Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

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illumnae
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Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by illumnae » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:10 pm

I'm setting up a new tank for adult L46 And I will be keeping them with some otocinclus as clean up crew. I know otocinclus are not herbivores per se, but I understand they appreciate quite abit of greens in their food. L46 on the other hand are carnivores.

The tank now holds just the otocinclus as the L46 will arrive only next week.

I've purchased the 4.4lb bulk jars of Repashy Spawn n Grow and Bottom Scratcher for the L46, and in the meantime have mixed up a batch of Soilent Green for the otocinclus. The otocinclus love the Soilent Green and their bellies are nice and round.

My concern is what happens when the L46 arrive and I start making the carnivorous gel too. Can I throw in both types of gel and trust the L46 and otocinclus to sort it out themselves? I'm mainly concerned about the otocinclus eating mostly Bottom Scratcher/Spawn n Grow and not getting enough greens. But I'm also concerned about the L46 eating mostly Soilent Green and not getting enough of the protein and meat from the Bottom Scratcher/Spawn n Grow, as I hope to condition them to breed.

I have considered mixing them all together, but enough greens for the otocinclus would be too much for the L46 and vice versa.

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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by MarcW » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:18 pm

I actually have some hypancistrus inspector in with some zebra otos.

You may be surprised how many greens the hypancistrus will eat, I put courgette in for the otos, and the hypancistrus go mad for it, they take huge (comparatively) chunks out of it. They don't seem to behave any differently to that vs. Repashy bottom scratcher.

What does help the otos though is the big pieces of bogwood with a lot of algae growth on them.

You could try leaving pebbles in a shallow tray of water on a window sill or somewhere bright for a few weeks to grow algae, then rotate them through the tank for the otos to eat. Providing they go for that rather than something meaty if both are available.

It's probably best to try and match the dietary requirements of the fish in each tank, I try to, this tank is my one exception, it certainly makes it easier to feed!

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by Mol_PMB » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:47 pm

I’ve had problems in one of my large tanks with a mix of plecs and other fish - the Panaqolus (captive bred by me) seem to get very bloated as they have acquired a taste for richer foods.
I have not had similar problems with wild-caught fish (e.g Pseudolithoxus) which seem to stick closer to their natural diet even when richer foods are offered.

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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by TwoTankAmin » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:21 pm

If you check the specifications of the S&G, BS and SG you will see the first two have 45% protein while the latter has 40%. That is not a huge difference. Depending on how you do the math either the meaty guys have 12.5% more protein or the SG has 11.11% less. Either way this is not a huge difference.

Young zebras tend to need more veggie matter than older fish. Finally, they are omnivores with a preference for meat, they are not strict carnivores.

Also, I am not exactly sure what otos have to clean up in a zebra tank? None of my Hypan tanks have lights on except when I am doing maint. I pretty much never have algae in any of these tanks. I get my zebras some veggie matter by mixing about 20% Soilent Green with 80% of either S&G or BS. This is also good for the fry.
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illumnae
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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by illumnae » Mon May 06, 2019 4:01 pm

Thank you everyone for your feedback so far! I have to admit I have always had a soft spot for zebra otos, so when I was setting up the tank for L46, and my LFS had stock of several hundred zebra otos, I just went ahead to get me some clean up crew without thinking about too much else.

As an update, I ended up setting up 2 tanks instead as I have the opportunity to obtain about 10 F1 L173 juveniles. I will be growing them out and trying to breed them eventually.

Since I'm trying to condition the L46 and grow out the L173, do you think it would be a good compromise for all involved including the zebra otos if I were to feed both tanks a single type of gel made out of 50% BS, 25% S&G and 25% SG? Or should I make 3 types of gel separately and feed all 3 types in different proportions?

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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by TwoTankAmin » Mon May 06, 2019 5:45 pm

The Spawn & Grow is not a food to be fed as a regular diet. It is meant more for specific usage and on a somewhat limited basis. The reason is it has a pretty high fat content. I feed the S&G to condition the fish to spawn. I may feed it two or three times a week over a one to two week period. I always mix in 20% Soilent. The rest of the time I feed the bottom scratch (also with 20% Soilent), Hikari frozen and then a limited
amount of commercial sinking sticks.

Good luck with the 173. These fish are one of the slowest growing Hypans I have kept. They also produce small spawns considering their adult size. I used Repashy and frozen Hikari to get both of my groups spawning. I would also suggest that live foods are even better for this.

I have always kept my spawning pleco groups in species only tanks. The more pricey and harder to find a species is, the less inclined I am to even think about mixing in another fish. I am not willing to lose zebras, 236 or 173 because I feel the need to have any other fish in with them. But that is just how I prefer to do things.
Last edited by TwoTankAmin on Sat May 18, 2019 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by illumnae » Mon May 06, 2019 8:15 pm

I read about S&G not being for regular use, that's why I thought "diluting" it to only 25% would make it suitable for conditioning adults and growing juveniles, similar to the Growth formula of New Life Spectrum.

For me I need to have movement in the tank. I can't have tanks with plecos and nothing else so some other favourite fish is always added. I have espei rasboras with the L46 and tucano tetras with the L173 too.

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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by krazyGeoff » Fri May 10, 2019 4:48 am

You may want to look at the "new" Repashy Supergold.
This is sort of like a mix of Soilent Green, Super Green and Bottom Scratcher.
I feed this to pretty much all my fish, and I was surprised at how much my Zebras switched to it straight away.
Spawn and Grow has the highest fat content of all the Repashy foods, the next highest is Bottom Scratcher.
So you could mix Spawn and Grow with Soilent Green say 40:60 and this would be "Similar" to Bottom Scratcher mixed with Soilent Green at 50:50
Remembering of course that the protein source is different for Spawn and Grow and Bottom Scratcher.
Also a mix of any "Green" Repashy plus any "Brown" Repashy is going to give you a meat and vege combo that will satisfy the diet of most fish.

Note I always mix the powders rather than making separate foods up

Full Disclosure: I am a Repashy Distributor.

illumnae
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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by illumnae » Fri May 17, 2019 5:53 pm

Thank you Geoff. I already have the 4.4lbs bottles of BS, SG and S&G.

I have written to Allen Repashy on Facebook and he kindly replied. His recommendation is that S&G be fed for a period of 3 months to condition fish, but it can be mixed with other formulas to prolong the feeding period. He also mentioned there are some that feed S&G permanently with no ill effects.

I have just mixed up a batch of approximately 2:1 BS and S&G for my adult L46 and they are starting to eat it over 24 hours. If I am conditioning them for breeding should I change the ratio to include more S&G for the next batch of food? Should I add in SG too?

For the juvenile L173 since I'm growing them out, I'm thinking of making a 2:1 ratio of S&G and SG since I read that juveniles need greens in their diet, plus more fats from S&G to help them grow faster.

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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by krazyGeoff » Sat May 18, 2019 1:41 am

Those ratios will be fine.
The fry ratio is a good idea.

illumnae
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Re: Feeding herbivores and carnivores in the same tank

Post by illumnae » Sat May 18, 2019 2:24 am

Awesome thanks!

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