How much do you feed your pleco?
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:50 AM   #1
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How much do you feed your pleco?


I have a Flash pleco (L204) that's about 3.5" now and should grow to around 5" tops. He's a wood eater.

I've never been sure how much to feed him. For example, how many times a week should I give him a chunk of zucchini at night? How big should it be?

What about the various wafers. There's the big ones (nickel size) and the small ones (shirt button size). And there are even small granules, but I don't know if plecos ever find those to eat or not.

What is your feeding schedule for your plecos? How big are the pieces of fresh veggies? How big and how many wafers? How often? Anything else?
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:54 AM   #2
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LOL Feel = Feed- I was wondering how warm and fuzzy a pleco you had?

Mine just gets fresh veggies whenever I make a salad and remember to save him a piece (I only have 1 clown pleco and he's happy with his algae, driftwood, and sinking wafers he shares daily with the cory cats and RCS)
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
LOL Feel = Feed- I was wondering how warm and fuzzy a pleco you had?
Well, you know... you gotta get that feel for the pleco.

Ah, heck, caught. I edited the title. Thanks for pointing it out. Gave me quite a chuckle, as well.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Mine just gets fresh veggies whenever I make a salad and remember to save him a piece
Now that I've decided to discuss feeding the pleco instead of feeling it, I have to ask the question...

Not meaning to get personal or anything, but how often do you have a salad? That way, I'll know how often you're feeding your pleco fresh veggies.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:42 AM   #5
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I give mine fresh veggies every couple of days. They get either zucchini, cucumber or even broccoli. Just make sure you have some wood in the tank also as they do like to rasp on it.

I also feed mine some homemade gel food daily and pleco power pellets.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:22 AM   #6
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He has a whole castle of wood! I tried broccoli, but he didn't touch it. Do you cook yours at all or feed it completely raw?
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:06 PM   #7
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I blanch it, but it does take time for them to get used to it.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:41 PM   #8
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[quote=Complexity;531987] Well, you know... you gotta get that feel for the pleco.

I think that you answered your own question.According to Hikari you feed no more than the amount that they will consume in 2 hours,however mine comes up to the front of the aquarium and looks at me when he,or she,? wants to be fed.I then give on the average one or 2 of the "button sized" pellets daily.I watch for a "rounded tummy",and then I know that I am feeding enough.As for the supplemental vegetables,I would observe how much of it is consumed in a timely manner,and tailor the amount to your individual fish.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:06 PM   #9
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Thanks, Lescarpentier, but my pleco is a shy one. I don't know if I've ever seen his stomach. I mostly see his tail peeking out of the driftwood.

I had him in my 20L which has 6 amano shrimp. They EACH would grab a whole button sized wafer and swim off with it! I ended up having to break wafers up and putting wafers close to the driftwood in hopes my pleco could get some while putting other wafers further away from the rest of the thieves... I mean fish and shrimp. So I have never known how much he's eaten. I don't even know what he's eating other than the obvious fresh veggies.

Now that he's in the 75 all alone, save a few male guppies, I have a chance to feed him and only him (okay, the guppies do take the wafers and move them to the other side of the tank, but maybe he gets them back after all lights are out, including lights in the room?). I'm trying to make sure he's getting enough to eat, but I have no idea what he's really getting.

I'm concerned that if I don't give him enough wafers, the other fish will get them and he won't get any for a long time. But if I put down too many wafers so the other fish can stuff themselves while my pleco still has some for himself, I could not only be overfeeding the fish, but I could be polluting the water with left over food. I can't tell what's not eaten after a wafer has dissolved and the fish have disturbed it.

Of course, since he's so shy, he'll only eat at night so I can't see who's getting the wafers even then. All I know is I wake up and they're all gone. But I've put in as many as 5 button sized wafers at once, and they'd be all gone (this is in the 75). Did the pleco eat them all? Did the guppies? Did they dissolve and the guppies and pleco disbursed the particles while swimming? I don't know. That's the problem.

I can much better tell if my pleco has eaten when feeding him fresh veggies, but I don't know if it's okay to give that to him every night? Is that too much?

If I could hear from others who have less shy plecos as to how much their plecos are eating, I'd have at least some idea of how much to feed him.
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:30 AM   #10
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I have Goldfish and since I have a different kind of pleco I'm not sure if this will help or not.

