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will plecos and clown loaches coexist?


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#1 Crystal

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 01:35 PM

I am soon getting a 65 gallon tank :thumbs: .
I plan to upgrade my 13 inch common pleco out of my current 55g tank and into the bigger one. I would love to add 2-3 clown loaches, but I have no experience with clown loaches. Would the pleco and clowns coexist? I plan to add several caves and hidey holes.
Other occupants will include some barbs (gold and rosy), but will mainly overwinter 3-5 of my pond goldfish (comets, each 3-5 inches long).
My first tank was a 10g and had two goldfish (I know, way too small, put it down to inexperience) and the same pleco. This pleco rarely moves during the day and has had no problems with any fish. Some plecos are said to pick on goldfish, but my pleco never bothered my goldfish or anything else.
Would the clown loaches be ok with the pleco, goldfish, and barbs?

#2 thegrandpoohbah

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 01:47 PM

Goldfish are cold water fish, everything else you listed is tropical so right there you have some compatibility issues. Also, keep in mind that clown loaches can grow almost as big as your pleco (albeit, very slowly) so that would be one very heavily stocked tank.

#3 Crystal

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 02:05 PM

The coldwater/tropical issue is one I have heard, but my research shows that plecos are fine in 20 water, being from South America and Central America in flowing streams which vary from 18-24 degrees. As for goldfish, koi definately prefer cooler water, less than 20. But my comets in the pond get sluggish and slow when water drops below 16-17 degrees, and seem happy in 19-22.
I have heard many say that there is a cold/tropical issue, but can someone explain it to me? :unsure:

The 65 gallon will have a aquaclear 110 (110-500gph) on it, overfiltering as I know the goldfish will have a heavy bioload.

#4 BigA

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 02:13 PM

The coldwater/tropical issue is one I have heard, but my research shows that plecos are fine in 20 water, being from South America and Central America in flowing streams which vary from 18-24 degrees. As for goldfish, koi definately prefer cooler water, less than 20. But my comets in the pond get sluggish and slow when water drops below 16-17 degrees, and seem happy in 19-22.
I have heard many say that there is a cold/tropical issue, but can someone explain it to me? :unsure:

The 65 gallon will have a aquaclear 110 (110-500gph) on it, overfiltering as I know the goldfish will have a heavy bioload.


I think the issue will be with the clown loach's. IME, they like a much higher temp, 27-30 and need a much larger tank, 90-120gal to be happy. Also with them, while 3 is better than 1, 5 is better than 3, and 7 better than 5, and so forth.

Optimally, the 13" pleco should be in a 90-120gal tank as well, butI sure he will appreciate any extra water he is given.

#5 Crystal

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 02:42 PM

I think the issue will be with the clown loach's. IME, they like a much higher temp, 27-30 and need a much larger tank, 90-120gal to be happy. Also with them, while 3 is better than 1, 5 is better than 3, and 7 better than 5, and so forth.

Optimally, the 13" pleco should be in a 90-120gal tank as well, butI sure he will appreciate any extra water he is given.


I know the pleco should have a larger tank, but a 65 is as big as my room will allow. The person at the pet store had told me 4 inches max...
As for the clown loaches, I was curious, but their required temp is too high for the temp I had planned, and if they need more than 3 my tank would be too small or the bioload too heavy. I believe I will have to forego them. :(
Thanks for all the help. :) You are all so helpful.

#6 jvision

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 07:37 PM

Just keep an eye on your pleco, as they get older, they become a bit more preditory - I had a 13"er that would eat tetras and other small fish in the night.

#7 Fishnut

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 09:20 PM

My big concern would be the clown loaches as well, they need the warmer temp and stress easily.

#8 gobies et al

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 07:26 AM

Since your goldfish are now only 3 - 5 ", the pleco probably hasn't really paid much attention to them. When they are say 7 - 10 ", then they would be worthwhile targets.

Have you considered trading in your pleco for a smaller one?

A suitable loach to consider would be the weather loach. They would be able to go out to the pond as well.

#9 Crystal

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 07:54 AM

Trading the pleco is hard because of distance to the nearest pet store, and mainly because its my Mother's favorite fish - the only one she bought me that lived.
My old goldfish were about 10 inches (the moor was 7 inches) long before they died and both the goldfish (black moor and a comet) and the pleco peacefully lived in the same tank. The pleco is currently living with small tetras, barbs, guppies, platies, and mystery snails. There is never a problem, unless I leave 1-2 day old fry in the breeding trap (I only made that mistake once). I have pulled dead fish in the tank (age) that the pleco had never even touched. I don't believe the pleco being preditory isn't a issue in this case, it is very spoilt and well fed. if it becomes a problem, I will have to do something to correct it.
As for the clown loaches, now that I know how high a temp they would require (many sites lie), I will not purchase them.
I would not buy a fish to have it unhappy or in a wrong tank setup/conditions.
Thanks to all for their comments! :thumbs: