Small tank vs larger?

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Small tank vs larger?

Post by Hitch »


I am getting 2 1.5inch zebra plecos from a local breeder and in the process of creating their environment. (they wont be coming for about 2 months, so I have lots of time).

My main dilemma is what sized tank to put them in. I have posted questions about this in many of my local forums, as well as on planetcatfish. And have gotten VERY mixed reviews.

The two tanks I am debating about is either a 10 gallon for a 30 gallon (footprint of 30 inches/12.5 inches).

The people supporting the 10 gallon states that since the plecos are still young, not only is it enough room for two young specimens, but putting the two in a larger tank (30 gal) will make it harder for them to locate their food (especially when they are still very shy).

The people supporting the 30 gallon states that the 10 gallon is way too small for even 2 zebras, they would not be able to grow properly (stunting); the water parameters are much harder to keep stable; unable for proper territories to establish and a general criticize of why I would even think a 10 gallon.

I am very confused as to which is more suitable. So HELP!!

Thank you very much in advance.
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Post by dconnors »

I have my smaller plecs in a 20 long, which is 30x12.5x13. This tank provides enough room, yet is small enough that water changes are easy.
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Post by gtp »

Aye, 20 gal I would have thought at the least. Therefore if you have the option, go for the larger of the two. They won't have trouble locating food, unless there are many other tankmates in there?
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Post by TwoTankAmin »

I can only relate my own experiences. I have used 10s and 15s for zebra growout. I currently have 3 zebra tanks with a 20L being for growout.

For the past 3 years I have kept between 9 and 13 breeder with from 12 to as many as 55 fry in a 30 breeder. I have grown out fry from free swimming to 1.25 inch+ in 10s with as many as 25-30 fish in them and 15s with as many as 40-45. I grew out my keepers in a 10 gal from 1.5- 1.75 inches to start to 2 inch + in a 10 gal. and ultimately rehomed over a dozen 2 inch+ zebras out of that 10 into a more permanent 33. That 33 now holds 17 zebras which range in size from 2 inches to a couple of wild males about 2.75 inch.

All of these tanks are species tanks which are well maintained and well filtered. They also have a large amount of cover in them for the fish.

I would suggest a 10 gal is more than enough for a couple of 1.5 inch zebras. In fact you have room for a bunch more.
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Post by mistern2005 »

I grew out my 7 zebras in a 10 gallon tank for almost year - an they seemed (and still do seem) perfectly happy and healthy.

I think you might get into problems with a 30 gallon tank and only two small zebras - they might not venture to all parts of the tank and leave uneaten food. That is, unless you added some sort of clean up crw to help with this (I use red cherry shrimp).
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Post by kingie11 »

i have my 7 @2.5"+ growing in a 20g all happy :D
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My vote is 30g

Post by darry »

Hi Hitch,

Do a PROs and CONs list and you will feel better about your decision

In my case, I will go for a 30g

1) Trust me, you won't stop at 2 zebras. The number will grow :), and if you decided to get more in future, there is no need to change tank.
2) Bigger tank will means more stable water parameters. Hence, it will be better for most kinds of fishes, except discus, which need major water change everyday.
3) Bigger tank means they will have a bigger space to roam, this will help them to grow faster.

1) the worry about them not finding food. Well, in any cases, it is unlikely you will ever witness them eating. So the only way is to observe the leftover food on the next day.

Well, so what do you think now? If you are still unsure, put up a vote poll on this and you will make the choice based on majority :)

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Post by Hitch »

thanks guys, and the pro/con thing made it
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Post by Jo's Zebs »

I use a 400L tank for my zeb colony it was not intensional but my old discus tank :D
I keep other hypancistrus species in 120L breeding tanks both work well but I always use a large trap for the male zeb when he has eggs and keep the fry in here until they are a good size so I know they can find food by themselves, in all the years I have had these fish I have only had one occasion of scrapping with the fish one female got a bit battered with a forced trapping other than that nothing I put this down too the amount of space the fish have.
Also this tank will never be too small for them :D
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