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Old 05-23-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
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Pleco rasping hard on glass

I adopted a large common pleco (about a foot long) who was being kept in a 20 gallon tank. He's in my 55 right now and he's the only one in there - it's been a juvenile goldfish tank but I moved my most recent batch of goldfish to my pond, so the tank was open for him. It's been about two and a half weeks and he seems healthy though his tail seems more bent than maybe it should be. I don't know, this is my first large pleco. I've only ever had bristlenose plecos before. He seems to like cucumber and I have 3 pieces of driftwood in the tank and sort of a rock cave for him to hide in as well as small, young plants for him to hide behind...sort of. They're new plants and still quite small lol. Anyway, at night I hear loud rasping sounds. I've gotten up to see what he's doing and he's rasping on the glass. Is it healthy for him to be rasping so hard on the glass and is him doing so indicative of a problem with the tank? Or is it normal? I know that they suck on the glass, but I thought they would only make rasping noises when they were rasping hard on driftwood.

Water temp's at 74 degrees, ammonia and nitrites at 0, and nitrates at 10. I've seen him on the driftwood a bit, but not as much as I thought I would. I boiled the driftwood and then doused it in treated water before putting it in the tank. Sry, I tried taking a picture of him, but he's in his cave and he's hard to see :/
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:35 PM   #2
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By rasping, do you mean he's suctioned on and grinding with his bottom "jaw"? This would be normal in theory, as they do eat algae off of flat surfaces this way. I'm guessing his former 20 gallon(I'm cringing thinking about that) would not produce any algae for him, and this may have lead to his "teeth" not being filed down naturally.... A guess at best, but that would be my assumption.
A 55 is better than a 20 obviously, but what are you planning long term for this guy? Common plecos need a min. Of 100 gallons, mainly so they can get around and not knock into everything, but also so they don't overload the tanks bio filter, with their ugghhh, streamers that they leave all over!!!
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plantaholic View Post
By rasping, do you mean he's suctioned on and grinding with his bottom "jaw"?
Yeah that's what it sounds like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plantaholic View Post
A 55 is better than a 20 obviously, but what are you planning long term for this guy? Common plecos need a min. Of 100 gallons, mainly so they can get around and not knock into everything, but also so they don't overload the tanks bio filter, with their ugghhh, streamers that they leave all over!!!
I do have to keep taking those "streamers" out lol. He does look like he would do better in a larger tank. Unfortunately, he's not compatible with anything in my larger tanks, the pet stores near me never seem to sell anything larger than a 75 gallon and won't order anything bigger for me and the only glass store within an hour and a half drive that would sell me glass sheets thicker than .22mm closed, so I can't build my own! Grr! Oh well - I'll ask around and try to find someone with a bigger tank who wants him.

In the meantime, is there anything I can do for his teeth? I had no idea they even had teeth lol.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:56 PM   #4
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They aren't teeth like we have, but picture say a BBQ grill brush with short tough bristles that's attached to your lip. They use it to rub small digestible particles of algae/plant, wood, and even meat off of the source and into their mouths. With the drift wood and enough algae in the tank I would guess it will work itself out soon enough.
Also, I hope my comments about the tank size were seen as advice, rather than criticism. You are doing this guy a great service by giving him a tank he can actually turn around in, and I'm sure he appreciates it greatly! An additional filter may help by increasing the amount of seeding area for the BBacteria as well but a tank that housed Goldies would probably have a strong bio filter to start!
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:10 PM   #5
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Also, if you have the money for a new tank, I have found that the word Deposit, can only increase the likelihood of your LFS special ordering something for you. They are stuck with the item they ordered if the person flakes out on the deal, and that takes away floor space that they could otherwise use to sell items that are guaranteed by their vendors... So them being skeptical to order a big tank would certainly be understandable, but possibly negotiable if they are convinced you plan on picking it up and paying for it.
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