Aquarium Hobbiests: How often do you feed your pleco?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Clinton McClure, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    How often do you feed your pleco? I was feeding mine an algae pellet every night, and it was gone by morning so I had no worries. Between my pleco and my barbs, it was being eaten (the barbs loved them). Recently I posted a thread looking for help because my pH and ammonia levels were all outta whack and it was killing off all my fish. I never found the cause but eventually got the water straightened out, though not before it killed everything but the pleco. A couple weeks later, the water turns deep green. I tried for three weeks to get rid of the algae bloom but it wouldn't go away. I could change the water every week, change the filter, use drops to clear the water, all to no avail. As a desperate measure, I quit feeding the pleco an algae pellet every night. The last pellet I fed was Sunday night. I vacuumed the gravel well and changed the filter Monday morning and have not dropped an algae pellet since. The water is now crystal clear. I've concluded the pellets were what was causing the algae bloom.

    So my question goes: How often do you feed your pleco? (Mine hasn't been fed in three days.) Do you feed it algae pellets or does it simply survive off of algae growing on the walls and decorations or food which has settled to the bottom of the tank?
     
  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I do not have a pleco but I have some cory cats, kuhli loaches, that are bottom feeders. I don't think you need to feed them specific sinking food everyday since you figure that some of the surface food is going to sink down and they'll get them sooner or later. Your algae bloom and pH/Ammonia problems is definitely related to overfeeding. Uneaten food will cause Algae problems and Ammonia spikes. I only feed my bottom dwellers perhaps twice a week. Also check your food that you're feeding, try to get food with not much phosphates as they will promote algae blooms. I typically buy Hikari or OSI flakes for feeding my tropical fish.

    Fish do not need to eat so much anyway, in the wild, they don't eat half as much as us fish keepers typically feed. I feed my fish once a day and usually don't even bother with feeding when I go on vacations of 3 weeks or so. They'll do fine.

    Jay
     
  3. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    Thanks Jay. You confirmed what I guessed. I'll try doing that. Drop a pellet maybe every three or four days and flake feed once per day. I just returned from the LFS with two clown loaches and a beautiful male betta.

    I have already upgraded my power filter to a model with a bio wheel (did that several weeks ago) and I'll most likely put a power head in just to keep the water aireated.

    Thanks again and have a good Thanksgiving! [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Dubbelboer

    Mark Dubbelboer Screenwriter

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    I don't even go out of the way to feed the pleco in my tank anymore. I used to use those sinking wafers as well but eventually just got kinda lazy. As long as you've got other fish in the tank you're feeding the pleco should be able to fend for themselves.
    I've got some cichlids that just eat normal fish flakes and even with the aggressive nature of the cichlids enough food ends up falling to the pleco.

    I think now that you've added those loaches (great choice btw[​IMG] ) all will be well.

    Jay, if you re-read this thread. how long would you have to be gone on vacation to necessitate getting an auto-feeder or someone to feed for you? i've never really thought of how long i could leave the fish w/out food.
     
  5. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    When I had a pleco, I fed him an algae wafer about once a week. Lots of times I forgot though, and he still did just fine.

    Also, I only feed flake food every other day, rather than daily. Fish are healthy and beautiful. [​IMG]

    Now if I could just get rid of the thread-algae problem I have... [​IMG]
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Hi Mark, I just got back from Turkey break!

    As far as feeding, I would say about 4 weeks is about the limit I think, but it might depend on how much you normally feed and how big the fish are and the type... I've seen many a angelfish, catfish, loach feeding on some of the algae that is growing on my Java Fern (live) so they can live with that. I also do not specifically feed my cory cats since there is plenty of food that gets down there and they've survived for at least 3 years so far, so they must be eating something!

    I tend to dislike those huge feeding shells and stuff and wouldn't use that unless absolutely necessary. I would almost want to risk it than use one of those, cause they are typically very messy. The more you feed, the faster the water needs changing so it is kind of imperative if you're not going to be around to feed less when on vacation. If you are going on an extended vacation, someone could feed your fish perhaps 2 times a week a small pinch would be fine.

    Tony... Is that thread algae the kind that's black and look like fur? I hate that kind. I had a bloom awhile ago and basically gave up trying to treat it and moved the fish into quarenteen and nuked the tank! Helped a bit. That stuff is hard to get off, even with a bristle brush and muscle. Don't know what to suggest other than perhaps generic algae fighting, out of direct sunlight, get a Phosphate tester and see if you have any phosphates (from food) and if you have a reading, you can add some phospate remover to your filter.

    I don't think any fish eats thread algae, even those algae eaters... None of mine ever did anyway, but I've never owned a CAE or Pleco in this tank.

    Jay
     
  7. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Jay... I had the black fur-like stuff, and managed to get rid of that by doing water changes and blacking out the tank for 3 days.

    But now I have this green thready stuff that grows everywhere.... it even anchors to the aquarium glass. My Ottos don't touch it.

    This is the first time I've done a planted tank... no plastic plants. I'm getting ready to nuke the whole thing though... and go back to plastic. *sigh*
     
  8. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    I don't bother feeding my pleco. I used to drop those tablets in every now and then but my tin foil barbs always ate 'em!
     
  9. Jeff Perry

    Jeff Perry Stunt Coordinator

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    Tony your planted tank isn't working properly for several reasons. I also have a planted tank. Let me guess, you put the plants in and added some lights?

    I control my algae by controlling the nutrients. I inject co2 into the tank @ ~20-25ppm. I insert nitrates, phosphates and another item I can't remember the name of right now, into the tank in controlled amounts. Lighting and plant load is also crucial.

    If you really want to get into a planted tank I suggest you check out the Aqua Botanic forums @ http://aquabotanicwetthumb.infopop.cc/. There is a LOT you need to do...

    Oh, and as for the Pleco, I've had mine for over 8 years. He's a monster and is over a foot long. I drop a couple of algae wafers in there once a month, and that's only if I remember. He survives just fine by eating off the walls, rocks, etc. I wouldn't put more than one or two wafers in per week.
     
  10. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Almost, Jeff, but not quite. There is iron-rich substrate in the gravel (forget the product name). The lighting is adequate to the task... watts-per-gallon is good enough for most plants, but not so high that extra CO2 is really needed. (Don't recall the exact numbers right now, but I calculated 'em out.)

    I stopped adding nutrients and/or plant food to the tank as they were making the black furry algae worse. Took care of that, but now can't get the green thready stuff under control. Grrr.

    You ADD phosphate? I thought phosphates were a bad thing to add?

    Thanks! I'll go check out that forum! [​IMG]
     

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