Help - brsitlenose cat wreaking havoc - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-27-2005, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Help - brsitlenose cat wreaking havoc

Hi everyone - this is my first post but I have been keeping plant tanks for several years now.

I have a heavily planted 150 gallon tank with a low fishload (12 SAEs, 4 Coryodoras and 1 brsitlenose). When I set it up about 4 years ago, I added the SAEs and a tiny Ancistrus to help keep the algae down during the run in period. The SAE's are now 5-6 inches in length and I love these active fish! I wish I could say the same about the bristlenose, which is rarely ever seen but is now a monster (at least 6 inches) and he is munching away on my beautiful Echinodorus "centerpiece". It has gotten a lot worse lately for some reason. I have tried to appease this guy with lots of spirulina wafers but I guess he is not satisfied.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might be able to catch and remove the Ancistrus to set him up in a new home? Netting him is absolutely out of the question without breaking down the tank. There is a huge piece of driftwood in the tank with lots of nooks and crannies and as I mentioned, it is heavily planted with 4 years of growth and meticulous pruning. I only see him at night when I sneak up on the tank in near darkness. In the past he tended to concentrate on the oldest leaves but is now chowing down on the whole plant!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-27-2005, 07:55 PM
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Have you tried some bait? This doesn't work if he's too shy, but if he comes out regularly you might be able to get it interested in a ring of Zucchini, and scoop him out with a net? Maybe leave the net in the tank for a few days so the fishies get used to it and don't feel threatened by it?

I thought bristlenoses only reach about 4" max... Probably different species grow differently.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-27-2005, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't tried bait but I will give it a go. The suggestion about leaving the net in the tank for a while is a good one. As far as size goes - I haven't been able to get an actual measurement because he is so skittish but I am fairly certain he is closer to 6" than 4" - I'll measure him when (and if) I get him in the net.
thanks
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-27-2005, 09:20 PM
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i've have a bristlenose that's every bit of 7 inches, maybe 8. they *can* get that big, depending on the species.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 01:10 AM
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Are you absolutely certain it's the Ancistrus doing the damage? I have several of them and I've never seen them eat living plant tissue. Of course I'm not saying yours isn't... if you are sure he is, perhaps he finds it more appealing than the food you are feeding him?

You mention wafers... have you ever seen this?

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...1&N=2004&Nty=1

I feed this to mine and they love it.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 01:34 AM
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My bristlenose tends to hang out in a half coconut w/ a hole in it. I had to move my tank the other day, so I just took the coconut half, quickly scooped it out of the tank and happened to catch the pleco still inside the coconut. Perhaps you could introduce a smaller piece of driftwood or a small clay pot or such that he/she might become attracted to.

Good luck on this one!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
Are you absolutely certain it's the Ancistrus doing the damage? I have several of them and I've never seen them eat living plant tissue. Of course I'm not saying yours isn't... if you are sure he is, perhaps he finds it more appealing than the food you are feeding him?

You mention wafers... have you ever seen this?

I feed this to mine and they love it.
Yes, I'm pretty much certain that he is the culprit - not many other options. The SAE's can't do this kind of damage and it isn't disease related. He leaves alone tough leaves like Anubias but the swords are pretty soft.

I will try the macroalgae product you mentioned to see if that will satisfy him.

Thanks to everyone else for your good suggestions. The clay pot/cocomut hideout sounds worth a try - he does like to hide!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-28-2005, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
Are you absolutely certain it's the Ancistrus doing the damage? I have several of them and I've never seen them eat living plant tissue. Of course I'm not saying yours isn't...
I had exactly the same experience with Ancistrus... got one female (still have it) and it only eats algae, then got her a male who shredded all my large swords. So they vary from specimen to specimen...


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