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Pleco that likes to redecorate


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Let me preference this by saying I haven't owned a fish since I was a kid had no idea what I agreed to when I said yes. 

I inherited my mother in-laws fish 30 gal fish tank. The tank was so nasty looked and smelled like pond water at this point I had no idea of how many fish were in the tank. SO my dad innocently enough was out with my youngest daughter who is 11 years old. He decided to stop by the pet store, she talked him into buying a couple of other big fancy looking guppies that were not liked by the other guppies and an African Dwarf  Frog. Yup into to the tank they all went I had no clue what could and would happen. 

A week goes by I noticed a couple of guppies floating I quickly removed them, shortly after that a mass die off started.

Operation living fish was quickly under way.

My wife and I ran to Walmart bought a cheap 6 gal tank to move the guppies to temporally. I took everything out of the big tank cleaned it up. The tank looking brand new when we were done. But holy cow that's a lot of fish now that I could actually see them I could get an estimate. I did the quick set up method, pour the water in chemical remover let it get to temp and poured most of the fish in. We left a few in the smaller tank with the frog. Who is freaking cool to watch he just chills and eat the fry if they get to close. After a few more die off everything calms down fish are doing good water weekly water cleaning, I removed all the media from the tank for easier cleaning. I can never get the water parameters perfect.

Removing the substrate media helped tons. The pleco has jumped out twice now trying to commit suicide. Luckily we found it just in time, I think I had to many decorations in the tank and I did a large water change both times. Now I do small water changes weekly and large 50% water changes monthly. still cant get the parameters perfect. I think with that many guppies it will be impossible . So my solution was to add 2 angle fish to the tank. Their sole purpose other than  to look cool is to eat the fry, needles to say we don't see fry anymore after they are born and the angelfish are thriving. Eventually they will start eating the larger guppies but that wont be for some time. However the Pleco likes to munch on a stray every now and again. 

So there's my back story, my question is do I need drift wood and live plants? Will that help my water parameters? The pleco like to redecorate so I was thinking a floating plant low maintenance.

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hmmmm.... you've got a tough row to how there. It sounds like you are doing well given the circumstances.

I have a 14in common pleco in a 72 and he likes to do the same thing. I'd suggest some of the rock planters that the Coop sells. These should be stable enough to keep things in place.

Live plants will help. Depending on the specific pleco you have it may or may not like wood. Try to identify it, then research what it likes to eat and provide that.

I'm likely going to donate 'Draco' to my LFS as he is really too big for the tank. You should take a critical look at the size of your pleco and see if he really has room to move around. IMHO any fish larger than 6 inches is going to feel cramped in your tank. I actually would go no bigger than 5 inches.

Good luck with your rescue!

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