Pleco eating pellets - Is This Normal? Help

  1. stiglitz Well Known Member Member

    I have two pleco's, both of which are very large and very old. The owner i bought them off of claims that they are 10 years old, and i believe him. One is about 13 inches long and the other is 10 inches long. However, the 13 inch acts sort of strange. He acts just like any other pleco most of the time, but whenever i feed my cichlid's with my floating pellets, he eats some too. He'll be just chilling, sucking on the glass, and when a pellet floats above him on the surface, he'll inch up and put half his mouth above the surface of the water, and suck in the pellet along with air. Do they always do this? I'm worried that him sucking in air isn't a good thing, and that he shouldn't be eating that kind of food.
     
  2. TayJay76 Member Member

    This behavior is not uncommon. Plecos eat both plant and meat. Typically when they mature they become less dependant on plant foods like algea wafers and start to become more dependant on meat. That is why he is going after the cichlid pellets because they are high in protein, which is what he is craving. Don't worry about him sucking the air, the only fish that I know of that has issues with that are fancy goldfish, which always have issues with their swim bladder because of the way that they are breed.
     

  3. toosie Well Known Member Member

    The pellets won't hurt him. What kinds of food do you feed specifically for the plecos to eat?
     
  4. stiglitz Well Known Member Member

    I feed my two pleco's and my chinese algae eater these:
    http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10884129
    they're not the extreme type though, just the normal algae wafers. i fed them tonight and the smaller pleco and the chinese algae eater ate them, but the 13 inch just sat there :/ next week i'm going to put half a zucchini in there and see how they respond

    and yes, the reason i asked about them sucking in air is because i have experience with goldfish in the past and know that sucking in air is not good for them. but that's good to know that pleco's do not have the same issue :)
     
  5. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Good morning,

    Agreed, Plecos will go to the surface for air just like some Cory Cats do from time to time. My 12" Pleco will do it also from time to time. He/She does it really fast too and sometimes makes a pretty big splash! :)

    I push an algae wafer into a slice of raw zucchini, sliced round about 2" to 3" thick. Weighted with plant anchors so that it sinks to the bottom. After several hours I remove any uneaten portions. If you feed at night, remove any uneaten portions the next morning.

    Pushing the algae wafer into the zucchini helps the Pleco to get the wafer before the other fish steal it. :) It's in the same place every morning waiting the slice.

    Ken