How To Breed Plecostomus
My hifin pleco
Breeding plecos can be extremely difficult but given the right steps you to can breed this fish the easiest breed of pleco to breed is the bushy nose pleco because they are the easiest to tell the difference between the genders. Males have a lot of feelers coming off their nose and females have very little to none at all. Usually they only have them around the bottom rim of their face. Here is a video on How To Breed Plecos-Bristlenose
When you are trying to breed plecos the easiest way is to use a classic clay pot like the one here and cut a hole in the top of it so that when you put it upside down in the gravel the only opening is the tiny hole on top and the hole you cut on the bottom. Why this is important is because the male pleco cleans out his "cave" and tries to impress the female. When the female is ready she enters the cave with the male pleco and they lay eggs on the inside of the pot or even on the outside sometimes. I have seen more lay on the inside to be safe from predators. I put about 3 clay pots in the 55 gallon to give them a choice to which they want to use. The pot must be 11/2 the size of the male tall wise.
Conditioning the plecos
The easiest way to help breeding along is to start doing 30% water changes every other day and make sure the water is a couple degrees colder when you add it in to stimulate the rainy season like in the rivers also increasing the amount of food given helps. Males begin to select caves which entices the females. But breed in colonies because you want 1 male to 3-5 females just in case one female doesn't work out. Lots of websites say to create a current but I prefer not to because it seems to mess my females up when I have tried to use it.
How To Breed Plecos
My Male next to his baby after 3 months
The Breeding Process
After the clay pot encounter between your male and female the female pleco leaves after laying the eggs. The male takes care of the eggs for the next two weeks and eats very little. The male will fan the eggs so that as few as possible get fungus and infect the others. The temperature usually needs to be 75-80 F to induce breeding and PH doesn't really matter. After a couple days the eggs hatch and they begin feeding 24 hours after hatching when their yolk goes away. They begin to eat off the ground so provide many algae wafers and shrimp pellets and perform 30% water changes twice a week to ensure great water conditions for the babies. You will be shocked at how fast your babies grow then it's time to sell them then you can try to cross breed and see what you come up with right now I am working on a hifin rubber lip pleco, the only problem is the rubber lip only gets up to 6 inches and the hifin gets up to 18 inches. So this creates a problem so i must use a male hifin and female rubber lip plecos. Try not to disturb the nest the easiest thing to use are Cichlid Atones because they are easier to see into.
Cichlid Stones for breeding.
Reason to use Cichlid Stones
These cichlid stones are awesome for breeding and even for decoration it provides a natural hiding environment for cichlids of all kinds especially African cichlids or any cave deweling cichlid. I now use cichlid stones for breeding my plecos that are smaller and for the larger plecos I bought the large cichlid stone set and this provides a perfect get away for the babies and the father to stay safe if you have any other tank mates i the tank.