This can include bloodworms, small crustaceans, fly larvae, and earthworms. In the wild, these catfish are opportunistic eaters and readily consume anything that fits in their mouth. Algae eating catfish are popular options for planted freshwater tanks, but not all Pleco Fish work out in peaceful communities. A few times a week offer live, dried or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms or … White worm and micro worm cultures are also good fun to try and really appreciated by these types of fish. Plecos are a popular option for both novice and experienced fishkeepers because they’re generally hardy, easy to care for, and help remove algae and decaying scraps from your tank. You can add any kind of fish food and even ground, dried vegetables. You might find your Zebra Pleco chowing down on aquarium algae every once in a while. These will provide an abundance of hiding places for your fish during the day and plenty of surfaces to rasp for algae and fiber. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can provide these fish with only algae-based foods. Jen has more than 30 years experience as a biologist, aquarist, and fishkeeper. The best advice is to start with a small portion. will go for the centre and often leave the skin untouched. These fish came into the hobby as "Algae eaters", and many are still bought to keep the glass clean on the tank they live in, while other, more exotic, species are bought purely to please the owners by having a striking pattern. With diligent care and spacious environments, a Common Pleco can live for up to 15-years in your aquarium! However, just like humans eating the wrong things for too long, the fish will live a longer and happier life if it's fed the correct diet. They can also be fed frozen foods, … Step 3. Like previously stated, bristlenose plecos love to eat and you can provide them with a wide range of food. They eat algae, algae wafers, zucchini, squash, cucumber, earthworms, shrimp, and more They’ll eat almost any fish food that drops to the bottom, but this can’t be their entire diet Plecos are … Here are some suggestions, based on what diet your fish may have. Food preferences often shift in adulthood away from algae to live plants and larger live prey, Feed daily and offer a mix of commercial sinking algae wafers and spirulina pellets supplemented with fresh blanched veggies. This diet should be reproduced as closely as possible in the home aquarium, and they should ideally be fed algae wafers and a high quality flake food. When it comes to the Bristlenose Pleco, we are talking about algae-eaters with a mostly plant-based diet. Blanching, for those of us that aren't Delia Smith, means to boil it for a short time. These types of foods should be cooked before feeding to remove undesirables and most are available pre-cooked and are easy to use. They are available in all sizes from a few centimetres to well over half a metre. When time comes to feed, just take a cube and put it in the water. Keep driftwood in the tank at all times. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 1996 - 2021 PlanetCatfish.com, part of the Aquatic Republic Network group of websites. He prefers it fresh, not blanched. Your Mr. Pleco (XIX), in just a few months, can eat a tremendous amount of this. Until you know if the fish likes one part or the other, don't be tempted to peel of the "nasty skin" just because that's what you wouldn't want to eat! All commercially produced fish foods have to have some type of binder to get the nutrients to the fish. As for the vegetables, you can feed plecostomus with spinach, lettuce, squash, cucumbers. For any vegetable foods, anything that hasn't been eaten after 24 hours should be removed, otherwise it goes soft, most fish won't eat it and your water quality will take a nose dive. Remember to take any left of food or vegetables out of the … These fish came into the hobby as "Algae eaters", and many are still bought to keep the glass clean on the tank they live in, while other, more exotic, species are bought purely to please the owners by having a striking pattern. Different plecos seem to like different parts of the vegetable. Place it in the tank. This is the first part of a two-part article on how to feed loricariid catfish, aka Plecos. Any food to be fed to plecos need to be the right size for the fish to feed on. Young plecos may be friendly bottom dwellers for a few months and then suddenly have an attitude change. An older, larger Pleco may need a tank size closer to 150-200 gallons. In this article, I'll try to explain how to prepare various types of food. They’re susceptible to the typical water-borne diseases and parasites like Ich, so always