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Old 02-23-2007, 11:28 PM   #1
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Plecos for Algae?

I have a 72 gal acrylic community tank (see profile) and need some more help with algae. I already have a troop of 4 ottos which grew nice and plump after a couple months in the tank. I did some research on plecos and got advice to be careful because they rasp away at acrylic tanks, especially larger ones and can even rasp on other fish. But I know a guy that says pit bull plecos are great algae eaters and stay small. Would my acrylic tank be safe from disfiguration with a pit bull pleco?

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Old 02-24-2007, 04:04 AM   #2
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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a pit bull pleco, though I'm not the most experienced. I have a Sail fin that really took care of any algae, though they get quite big. Alot of plecos like to have some driftwood to munch on, which should help out with rasping. BN's or Bristlenose Plecos stay relatively small and shouldn't rasp too badly I wouldn't think.
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Old 02-24-2007, 07:56 AM   #3
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Do you mean Parotocinclus jumbo? LDA25. Yes, the stay fairly small and seem a lovely plec to boot.
http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/e_P...clus_jumbo.php

You might find more info on plecofanatics.com

One thing to bear in mind though is this: why are you having big problems with algae? There are causes for this. Nobody can eliminate it entirely without a high-tech planted solution, but there are ways to minimise the problem by tackling the causes. These could include:

1. Direct or indirect sunlight on the tank.
2. Leaving lights on for too long (e.g more than 8 hours).
3. Too many nutrients in the water (possibly linked to feeding regimes).

You might want to look at these to solve the problem before bringing another fish in to your tank because you may find the plec won't make any difference.
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:23 AM   #4
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I do remember that it was LDA25. I was concerned whether it would rasp on the acrylic tank.

1. There is indirect outdoor light since it's in a room with a couple windows, but it's the north side of the house and there is a substantial porch roof overhanging, so it doesn't seem like that would be the problem.
2. Using 8h light at 2wpg.
3. Possibly too many nutrients. Some of the fish leave crumbs when they eat. I'm using neons to clean up the crumbs, but they probably don't get them all.
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:34 AM   #5
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Well I've never seen plecs rasp on acrylic but I'm told by others that it can happen. It may just be a risk you might face. I don't even know if putting wood in the tank, if there isnt any already, would help because the acrylic might be damaged as the plec eats the algae off the tank sides...
At such a small size though it might well be that the damage would be minimal. If we were talking a plec the size of a gibby or common then yeh the damage might be worse!

On the algae causes question. What sort of bottom level fish do you have, ignoring the otos? Your cleanup crew might need some extra help! Say, cories or some loaches or whatnot.
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachineUK
On the algae causes question. What sort of bottom level fish do you have, ignoring the otos? Your cleanup crew might need some extra help! Say, cories or some loaches or whatnot.
No other bottom fish. I had a cory for a while, but moved it to another tank. What are the pros and cons of cories vs loaches?
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Old 02-24-2007, 11:41 AM   #7
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Well, a 72G would be a nice home for a group of five loaches, say botia striata or kubotai or almorhae. There are way more species besides those but these three are nicely sized (not too big) and are less demanding than other species of loach. You're best keeping a group of five of one kind rather than 3 of one and 2 of another (though that'd be do-able still). Botias love company and do best in groups of 3 or more.

Loaches, I would say, are a little bit more sensitive than cories to water params. If you keep up with a regular pwc regime though you'd be fine. Check out loaches.com for some species profiles on those three (and others besides) and see what you think.

Cories are also very sociable and equally as cute (less intelligent though if you ask me, and borderline crazy sometimes but that's for a whole other topic :P). My favourite have to be panda cories though these are smaller than most and quite sensitive little things.

Cories vs. loaches. Guess its preference :P Loaches need bigger tanks than cories, in general. Since you have a 72G personally I would go with loaches
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:43 AM   #8
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some people call the pitbull pleco the rubber nose pleco ... I have no idea about plecs and acrylic tanks, but a pleco is not a bad idea ...although some are better at eating algae than others.

here's mine: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...00&ppuser=7887

I've also read some people turn their lights off for an hour or 2 in the middle of their lighting cycle. Supposedly algae requires 4+ hours of constant light and by breaking into that cycle it halts their growth. Feel free to try that ... although I personally haven't noticed any difference since doing it (although I do have some indirect sunlight).

With 2wpg and possible nutrients in the water ... you're likely gonna grow algae without any trouble.

I've noticed my tank the cleanest when I keep up with water changes, clean filters and vacuuming the gravel (which may help get rid of some extra food/waste feeding the algae).
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachineUK
Cories vs. loaches. Guess its preference :P Loaches need bigger tanks than cories, in general. Since you have a 72G personally I would go with loaches
Since this is a planted tank we are talking about, I would be cautious on the loaches you choose. Many loaches are know to be a problem with uprooting plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jibboo
I've also read some people turn their lights off for an hour or 2 in the middle of their lighting cycle. Supposedly algae requires 4+ hours of constant light and by breaking into that cycle it halts their growth. Feel free to try that ... although I personally haven't noticed any difference since doing it (although I do have some indirect sunlight).
Algae can adapt to changes in their environment much faster then plants can. So changing the lighting schedule too much will only effect the plants more so then the algae.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jibboo
With 2wpg and possible nutrients in the water ... you're likely gonna grow algae without any trouble.
Again this is a planted tank, so you have to have an abundance of nutrients available for the plants to thrive. Having nutrients in the water column does NOT cause algae to grow, but an imbalance of nutrients is the real concern.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:18 PM   #10
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Rubber Nose Pl*cos are Bulldog pl*cos, not Pitbulls. Pitbull (Parotocinclus jumbo) and Bulldog (Chaetostomus milesi) are both small pl*cos, but pitbulls are definitely the lightweight (and cute to boot!).

Do not get a bulldog/rubbernose for an acrylic tank. They will rasp it into a fog very quickly. They are one of the heaviest raspers and can even deal with green spot algae.
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