Convincing fish to stop eating my plants... - The Planted Tank Forum
  • 1 Post By Blue Ridge Reef
  • 1 Post By tamsin
  • 1 Post By Discusluv
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Convincing fish to stop eating my plants...

I've had the same fish in this tank for many years now - ranging from 4 at the newest to 11 at the oldest, and never had this issue until the past couple of months. But *somebody* (I suspect the platies here) has been chewing at my plants - microsword stripped to the sand, new leaves on Amazon swords sampled, not even Anubias left untasted! And now they are apparently consuming newly added red root floater.

Anyone have success with convincing fish to leave plants alone before? I have offered them spinach once, which was soundly rejected, but they are big fans of peas. Do you think giving them more veggies is likely to curb their appetite for greenery? What has proved popular with your fish before?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 10:20 PM
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My go-to move has always been to watch the tank and remove the offender once identified. Maybe you could offer them green matter and they would nibble them less, but I don't see that as being a long term solution. Stinks that's happening and wish I had a better suggestion.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 10:49 PM
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You could experiment with different greens to see if it helps. This is one situation where duck weed might be a good option.

With floating plants I'd keep them in holding tank until they've multiplied enough you can half fill the tank and you may find that they grow fast enough to balance out the chewing.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 01:41 AM
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After not bothering plants for so long and suddenly doing so... I would be curious about deficiency in diet. Especially with platies who require a higher green content in diet. Try adding a spirulina based food/pellet- may help.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have moved some of the red root floater to my shrimp tank to save it from total consumption! Will try the idea of adding it back when i have a lot. I have duckweed as well that I could add but that's a last resort for me....

@Discusluv I believe the trigger was a 10 day vacation I took - they were fed by a petsitter while I was away but I told her to feed light, since it's better to err on the side of caution when leaving your tank in the hands of someone else! I don't think she wasn't giving them enough, but perhaps the leaner pickings inspired them to try the plants !!

I'm feeding a mix of bug bites, sinking shrimp pellets, and tropical flakes, the latter two of which they've been having for years. I'll look out for a spirulina based food, thanks!
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