Pleco Paradox

1 07 2009

One morning I found my common pleco dead which was a bit upsetting as I think suckermouth type catfish things look pretty cool inspite of their lack of colour. I immediately checked all my water parameters and everything was fine. The Mbuna had never taken much notice of him and an examination of his body  showed him in good external condition so it seemed unlikely that the cichlids had murdered him.

Some googling demonstrated that Sudden Pleco Death Syndrome (SPDS) is not very uncommon. Seems the poor creatures can just keel over for no reason – perhaps a result of decades of tank inbreeding.

Anyway this death left a vacancy in the Algae Cleaning Department. I interviewed a few fish, the Chinese Algae Eater made a good impression but i felt it was unable to cope with the rough and tumble of an Mbuna tank. The Ancistrus Pleco or Bristlenose got the job in the end. It stays small (small fish = less waste) and is extremely industrious. I bought 3 of them and the Mbuna ignore them completely, they squabble a bit amongst themselves but are otherwise peaceful.

The internet tells me that they breed easily in tanks so fingers crossed!

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