After years Peckoltias suddenly started eating plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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After years Peckoltias suddenly started eating plants

I've had 2 "dwarf plecos" (Peckoltia), Hoover and Dyson, in a 75 planted tank for several years. They've never bothered any of the plants that I know of.

Now they've mowed down a patch of dwarf Sagitaria, even though there's lots of the same types of algae that they previously preferred (I assume) over the Sagitaria.

In the past, I have observed them cleaning the Sagitaria leaves w/o harming them. Now, they mow the Sagitaria down.

No, I don't feed them anything - and haven't for many years. There may be some less algae now than before, but still plenty of it. The back and side walls also have algae, which they've always eaten.

So, why the sudden change in their taste for plants? I've always heard / read they prefer algae to plants.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 11:08 PM
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All peckoltias are not strictly algae eaters. Some are primarily meat eaters. Go to and find your peckoltias in their "cat-elog". These little catfish need to be fed other items besides the algae in your tank. Most of them also need driftwood to knaw on as their digestive systems require it. They may be starving and are in need of food. Don't let the fact that you have never fed them convince you they do not need supplemental feedings. Good luck!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 11:12 PM
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IMO pleco's suck when they get old. When my pleco reached over 8" he stopped searching for anything. He always sat in the same spot until I drop in a algea waffer or shrimp pellets. I got rid of him at 14" because he was getting to big and I converted to planted.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-17-2006, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I'm 99.999% sure these "dwarf" peckoltias are strict herbivores, and up until recently, strict algae eaters. They never looked at sinking pellets (like shrimp) for other catfish, even when the lights were out.

Never had driftwood in their tank, but I might try a piece to see what they do. My research indicates that these aren't wood-requiring species - but people have been wrong before. The youngest of the two is at least 7 yrs - quite old for a starving fish. They've got the same stuff to eat they have always had. However, occassional supplemental feeding might not be a bad idea. But unless their dietary requirements / preferences suddenly changed after many years, I'm not sure it will solve the problem of them suddenly eating the plants instead of algae.

Thanks. These are Peckoltia (dwarf 3 - 3.5"), not Plecostomus. Never had interest in animal protein, as other genus/species do.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2006, 12:38 AM
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Try offering them different type of lettuce on a clip. Mine seem to be fond of zucchini, squash, yams, and potato. You can attach these items to a flat rock with a rubberband. It is nice to hear that you've had them for such a long time. They are funny little critters to watch at times.

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