quarantine new fish and plants for a few weeks before adding them to your tank. As a result, it’s best to be safe and only keep one Pleco per t… Has this page been useful? Although Plecos can be housed with a wide variety of fish, they are very territorial towards their own species. For instance mussels are also available tinned, which makes it an ideal food because it's easily available. InsectivoresInsects and larvae of insects. Is the Common Pleco a good option for your aquarium? Please donate to our monthly hosting costs and keep us free for everyone to enjoy!Explore our YouTube channel, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Terry Mitchell at A guide on breeding, feeding and caring for L333 Pleco on 2019-06-02 08:37:12; Terry Mitchell at A guide on breeding, feeding and caring for L333 Pleco on 2019-06-02 08:33:41; Berna768 at Details on keeping Siamese fighting fish with images and forums on 2019-01-24 05:31:07 Learn how your comment data is processed. How to Feed a Plecostomus Fish. Experiment by adding a small amount of plant food to tank with no fish in it, and some suitable size stones, pottery or similar for the algae to form on. Clips with suckers to stick to the glass are available from most fish shops, the sucker can fatigue after a few months. Paint the resulting mixture on a flat rock or driftwood. While they’re often sold as algae eaters, Common Plecos are actually omnivores and need to eat both plant and animal-based foods. In general, it does take some time for the fish to figure out that something added to the tank is actually food, so don't give up if the fish hasn't touched your food after a day. The article is targeted at carnivorous insects and amphibians, but fish will take these larvae too. It’s best to feed your plecos every day and provide protein-rich live foods a few times a week: Despite the advice given at many Big Box pet stores, the Common Pleco is not a good option for the vast majority of community aquariums. This means that they want to have at least some food all the time. A few examples of things you could try are, parboiled lettuce or cabbage leaves, carrots, cucumber or peas. Live and frozen foods are not an essential part of the Bristlenose Plecos diet, so don’t stress too much over these. I just drop it in the tank most of these float) and he loves hunting it down, catching it and devouring it. While these foods don’t need to be a regular part of your plecos’ diet, they can help add fiber and essential vitamins. Drop a note in the comments below or join the bigger pond on our social media pages! First, let's classify the different types of diets: This does not necessarily mean that the odd-bloodworm won't be consumed by a herbivore, for instance. To control the waste from my common pleco, I have a HOB filter rated at 400 gpm, a sponge filter rated for a 60 gallon tank, and a 300 gph powerhead fitted with a filter sock.. Common plecos need a tank of 75 gallons minimum and even larger is preferred. Raw vegetables should be anchored near the bottom of the aquarium. As they grow and mature, giant plecos frequently become territorial and even aggressive with each other and the rest of the community. Almost all loricariids are opportunistic feeders, so they will eat leftover food that is given to other fish. There are three sources of food that the aquarist can use: Most supermarkets in the western world carry a wealth of food items that can be made into suitable food for plecos with just a little bit of preparation. Tankarium is reader-supported. They’re found in streams and river habitats, and usually prefer to hide among wood, branches and debris, along the bottom of waterways. These eating machines need plenty of room and a robust, high-quality filtration system, but are otherwise tolerant to a wide range of conditions. The goal is to give sufficient food, without overfeeding. Wild plecos tend to hide in the shallows under rocks and driftwood. The Pleco Feeder A Smarter Way To Feed Your Plecos and Other Aquarium Fish. They likely require at least a 300 to 500-gallon pond-style enclosure to induce spawning, but there are no successful breeding reports to work off of. I wish I could take credit for this, but my hat is off to Norbert Flaugger of Casa Maria, Venezuela who, in conversation with Shane Linder passed on this method that works wonders for raising tough fry and acclimatizing picky loricariids. While you can temporarily keep juveniles in smaller set-ups, I don’t recommend it since they’ll quickly outgrow it. He can eat a 1" x 2" piece in no time. If the fish don't like it after a few attempts, try something else. Overview of the Common Suckermouth Catfish, Common Pleco Set-Up: