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When Will My Pleco Outgrow This Tank?

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Maehlice

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I have a 5-month-old common pleco measuring just under 10 inches in what I now know to be an undersized home -- a 30 gallon tank (36" x 12" x 16") aquarium.

Sometime within the next year (probably next fall), we'll be upgrading to a much, much larger aquarium more befitting his size.

In the meantime, I'm considering moving him and his tankmates to a longer "interim tank". Can anybody please help me answer the following:
  1. Does he look healthy to you?
  2. Has he already outgrown this tank?
  3. If not, how much longer do you estimate he has in it before it stunts or otherwise adversely effects him?
  4. What size "interim" tank would you recommend?
  5. What is the minimum length tank he'd be comfortable in?
  6. Is he a "he"? (I don't know how to sex a pleco.)
Below are a few pictures of him in his current home. (Please excuse the horrible quality of these pictures. The tank is due for a WC & cleaning tomorrow, and I have no idea how to white-balance my cell phone camera. And, yes, I intentionally encourage algae growth.)

IMG_20121215_212744_995.jpg

IMG_20121215_212655_600.jpg

IMG_20121215_212710_752.jpg
 
1. Does he look healthy to you?
Looks fine to me, There's seems to be a lot of alagie in the tank for him to eat plus if your feeding him once or twice a week he should be fine.

2. Has he already outgrown this tank?
Yes, He's way past that.

3. If not, how much longer do you estimate he has in it before it stunts or otherwise adversely effects him?
As above he will most likey have a stunt growth by now, It causes stress so the best idea would be to rehome him or move him to a much larger tank asap.

4. What size "interim" tank would you recommend?
I suggest you get something between a 400 litre to a 600 litre tank (120 gallons)

5. What is the minimum length tank he'd be comfortable in?
Anything with the above litres would be fine, So long as ground space isn't too sucked up by other bottom feeders. Needs lot of cover and places to hide.

6. Is he a "he"? (I don't know how to sex a pleco.)
I wouldn't know that one.
 
Wow, is he only 5 months old? Mine is heading towards a year and a half at only 7.5 inches and grew up in treble your tank size with daily feedings of alge wafers and veg several times a week. It must be the algae
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He looks very healthy to me.
I would suggest lots of driftwood in your future tank. They love it.

P.S. The important thing is very good filtration, overfilter your tank. They love stronger flow too and of course a good diet not starving the poor thing. He needs a bigger tank of course, as soon as you can afford it.
 
Its already out grown that tank, but you could overstock it a tiny bit if you overfilter it, but that pleco is "to big" for that tank, overfiltering only helps with fish that can happily live in that tank that produce low ammonia.
 

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