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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my wife has a friend who is an "aqaurium expert." I mentioned to her that I'd like to get more fish, but I'm at or above the 1"/2" of fish per gallon general rule. However, she asked me if I had a pleco, and I said yes. He's a big guy, too. She then tells me that plecos don't count against this "rule". What do you guys think? My reasoning is that since he produces ammonia and feces, he should count. Obviously he won't count as much as my wife's beloved goldfish, but I think he should count nonetheless.
Now, before I get flamed, I realize that this is just a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule. With good maintenance, I probably could go above this guideline. In other words, the "rule" is not the topic of this thread, but the question is rather or not plecos should be included in this "rule". As a second question, do all plecos get treated this way. I understand that not all plecos are strictly herbavores (algae-eaters).

-Dustin
 

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IME plecos, especially common plecos, are very messy (in other words, they poop alot!) so I would definately count them. Some of the smaller bushynose or rubbernose plecos dont seem quite as...messy...as the normal ones, plus they stay small at around 3 or 4 inches.
 

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Hey Dustin,

It depends on which type of pleco? I have seen many dwarf bristlenose plecos kept in 10g tanks. Although in my own opinon, I think that plecos should not count as 1" per gallon rule, they need lot of swimming space to travel all around. How big is your tank and what kind of pleco do you have? Most cichlids and catfish do noy apply to the 1" per gallon rule, although most tropical community fish like neons, tetras or anything of that sort counts.
 

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Anything producing waste should count. I count my cherry red shrimp.
If it's a particularly messy fish, you shouldn't even have 1"1/2"
 

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Of course cichlids and catfish count. They produce as much waste (if not, MORE waste ammonnia) than your typical 1" cardinal tetra.

If they take up living space and they produce ammonia/nitrogen, they count according to the rule. Of course, a 10" oscar produces much more waste than ten 1" cardinal tetras, but that's a topic for another discussion.

Carlos
 

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Yes, they should count... The inch per gallon rules only works on fish 3" or smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Alright, I think I have a general consensus.

1) It looks like any fish that produces waste should count against the "rule".
2) Bigger fish produce more waste than smaller fish, but then again, they are larger and therefore count more against the "rule" by default.

turtlehead:

I originally said:
In other words, the "rule" is not the topic of this thread, but the question is rather or not plecos should be included in this "rule".
Please read more carefully.

Thanks guys,

-Dustin

Edit: My common pleco is about 7", without tail. 10" with tail. I have a 35 gallon hexagonal tank. He seems happy enough. You can see him hidden behind my fake wood, barely. Yes, my tank needs work.
 

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Whoa, where did she come up with that?? :shock:
A Plec, especially a common like you're talking about should be counted by 10 fold.

It's all about body mass if you're trying to use the inch rule, even if they're smaller fish like a Hatchet (for example).

My old common Plec lived to be about 14, and he reached almost 18" in length. I had him in a 125 gallon, and that didn't leave room for much else.
After that it's been nothing but smaller Plec's for me, and even they contribute a lot more waste than many fish.

Now I have a couple of huge Bala's that I'm waiting to live out their life (they're around 8 ), and it will be smaller fish replacing them (and lots more of them for the buck :) ).
 

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Well, I think the fish-inch rule has as much to do with the chemistry as the sociology of it. Plenty of people have covered the chemical factors of the rule. There are also the social parts of it. Certain fish need a certain amount of space to feel comfy, and some schooling fish will even break away and hide for a bit of peace if the tank is too crowded.

Now, so far as that goes, the pleco is not a big space-taker, so long as you don't have 1 cave and 10 cats.

This isn't to say that the biological needs aren't also very important, but if you have fish with "greater" personalities that take up more space than their tummies, a pleco won't interfere with them as much.

-MT
 

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The 1"/gallon rule is more confusing than helpful for anything but tiny tetras.

Hypothetically, comparing two fish with the same body shape, one 1", one 10", the 10" one weighs 1000 times as much as the 1" one, and produces about 1000 times more waste than the little guy! Think about that for a minute.

It is better to estimate fish load by weight than length, but then, it is more abstract.
 
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