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I have my first convict in a 29 gallon long with 3 serpae tetras and one 3-4" pleco...i never realized how messy a fish the convict is. can you make any other suggestions of tank mates that may help with the cleaning process?
 

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cleaning what? left over food? If it's a single convict and doesn't have a mate you could some cory cats to help clean up left over food bits... If you plan on adding a mate later on I would go with a more armoured catfish like a Raphael Talking Cat (either striped or spotted).

BTW what sort of pleco is it? A common pleco will get way to big for your tank and if your current 'mess' is actually fish poop I would bet dollars to donuts the pleco is the real culprit!

As far as algae cleanup goes I like bushtnose (bristlenose) pleco's the best...

PS: You can add more serpae tetras if you want...
 

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IMO there is not much you can add into this tank. I also think you need to get a larger tank for your pleco.
 

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Hmm...this is strange.
In my experience convicts have always been excellent scavengers---constantly swimming about, patrolling for leftover foodbits. Of course, if your convict already has a full tummy, then you might not see this behavior. If that's the case, it's probably best to reduce feedings.

Either way, I think illy-d is right about the pleco being responsible for the bulk of the waste in there. And I second his recommendation on the raphael catfish. I'd go with a few spotted raphaels...they tend to stay smaller than the striped ones, and keeping a few together (as opposed to singly) means you'll see them more. Their size is much more conducive to being kept in this size of tank, and they are very tough little scavengers. I highly recommend them instead of the pleco.

BV
 

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bernie comeau said:
IME, chinese algae eaters (CAE) make good cleaners and do eat small bits of uneaten food.
Agreed - but they can get pretty big & nasty... I put 2 small ones in a tank I had my keyholes & festivums in and they did an amazing job at eat algae etc. but once they passed about 4" they started chasing the cichlids trying to suck their slime coat... I promptly gave them to a buddy that had a Rift Lake cichlid tank and his africans were able to keep these guys in line... SO I would think convicts would be able to as well... Also, these fish are now with my buddy and are at least 3 or 4 years old and they still haven't passed 6 inches yet - but I have heard they can get to a foot long (it could take awhile).
 

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illy-d said:
bernie comeau said:
IME, chinese algae eaters (CAE) make good cleaners and do eat small bits of uneaten food.
Agreed - but they can get pretty big & nasty... I put 2 small ones in a tank I had my keyholes & festivums in and they did an amazing job at eat algae etc. but once they passed about 4" they started chasing the cichlids trying to suck their slime coat... I promptly gave them to a buddy that had a Rift Lake cichlid tank and his africans were able to keep these guys in line... SO I would think convicts would be able to as well... Also, these fish are now with my buddy and are at least 3 or 4 years old and they still haven't passed 6 inches yet - but I have heard they can get to a foot long (it could take awhile).
Big? :lol: C'mon, I'd like to hear from anyone that has ever seen one over 7" and I want to see a picture of it! A raphael cat gets not only longer but much bigger, no doubt. BN pleco as well. Bear in mind as well, a CAE is skinny; no doubt a much smaller fish then either a raphael cat or BN pleco ( Which are also options, IMO). That very exceptional specimens of CAE could get 12" or that size in it s natural habitat, but based on this criterea many of the fish we commonly say get to a certain size, exceptional specimens might get twice the typical size or more. A 6" CAE is a big one and you rarely see any at that size; in all my life I have only seen a couple that size.

Nasty? Sure. But it's going in a tank with a convict. Convicts can kill weak or lesser fish. A bottom feeder either has to be sturdy or be able to defend itself. IME, CAE work well in a tank with convicts and they certainly don't push convicts around unless the convict is very small. With larger CA, such as JD or RD, IME, CAE eventually end up getting eaten because of their small girth. Now of course I'm not recommending CAE with Keyholes :lol:
 

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^You're right I've never seen a CAE that big - but apparently they can get to that size... I just thought the O/P should know as some LFS in my area won't sell them and those that do certainly won't take them back!!!
 

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illy-d said:
^You're right I've never seen a CAE that big - but apparently they can get to that size...
And a convict CAN get 8"+ http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/mercurylady/boohoo118.jpg

But they don't typically get that big and nobody says a convict is unsuitable for a 29 gal. because it COULD get 8"+.

Bottom line is, a CAE is a VERY small fish. I have had raphael cats get over 8" and very thick and fat. It's a much bigger fish then a CAE, though from my perspective a raphael is still suitable for a 29 gal., as it probably won't get that large in a 29 gal. A BN pleco as well can get 8"+ but from my perspective is also an option for a 29 gal. . Really, the CAE is a much smaller fish and is therefore actually more suitable for a smaller tank then the other bottom feeders mentioned.

CAE is not a good community fish but then neither is a convict. IME they are suitable tankmates, even in small tanks. Serpae tetras on the other hand, IMO, are way more risky with a convict and have less of a chance of making it, then does a CAE.
 
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