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Old 10-20-2006, 04:22 PM   #1
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Can I add a pleco to my 10 gal.

First off, I am new to the site, and find all of the topics of dicsussion very informative, so thanks! I have a ten gallon planted tank with two young kribs (1 male and 1 female) and four dime-sized tiger barbs. I would love to get a small pleco to complete the tank, but am worried that the kribs, and maybe even the barbs, will pick on him since everyone likes to hang out near the bottom. There are four caves in the tank for the kribs. Any opinions are much appreciated!
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:31 PM   #2
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Welcome to the site!

Most plecos get atleast 4 inches, so I don't think I'd put one in a 10g. Also, they produce alot of waste and your tank is at the stocking max IMO.

Are you wanting a pleco because of algae or are you looking for a bottom feeder?

If you need an algae eater, some otocinclus (called otos for short) would be a better choice because they only get 2 inches. You could add a trio of them depending on what type of algae you have. I think they mainly eat brown diatom algae and soft green algae. Or if you can find them, Pitbull plecos, which are closely related to otos would be another option. I think these guys get around 2-3 inches. The scientific name is Parotocinclus jumbo...so they are like jumbo otocinclus. I think they are pretty rare though.

If you are wanting a bottom feeder, I would hesitate to add anything because the kribs are bottom dwellers and if they end up spawning, could cause trouble for anything that shares the same space as them. If you had a larger tank, I'd suggest some cories, but IMO your tank is stocked.
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:18 PM   #3
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It's hard to find plecos that don't get huge. Some places have bristlenose plecos that stay small. The problem with plecos is that from what I've read, most of the smaller ones really aren't very good algae eaters.

Even the smaller plecos are still going to get up around 4", and like JustOneMore20 said, it might not be the best idea when you've already got that much in there. You've got aggressive fish, and from what I've seen, aggression becomes a much bigger problem the less space you have, and most fish get a little meaner as they get older.

I have tons of ottos, and I really like them. They actually eat algae. They really don't seem to get picked on too much. They're pretty quick and get away fast when someone tries to nip at them. My panda corys just obliviously root around on the bottom, and they'll let someone come right up and take a chunk out of their tail, but my ottos do just fine.

If you don't actually have any algae, though, I guess you wouldn't really want to add ottos. Mine spend all their time eating algae off the glass, driftwood and plants. I don't know if they'd be able to get the hang of eating algae wafers.
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Old 10-20-2006, 10:36 PM   #4
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Not too much algae...

I actually don't think there's a lot of algae growth in my tank yet. I'm gonna try to post a pic of it here. I was reading about otto's in another section here, and I got the impression that they're not the most "hardy" fish. I really just wanted a pleco for aesthetics. But if you have any suggestions for a fish that hangs out at the top of the tank that would fare well with my others, and doesn't mind being the only one of it's kind, I would be open to that idea as well. I just feel my tank needs 1 more inhabitant. ( :
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Old 10-20-2006, 10:59 PM   #5
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Otos can be a little sensitive and really do best if you have visible algae growth in the tank.

I think your tank is stocked to the max. Once the fish grow to their full size, you may have some problems. Kribs can be pretty nasty when they breed and in a small tank, you have limited space. Leave it like it is...I'm sure you'll find that eventually it will be too small for the Tiger barbs.
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:08 AM   #6
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dont zebra plecos stay 3"?

but thats considering you have $250 laying around
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:35 AM   #7
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Yes but like you said they are very expensive, and if someone pays that much for one fish....I think they'd be setting up a tank focused on the zebra plec. Which means no aggressive barbs. Or atleast they should focus the tank on the plec. Those boogers would be very bad to lose to a tiger barb school.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:39 AM   #8
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I agree for the most part with the fact that your tank is pretty much maxed out. The only pleco I would recommend would be a pint-sized albino bristlenose. These are usually hard to find. Although I hate to promote it, there is an occurrence of dwarfism in this species and I happen to have a couple of them. The "double-dwarfs" are usually no more than an inch and a half.

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Old 10-21-2006, 08:39 AM   #9
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Hey, nice set-up erica! And welcome!

A pleco would be the inhabitant I'd be least worried about when the kribs spawn. I've got one in with mine, and they quickly learned that it was useless to try to bully the plec (granted, he's 13" and used to live with an oscar...). Those barbs will be at the mercy of the kribs in a 10g. Mine are in a 55, and even that doesn't give the other fish quite enough room when the kribs are spawning. And those buggers breed a lot. But at the same time, I think kribs really need the presence of other fish to be comfortable in a smaller tank like that. So it's a conundrum.

BTW, have you considered a snail? Your life is not complete until you have one.
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Old 10-21-2006, 09:17 AM   #10
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"double dwarfism" - well that's a new term to me. Even I might be convinced to keep a 1.5" pleco - but I still prefer my snails LOL
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