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Are Plecos Hardy? (The Best Option for Beginners)

Are Plecos Hardy? (The Best Option for Beginners)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Plecos are fish that have become very popular in home aquariums. If you’re looking for a good fish to buy for a community fish tank, then many types of plecos will fit the bill.

Are they going to be good to buy if you’re a beginner, though? Generally, it’s best to buy fish that are hardy when you’re starting out since you might make mistakes.

Are plecos hardy or are they not good fish for beginners? Read on to learn more about plecos and how hardy they are.

This will help you to determine if plecos will be a good fit for your fish tank. You’ll know whether plecos will be good fish to buy or if you should look for other bottom-dwelling fish.

Plecos Are Generally Considered to Be Hardy

You’ll be happy to hear that plecos are generally considered to be hardy fish. These fish should be able to do well in a variety of different water conditions.

This doesn’t mean that the fish are so hardy that they’ll stay alive if you don’t care for them well. These fish do require you to monitor the water parameters and maintain a clean fish tank to thrive.

It also needs to be noted that plecos need large enough fish tanks to be able to live properly. Many types of plecos are quite large, and this means that not all of them will be practical options for beginners.

Likewise, not all plecos are as hardy as others. Some plecos will be very hardy and good for beginners.

Others are going to be better for fish tank enthusiasts with a bit more experience. If you want to have a good time caring for plecos, then sticking with some of the easier types will be a solid idea.

Bristlenose Plecos Are Very Hardy

Bristlenose plecos are very hardy and they’ll be appropriate for beginners. These fish are not quite as big as many of the other plecos that you can buy.

Since bristlenose plecos only grow to be between four and five inches in length on average, it’s easier to keep them in a home aquarium. Some large plecos such as common plecos grow to be up to 24 inches long at maturity.

You’ll have a far easier time caring for bristlenose plecos. They will fit comfortably in 30-gallon or 40-gallon fish tanks.

It’s generally best to give them a bit more room, and this means that the 40-gallon aquarium is likely ideal. These are very peaceful fish that will get along well with other fish in a community aquarium.

If you do a good job of caring for these fish, they’ll live for as long as eight years. They typically live for at least five years in captivity.

How Many Bristlenose Plecos Can Be Kept in One Tank?

You’ll have a good time keeping bristlenose plecos if you have two to five of them in one tank. However, you’re going to need to ensure that you have enough space for them.

Going with a slightly larger tank is best when you want to keep multiple plecos in the same tank. These fish should get along fine since they’re very peaceful.

When you plan to keep five bristlenose plecos in the same tank, it’s best to use a 55-gallon fish tank. This should give them enough room to thrive.

It’s also important to know that you should only keep one male in the aquarium. Male bristlenose plecos become territorial and will fight each other.

Since you don’t want two males to harm each other, it’ll be better to only purchase one male. One male can live happily in a fish tank with four female bristlenose plecos.

Of course, it’s also fine to keep only female bristlenose plecos in the tank. You don’t necessarily have to buy a male fish if you don’t want to.

Recommended Water Parameters for Bristlenose Plecos

It’s important to take care of the fish properly even if they are considered to be hardy. You should pay close attention to the recommended water parameters.

Bristlenose plecos will do well if you keep the water temperature between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll want the pH balance of the water to stay between 6.5 and 7.5.

The oxygen levels in the tank need to be kept high for these fish. That means keeping the fish in a well-filtered environment.

Cleaning the fish tank regularly will help to prevent health issues. Remember to do weekly water changes to avoid letting the water get too dirty.

What Are Good Tank Mates for Bristlenose Plecos?

Many different fish can live with bristlenose plecos in a community tank. You can put cory catfish in the tank with the plecos if you’re interested in buying more bottom-feeding fish.

Gouramis are known to be good tank mates for bristlenose plecos. Mollies are another popular option that you’ll want to consider.

You can put swordtails in a community aquarium with bristlenose plecos. They even get along nicely with certain types of barbs.

There are many options when looking for tank mates for these fish. The peaceful temperament of the bristlenose pleco makes it a great fit for your community fish tank.

Final Thoughts

Plecos are very hardy fish and many of them will be great for beginners. The pleco fish that is the best for beginners to buy is known as the bristlenose pleco.

Bristlenose plecos are very hardy and easy to take care of. They can tolerate quite a range of different water temperatures.

They do require the tank to have a high oxygen level, though. This means that you’ll need a good filter for the aquarium.

Since these fish are peaceful, they’re great for community aquariums. You won’t have a hard time finding tank mates for them.

It’s also nice that these fish are common and not that expensive to purchase. Anyone who is looking into buying fish for their first tank should consider bristlenose plecos.

You can even keep five of them in the same tank so long as you have a 55-gallon aquarium. Just don’t keep two males in the same tank and things will go fine.

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