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Combining Common Plecos


ACA
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Hi there! So we've got three tanks currently set up, 10, 20 and 30 gal. The 10 is a rabbit snail/red shrimp breeder tank, and the other two have combination of Corydoras, Loaches, Danios, Cherry Barbs, a Bamboo shrimp, couple ghost shrimp, Otto's, etc. We're combining all into a 55gal and won't have any issues with any of the other fish/snails/shrimp as most of the tanks have the same or similar setups. However, we have two common plecos - Rory is about 11.75" long and he's roughly a two year old brown sail fin. Paul is about 3 months older, and he's roughly 11.5" and he's your standard black common pleco - he lives harmoniously with a smaller 3" long pleco who's about 3 yrs old. We assume they are both males. My husband and I have been searching online and we're wondering if we're going to have an issue if we combine them into the new larger tank. On the one hand, everyone always says they're super territorial and aggressive with others. However, with them both moving into a new environment, the assumption is that they will figure out their territories and may clash a little but otherwise be fine. Thoughts? Recommendations? Concerns? (They currently live in the 20gal and 30gal - please don't berate us for the tank size they are currently in - this is just about if it would be safe to try combining them or if we should just keep them separate.)

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Two males common plecos together is not the best idea, however it can definatley be done. You may want to get some large pleco caves (we just got some large fish log hideouts with about a 6 inch opening, we'll have to get a bigger one soon) pleco caves are where the male plecos will spend most the day in and try to lure any female in and trap her to breed. Plecos are nocturnal, no during the day the two males may stay in their own caves, but during the nigh when they come out they may fight. I have never personally tried this, you can but just have a larger backup tank if things go south.

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Posted (edited)

Separate caves are a great idea, actually! These two are pretty mobile during the day, and one likes to hang out on the front glass a lot, but that would definitely give them a "safe" place. Currently they each just hang out under/behind the wood features in each tank. I think we may try it and of course monitor them closely and have the backup tank for the one if they don't figure themselves out within the first couple days. My husband is worried they're going to fight to the death battle royale style as soon as we put them together.

Edited by ACA
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Sounds good, keep us posted. The plecos may be out during the day if they don't have a cave or a suitable one. M common pleco used to live in his cave during the day and then come out during the night, but now I think the fish either took over the cave or he is too big fr it. Searching around for a 12 inch long cave with a 10 inch opening or similar. Good luck!

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Of course variances exist in personalities, but I have to agree with @BriannesFishFam here 2 male common plecs will fight and it does not take them long to establish territories in a new environment. No matter how many caves you provide and how big your tank becomes they will fight. Best to keep them separate. 

 

In Florida I have seen them purposely swim to the other side of the pond to fight for what in their eyes is the best territory. Of course in a pond environment the loser has plenty of areas to retreat to.

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