I've been introduced to the wonders of raising plecos, a breed of catfish. My grandson is knowledgeable about this species and is breeding them as a school project. He has convinced me that this Albino Bristlenose Pleco named Whiskers, is "cute" as is his wife, Gilda. (Gill-da, get the play on words?)

My grandson wrote the rest of this blog including the poem about plecos.

Most catfish like dark hiding spots. Tunnels or caves like the one in the picture above work well for these nocturnal fish who like to be in the dark. We believe that Gilda laid eggs in this cave and Whiskers, the responsible dad, is guarding them until they hatch.


and fast,

grabs a meal

and leaves without

a trace. As the water

starts to rise they leave
their hiding place. But as

they leave their home to rot,

they find another hiding

spot. For in the roots

dug deep and

strong, they find a

new home, where they

belong. But their homes do not

last. A crab appears and they swim away fast.

Plecos are scavengers and it's not uncommon to see their large mouths sucking algae from the sides of the tank. They are bottom feeders, but they also like plant food, so from time to time I feed them some zucchini and you can see the nibbled-at zucchini treat hanging from a string in the fish tank.

Taking responsibility for a large fish habitat takes a lot of time and care. The water must be kept clean and that means changing it 25% at a time to not shock the fish. It's important to keep daily records of their environment: the water temperature daily (73-81 degrees is ideal), and maintaining a 7.5 pH, and O chlorine content.

It's a rewarding job. Now the plecos recognize me. At feeding time they come to the side of the tank when I come near, and I can hand feed them. It's their personal "thank you" for taking good care of them.