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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently inherited a 10 gal. tank from a friend of mine. They were her office fish, but the company she worked for recently was bought, and the new company has a "No pets/fish" rule and made her give up her tank. She couldn't take it home, so she asked me in desperation if I would take them because she didn't want to abandon the fish at a pet store.

I said sure.

So, now I have this 10 Gal. tank with a 6" blue gourami and a 9" plecostamus and one male guppy.

I'm totally aware this is inappropriately small for the fish. This is NOT what I would have chosen, but I wasn't the one who started the tank.

Here is my dilemma:

1.) I don't have the time, money, ability, or space to invest in a bigger tank. Even if I got a cheap used one or even a free one from Freecycle or something, there is still the finite space issue in my apartment and a bigger tank would really be too much for me to handle.

2.) My friend asked me specifically to watch over her fish and she comes over often to see them. She misses them. I'd feel terrible handing them to a pet store when she wanted to make sure they wouldn't go to one (and nobody else we know keeps fish).

3.) There is a very good filtration system and the water is really pretty easy to keep up with. It doesn't get dirty fast and the regular rule for weekly water changes is just fine for upkeep.

4.) The fish are old. The gourami is 3-4 years old, and the plecostamus is at least as old, and has stopped growing. I've heard that sometimes pleco's don't reach their full 18" lengths sometimes, but I'm not certain?

Considering neither a gourami or a plecostamus are the most active of fish, and they've lived perfectly healthy in this tank for a long time at their present sizes, I'm really wondering if it would be wrong of me to keep them in there?


I've never had experience with either gouramis or plecostamus really, so any thoughts, advice, or opinions would be welcome.

Oh, and here is a picture of the gourami! His name is Tigger and he's quite beautiful:

 

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Queen Platy
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I personally would think its wrong, especially a 9" pleco in a 10g. But, I also think it would be wrong to give it to the pet store, they dont keep their fishes well cared for. Does your friend have any friends that keep fish? Maybe they can introduce these fish in a bigger tank. A pleco that big will need driftwood to chew on, and more space to swim. The pleco normally gets very big and you are right about 18"; I have also seen a 2feet Pleco. The reason why it stopped growing is because the tank has stunted its growth, it will eventually lead to poor health and it may or may not die.
 
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Definately in a bad situation. They need a bigger tank but, you have no space for one and know noone that does. You don't want to give to the LFS for adoption.

So...reality sets in with two options already mentioned:

1) If you want to keep them for your coworker. You need a bigger tank. No two ways around that.

2) You need to find better homes for them. Sry. Try placing an ad on CraigsList if you have to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was afraid of this. I didn't even know about the driftwood. I've always avoided plecos because I knew they'd get big so I don't know much about them. I know he's not getting enough food cleaning the tank, so I've been giving him algae wafers and shrimp pellets and trying to supplement with some blanched spinach. If anybody has any tips to help him until I can find him a new home, I'd really appreciate it.

I've got an old 20 Gal. TALL tank in storage that I would have room for (I forgot to mention, I have room for that at least, I just knew it still wouldn't be suitable for the pleco). Would this work out alright for the 6" gourami?
 

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Queen Platy
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A 20 gallon is still very small for that Pleco, but it would certainly be better than the 10 gallon. It wouldve been better if it was a long tank and not a tall tank. I would think that 6" gourami would need a 30g minimum. 20g I think can push it.
 

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The tank is without a doubt, too small for that pleco. Although at that size i think they tend to be less active, facts are facts.

I would advise my friend of that, and suggest they provide you with an acceptable solution, or repo their fish and tank.


 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice everyone!

Ok, I managed to get out today and got a 29 gallon tank.

I had a previously cycling 5 gal getting set for my betta (which I think I'll move into the 10 gal instead when the 29 gal. is ready) that's already got some healthy bacteria going.

I put all the water, gravel, and filter from that over to the 29 Gal and I've got that on fishless cycle right now. So it should be able to establish itself pretty quickly.

So the gourami at least should be ok till the end of his days (he's lived in the stupid 10 at this size for two years, he's a cantankerous son of a gun).

I know it's still way too small for the pleco, but it's the best I can do with the time, space, money, and lease considerations (no tanks over 40 gals I've learned) that I have. I'll keep trying to find him a new home, or barring that, if he can hang on till next year and keep his fishy butt small for a while, my partner and I have plans to get a 55 (or larger) gallon tank and he can swim around and eat algae and grow all he wants in suckerfish bliss.
 
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