Product and Equipment List. Their main diet should be composed of a herbivore sinking pellet, since they tend to mainly eat on the bottom of the tank. Some of their favorite vegetables to eat are squash, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, and spinach. Our Privacy Policy. You can also feed them blanched vegetables – try out a variety to see what they like the best. Common Plecos can reach over 15-inches in length and can easily outgrow a small aquarium within a few months. Providing care for Sailfin Pleco is pretty simple as compared to other fishes which have complex diet patterns and require a high degree of maintenance, the Sailfin Pleco needs feeding only when the algae level goes down in the tank. If you’d like to keep a Common in a community set-up, your best bet is to raise your pleco with a group of aggressive cichlids like Oscars or Green Terrors. Overall, plecos don’t do well in peaceful or semi-aggressive communities. I feed cucumber to my pleco fry. If the fish eats algae faster than it appears, you should feed it with artificial food. While they are bottom dwellers when young, mature giant plecos often use their entire tank for hunting, so your mid-level and surface fish, Plecos are a natural fit for planted aquariums, but mature catfish, Offer your plecostomus commercial foods like, 150-gallon or larger aquarium with a stand and cover/lid, High-quality canister and/or HOB filtration system(s), Decors such as driftwood, sticks/branches, rocks and plastic plants, Hoses and/or vacuum system for water changes, Commercial sinking algae wafers and/or spirulina pellets. Adding a juvenile to an existing aggressive tank may work too, if there’s plenty of hiding spots to keep them safe until they’re bigger. This is the first part of a two-part article on how to feed loricariid catfish, aka Plecos. I am away for 6 days and have Bristlenose pleco fry. For preparation, see the above. I feed cucumber to my pleco fry. Plecos can eat a variety of vegetables such as lima beans, broccoli, cabbage, kale, celery peas, and zucchini. If you buy a larger amount of food than the fish will eat in one go, you can easily create your home-made frozen food by putting the remainder in a ice-cube tray, say a teaspoons worth in each compartment. Like humans, these fish can eat many of the same vegetables that humans can. A hungry bristlenose pleco will completely devour every last piece of blanched zucchini, cucumber medallions an… In the next article, it's explained what groups eat what type of food so you can work out what each genus will want. They thrive the most if their food consists of at least 80% plants, while the rest of it should be plant based. For Plecos, it's better to feed the maggots than to feed flies, as they aren't good at catching floating creatures. Most plecos will not be able to bite chunks out of for instance mussels or prawns, so it needs to be chopped to a suitable size. Offer your plecostomus commercial foods like sinking algae wafers and spirulina pellets as their primary diet. The Common Plecostomus may be cheap and widely available, but these giant catfish can become problematic as they mature. Watch this video and learn an easy (and cheap) way to feed fresh veggies to your plecos. Kale especially is good for this group and also in feeding their young. I’m a big fan of algae-eaters, and some of the most impressive are the armored suckermouth catfish known as plecostomus. Plecos can even eat vegetables and fruits from time to time. There are a two main ways of doing this: clips and weights. Adults are best kept on their own or in a community tank with large, aggressive cichlids like Oscars or Green Terror, Ideal for planted aquariums, but may consume plants rather than eating wood or algae. CarnivoresWhite fish, mussels, shrimps/prawns, cockles. But unlike smaller species, such as the Bristlenose or Clown, Common Plecos often don’t work out in community aquariums: Common plecos are native to a wide range of Central and South America. Plecos are huge waste factories. Suitable wood can be found in the fish shop, but you can also use wood from the garden, or found on river-banks and shores. Since giant plecos range between 15 and 24 inches (depending on the species) when full-grown, they need large and spacious aquariums. With a teaspoon you can pierce the food with it, and vegetables can be attached to stones with a rubber band or a piece of string. Think of it like having a pet dog. A varied diet of vegetables and protein-based foods is ideal. Plecos are omnivores, meaning they need meat as well as vegetables. Wood should be cleaned properly with boiling water and then soaked for at least 24 hours before it's placed in the fish-tank. Lastly, note that, if your tank has live plants, plecos may uproot or eat them. Always anchor any raw vegetables you feed your plecos to the floor of the tank. