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Feeding plecos cucumber (and other vegetables)

Gypsum

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When feeding your bristlenose plecos cucumbers, do you (a) leave a slice of cucumber available in the tank for the pleco to graze ad lib on, obviously replacing old ones with fresh ones daily, as you would with other grazing animals, like horses, or (b) leave a cucumber in for a day, and then once that one's out, leave the tank cucumber-less for a little while before adding a fresh cucumber?

The plec in question wanders on and off the cucumber during its daily algae patrols.
 

seangee

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I use a wooden skewer and make a mini kebab. Then I "plant" it in the substrate and remove after a couple of hours. Be careful not to leave any sharp bits.
 

Colin_T

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Fruits and vegetables should be removed after a few hours so they don't cause ammonia problems. A lot of people put them in at night after lights out and remove them the following morning.

Algae is a better food source and can be cultured at home in plastic storage containers put out in the sun. Fill a plastic storage container with tap water, add some dechlorinator and stir it up. Add 1 level tablespoon of garden fertiliser per 20 litres of water. Put some smooth rocks or ornaments in the container and leave them there until they get covered in algae. Then put 1 or 2 items into the tank and let the fish clean the algae off them. When they are reasonably clean, rinse them under tap water and then swap them for a couple of items that are covered in algae.

Suckermouth catfish should have driftwood available at all times. Make sure you have some driftwood in the tank.
 
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Gypsum

Gypsum

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Growing algae on rocks is a bit of a lost cause in the West of Scotland at this time of year due to there being either no direct sun, or sun for a only couple hours of day if you're lucky (we're at a higher lattitude than Moscow and parts of Alaska). I've had some rocks sitting in water -- as you've described -- for a couple weeks now and they're not growing much of anything.

The plec has a pile of driftwood and seems to be finding plenty of algae on the sides of the tank, so I'm not at all concerned about her. I was mainly wondering about the frequency of feeding vegetables (i.e. twice per day, once per day, once per week) -- and if (fresh) ones should be available to her most of the time, or if it should be given as more of a treat.
 
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Jan Cavalieri

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I use a wooden skewer and make a mini kebab. Then I "plant" it in the substrate and remove after a couple of hours. Be careful not to leave any sharp bits.
I used to make a kabob of Fruits and Vegetables for my Parrot everyday. He would only eat fruit and vegetables either this way or off my plate (if he saw me eat it, he had to have it). I think it gives the animal a little bit of work to do while keeping it off the dirty floor of the tank (or cage in my case). Great idea I will give it a try. NONE of my fish will touch cucumbers, zucchini, peas, cantelope no matter how many times they are offered and even being removed every day the tank starts to stink. So I finally just gave up - may give this a try again now.
 

Colin_T

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If you don't see much sunlight, just increase the lighting times on the tank to encourage algae to grow on the glass. You can grow algae indoors in plastic containers. Just set up a plastic storage container with water and fertiliser and leave a fluorescent light above it.
 
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