There’s a common misconception in the freshwater fish tank community that you can just put a bunch of random fish in the same fish tank.
Well, you can’t do that without having some major problems.
For instance, if you put multiple plecos in the same tank, then you will have problems. Plecos are not a particularly aggressive fish with other species of fish, but they do not get along well with other plecos with limited exceptions.
Multiple Plecos Together – No
The short answer is that you cannot put multiple plecos together in the same tank. Of course, there are some exceptions depending on the breed.
For instance, bristlenose plecos are more peaceful than other types, but the general rule is that territorial disputes will erupt when two or more plecos are in a tank together.
Some species of pleco can also grow up to 24″, so you will need a very large fish tank for them to healthily live together.
It’s just not a good idea for you to try something like this.
The Exceptions To The Rule
There are a few exceptions to the “one pleco per tank” rule.
The main one that I see working out is when two plecos have lived in the same tank since birth. In this case, they are already used to living with each other and territorial battles do not generally occur.
The other exception is if you have a very large fish tank. If you have a 400 gallon fish tank with a lot of structure, then you can have two or even three bristlenose plecos in the same tank without too much problem. The tank is big enough that they will find their own territory and should leave each other alone.
You may get the occasional fight, but the fish will not kill each other like they will in a smaller fish tank.
The Problem With Multiple Plecos in The Same Tank
The biggest problem, as I have mentioned, is that multiple plecos in the same tank will usually end up fighting each other due to the lack of space. These fish are quite territorial with other plecos, so you really need a massive tank to give them enough space to live.
The other problem with having a lot of plecos in the same tank is that plecos are a very messy fish.
In other words, they poop a lot. And no, plecos do not eat poop.
You will have to do a lot of vacuuming and have a fairly strong filtration system to handle all the waste from having multiple plecos living together.
Sure, they eat algae, but they don’t eat enough algae to make up for all the waste they give off.
What Fish Can Plecos Live With?
The good thing with plecos is that they are not an aggressive fish with other types of fish. They’re only aggressive with other plecos.
This means you can put plecos with any fish that have the same tank parameter requirements. You can even put plecos and goldfish in the same tank.
You just have to be careful because they do poop a lot, which can cause some problems in your tank.
My final verdict on having multiple plecos in the same tank is… don’t do it unless you have a really big tank (400+ gallon or 150+ gallon for bristlenose plecos) with a strong filter. And be prepared to do a lot of vacuuming or your tank will become overrun with waste.