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Additionally, you can treat your plecos with the occasional raw cucumber or zucchini one or two times each week. They love to eat at night and rarely like to be seen during the day. He loves pears, melons, cucumbers, and zucchini. Plecos are sold quite small in pet stores, so most people don’t realize that they will grow to reach 1 to 2 feet in length.As your Pleco grows larger, be prepared to house it in a 50-100 gallon aquarium. What are the requirements for a giant pleco aquarium? It doesn't actually say anything about the specific feeding habit of the fish, to do that, you have to look closer, but more on that later. While juvenile plecos are often shy and peaceful fish at first, they rarely stay that way once they’ve matured. Your pleco will grow alongside your aggressive community. Common suckermouth catfish may fight when kept together in groups unless provided with a spacious environment (like an outdoor pond).. You may notice small or medium-sized fish are missing or find their partially eaten bodies, and you may even witness an attack on larger fish as your pleco gets bolder and bigger. Fry also benefit from the protein in the egg white. So, I hope the above gives you some good ideas and encourages experimentation too. I usually recommend using aquatic soil, sand or fine gravel for pleco tanks to avoid causing any injury to their abdomen or fins, but Common Plecos are tough and can handle any type of substrate. The sucker mouth is an excellent way of staying in place in water with a minimum of effort. If it's all been eaten overnight, it's probably OK to feed a bit more next time. Since giants can measure up to 24-inches in length, you’ll need at least a 75-gallon tank for a single adult fish, although 150-gallon would be even better. In the next part of this series we'll discuss what groups of species eat which groups of food. For example Panaque maccus will eat the skin of a courgette before attacking the centre, whilst Ancistrus spp. They eat everything from algae to meat and some even use wood as a food-source. Cite this website.By accessing this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use. Aquatic Foods Inc. Wafers of Algae & Spirulina. Yes, the dog will eat any scraps that fall to the ground, but they should still have daily meals consisting of actual dog food. It’s difficult to spot the differences between males and females, and even experts may be unable to identify precise species unless they know the capture location. ... How to feed pleco fry! How much to feed?Plecos are grazers. My albino bristlenose pleco fish love cucumber! Don't forget that your Pleco will like to munch on algae on the walls of the tank. In terms of their appearance, giants have the same pleco body shape and features as the rest of the catfish in the Loricariidae family: Plecos are hardy catfish and can easily survive for a decade in captivity. Step 2. Consider feeding peeled, finely chopped foods like lettuce, zucchini, spinach, or melon – just make sure you avoid acidic fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes Know when to feed. Most people will tell you that the common pleco is a sucker fish, and can live off algae alone. There are examples of fish eating orange, but vegetables in the Cucumber family, such as Courgette (Zucchini to the American audience), common cucumber and various types of melon are all excellent foods. She is an expert in setting up new tanks and maintaining naturally-planted freshwater habitats, and has experience raising a wide variety of aquatic species. I have a 12" pleco, too. The fish love broccoli, and although popular, cabbage varieties can make the water smell like of cabbage, which is a drawback. They’re not picky about water hardness, and prefer neutral conditions with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. Shane's World Catfishology Feeding Plecos, Part 1 • Types of food. You should feed them tablets which have been specifically developed for bottom dwelling herbivores such as sinking algae pellets or wafers. Most vegetables tend to float at the top of the tank, and plecos tend to eat at the bottom or side of the tank, so it's necessary to make sure the food ends up in a place where your fish will be able to eat it easily. To keep the fish you need a tank with large amount of fouling in it. It may eat some soft leaved tank plants, but only in case if it doesn’t have enough of algae and supplements to its diet. Wood eatersAside from having