank goes a long way to help deal with aggression issues. most common pleco sold at lfs are of the gibbicep variant. HTH.
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Postby cindylou » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:19 pm

The pleco is all over the glass at night...When the lights go out we have moon lights... :) :)
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Postby lloyd » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:20 pm

cindylou wrote:The pleco is all over the glass at night...When the lights go out we have moon lights... :) :)

that's a good time to offer it the odd algae wafer snack. :)
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Postby cindylou » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:24 pm

That is what I do...Thanks :thumb:
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