1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

How old do Plecostomus (sucker-mouth) catfish get?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by parrott, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. And how big?

    Mine is now 5 years old and 12" long, and is too big for his tank - 5' long, 18" wide and 12" deep. I'm also moving soon, to a flat so I won't be able to even have that tank. Is it worth trying to find somewhere to rehome him?

    This isn't mine, mine is more brown, but this is what they look like:
  2. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Well it depends on which kind of pleco you are talking about. Ancistrus(bristle nose, bushy head), Panaque(blue eye, royal), clown or just regular old pleco etc. The ancistrus stay under 10 inches along with the clown and otocinclus.

    Most are very long lived. Most fish of any kind can and will live over 10 yrs if taken care of. So in the case of yours it is missle aged or younger.

    The pleco species like the one in your picture are very common in S. America and will get up to 3 feet if given the right conditions. In a home tank it will grow until it is as big as the tank but will die due to a lack of clean water due to its size.

    I would try to rehome him, some petshops here in the States will take some in. Not sure if its the same across the big lake.
  3. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Whoah! I used to have one of the beasts, it grew to about 12-14" and was a right beast!

    One of our freinds kept asking that when it died if she could have it to make a pair of shoes from ( :confused: ).
  4. Since we're talking catfish, maybe somebody can tell me what kind this one is. This photo was taken in Kansas in 1909, it's on an old postcard that I found in an antique store.
  5. when we moved to PA when i was 16, my mom got a few of them to help the tanks stay clean. she had sharks, oscar, and others. we had 3 50 gallon tanks. when she died in 96, my oldest brother got them, and they are still alive to this day. so is the oscar. :D try to get a new home for him. most pet stores will take them as people demand them. :D
  6. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    The problem is there size. You need a big tank to raise them and keep them. That is the big problem with new fish hobbiests(sp?) is they have no idea of how to take care of them. Some will say "Oh my fish are doing real good, they live 6-9 months or even 1-2 years." The truth is alot will live longer, say 10-12 years in or at least 5-7 years. Koi and pleco types will live even into the 20's or more.

    Live bearers or fish that give birth rather than lay eggs tend to live the shortest, but they also are the most prolefic(amount of fry in a given time) and also are very hardy.

    If it is a common "pleco" dont expect to get much for it. If it is say something more exotic like a Panague Suttoni you can get a few hundred Us for it.
  7. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    If you need a pleco to keep algae down(they need algae or vegetable matter). Get an ancistrus aka bushy nose, bristle nose. Or for the most algae eaten by the smallest fish an "otto" or otocinclus. They are small under 2 inches they like a school of fish atleast 3. They may die off when you first get a bunch in, but the ones that make it past the first few weeks will do very well. PLus they are cheap!

    Also never buy a Red tail catfish!! They get huge!!! 6 feet or more and will small things the size of bricks after a couple years of growing. I cant believe pet shops will sell these.

    Anyone else want to talk fish?
  8. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    Looks like a channel cat, I've personally seen some in the 50-60 lb range.

    At one point, my wife had a pleco that was well in excess of 12" and was about 9 years old. We had a power failure in the middle of winter once, and the water got too cold, he didn't make it.
  9. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    I agree it does look like a channel cat. My Dad has pictures of him catching some pretty big ones from the Mississippi and Black River around La Crosse.
  10. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Sorry guys, that doesn't look at all like a channel cat.

    Looks like a flathead or a yellow cat to me.

    Channel cats are slimmer and always have a forked tail. Usually they are a very dark blue color. Almost black.

    I've caught flatheads that were bigger than the one pictured but never saw a true channel cat as big as the one shown.

  11. I think it's just a common pleco - they don't sell anything *really* weird round here. I wasn't planning to sell it for money, just free to good home, and I reckon an aquarium shop would be the best place.

    Would that be TalkBass??;)
  12. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Damn, you beat me to it! I had that idea to reply then read the rest of the posts and saw it :p

    Is a 'guppy' a live bearer? I used to have a few of them and I remember we put an increasingly fat one in a sectioned net thing then a few days later there were about 5 mini-guppies.
  13. I guess it must be then :p

    I can never remember the difference between guppies and mollies though. So I never kept 'em.

    (I had some of each for a while, I think)
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Yep they are, but mine produce 20-30 at a time, not 5. The trouble is keeping mum & dad away coz they try to eat em as soon as their born. And those breeding tanks/nets spook em into not giving birth. I usually lose half of em, and the other half survive by hiding in the plants.

    I'd gladly take that plec off you if you were'nt fo far away. Wonder if he'd get along with my up-side-down caty?

    Guess who's stopping in at the aquarium on the way home from work ......:)