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Questions about Bristlenose Plecos and growing them out


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I've got 60-ish chocolate and albino bristlenose pleco fry in a 0.5G fluval/marina breeder box -- it hangs outside the aquarium and has a constant trickle of aquarium water. The fry are about 2 1/2 weeks old and ~0.75" long. I'm giving them basically unlimited access to zucchini, green beans, and a repashy mixture of Community Plus, Soilent Green, and Morning Wood.

Every evening, I use a turkey baster to remove all the waste from the bottom of the breeder box and feed new food. The tank it's attached to (my live bearer/shrimp tank) gets a 50% water change twice a week.

Ultimately, I think I'll need to get these to 1.5 to 2" before selling to my LFS. I would prefer to maximize the time they spend in a breeder box.

- When do I need to start putting them in a larger tank?

- How big do I need? Or what's the smallest I can get away with reasonably, and what would I need to do to make that work optimally?

- Would it prolong their allowable time in the breeder if I divided them into a second similar breeder box? (I have the ziss one from the co-op now).


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I have been in similar situations several times, I am constantly making super reds. I don't have an exact size as to when I would move them, I am more focused on getting them a bit sturdier so I can throw them into their growout. I used a 10 gallon for growouts for well over a year, it works, but it is a pain. I was doing 50% water changes every other day, once or twice had some health issues. 

Be careful about leaving them in the breeder box too long, during the holidays I left a group in two long and some had damaged fins, that started to turn the wrong direction. Bad situation, my fault, and led to some culling.

I know it can be a bummer to dedicate the tank space, but they now have a 30 gallon grow out and it makes life so much easier for me.

Hope this helps.

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The larger the tank you can provide for grow out the less demanding it will be to stay on top of water parameters etc. You will still need to do frequent water changes but the swing of dangerous levels will be easier to mitigate. If you want to keep them in a smaller area to ensure feeding etc. you could install a temporary perforated tank divider that you can shift across the tank as they grow.

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