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Caution With Bristlenose Plecos


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  • Regular Member

I know that others have successfully kept bristlenose plecos with goldfish and it is not my intention to start a debate here. I just wanted to let you know about my experience so that you can make an informed decision.

I purchased a bristlnose pleco (Buzz) several months ago to keep my tank clean of algae. He did a great job of that and I never witnessed any aggressive behavior on his part toward my goldfish. But almost every morning I would notice a little fin tear here, a little scale knocked off there. Eventually I moved the bristlenose into his own 20 gallon tank and the nighttime damage immediately stopped.

So, like I said, Buzz is in his own 20 gallon tank now. I also have an apple snail in there -- I figured that they wouldn't bother each other. The past few nights I have heard clattering sounds coming from their tank, but I figured that Buzz was swimming around and knocking into the medium sized river stones I have in there. But tonight I got up to check and found him sucked onto my snail's shell, violently attempting to shake the snail out! Clearly he has developed a taste for flesh!

He is not starving -- each night I put algae wafers and/or veggies in there for him. But I guess he has decided he doesn't want to be vegetarian any more. :( Now I have to figure out where the snail can live and be safe.

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I'm sorry to hear about your snail. Is he ok?

I don't know. Understandably he has his door tightly shut. I am sure he is scared to death. I have read that a tightly shut snail door is actually a good sign -- if they are dead of badly ailing they lack the muscular strength to close their door completely.

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Remarkably, the snail appears to be okay. Do you think it would be alright for me to put him in with my goldfish, at least for the time being?

I am thinking that Buzz might be making a trip back to the LFS tomorrow -- it is hard for me to justify maintaining a tank for a fish that has to be kept alone but always hides completely during the day. The store I got him from is mostly patronized by some pretty serious fish hobbists (mostly cichlid enthusiasts), so I have a fairly high degree of confidence that he would go to a good home. Thoughts?

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I'm probably not a good one to ask for advice, because honestly, plecos kinda scare me. I feel like, if you got Buzz in order to fulfill a role (helping maintain the tank) and he is doing more harm than good, it might be better to rehome him.

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I don't trust ANY plecos with goldies!! (Or snails for that matter!) I just clean the algae off the tank walls myself, and let it grow in the places I can't reach. The goldies do a nice job of nibbling it, anyway!

The snail is best kept in a tank alone, I'd say. Just set up a species only snaily tank. (I really am wanting to do that myself now!) They are interesting and colorful and I think they would make a nice looking display tank. :)

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Thats too bad that Buzz "turned bad" lol. My 2 albino BN plecos are sweet little fish that like to stay away from the goldfish cuz the goldfish will try and eat them lol :) (but they're too fast to be eaten)

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