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BN Pleco Eating Plant?

Discussion in 'Planted Chit Chat' started by Guppygrabber, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Guppygrabber

    Guppygrabber New Member

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    A couple of weeks ago I added some live plants. She left them alone for awhile, but now is eating my Cryptocoryne Wendtii Bronze plants. I have tried feeding her but she just ignores the food, and goes for the plants. Should I transfer the plants to my other tank?
     
  2. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator Tank of the Month Winner!

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    I think I would if you know she’s the culprit. My BN doesn’t eat any of mine but he does like his algae wafers. Perhaps try feeding her some blanched and peeled zucchini or cucumber and see if she’ll eat that instead. My BN is in with my goldfish so all I can keep in that tank is amazon sword, Anubias, and floating anacharis. Good luck!
     
  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Another point to keep in mind is that plecos are grazers. They graze every surface covered by water, including plant leaves. They eat algae (the species like BN that are primarily vegetarian anyway) and other infusoria they find in these highly nutritious and rich biofilms. It may well be that this is what your BN is doing, and not actually eating the leaves. Any dead or dying leaves it probably will eat, but healthy leaves should not be harmed.

    Now, having said that, I do know that some delicate leaf plants can be harmed by grazers. I have Farlowella vitatta in a few tanks, and I discovered quite surprisingly some years ago that they were actually eating holes in my pygmy chain sword plants. I removed them and end of problem. They do not harm larger or tougher plants, but the delicate chain swords were being nibbled to the point of having holes in them. I've no idea if a BN will do this or not, but given the frequency a BN is recommended in planted tanks, I would suspect it doesn't. Crypt leaves are a bit tougher than my chain swords too. I have Farlowella vitatta in a tank with a couple of crypt species and those have certainly not been harmed and they have been together for a couple years now.
     
  4. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Does your BN have chunks of wood to graze on. Mine pretty much avoids the plants in favour of the wood. They actually need this too.

    Of course his sight isn't very good so he does sometimes bash into plants when in pursuit of algae wafers or shrimp pellets (I know he is "primarily vegaterian" but these are his very favourite).
     
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  5. Guppygrabber

    Guppygrabber New Member

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    Yes she does have wood to graze on, and I've seen her do so frequently
     
  6. Guppygrabber

    Guppygrabber New Member

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    I went ahead and moved the plants to the other tank yesterday. Now that I have moved the plants, I have not seen any more damage to them. The reason I brought this up, is that I was finding holes in what appeared to be perfectly healthy leaves. Then every night the holes would get bigger.

    This morning I noticed that she ate that A piece of spinach I left in the tank for her last night, so hopefully things will go back to normal now.
     
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  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Suckermouth catfish need plant matter in their diet. If they don't get enough they suffer from nutritional deficiencies and die prematurely. The fish was eating plants because it needs them to survive.

    If you have removed the plants, you need to increase light on the tank to encourage algae to grow on the glass.

    If you don't want to grow algae or plants, then put some smooth rocks or plastic ornaments in a bucket of water outside in the sun. Add a bit of plant fertiliser and let algae grow on the rocks and ornaments. Then put them in the tank for the fish to graze on. Swap them over when they have been cleaned of algae.
     
  8. Guppygrabber

    Guppygrabber New Member

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    I'm already letting algae grow on the ornaments, and a bit on the glass, plus there are other plants in the tank
     

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