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What to feed my Plecos who won't eat green things

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by newfishmom1, May 19, 2019.

  1. newfishmom1

    newfishmom1 New Member

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    Hello all,
    I have one albino bristlenose pleco (4 in) and one (possibly) zebra pleco (3 in). 20-gallon tank. I didn't buy them so I'm not completely sure about the second one. They have grown quite a bit since I got them and their fins seem much healthier, but they are quite sluggish even though they may as well be the only fish in the tank. (A goldfish somehow made it in there as well, my sister put him in the tank for the winter so he wouldn't freeze in the fountain outside and he seems to be an indoor fish now). I don't know if the plecos are supposed to be very laid back or if they are sluggish due to a bad diet. I have seen online that they are herbivores and to feed them green vegetables such as cucumber and green peas. The goldfish will eat anything (no problems feeding him), but the plecos will not touch anything green. I currently feed them what their last owner fed them, which is Pro Plecowafers 2 in 1 algae chips, but it seems from what I found online that they need some actual plants to eat as well. They have chewed on the live plants in the tank, but I'm not sure how healthy it is for them to eat plants that have come from a gross pet store. Please advise on what to try feeding them!
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    It's fine for them to eat aquarium plants.

    If you have a light on the tank, increase the photoperiod and encourage green algae to grow on the glass. They will feed on that.

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    In summer you can put plastic storage containers outside in the sun. Fill them with tap water and add 1 heaped tablespoon of garden fertiliser per 20 litres (5 gallons) of water. Put some smooth rocks, plastic ornaments, or pieces of persex or glass into the water. Make sure the glass has been smoothed off along the edges so it's not sharp.

    Leave the stuff in the water until it gets covered in algae and then put one or two items in the tank. Let the fish clean them and then swap them for some of the other items in the storage container.

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    Make sure you have some driftwood in the tank for them to graze on.

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    Most suckermouth catfish will eat cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin, peas, apple, and most green leafy vegetables like spinach and silverbeet.

    Make sure they are clean and free of chemicals.

    Cut the fruits into thin slices about 6mm (1/4 inch) thick. The green leafies can be left as a leaf and held down with a rock or plastic clamp on a suction cup (available from most pet shops).

    Catfish are nocturnal so they should be fed at night. It's fine if the goldfish eats these items too.
     
  3. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Mine live on pleco wafers and left over fish food. He’s hit or miss on cucumbers. My Goldie’s eat the peas before he gets a chance. Be sure you have some driftwood in the tank because they have to have that for digestion. Feed at night too when you turn off the lights. That’s when they come out to eat. Plecos are rather sluggish fish too. Mine hangs in a plant all day. They love caves.
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    So far fine for the Bristlenose who is primarily vegetarian. But not all loricariids are; some are primarily carnivorous, others omnivorous.

    If the "zebra pleco" is in fact Hypancistrus zebra, mature fish are carnivorous requiring meaty foods like worms, shrimp, and similar; it is not an algae eater though it will likely browse algal mats looking for critters to eat.

    Sinking prepared foods are good nutrition for all plecos. Omega One makes Veggie Rounds, green disks that contain the kelp/algae but also "meat" so all substrate fish tend to like these. Omega One's shrimp pellets are another excellent nutritional food.

    Carnivorous loricariids will not always bother with veggies like the BN should, so make sure any added do not foul the water if not eaten.
     
  5. newfishmom1

    newfishmom1 New Member

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    So tonight the smaller pleco (the one which I'm not entirely sure of his breed) happened to be where I was actually able to get a good picture of him.

    Also, his tail is always inside a rock so I haven't seen that it is actually in bad shape. For context, I noticed a rip in the goldfish's fin yesterday and today it has healed back together with a thin membrane and seems like tomorrow it will be completely healed. This pleco, however, has those large rips and it seems that they have been there for a while. The bristlenose's fins are completely fine, and he roams around the tank a lot more. Small pleco is still able to swim and doesn't seem to be struggling but I feel bad for him. He and the bristlenose came together with the tank when I bought it and have never fought each other and the goldfish ignores them so I don't think it's another fish beating him up.

    1) can anyone advise as to what breed this one is and therefore what to feed him (the other pleco is very obviously a bristlenose and I have some good suggestions of what to feed him already)

    2) What should I do about the tail?
     

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  6. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Keep the water clean and the tail should heal just fine. Not sure if the breed. Looks like a common but they get really big. If he’s been that way for some time then he’s not a common. Anyone else?
     
  7. Jordan_Deus

    Jordan_Deus Fish Crazy
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    If I'm not mistaken, both fish in the pictures are Ancistrus sp. Most likely females as they seem rather large but have no "bristles" on their face.

    Do not be alarmed by torn fins, Ancistrus are somewhat territorial by nature, make sure both have a cave or two to choose from and scatter the food in the tank during feeding, that way they don't feed in each others territories. You don't have to, this just helps keep their fins in tact and all of them eating plenty in my experience.

    If by chance there's a male and female in the tank, during breeding the male can damage the females fins while keeping her in the cave or vice versa when the female tries to escape the cave.

    Good water quality and the right nutrition will keep the fish healthy and will promote fast regeneration of their fins.

    Here's a picture of one of my female Ancistrus sp. for comparison.

    Good luck!
    [​IMG]
     

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