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Re: Pleco's and Plants

Birdy at birdy at aa_net wrote:

> I am new to the aquarium world, and I have recieved contradictory
> information about Plecos.  I have been told by several local aquarists,
> never to put Plecos in an aquarium that has plants, because Plecos will dig
> them up, eat them, or otherwise destroy the plants.
> On the other hand, many people on the Aquatic Plants Mailing list seem to
> list Plecos as fish they have in thier tanks.
> I kind of like Pleco's and would like to have a couple.  I have a 50 gallon
> tank, with plants growing nicely, and Gourami's eating the algae off the
> leaves and stems of some healthy looking plants.
> Is it a matter that certain species of Plecos work out better than others?
> Or is it Plecos under a certain size?   Or is it what?

I've always kept the common brown plecos with plants. I've never seen them
dig, but they sometimes uproot new plantings that dont have a firm foothold
by knocking them around. I just recently caught a pleco gnawing the spadix
off of an Anubius flower, and occasionally they'll scrape a tender leaf too
close and injure it. No big deal...wouldn't exactly characterize it as
"destroying" the plants. My plecos have never exceeded about 5 inches or so,
though. I would guess that plecos may exhibit a wide range of behaviors, and
I  suspect that an accross-the-board assessment is not possible.

Try one or two and see what happens. If one causes problems, swap it out and
try another.

Dan Dixon