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I occasionally see references to plecos as eating plants. I have one that I
have been keeping for a little over a year now. As a result of reducing the
number of tanks up and running, it has ended up in a tank with several plants.
My intention was to leave the thing there only long enough to donate it to the
LFS, so they could find it a new home. But procrastination has left it there
for over two months, and so far no plants have been damaged. He likes to gnaw
on the driftwood, and I think he mainly subsists on flake food and a little
bit of stringy bush algae that occasionally shows up in the tank.
There are a bunch of species and even several genera of plecos, and I'm sure
each of them has their own dietary preferences. Some of the "dwarves", like
zebra plecos, are even notorious consumers of fish fins. Is there a list in
some reference book or web site of which genera/species are harmful to planted
tanks? Perhaps one with pictures, as I am by no means an expert on catfish