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Flowerhorn attacking pleco

RedZombies

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I’ve seen at my local fish stores that they keep each FH with a pleco.
My FH is about 15cm now.

I’ve had a smaller albino pleco in the same tank as him and he killed it overnight. Poor fella.
At the moment I’ve got a pleco that’s the same size as he is and he still chases and picks on the pleco. Why is that? Sometimes he’s chill about it and after I feed him, he goes mad and just chases the pleco.
Am I not feeding him enough? I don’t want to over feed him.

It’s been about a month that they’ve been together.
 
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RedZombies

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It’s a 160L (42.2 U.S gallons) tank. Forgot to add, if that helps. It’s just a bare-bottom and no decorations tank.
 

Colin_T

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Cichlids are territorial and your flowerhorn considers the entire tank as his own. The pleco is considered an intruder and the cichlid tries to drive it out of its territory.

All suckermouth catfish need driftwood to chew on and help their digestion.

Fish kept in tanks with no substrate are more stressed and that makes them more likely to have issues including aggression. And flowerhorns are not peaceful anyway. If you put a thin layer of sand or gravel over the base it will help. Having some driftwood and caves for the fish will break up the tank and give the pleco somewhere to hide and the cichlid will be less likely to attack it.
 
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RedZombies

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Cichlids are territorial and your flowerhorn considers the entire tank as his own. The pleco is considered an intruder and the cichlid tries to drive it out of its territory.

All suckermouth catfish need driftwood to chew on and help their digestion.

Fish kept in tanks with no substrate are more stressed and that makes them more likely to have issues including aggression. And flowerhorns are not peaceful anyway. If you put a thin layer of sand or gravel over the base it will help. Having some driftwood and caves for the fish will break up the tank and give the pleco somewhere to hide and the cichlid will be less likely to attack it.
Thanks! This helps a lot. I’ll have to change my filter because I’m afraid it’ll suck up the substrate.

What types of caves are there available for medium sized plecos?


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Colin_T

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Why should your filter suck up the substrate?
If you have an external power filter, simply shorten or raise the intake strainer/ tube so it is a couple of inches above the bottom.

You can also put cylindrical sponges on the intake strainer. These are available from most pet shops or online and are used in some internal power filters. They have a hole running through the centre and they fit over the intake strainer of most external power filters.

If you have an internal power filter, use the suction cups that came with it to stick it higher up in the tank. If you don't have any suction cups for it, put a rock or plastic container under it to raise it off the bottom.
 
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RedZombies

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Why should your filter suck up the substrate?
If you have an external power filter, simply shorten or raise the intake strainer/ tube so it is a couple of inches above the bottom.

You can also put cylindrical sponges on the intake strainer. These are available from most pet shops or online and are used in some internal power filters. They have a hole running through the centre and they fit over the intake strainer of most external power filters.

If you have an internal power filter, use the suction cups that came with it to stick it higher up in the tank. If you don't have any suction cups for it, put a rock or plastic container under it to raise it off the bottom.
Thanks a lot once again! I’ll definitely check out the sponges and get myself one. What type of substrate should I get?


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Colin_T

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Get whatever substrate you like. I personally prefer natural brown gravel but other people like white sand or multi-coloured gravel. Generally fish will show better colour with a dark substrate but it doesn't really matter as long as there is something on the bottom.
 

Byron

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The colour and type of substrate does matter somewhat. Cichlids are substrate feeders so they need to be able to take up a mouthful of the substrate, filter out food, and expel the substrate either through the gills or out the mouth, or both. So you want something that is not rough. The pleco will also graze the substrate, so same concern here (sharpness).

As for colour, white is the worst you can have, it is as bad as no substrate for reflecting light. Fish will generally be more stressed over pure white. The darker the better as this is natural.

Another note on substrates...this is the single most important biological factor in an aquarium because many species of bacteria live in the substrate (some no where else) and these maintain a healthy system. You can have it at least an inch in depth, or a bit more. Lots of real wood (bought in a reliable fish store or online, collecting can be risky) providing shelters as Coin noted above, and essential for pleco grazing.
 
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