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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm Danae, I'm new.

After two years, a long trail of fish carcasses and a veritable medicine cabinet of cures, I have finally become quite good at managing multible smaller community tanks. I'm going to challenge myself now with a 65g full of cichlids. I purchased the whole setup used, and it has been cycling for about a week and a half, so I'm ready for the fish.

Fingers crossed... :thumb:

I have a pleco, pushing 8 inches, that has been living in my 20g since it was a baby. I know I should have exchanged him long ago, but I knew I would be getting this large tank (saved up for a couple months for this bad boy) so I was holding into him until I got the new place set up.
So I plonked him in there a couple days ago, and he's been acting kind of weird. Hides all the time when he never did before. Burying down to the bottom of the substrate and creating hills of sand all around him. When disturbed, he searches frantically for another place to hide. I'm pretty sure he's eating b/c his algae pellets keep disappearing, but he's not picking at any of the algae that's growing in the tank on the rocks and glass, etc. I'm thinking he was maybe just more outgoing in the smaller tank because he had no place to hide... any thoughts in this behaviour?

My question, mainly, is this: Should I even put my pleco in with the African cichlids? The pleco is the only thing in the tank right now (other than the annoying snails that were buried in the substrate I was sold) but I will be starting off with some electric yellow Labs and working from there...starting tonight! I was told by someone an another pet forum that she put a pleco in with her cichlids and they ate its eyes andeventually killed it - alarming. I was under the impression that as long as the pleco is larger than the largest cichlid, it would be okay........?

I would really appreciate any advice on this.
 

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I have a Rhino Pl*co, over 8" long, in my 220G Mbuna tank. He's grown up with them without any problems. They do spit the Colorquartz substrate all over him though. Sometimes he is completely covered in the stuff!!!
 

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I think it is dependent on the situation... some people have problems with plecos and Africans, some don't.

This strange behavior... you cycled the tank, right? You didn't mention that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, it cycled for a week, and I was using the same filter and substrate as the previous owner, so I'm assuming the water quality is okay.
I should mention it is just a common pleco, no bristles or barbs or anything.
I'll try it out and keep an eye on him - hopefully he won't get his eyes eaten.
 

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Sorry, rather than "assuming" water quality is OK and the bacteria survived the move, I'd highly recommend getting API reagent tests and monitoring the water quality before you add any more fish. I'm also a bit confused how you "cycled" the tank in a week. Were there fish in there during this time? If not, I'm not sure how long bacteria could live without a source of "food," i.e. fish waste . . . The pleco also presumably came from a tank with lower pH than what Africans prefer. He might be having a problem with the higher pH in the new tank . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There was fish waste in the substrate from the previous owner - Lots of it. I'll get the water tested though - thanks.
There were no fish in the tank for the week that it was running - lots of snails though. I guess it's "cycling" with my pleco now, eh?
Sorry if I'm being a dummy. I appreciate your help.
 

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The pleco may just be responding to the new environment. Mine do that until they feel secure. Make sure he has plenty of hiding spaces.

Also definitely test the water just to rule out any problems. The detritus in the substrate and filter can keep the biofiltration going, very true, but no guarantees that the bacteria fared well during the transition. I'd test.
 
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