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Size Tank for Pleco? Aquarium Size

Topic: I have a 20 gallon aquarium that is a ‘high series’ tank. I have 3 molly fish and plan to get a Plecostomus. I’m wondering what size tank a Pleco needs? I know they get pretty big but can I just get one and maybe go with it? I know all of our tanks are crowded more or less so.. would it hurt to give a Pleco a nice home?

*Awarded Answer
Reply from Steve K:
plecoEveryone puts these fish in small tanks and only the fish suffer. The Pleco can grow to 12 inches long very easily and live 20-30 years. Are you sure you know what your putting inside of your tank. I only advise beginner aquarists to put a Pleco in aquariums 50 gallons or larger. I would say to have your tank crowded like you speak of, you would have a small 30 gallon tank. The 20 gallon aquarium you have isn’t even worth calling a real fish aquarium.

You need to do yourself a favor and go out and buy a 55 gallon tank and go nuts with fish. You can buy one for super cheap and even cheaper if you buy used equipment. Even your mollies are cramped in a 20 gallon tank. If you catch Petco at the right time, they have a deal where 1 gallon of aquarium costs you $1. So a 55 gallon tank would only cost you $55 with tax. Even if you had to hold off on getting a stand and set it on a dresser for now.

But back to the Pleco, they get to be a very large fish and even reach in the 20 inch mark for length. That’s comparable to you as a human living inside of your bath tub… It’s just not right. I personally have a 75 gallon tank and feel like it’s too small. We all want bigger and better stuff haha. Hopefully that helps.

Reply from Kristy F:
You could always buy a juvenile Pleco an put it in your tank while you plan for you upgraded tank. That would make a great reason to make you actually break down and go buy the tank. That’s how I did it and I guilt tripped my husband into needing a much larger tank because my fish were outgrowing their living space.

The juveniles grow more rapidly than what you would ever expect. Mine went from being tiny and the next I knew it.. I needed a new aquarium and was being pushed with time. Don’t let time sneak up on you too fast. Because like he also replied.. the fish is the one that suffers.

Reply from Rachael T:
Worst comes to worst and you can’t afford a new tank and a fish outgrows your tank, what you do is bring it to the fish store and they will take it back and find a home for it. A lot of aquarists love this because they get free fish that are large in size. Otherwise large fish for tanks are somewhat expensive.