wintering a common pleco

Discussion in 'Indoor tanks' started by Jon Nannen, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Jon Nannen

    Jon Nannen Pond Newbster

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    Hey all,

    Early this year I put a pleco in my pond, and now that its beginning to cool here in Lincoln Nebraska, I have to ask, what are the steps to winter this guy inside.

    He's maybe 4-6 inches, and I've purchased a 16 gallon tank, with a full setup.

    Any tips or steps appreciated
     
    Jon Nannen, Oct 15, 2014
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  2. Jon Nannen

    Priscilla

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    First up, good luck catching him! Those things are FAST! LOL!

    We keep two in our tanks, no special care really. We buy the pellets for the bottom feeders.
     
    Priscilla, Oct 15, 2014
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  3. Jon Nannen

    Dave 54

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    Dont forget to get the temperature correct on this guy before he oes into a tank plus have a good filter on the tank as these guys are a prodigious producer of waste

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Oct 15, 2014
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  4. Jon Nannen

    Jon Nannen Pond Newbster

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    How would I get the temperature correct for him? My pond is cold, as our lows have been high 30s to mid 40s. Do I start the fish tank cold and let him and the water warm up together, with him in it?
     
    Jon Nannen, Oct 15, 2014
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  5. Jon Nannen

    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    Actually if it's starting to get cold the pleco will slow down and be a bit lethargic so it will be easier to catch him ;)

    A piece of driftwood is a good idea in a pleco tank and some type of cave/hiding spot.

    Algae tablets are a good food for them as well as fresh zucchini slices or orange slices.
     
    bettasngoldfish, Oct 15, 2014
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  6. Jon Nannen

    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    You can put some of your pond water in a bucket when you catch him and then slowly add the warmed tank water to bring the temperature up. It's not as dangerous to warm a fish as it is to cool one. But do try and do it gradually.
     
    bettasngoldfish, Oct 15, 2014
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  7. Jon Nannen

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Well, as usual, I would say to float him in a plastic bag until the water temps in the bag and tank normalize. But indoor tanks (unheated) will be at or close to room temperature, and [hopefully :) ] I would assume your home is warmer than 40 degrees, so you're probably talking about a 30 - 40 degree difference in temp. You didn't say if he'll be living in the house, indoors, or in a basement area......?

    I honestly don't know what a safe rate of temp. increase would be for that much of a difference, but maybe start out with having the tank water a little on the cool side [ice cubes?? or a freezer pack??] when you first put him in. Then let the tank gradually warm to room temp??

    Anyone else see issues there?

    @bettasngoldfish That idea sounds good, too. I have no idea regarding temp. changes up to down vs. down to up, so that's good to know!
     
    Mmathis, Oct 15, 2014
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  8. Jon Nannen

    Jon Nannen Pond Newbster

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    He will be living indoors, in the basement. My house is at about 65-70 usually.
     
    Jon Nannen, Oct 15, 2014
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  9. Jon Nannen

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    LOL, I think you were posting at the same time I was editing my post!
     
    Mmathis, Oct 15, 2014
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  10. Jon Nannen

    Jon Nannen Pond Newbster

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    Lol, so add warmed tank water to him and the colder pond water he's in gradually... hmm. OK. Thanks for the input! Would you say like a half of a cup or so every 10-30 minutes? Or is the floating idea feasible as well?
     
    Jon Nannen, Oct 15, 2014
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  11. Jon Nannen

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Good question....

    @fishin4cars @crsublette @koiguy1969 @Dave 54 Advice needed: 1) how fast or slowly should you change water temp???? This fish is going into an indoor 16 gal. tank after being in outdoor temps around 40 degrees [not sure if that's water temp or air temp, though....], and 2) best methods in this case?
     
    Mmathis, Oct 15, 2014
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  12. Jon Nannen

    Jon Nannen Pond Newbster

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    Air has been 37-70 all this week. Water is at about 45
     
    Jon Nannen, Oct 15, 2014
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    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    Honestly I think the recommended temperature change is only like 2-3 degrees per day. Which would be in the "perfect world" to cause the least amount of stress possible to the fish. In this case I think that would take way too long.

    Personally I would get this pleco out of the pond ASAP. At 45 degrees I'm not so sure he is moving much at all. Put him in a bucket of pond water and start adding room temperature water until you get it warmed up. Once the bucket is the same temp as the tank water (at room temp) then move him to the tank (obviously using dechlorinated/conditioned water)

    I'm no expert but I did keep a pleco in my pond for 3 or 4 years and brought him in each winter (actually in september) I don't do it anymore because it's a PIA ;)
     
    bettasngoldfish, Oct 15, 2014
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  14. Jon Nannen

    dieselplower

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    Seen it recently? Probably dead already.
     
    dieselplower, Oct 15, 2014
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  15. Jon Nannen

    dieselplower

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    Also, some strange ideas here.
    You are bringing it in too late but oh well that's spilled milk. What I would do is fill a large inside container (biggest you have. 50 gallons or more) with outside water. Then bring the fish in and put it in that. Let the water warm on it's own. I would even try to insulate the container with blankets and pillows etc to get it to warm as slow as possible. Don't add any warm water.
     
    dieselplower, Oct 15, 2014
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  16. Jon Nannen

    Dave 54

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    In realty Plecos unless the temperature of your pond can support him all year around should not go into a pond , they are after all classed as tropical fish dp I have to agree with you it stands to reason that you let him come up to room temperatureand not to add warm wter to the cold.
    Then Jon should set about adding a heater adding a heater to the container, then to bring him up a degree at a time until the tank reaches the correct temperature to support it correctly and personally next year keep him out of the pond and in doors

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Oct 16, 2014
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  17. Jon Nannen

    MitchM

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    Yes, I would be surprised if the plecostomus was still alive.
    They can only withstand minimum temperatures of about 15C/60F.
     
    MitchM, Oct 16, 2014
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  18. Jon Nannen

    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    Just to clarify I didn't mean to warm the water but to use the warmer room temperature water
     
    bettasngoldfish, Oct 16, 2014
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  19. Jon Nannen

    Jon Nannen Pond Newbster

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    He is still alive, and was easy to catch aswas no surprise.
     
    Jon Nannen, Oct 16, 2014
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  20. Jon Nannen

    bettasngoldfish Maria

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    Hey Jon, How is your pleco doing now?
     
    bettasngoldfish, Oct 20, 2014
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