Pleco fish in ponds - GOOD IDEA?

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by Mikalle1, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Mikalle1

    Mikalle1

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    I was wondering if anyone has tried putting pleco fish in their ponds? They eat algae and plants, and are typically used in freshwater aquariums to keep the algae at a minimum. How well do you think they would coexist with Koi, some of these fish can grow to a size of 2 feet.

    Thanks for your thoughts in advance.

    Mike
     
    Mikalle1, Aug 9, 2011
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  2. Mikalle1

    ididntdoit99 ididntdoit99

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    Lots of people keep them in thier ponds, but you have to bring them inside for the winter. They arent like goldfish or koi and cant stand the cold temperatures. I kept one in my pond most of this year, but decided to put him inside a few weeks ago (just because i happened to see him and he was easy to catch.)
     
    ididntdoit99, Aug 9, 2011
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  3. Mikalle1

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    They do eat junk but also poop a lot, I can't even catch the gf in my pond, too big and too deep lol
     
    addy1, Aug 10, 2011
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  4. Mikalle1

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I have read that they are not that beneficial in a pond. They produce as much waste as they consume and there is no glass to clean, so not much benefit.
     
    DrDave, Aug 10, 2011
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  5. Mikalle1

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    you can actually see the trails on the liner where they have fed....clean and black! but 50* is the lowest temp you want to expose them to.and dont expect to see them much if your gonna put them in to see them.
     
    koiguy1969, Aug 10, 2011
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  6. Mikalle1

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    So their crap doesn't cover the trail they leave. Give me a break...
     
    DrDave, Aug 10, 2011
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  7. Mikalle1

    sgrawunder

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    Hmmm...Plecos, you love 'em or you hate 'em! Personally I love them. I have a 5000 gal rock lined pond and my Plecos do a wonderful job of keeping the algae that grows on the rocks under control. I have 20 Koi ranging from 5" to 12" and 7 Plecos ranging from 5" to 12". The Plecos were seined from the Rio Grande river near where I live, I have had most of them for over 2 years. In addition to a large (200 gal) biological filter I also used a mechanical filter that I clean once per week and I add a little sludge treatment each time I clean the filter. I also have a large quantity of aquatic plants, both in the pond and growing in my bio filter. My water is crystal clear and tests great. I do a 10% water change when I clean the filter. My pond seems to ignore all the rules because my Plecos are all very social and are usually out cleaning the pond most of the day and night and even come up to beg for the squash and fresh veggies I toss in for the Koi. Perhaps I just got lucky and somehow have the right combination to have a happy, healthy pond.
     
    sgrawunder, Aug 10, 2011
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  8. Mikalle1

    ididntdoit99 ididntdoit99

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    My pond isnt nearly as big as yours, but I still didnt think I would catch him with the pond being 4 foot deep. But one night after a few beers I was bound and determined to catch that fish. With a flashlight and my net I managed to chase him from the depths and he sat right on the shallow plants shelf, then I just picked him up.
     
    ididntdoit99, Aug 10, 2011
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  9. Mikalle1

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    their crap looks like little more than kite string.. a kois is 3 times as thick.....they clean a path 1&1/2" wide by a foot or more long at a time...what pond fish craps that big? so,no it doesnt come close to covering their trail!...you cant crap out more than you take in!! theres your break! ive read my filter media will clog and get waterlogged and need cleaning all the time and not perform...false...not everything you read is true!
     
    koiguy1969, Aug 10, 2011
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  10. Mikalle1

    koidaddy karps house of koi

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    I have one in mine. She is the only survivor of a tragic fish kill I had 3 years ago. Here is a pic of Nessie 4 ' down.
     

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    koidaddy, Aug 10, 2011
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  11. Mikalle1

    j.w I Love my Goldies

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    Awwwwww, I have a fondness in my heart for the lovely Pleco's. My last fish before I stopped having aquariums was a 12" Sailfin Pleco. He now resides in a new home w/ goldfish buddies and his new owner adores him or her?
    Here he is in his new digs.
     