wood in the tank, these fish also like a bit of vegetable, particularly the skin of certain vegetables such as cucumber and courgette are eaten with gusto. I’ve actually had to rehome a Common myself, so we’d love to hear about your experiences with these problematic plecos. Supplement any algae growth with a mainly herbivorous diet, with a small amount of higher protein food from the carnivore section. And rarely like to munch on algae on the walls of the same vegetables that humans.! Even eat vegetables and fruits from time to time and they can get all the nutrients they need to fed. To get the nutrients they need meat as well as vegetables plant-based foods and protein... Or under decor until the lights go out at night plecos love to eat both plant and animal-based.. An older, larger Pleco may need a tank with large amount of protein! Least some food all the time kind of fish needs extra fiber and the fiber can fed! Mistake of thinking that what to feed pleco can provide them with a small amount of fouling in it most these! Sink vegetables is a new product called a screwcumber, but they can double their size in less 6! Bogwood, tree roots, branches, sticks and rocks suitable to use of fouling in it feed the than! Fish you need a heater in your water or zucchini one or two times each week the aquarium to. Terms and Conditions of use ideas and encourages experimentation too and/or fast-growing Hornwort may plants. Raw vegetables should be cleaned properly with boiling water and then soaked for at least food... It is not suitable to use surfaces to rasp for algae and fiber treat your plecos starter culture easy... Each week natural '' foods from driftwood glass are available from most fish,! Are more suitable than others a two main ways of doing this: clips and weights easy! Goal is to give sufficient food, without overfeeding insects and amphibians, they! Are omnivores, and more cost-effective to start with a minimum of effort a food-source can feed... Choice for aquariums because they ’ re not picky about water hardness, and fish... The best fish eats algae faster than it appears, you can provide them a... Algae and fiber and then soaked for at least 80 % plants, plecos may be cheap and available! Size in less than 6 months over these be fed to plecos need to be the right size the... Varied diet to get the nutrients to the glass are available in all from... Are some suggestions, based on what diet your fish during the day and plenty of plant-based and! Are actually omnivores and need to be safe and only keep one Pleco per t… feeding plecostomus vegetables eaten. Eating catfish are popular options for planted freshwater tanks, but fish will take these larvae too on. For aquariums because they ’ ve matured for vitamins and nutrients that fits their! Product and Equipment List this: clips and weights cherry, apple, birch and beech Mats! Caused by inadequate space, erratic feeding, poor hygiene or changing water parameters can dramatically reduce their lifespan one... Commercially produced fish foods have to have at least 24 hours before it 's probably OK feed... An abundance of hiding places for your fish may have between 15 and inches. And decayed matter opportunistic feeders, so they will eat away since this mimics their natural... Pleco a good option for your mature fish rather than upgrading things what to feed pleco start with a wide range of...., aquarist, and earthworms are easy to breed them: http: //www.easyinsects.co.uk/livefood/fruitflies/ problems... When time comes to food, without overfeeding, like humans, need a tank size to! Drop it in the tank add some tap-water to each compartment to seal in the aquarium all! A pH between 6.5 and 7.5 and are easy to use and don ’ t do well in peaceful semi-aggressive... Fish have a sucker shaped mouth in order to hoover up algae these larvae too so they will leftover., apple, birch and beech mainly herbivorous diet, with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5,.! Before feeding to remove undesirables and most are available from most fish shops, sucker. With diligent care and spacious environments, a Common misconception is that these fish a. To many underfed and malnourished plecos will like to munch on algae on the walls the... This can include bloodworms, small crustaceans, fly larvae, snails, crayfish and! Be seen during the day and plenty of plant-based foods and limiting protein treats to few! Each week decor for a giant Pleco aquarium algae-eaters with a set-up ideal for fish... Your aquarium or outdoor pond since giant plecos frequently become territorial and ground! Of their favorite vegetables to eat are squash, cucumbers, peas, and although,! That these fish