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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering if I should get a pleco for my 40g. After reading up, I have realized that many do not use plecos for cleanup. Does anyone here have any convincing argument for or against plecos? I have 3 1" petricolas right now, and don't feel like adding anything to the tank that I don't have to.

I don't even know how plecos truly react to the high ph and harder water. Let me know what you guys think.
 

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Plecos do fine in a variety of water parameters.

Plecos are never 'necessary'. They can keep a tank free of algae if that's what you want to do. Some like to let it grow for the fish. There's no one right or wrong answer to this. It's a matter of personal preference. I've heard some say it's 'wrong' to do because of the differences in water paramter requirements, but there's been no truth to that IME.

I use nerite snails and plecos both because I have 20+ tanks and don't want algae in them, and my fish don't 'need' it.

I have had tanks where the plecos get chased so much they can't do what I want them to do, so I went with snails. Thet get ignored.
 

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I love plecos, but they sure do poop ALOT! :eek:

prov356, I've considered getting some nerite snails, but I've hesitated because I've read a lot of accounts of people complaining about their eggs being left everywhere. Even though they don't reproduce in fresh water, their eggs are a nuisance to some people. What is your experience and opinion?

Thanks
 

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I agree with everything prov356 said. Plecos are not necessary at all.

I will add my experience, because I resisted adding the bristlenose plecos for several years. Ugly IMO and not part of the Rift Lake biotope. :)

I finally did add them, one per tank and two in the 72" tank. I got females because they don't have bristles...less ugliness and more inconspicuous, you see? Easy enough to scrape the glass, but I wanted the rocks to have less algae without scrubbing.

They are pretty much a standard in my tanks now. They do make a difference in both algae on the glass and rocks. And they are pretty inconspicuous.

I love the nerites, especially the zebras, but I have not had as good luck with them as prov356. The zebras lasted longest in my peacock tank, I still have two 1.5 years after purchase in that tank. The Tangs gave them more trouble than the peacocks and the mbuna gave them the hardest time.

I am trying the olive nerites with my Tangs right now, but they are still getting harassed and I've had losses since purchase in October of this year.

Best solution to algae I have found to date? Live plants. Of course they bring a host of their own challenges and problems. :thumb:
 

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prov356 said:
Plecos do fine in a variety of water parameters.
That's true if we are talking about bristle nose plecos, which is what most people keep in cichlid tanks as cleaners. Bushy nose plecos and BN plecos are other names for the same pleco. They are sometimes sold as Ancistrus dolichopterus or Ancistrus temminckii, but there is no scientific name for these fish, since they are a hybird that has been bred for countless generations in the aquarium hobby (presumably mixing A. dolichopterus, A. temminckii and others). The long breeding in captivity might explain their adaptability to various water parameters.

As others said, bristle nose plecos are never a must, but I find them too useful not to ad them to most of my tanks. In addition, I really like their looks - not ugly at all
. My wife is not usually interested in fish at all, but their breeding behavior endeared bristle nose plecos to her immediately. The female abandons the eggs immediately after laying them, and the male is responsible for the entire brood care, which is as elaborate as many a cichlid's. :thumb:

If we are talking about plecos in general, there are almost as many species of plecos as there are species of cichlids. Some of them are quite brightly colored, others are dull. Some of them can be kept in small setups, others are total tank busters. Some of them eat algae, others prefer a meaty diet, and yet others only gnaw on wood. In short, if you just want an interesting tank cleaner, make sure you actually get a bristle nose pleco - or better yet a pair or a small group - and don't buy a random pleco from the pet store, which might turn into a three foot meat eater within a few months.

 

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I use them in most of my tanks. I have one new tank that doesn't have them in it. The question I have to get answered before I decide to put them in that one or not is, do they bother with the eggs of substrate spawners. I'm putting a trio of calvus and a trio of comps in it and I don't want to worry about the bns messing with their eggs. I know that my Julies have never had a problem spawning because of them but they also lay their eggs on the top of a very tall cave that is easily guarded.
 

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Yeah, should have clarified. I was referring to bushy nose plecos, not others.

prov356, I've considered getting some nerite snails, but I've hesitated because I've read a lot of accounts of people complaining about their eggs being left everywhere. Even though they don't reproduce in fresh water, their eggs are a nuisance to some people. What is your experience and opinion?
You will get some eggs, but I find that they seem to lay more right after adding to a tank. After a while, they seem to give up on that. Comes down to what's worse, removing a few eggs or dealing with the algae. I've never had them go crazy with egg laying in a tank. At worst, you may have to remove several here and there from the front glass. You won't even see them elsewhere. They're cheap enough to be worth a try. I think you'll decide the occasional egg is a lot less hassle than cleaning algae. They take more time than a bn pleco, but they will get it clean. I've got tanks that were really coated in algae, and now are pristine with no eggs. In a really bad tank, it may take them a week or two or three.