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    j.w, Aug 10, 2011
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  12. Mikalle1

    Mikalle1

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    Thanks for all the great advice everyone! I have two Pleco's in my aquarium, both about 8 inches long. I plan on leaving one in the aquarium and putting one in the pond, he should have plenty of algae to eat since my pond is 17' x 12' and 4 feet deep.

    Thanks again,

    Mike
     
    Mikalle1, Aug 10, 2011
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  13. Mikalle1

    wood_cat

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    Great advise from everyone! I have a garden/hobby pond with koi and goldfish. I placed one pleco in the pond 2.5 years ago, never saw him so got another 1.5 years ago and never saw this guy either - I thought they had died or something got them. On Saturday I was removing some leaves and somehow caught one of these guys and he is beautiful and about 10 inches long. Since Saturday morning I have seen him each time I've gone to the pond and found his partner late yesterday. I built rock caves in the center of my pond and I guess they've been hiding there but I am shocked that so much time went by without a sighting.
    My pond is about 12'x12' and 3.5' in the center - cement and slopes. Apparently these guys do well with the cold winters which is great news. How big do you think they will get? They were about 1.5" when I got them.
    I have seven various goldfish, two koi, about 16 babies, two pleco's and four frogs that live here. I'm hoping the frogs stay and survive the winter. I made two winter homes for them, one inside the pond and one outside. I'm open to any ideas and suggestions.

    Thank you,
    Cathy
     
    wood_cat, Oct 24, 2016
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  14. Mikalle1

    Ruben Miranda I am so confused

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    Hello
    Well for me I do pleco in my tank only because algae on the glass is unsightly.
    Put for the pond the algae on the liner and things does not bother me.
    Reasons for me
    Looks more natural
    Helps with filtration
    The fish do eat it.
    And having to bring them in for the winter and having to set up another tank for them is just more work.

    Ruben
     
    Ruben Miranda, Oct 24, 2016
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  15. Mikalle1

    sissy sissy

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    Old post but they do have a cold water algae eater but they are aggressive to other fish .My neighbor got one and had to remove it .And they are hard to get out .Took us over 2 hours to get him out .He would really suck tight to the liner and he was a fast mover also .They have fish for sale at arizona aquatics online 75 % off .
     
    sissy, Oct 25, 2016
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  16. Mikalle1

    Faebinder

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    Cathy what state are you in? Your definition of cold winter may be different than ours. I can't imagine one living in my pond in PA.
     
    Faebinder, Oct 25, 2016
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  17. Mikalle1

    budgenator

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    Plecos need water about 50F or warmer, so any place that has a winter that colder than a warmish fall day, needs to have them come in for the winter. They do get pretty big outside (mine grew to about a foot one summer), so moving them in and out isn't practical if all you have is an aquarium.
     
    budgenator, Oct 26, 2016
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  18. Mikalle1

    sissy sissy

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    They have a cold hardy algae eater .That is what Tammy had and we were so afraid of hurting it .
     
    sissy, Oct 27, 2016
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  19. Mikalle1

    cody

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    Hello Wood_Cat, what is your climate like? I am very curious about your plecos as I have a large pond in Portland, Oregon that I would like to introduce plecos into but I was not sure if they would survive or not. Any info would be great. thanks!!
     
    cody, Mar 23, 2017
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  20. Mikalle1

    wood_cat

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    Hello Cody! I am in the Athens, OH area. We have been experiencing unusual warm weather which the fish love. When I introduced the first pleco, we experienced -10 in the winter. When I did not see him, I thought he had died due to the cold and I got the second one. Once I found both of them I decided it had to be the rock caves keeping them safe and protected from the elements - heat and cold. My shade trees are still growing so when we have the humid, 95 degree days I use a tarp and create a 'teepee' for shade on one end of the pond. My first pleco experienced lows of -10 and highs of 105 and the second has experienced lows of 0 to 95. Both are about 13 inches long now and just beautiful. I accidentally scooped one up last weekend and he looks really good. I am placing the pump/filter into the pond this weekend and can't wait for clear water again. Good luck!
     
    wood_cat, Mar 23, 2017
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