Please help me! I am relatively new to aquariums and am in love with plecos. I am worried that my plecos aren't eating (because they are nocturnal) and it has been leading to over feeding. Can you please suggest tips and tricks on ways I can verify a pleco is eating and what to feed the plecos I have?
In 15 Gallon (1 medium piece of driftwood): Albino Bristlenose Pleco - L144a - Ancistrus temminckii (or cirrhosus?)
In 55 Gallon (1 medium piece of driftwood and 2 large): Spotted Rubbernose Pleco - L187a - Chaetostoma milesi Red Clown Pleco - L162- Panaque maccus
Foods I have tried: Hikari Seaweed Extreme - bristlenose and rubbernose like, but other fish eat them up Hikari Algae Wafers - only the mollies eat these to my knowledge, no plecos Wardley Shrimp Pellets - only the bristlenose likes these
Please help! I just got the Clown Pleco and I don't think she is doing very good. I know the water is fine as I test it regularly.
Your clown has the ability to eat wood, so is in a good tank. They do eat other things, but there's a simple solution to all the feeding issues and several ways to approach it.
The easiest is to feed the plecos about 30 minutes after the lights go out. This only requires a small amount of food, so overfeeding is still possible.
Another is to feed a small portion of fresh vegetables to the tank. I regularly sink a small piece of zucchini with a plant weight in several of my tanks. Other fish may pick at it, but don't seem to have the ability to eat as much of it as the plecos.
Canned green beans are another option. Once again, I feed them regularly to a lot of my plecos and even have individuals that will eat them before considering anything else.
The only caution I'll offer is to not let food set in the tank for an extended time. Both of the veggies mentioned will fungus up if overfed and could cause an infusoria bloom or other maintenance issues. Small amounts regularly is always safer.
Impossible only means that somebody hasn't done it correctly yet.
hi, agree with above, stick a wafer in the raw zucchini, a pc about 2 inches to start, at night of course, weigh it down with a food clip or screwcumber or spoon, then remove in am, they will recognize the wafer as food and get a taste of the zucchini too, and will then recognize the veggie as food. Do this daily till they get it. remove any uneaten food in am and repeat again at night. Later , you can try other veggies,but zucchini seems to be the fav. good luck , hth
No need to blanche as cooking can reduce the vitamins in the vegetable. However, if you don't have a clip, or are having trouble keeping the vegetable submerged, blanching will help to sink the vegetable.
Because you mentioned that you are new to the hobby, just wondering if you are familiar with the quarantine process. A good rule is to always isolate newly acquired fish in a separate tank for 2-4weeks. This is to safeguard against disease/behavioral problems etc.
Also remember that Loricarids generally supplement their diet with algae, diatoms etc. they find living on the surface of things in your aquarium. So you don't need to feed them the same way you would feed a tetra or a barb.
Otherwise I agree with all thats been stated above.
hi again, umm,I would not use cucumber,as the tank temps can really mess up your water pretty quick. You don't want that to happen. Better to go with RAW zucchini, you can slice or peel some of it, some plecs actually prefer the skin only ,while others perfer the inside, and to train them it is food, a piece of wafer stuck in the zucchini should get the ball rolling. It may take a few nights, be patient, but when the lights go on in the morning, and the veggie is missing , you know they got it and can continue with the zucc for a week, then use same process and try other raw veggies, green and red bell pepper, spinach -well there is a list for veggies. And don't forget some soft wood for digestion. (can't recall if you mentioned you have wood in the tank, but a good wood from an aquatic store ,which you can scrape with your fingernails is always a hit). Good luck. Keep us informed
So far we have tried both sweet potato and cucumber and nothing in the tanks have touched either. We've been putting them in 30-60 minutes after shutting off the lights. We can try zucchini as well but I have a feeling it wont get touched either. As for what else is in the tanks:
55 Gallon Zebra Danios Dwarf Gouramis Otos
15 Gallon Really Fat Mollies
Thanks for all of the suggestions thus far. There is PLENTY of driftwood in both tanks.
hi again,ok a few thing here, first , one hour is not long enough . They are night feeders and need time to come out of their hidey-holes , before scavaging for food. Second, for now , it is prob a good idea to stick with zucchini. As mentioned beofore, it seems to be the top favorite, peel some skin off,leave some on. Break a wafer in half and stick it in the zucchini,so it is sticking up. It is safe to leave some veggies in overnight, and zucchini happens to one of them. Not sure about potato, I think royals love the sweet potaoes, but lets continue trying the wafer in the zucchini.Keep in mind, they probably never seen/tasted one before,so they won't know it is food..this process does take a while, but they will get it ! Each morning,(zucchini can be left in tank for 12 hrs if is raw,so now worries), and continue the process until they get it. If other fish are eating the wafers , ,try sticking it in good so when they finish eating it ,there will still be some left. Again, they usually don't get it,that it is food the first few nights, depends on the plec, i suppose, but put a piece in(a few inches , no more) and lights out and forget about it till morning. You will have to put a fresh one in each night , but they will eventually go for it. I have never used potato, and it may be too hard for your plecs, not sure, but please try the zucchini. If you use cucumber, it can not be left in the tank long enough for the plec to find and feast on it. Cucumber is soggy and watery to begin with ,and not the best veggie to put in a 79degree or whatever your temp is. Also, cucumber is low in nutients so why bother . ok HTH, and let us know how things are going.. patience..and leave in all night, stay away from the tank so the plecs feel comfortable scrounging around -good luck and keep trying! Georgie
Your plecs are not especially shy fish, they will feed when lights are on unless something else is wrong. They like good water movement and plenty of cover. Check your water parameters and don't be tempted to overfeed.
Thanks for all of the advice. I just wanted to post an update. We have started having luck with blanched zuchinni. I just finished reading Catfishes by Lee Finley and I am going to try a couple other vegetables such as green beans, carrots, and peas.