Don't know if I mentioned but the olive nerites have lived longer for me than the zebras. You can find good deals on olive's right now on Aquabid. PM me if you want a specific seller.

Some aren't real attractive, but here was one of the more attractive that I ever had.



I wouldn't recommend long fins for cichlid tanks though.
 

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prov356 said:
Yeah, should have clarified. I was referring to bushy nose plecos, not others.
I knew that, but just wanted to make sure newcomers didn't get that wrong :)

prov356 said:
I wouldn't recommend long fins for cichlid tanks though.
I agree. I wouldn't recommend any type of long fin fish. Breeding long fins to me is like breeding three legged dogs and enjoying the funny way they jump around. I know different people have different ethics, but for me that just doesn't sit right. Bristle nose plecos are actually fairly good swimmers, and they can get algae out of areas with a wicket current, for example right in front of a power head. The long fin variety can no longer display this natural behavior. They are bred to be crippled, because some people think that looks cool :roll:
 

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They are bred to be crippled, because some people think that looks cool
I've heard that before, but I bred many and none were 'crippled'. I've had hundreds of these. They were just as able as any short fin, behave same as any short fin, swim same, there was no difference at all. Except they looked 'cooler'. :)
 

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I feel Nerites do a better job of keeping the glass clean. They don't get "harrassed" as much as BN Plecs. either. A plus side is all the wee bugs that grow on there poo, excellent first food for fry, BN Plecs however are poop machines, I have 3 and they love almost any food that hits the tank bottom, especially bloodworm. I think they are so well fed they ignore the glass, they are a nice interesting addition to any tank though as they tolerate a wide range of pH :thumb:
:fish:





:fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I have used BN in the past for my planted tanks and they worked great but this is the first time I have tried Tangs. The synos are all 1" so that should not be a problem but I was more worried about the plecos getting picked on by the calvus or the punks when they get larger.

Has anyone seen this problem before? I would try and get a BN again seeing as they did their job well, and I do not want something that looks like the monster pictured in the post above.:popcorn:
 

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My Tangs pick on the nerites a lot but the bristlenose plecos not at all.
 

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prov356 said:
You will get some eggs, but I find that they seem to lay more right after adding to a tank. After a while, they seem to give up on that. Comes down to what's worse, removing a few eggs or dealing with the algae. I've never had them go crazy with egg laying in a tank. At worst, you may have to remove several here and there from the front glass. You won't even see them elsewhere. They're cheap enough to be worth a try. I think you'll decide the occasional egg is a lot less hassle than cleaning algae. They take more time than a bn pleco, but they will get it clean. I've got tanks that were really coated in algae, and now are pristine with no eggs. In a really bad tank, it may take them a week or two or three.

Don't know if I mentioned but the olive nerites have lived longer for me than the zebras.
Thanks, I just ordered some.
 

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So I ordered 10 Olive Nirites to give them a try. I've had them in the tank for 2 days. I have to say, they are industrious little buggers! They started eating within minutes and haven't stopped. They've completely cleaned several shells (inside and out) as well as a lot of glass and large patches a rock surface.
 

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So I ordered 10 Olive Nirites to give them a try. I've had them in the tank for 2 days. I have to say, they are industrious little buggers! They started eating within minutes and haven't stopped. They've completely cleaned several shells (inside and out) as well as a lot of glass and large patches a rock surface.
 

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Something no one has brought up is if you limit the amount of time your lights are on, you will limit the amount of algae you'll have in your tank.
Invest in a timer and you'll save yourself extra glass cleaning chores.
:thumb:
 

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Good point. I previously decreased the amount of time the lights are on, and I'm planning on cutting it back even more. I do like to have lights on in the evening tho. Yes, a timer is the way to go. I use digital ones because they don't make that annoying "tic-tic" sound that the manual ones make.

In my CA tank I have a couple BN plecos and have never had any algae
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am now looking into those nerites seeing as a few people have recommended them and had good results. I do not have too bad of an algae problem and I don't have my lights as much as I used to, so I would be worried about the amount of food available for a pleco. I do not feel the need to buy algae wafers or feeding veggies just in case.

Just wondering where everyone got their nerites online?
 

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You would have the same problem with nerites as with a pleco...actually a more difficult problem. Nerites only eat algae and only the soft green kind. At least plecos eat fish food as well. A common cause of death for nerites is starvation due to not enough algae.
 
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