I bought this animal from a fairly good shop not far from where I live but they couldn't give me anything more specific than "cold water plec" as a name. Now I'm really not sure as I always thought plecs were tropical but the shop was always very good and asked how long my tank'd been set up and what else was in it, what the levels were etc. They claim this thing will only grow to 5" but I'm now unsure...
It's about 2.5" long at the moment but has hidden itself and this was the best photo I could get. It has a red tinge to the end of its fins which is only just visable int he picture.
I hate to confirm your suspicions, but this looks exactly like a juvenile Sailfin Plec (Glyptopericthys gibbiceps), which are from the Amazon and therefore need tropical conditions. Also, in my experience these gorgeous little spotted things grow to be monsters of about two feet long!
They are hardy and will probably survive for a good while at room temperatures, but they certainly won't be happy in the long term, so I would suggest either take him back to the shop (wearing a suitably stern look!) or invest in a large tropical set-up.
Sorry - that's probably not what you wanted to hear!
I really really also hope that these aren't being sold as cold water fish in the hope they then only get to 5" but I suppose that's not out of the question. Guess he'll have to go straight back to the shop on Friday then.
Right I've made a phone call and have arranged for him to go into a 4' tropical tank next week though unsure what to do with him in the long run. The person taking him on is replacing his four foot tank and a two foot tank with a five foot tank. We're wondering if this is at all suitable for him or does he really need a really huge tank?
We reckon taking him back to the shop is as good as giving him a death sentance if he's going to go back in a cold water tank and be sold to someone who wants him for a two foot goldfish tank.
Thing is what should I do with him in the meantime? Should I leave him in my 3' goldfish tank or move him to my 2' tropical one.
Well a 4' tank is better than coldwater but he will need at least a 6' tank in the long run. You could try rehoming him but TBH there are loads of people trying to rehome plecs. As for the fish shop, I would kick up a stink about it, complain to the manager and if they don't do anything go to the local council or the local paper. People shouln't be allowed to get away with this stuff. You wouldn't sell a great dane puppy and pretend it only grew to the size of a yorkshire terrier and keep it in a freezing cold room.
I had a feeling we were talking 6' tanks or more. I don't know and never have known anyone in my life that's had a tank bigger than 4' unfortunately. I think there is a local fish club, I'll maybe ask them if someone there has a suitable tank.
I assume my suspicions regarding them being sold for cold water tanks were indeed to stunt their growth at expense of the lifespan so they did possibly only reach 5"?
I can't believe that shop, it was always such a good one. I'd normally see a new fish, go home and look it up before I bought it but I trusted that shop completely so didn't bother. I rang them up today and told them what I'd been sold but they insist that the plecs are coldwater ones and will only get to 5". It's only a small shop and that was apparently the head honcho I spoke to. Who else can I complain to as I can't the council taking much interest either (as unfortunately do most when it comes to fish welfare).
It's funny really as the shop is quite far out of the town centre. They cannot afford people to go in, take one look and vow never to return but their tanks are usually fairly well kept.