No really I watch for algae in the tank and if it is sparse (don't see any) he gets a wafer or so. But I have Goldfish and they love fresh veggies so when I fee them peas, apple, zucchini, orange, broccoli, and small pieces of green grape. Some blanched and others just cut REALLY small. the pleco's will come out and eat some. I have found that my regular pleco LOVES grapes. My Rhino Pleco acts like he can't be bothered to eat during the day but when he comes out at night acts like he likes to walk instead of swim along the bottom of the tank.

James

PS: I hope your pleco feels better
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:42 AM   #11
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We have several different plecos and feedings vary dramatically.

We also have a flash pleco (about 4" at the moment) and he is mostly a driftwood eater. He will go through spurts where he will not touch the other foods offered and other times he will hog all the pellets in his area and all the veggie wafers too. We feed OmegaOne brine shrimp pellets and veggie tabs, along with slices of zucchini. He will go for the shrimp pellets fairly regularly but usually the veggie tabs don't appeal so much.

Our blue phantom (3.5" to 4") is primarily a veggie eater. He likes a few shrimp pellets but will eat several veggie tabs in a sitting. When we add thin zucchini slices (we cut ours about 1/4" thick) he will finish 1-2 of those in an evening.

We also have a parancistrus auranticus (rubber pleco) who isn't a picky eater. He will eat any pellets or wafers but doesn't usually try the fresh veggies.

My 14" common pleco eats 1/3 of a small zucchini at a time (usually a section about 1 1/2" diameter, about 2-3" long) in about an hour. He also gets a large portion of shrimp pellets (but he's a gentleman and lets his tank mates eat their fill before finishing the rest off). He eats large veggie tabs whole.

We have 6 clown plecos that eat driftwood, the occasional shrimp pellet and that's about it. They don't seem to like fresh veggies all that much (although we have had them sample zucchini and sweet potato).

We feed our gang every day with shrimp pellets and veggie wafers, zucchini we try to feed every 2 or 3 days (it tends to clog up our filters though).

Hope that helps! We love plecos at my house!
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:28 AM   #12
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Yes, that is very helpful! Valerie, you've also helped me with one of the things that prompted this thread. My Flash pleco seems to be not just getting some wood for his digestive needs, but to be eating it as if it's his MEAL. He absolutely LOVES it! But it made me wonder if I wasn't feeding the poor thing.

I have Hikari algae wafers and their "sinking" wafers, but I didn't know about shrimp wafers. What brand are you getting? I'll have to give them a try.

James, thanks for the well wishes. Fortunately, my pleco isn't showing any signs of illness. I'm just wanting to be certain I'm giving him what he needs. It's easy to tell with all the other fish because I can watch them eat, but not Flash. So I thought I'd be mother hen and make sure I'm giving him all he needs.

Thanks! This has helped me to get a better feel for what Flash needs.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:34 AM   #13
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LOL you caught me on the salad. I eat salad at home a couple of times a week- but not always anything that would go for the pleco. He gets zuccini maybe 1x/mo. He loves the sinking wafers though- spirulina and hikari catfish, and that's just about the only time I see mine, either My RCS and cory cats go gaga and fight over them, as well- so I tend to stick about 5 in my 10gal at a time- he tends to grab one for himself that way- and they are all pretty much gone w/in an hour (small shrimp mouths don't eat so fast)
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:23 AM   #14
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You liked that salad catch, did you? I was sitting there thinking, "okay, she feeds her pleco veggies when she eats salads.... um..." LOL!

I've had this guy for several months now so he must be finding some way to get what he needs. I am trying to put a tablet right in his territory next to his wooden castle in hopes he'll sneak it when I'm not looking.

Maybe when I get the tank filled up with plants, he'll be more willing to come out of his castle.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:19 AM   #15
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We've switched most of our foods over to OmegaOne (shrimp pellets, veggie wafers etc.) because of the great ingredients (check the label). We bought the extra large cans from petsmart.com because obviously we have a lot of feeding to do The shrimp pellets have real shrimp and fish and everyone in all our tanks love them. We've recently tried the Hikari frozen brine shrimp cubes and those have been a big hit with the rainbows and livebearers. My angels aren't really fast enough to compete with the rainbows and the plecos ignore the pieces that actually make it to the substrate

Have fun with your flash, ours is by far the biggest bully in the tank but backs down immediately when challenged by even a clown pleco.
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