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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have 3 albino Bristlenose pleco in two tanks. I feed them hikari sinking micro pellets everyday. One of the tank have detritus. Can I stop feeding them with sinking pellets & let them eat detritus for a while? Also, should I feed them vegetable too like cucumber/zucchini even if there is detritus available?

Can fine sand dangerous to bristlenose pleco? I have 3rd tank that have fine sand & one bristlenose pleco died there with swollen stomach.

Thank you.
 

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So it depends on what you mean by detritus. If it's just fish poop, then no, you can't let them eat detritus for a while. If it's leaves and such, then you can, but I'm not sure why you would.

If they'll eat it, I highly recommend feeding them foods like cucumber/zucchini. It's far more nutritious than just detritus.

Fine sand shouldn't be overly dangerous to bristlenose plecos. Even if some gets ingested, it should pass through the gut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I always thought detritus is decomposed or decaying organic matter. The reason is when I do water change, I cannot vacuum all of the detritus or mulm. There are places where I can't reach them. So I hope two ghost shrimps & two bristlenose pleco in the tank can help clean the rest for me. Right now I feed them little bit sinking micro pellets everyday. Maybe I can switch to every other day?

How often do I need to supplement them with cucumber/zucchini? One or twice a week?

Thanks. Good to know it wasn't because of the sand.
 

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You can blanch a slice of zucchini for them and toss it in the tank. If they are hungry, they will eat on it. But don't let it sit for more than a couple of days in there, otherwise it will start to rot and spoil your water.
They also will continuously graze on soft algae, and prefer that over other foods. I would not rely on them to clean up mulm/detritus because, even if they are getting to those areas of the tank that you can't reach, that's where the poop will end up as well, and you're still left with a dirty area of the tank with waste that no fish will actually "clean".
 

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While ancistrus species are predominantly herbivores, they do require that at least 10-15 percent of their diet contains protein. If you have other fish in tank and are feeding a freshwater flake or pellet- this should take care of that requirement. However, something to keep in mind, these types of protein sources- that contain primarily fish meal as protein content-- can be very hard for plecos to digest. And, oftentimes, as a consequence, this animal protein is what leads to obstructions in gut of ancistrus species, followed by internal bacterial infections, and death.

A much better protein to choose ( and one bristlenose will prefer) is Spirulina-based foods. Spirulina is naturally high in protein and contains green-stuff that the ancistrus intestine can readily digest and make use of nutritionally.

So, to answer your question, yes-- you do need to feed your ancistrus species. Make a Spirulina based food the staple of the bristlenose pleco's diet, and grazing on algae and mulm a secondary source. Veggies like courgette would also be a secondary source.
 

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Zucchini is a great staple food for Bristlenoses. Cut a piece, rubber band it to a rock and drop it in. Replace it after 48 hours. After a few days they will recognize it as food. When they start eating it adjust the size of the zucchini piece to what they eat in a day and put in a new piece every day.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all! Sorry for replying late. I have feed them with a slice of zucchini, blanched, 3 times now since I post the question here. I also have rescaping my tank & now I'm able to vacuum more detritus/mulm from the tank.

While ancistrus species are predominantly herbivores, they do require that at least 10-15 percent of their diet contains protein. If you have other fish in tank and are feeding a freshwater flake or pellet- this should take care of that requirement. However, something to keep in mind, these types of protein sources- that contain primarily fish meal as protein content-- can be very hard for plecos to digest. And, oftentimes, as a consequence, this animal protein is what leads to obstructions in gut of ancistrus species, followed by internal bacterial infections, and death.

A much better protein to choose ( and one bristlenose will prefer) is Spirulina-based foods. Spirulina is naturally high in protein and contains green-stuff that the ancistrus intestine can readily digest and make use of nutritionally.

So, to answer your question, yes-- you do need to feed your ancistrus species. Make a Spirulina based food the staple of the bristlenose pleco's diet, and grazing on algae and mulm a secondary source. Veggies like courgette would also be a secondary source.
Thank you, I will try find Spirulina-based food for my bristlenose plecos.
 
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