I get no respect….

Magnum Man

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Albeit admittedly ugly, and admittedly I’m a poop monster, and will outgrow any tank you put me in… my common pleco is all that and more… but it’s the best thing since sliced bread at removing algae, and minds it’s own business… have one I bought a little over a year ago… (cute like an English Bulldog puppy, the little guy, but trust me, one is more than enough ) I just moved him from my Tilapia breeding tank… he didn’t know it but the Ziegler’s algae wafers were there for the babies, but he assumed they were his, but he would happily share “his” algae wafers with the new born babies, all the while keeping the glass clean enough to see the babies when they were released from mom’s mouth… yesterday I transferred him , out of necessity to my bichir and silver dollar tank… that’s an acrylic with rounded corners, and placed low to the floor, so it’s hard to keep the acrylic clear… it was getting bad enough I couldn’t hardly see the fish, there is a fancier cousin in that tank, that wasn’t keeping the side’s clean… not even picking a fight with his prettier, lazy cousin… he’s not a giant yet, but so hard to look at, at 8 inches, he just looks bigger… he’ll always have a home here, he’ll probably go outside next spring, to the tanks I grow giant duckweed in to feed the Tilapia, during the summer, then spend his winters bouncing from tank to tank, in need of glass cleaning… none of my display tanks have algae issues, so probably be playing a lot of nurse maid to the Tilapia
 
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As they age, they seem to be less and less efficient at algae eating. Their wastes tend to negate their advantages. It's a tough life for them - if they succeed and live well, they get enormous, and that size makes them useless for cleaning most glass. Then we get mad because they poop like horses, and get horrified at how huge they are. It's worse for gibbiceps than for common plecos - they should reach close to 30 inches.

I have some gold Ancistrus I got as babies to help out a kid whose tank was being overrun. I took about 60 little ones to rehome them, right before the pandemic hit. I rehomed as many as I could in the circumstances, and then 2 years later traded a large bunch to a store. I thought I was done with them, but they had spawned and half a dozen young ones are growing in various tanks. I don't like the gold mutation, but they are most useful fish. I'd still rather have a bunch of 3 inch Ancistrus over one huge pleco, but I have a grudging respect for them.

They don't get no respect, just not much respect.
 
I don't think that fish stores should sell them except for special orders. They get too big for most fishkeepers to properly house. And they've become an invasive species in some parts of the country where people irresponsibly release them into the wild.
 

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