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Old 10-20-2006, 05:22 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, 05:31 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, 06:18 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, 11:36 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, 11:59 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, 01:08 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, 01:35 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, 08:39 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, 09:39 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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55g: (Mostly) African riverine species: Alestes Chaperi, breeding pair of Kribs, and rhino pleco
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10g: Planted but fishless
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Old 10-21-2006, 10:17 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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Old 10-21-2006, 11:16 AM   #11
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Also keep an eye out with the tiger barbs. They are semi-aggressive, and moreso in small numbers. I have 6 in my 20gallon tank and they have terrorized some of the other fish (cory's, oto's, smaller barbs). I would say your fully stocked for now. You can always go with some snails as mentioned before. They are interesting to watch, and will help to keep the algae/diatoms off the glass/fake plants.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:58 PM   #12
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Hmmm.. Quite a conundrum indeed!

Well, when I got the two kribs I thought they wouldn't even try to breed in such a small tank... guess I was mistaken as they have started to mature and are now doin' the little shakin' dance for each other. Crap! I actually have ac ouple of snails that snuck in on my plants, but they are still VERY small, and I'm not sure if they are the helpful or the bothersome kind. All of my plants are real, so I don't want the kind of snail that actually eat the plant material! Those extra-small plecs sound cool, I'll call my LFS and see if they have any, but I wouldn't want to put them in a situation that's potentially going to turn dangerous if the kribs decide to breed. Here's a picture of my kribs; so far they seem very docile, and I'm noticing hints of that irridescent green in the stripes of the tiger barbs, could they be a partial green/regular tiger barb? I can't believe I was able to catch them all in the same pic!!!
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:19 PM   #13
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My tiger barbs are the normal kind but under certain lighting the black stripes have a blueish hue. Sometimes this has a greenish look as well. My guess is it's a metallic pigment or something that shows up under certain conditions.
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:35 PM   #14
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On the bright side, kribs won't slaughter their tankmates when they're ready to breed like many cichlids do. They mostly want to keep other fish out of their territory. In my experience, they didn't bother too much with the other fish until the fry were free swimming, and at that point I just moved the babies to another tank and there was peace again. But that's based on them spawning in a 55, I don't know if its the same with a smaller tank.
Also, it usually takes them a few tries to get it right, so you have time to set up a separate tank for them if you wanted to (and you know you do! )
The snails you have now are fine. Most kinds don't eat plants, but they will eat leftover fish food. If you overfeed, you'll get a population explosion. It bothers some people, but they're pretty harmless. But I was talking about the large mystery snails. They don't come in with plants; you buy them. But they're amazing.
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I just want my planted tanks to be perfect. Is that so much to ask?

55g: (Mostly) African riverine species: Alestes Chaperi, breeding pair of Kribs, and rhino pleco
30g: Newly established reef tank
10g: Planted but fishless
5g: Unplanted with various snail species
2.5g: Heavily planted with betta.
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:54 PM   #15
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Sweet Tank!

I don't have any advice for you, I just want to say that you have an awesomely sweet 10 gallon setup. Those two kribs are very, very cool. Man that's a great tank!!!
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:34 PM   #16
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Thankyou!!!

Thanks so much!! It takes a lot of work (as everyone here is well aware) and it's nice for someone other than myself to enjoy it!! As for my almost-breeding kribs, what do people do with 100 little baby kribs???? I WISH I could get a bigger tank, but my current financial situation totally doesn't allow it ( typical broke college student ). Even though they're not as aggressive as other cichlids while breeding, in a 10 gallon tank.... I'm worried there won't be enough room for my tiger barbs to stay out of the kribs "Territory"! Do I need to take them back to the LFS before things get messy?
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