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I love Panaque's, but that mouth rips up wood,plants and things even
cichilds won't bother. Good for cleaning an algae covered decoration by
placing it in the tank overnight.
Gold nuggets are great as are Zebra's for plant tanks. I've had several for
years and they seem very happy. A local gal out here(SF bay area) has a
breeding colony of Zebra's but they are still very pricey. I have both in a
tank with a cork backed wall covered with plants were they wedge themselves
in between Anubias roots during the day unless it's feeding time.
A good general rule is if they get BIG, stay clear. Most smaller pleco's
don't eat your plants.
Sturisoma sp. are good larger animals for planted tanks but you'll need a
larger tank also. Vampire pleco's are neat but will dig somewhat. They have
taken shrimp right out of my hand and don't seem to care if the light is one
or not. Mango's grow slowly and make good additions. P.leopardus and
spinosus are good also but they are territorial and will quarrel amongst
themselves sometimes resulting in uprooted plants. Many of the rarer pleco's
like some meat in their diet not just plant matter.I don't mine replanting
for these beautiful fish. Atlas of Freshwater and Marine Catfishes by
Burgess has some other's that are very suited to plant tanks. Bottom of
pg738 shows one of the best IMO for planted tanks minus Otto's,Ancistrus and
algae eaters. Many of the rarer pleco's like some meat in their diet not
just plant matter, many graze on wood too.
Finding and paying for these rare catfishes is the hard
part...............wah! I suppose if they were all common and cheap I
wouldn't want them so much? Isn't this true with plants also?
Tom Barr AGA