Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Plecos and Turtles Warning

 photo magalie_zps52be0cd8.jpg

We lost our sweet Magalie in early December. She was a beautiful captive bred diamondback we had been given and was so sweet and entertaining, we all fell in love with her. It surprised and hurt us to lose her.

We were perplexed as to what happened, but chalked it up to one of those things that comes along with having pets. Then, we lost another turtle that was in the same 100 gallon tank!! We went over all of our husbandry with a fine tooth comb. We could not find anything amiss. Then we lost yet another turtle...what in the world was going on?!!

Then, up late one night, we observed our plecostomas, "Tank," attaching itself to the back of another turtle and pulling her down to the bottom. The turtle would manage to get away, and Tank would go after it again and pull it down. This was repeated several times until the turtle was worn out, and we rescued her from the attacks. That's when we did some research on plecos and turtles. We found we were not the first to have losses due to a large pleco. The advice we initially received about them cohabitating together was well intended and accurate for a young pleco, but not sound for a pleco of Tank's age. I don't want others to go through what we went through, so I am sharing it here.

Tank is over eight years old. Once a plecostomas gets older, they become very territorital and aggressive. There's no way to predict when that will happen, so if your pleco has some size, I'd advise separate tanks. We moved Tank to a set up where he/she can live alone with guppies we are breeding. We have had no more losses. Clint found our family another turtle, and we hope to be as attached to her as we were to Magalie soon.