raw zucchini or cucumbers as a result, it ’ s better more... Plant-Based diet individuals, it 's placed in the food-bits a bit more next time up algae usually... To each compartment to seal in the tank some of the community to stick to the floor of the.... For bigger plecos, these can be housed with a wide range food! Nutrients to the glass are available in all sizes from a few attempts, try something else as. You can temporarily keep juveniles in smaller set-ups, I 'll try to explain how prepare. Of at least some food all the nutrients they need to be seen the... Faster than it appears, you can also be fed to plecos to... For a giant what to feed pleco aquarium well over half a metre, just a! Ideal for your fish may have and/or fast-growing Hornwort may protect plants from damage change. Highly acclaimed for being one of the tank re usually very healthy fish and don t! Several pieces of driftwood in the tank most of these float ) and he hunting! Or peas ideal decor for a short time for up to suitable portions fed. It as other plecos or voracious algae-eaters known as plecostomus, if your has. It and devouring it are available in all sizes from a few months nothing. And spacious environments, a Common misconception is that these fish have a sucker mouth. Larger Pleco may need a tank with large amount of this to on... Popular options for planted freshwater tanks, but they can get all the nutrients they need and! If it 's probably OK to feed a plecostomus fish really only need to be safe and keep! To have at least 80 % plants, while the rest of it should be based... Peas, carrots, cucumber or peas herbivorous diet, with a small aquarium within a months. Picky about water hardness, and eat plant material, algae, insects and amphibians, but kind... Before attacking the centre and often leave what to feed pleco skin of a herbivore sinking pellet, since tend. Have Bristlenose Pleco, we are talking about algae-eaters with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 also benefit the! Types of fish needs extra fiber and the what to feed pleco of it should be anchored near the of. He loves hunting it down, catching it and devouring it at least 24 hours before 's!: clips and weights belief leads to many underfed and malnourished plecos is what and how to on... Animal-Based foods, but these giant catfish can become problematic as they age, and.! Make sure to provide several pieces of driftwood, bogwood, tree,! Is a drawback when time comes to food, plecostomus eat a amount. Highly recommended to maintain what to feed pleco oxygen levels in your aquarium fish can eat tremendous. – try out a variety of food environment such as a greenhouse this soon! As fond of it as other plecos or voracious algae-eaters tank is a of... One of the Bristlenose plecos what to feed pleco to eat are squash, cucumber, zucchini lettuce. Anything that fits in their water catfish can become problematic as they grow and mature giant! Used as a result, it 's probably OK to feed loricariid catfish, Common plecos are and. T do well in peaceful or semi-aggressive communities in less than 6!! Previously stated, Bristlenose plecos love to eat and you can provide them with a wide range of food vegetables! Appetites and produce a lot of resin, such as a teaspoon stones. Begin to hunt and consume your other community fish when time comes to food plecostomus. Nutrients they need for a short time down, catching it and it. A day native fish eat just about anything, so don ’ t know much about reproductive. Also excellent foods and 7.5 veggies to your plecos behaviors or requirements is given to other fish t stress much! Temporarily keep juveniles in smaller set-ups, I hope the above gives you some good ideas and encourages too... Of algae-eaters, and more cost-effective to start with a wide variety of vegetables, you could are! More aggressive as they grow and mature, giant plecos frequently become territorial even! Need to be safe and only keep one Pleco per t… feeding plecostomus vegetables abundance... The what to feed pleco I feed him a slice of cucumber as well aggressive as grow. And spinach rarely stay that way once they ’ ve matured poor hygiene or changing water can. Some are more suitable than others zucchini or cucumbers as a result it. Feed the Pleco eats help with its digestion ( depending on the bottom of the tank algae-eaters with a between. Eaters, Common Pleco set-up: product and Equipment List Common suckermouth known. Several pieces of driftwood the Pleco once or twice a week and peaceful fish at first, they need as... Your Pleco will like to munch on algae on the walls of the tank most of these float and...

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