Plecostomus is a fun word

31 Dec

Albino Long-fin Bristle-Nose Plecostomus

The most well-known algae-eating, glass-cleaning aquarium fish is the Plecostomus. The point  I want to make is this:  If you have a 55 gallon tank go ahead and get the common Plecostomus species that gets over a foot long. You will see these Plecostomus for sale at a Petsmart or Petco for 3 or 4 dollars. But if your tank is 30 gallons or smaller DO NOT get a Common Pleco, find a Bushy-nosed Pleco.

By the way, Bushy-nosed Plecos are also called Bristle-nosed Plecostomus, so call them whatever you prefer, they are the same thing.  Bushy-nosed Plecostomus are PERFECT for a tank of almost any size.  They get about 4 or 5 inches long. There are Albino Bushy-noses, Long-finned Bushy-noses, and I have heard of Calico Bushy-noses, but I haven’t seen one yet.

Bushy-noses are peaceful, useful and beautiful. My Long-fin albino looks like a fish from another planet.  An alien life-form in my fish tank. (By the way, this is a female. The males have the bristles on their nose!)

Local Pet Shops are more likely to have Bushy-nosed Plecos than the big chain stores.  Or try a search on Craigslist or contact your local Aquarium Society. They are commonly bred and should sell for 3 or 4 dollars each from a breeder, maybe 6 bucks at the Petshop.

For all species of Plecostomus, keep a piece of wood in the tank so they can graze on it. The Pleco actually scrapes the wood and ingests it.  They don’t devour the wood in your tank, they just scrape a little bit at a time.

Last fall, my 29 gallon tank had algae all over the glass, and little clumps of algae were growing on the bottom. I added one Pleco and a few weeks later, all gone!


2 Responses to “Plecostomus is a fun word”

  1. DJ December 31, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Do they eat all kinds of algae? Hair algae has started up in a tank and it is becoming a issue. I am also seeing some algae on the glass but hardly any on the plants.

    • fishtanx2011 December 31, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      The Bristle-nosed Pleco will help, but you can scrape hair algae off the glass and net it out or just grab it. I will grab a big clump of hair algae and be amazed how little is really there. Cut down on feeding, pull out the excess, you will have some algae but it is not really a bad thing. Never add a Pleco to a brand new tank, always wait until you have some algae going for it to eat.

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