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Thread: pleco life expectancy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Waxhaw, NC
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    Default pleco life expectancy?

    I have a common pleco in my 90-gallon that is about 12" long. I've had him for about 5 years (I got him at a time when I didn't realize how big he'd get). He does a fantastic job cleaning up algae and the bottom of the tank, but he produces such huge quantities of waste that it may not be a good deal. He's a very ugly, cool fish, though, and he's super tough (survived me learning about the nitrogen cycle). My lfs will take him, if I decide to get rid of him in favor of a smaller-growing species. Question: how long do these fish tend to live? I do feel some loyalty to this fish, but if he is going to be around for a long time, I might consider taking him in (I am told that there is some demand for big plecos during the summer pond season).

    Any info will be appreciated.

    David
    Luckiest guy on the planet.

  2. #2

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    he prolly has the potential to double that life. like 10 years or more
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2004
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    Southern Arizona
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    Default

    yeah i would say at least 10 years.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2004
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    Default

    Just to follow up: I assume that if someone bought him to use in an outdoor pond during the summer, they'd either have to bring him inside for the winter, or he'd have a much shorter life expectancy? I know the koi would be able to survive OK at low temps, but I assume a pleco would need warmer water.
    Luckiest guy on the planet.

  5. #5

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    yeah, they would either have to heat the pond or bring him in for the winter
    Visit my site for updated pet list and pictures!
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Taylor, Michigan
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    Default

    I had a regular pleco that I got when I was 8 years old from a friend when I bought his tank off him, and it lived until I was 21. My friend had that tank for at least a year before I got it, so that would make that fish at least 14 years old. He always lived in fairly small tanks and when he died he was probably only 12 or so inches... had he been in a large tank, I think he'd have gotten MUCH bigger. Regardless, these fish can live a long time.

    -Zen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Omaha, NE
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    Default

    i have a pleco that is 8 and a half inches long and suprisingly only maybe 2 years old and growing fast. i have heard of a pleco growing to 10 feet and living for about 25 years in my local zoo's giant outdoor koi pond. in a stable tank a common pleco regularly lives for about 15 years, in a great tank they can live for 20 years, and if the tank that they live in is exceptionally good water quality and enough space then they can live to ages upto and even exceeding 30 years. But if your pleco lives for close to or over 30 years then you are lucky and have a perfect tank.

  8. #8

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    I bought my Pleco when it was about 1 inch long. And my daughter was not born yet. Now my daughter is going to college after this summer. I never in my dream that little dude can that long!! He's about 18 years old or older!! He probably can out live me! >.<

  9. #9

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    hey albert same story here! bought pleco 16 years ago when my daughter was 3 yrs old and now she has left for college and i still have the pleco. he or she is about 13 inches long and has been put through the grind with moving a few times. i had a friend who had a 20 in pleco and it survived a house fire.....all the other fish died and 3 weeks after the fire they went in to take out what they could and the pleco was waiting for him...lol black water and soot in it, crazy pet for life!!!

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