Royal pleco care

Discussion in 'Pleco - Plecostomus' started by sawchynegger, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    I recently added a young royal pleco to my 180 gallon tank. Tank is set up south american style with a ton of driftwood. He is in there with american cichlids and they ignore him. I know royals eat wood and he's doing a lot of that and the bio load shows! However, he hasn't paid attention to any other food at all. Of course the cichlids eat any wafers I put in there before he can investigate them. However, I've tried veggies including zucchini, green peppers, and spinach and he basically ignores all of it preferring the driftwood. Does anyone else have experience with royals?

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  2. NCE12940Well Known MemberMember

    Try putting some of the algae wafers, or pieces of them, in cracks in the driftwood. You can do the same with fresh veggies.

  3. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    Oh ya, good idea! I'll try that tomorrow!

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  4. NCE12940Well Known MemberMember

    While he's grazing on the wood he just might find some goodies that are food ;)
  5. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    A quick update on this, he is still intensely focused on the driftwood only and ignores all veggies. However, my tank gets some sun in the morning for about an hour and I noticed the huge log that he's obsessed with has algae growth all in the cracks and all over the place. You can only really see it in the sun cause the 6 foot LED I have on there is pretty weak and doesn't show all that. I'm guessing he must be getting everythin fb he needs from that wood. The wood has spiky protrusions so I wedged pieces of algae wafer in a zucchini and stuck it on one of those spikes to see if he goes after it. I'm also gonna add some other kinds of wood as well since I have only Malaysian in there now.

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  6. NCE12940Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds like he knows what he's about with the wood and algae. He'll probably eventually discover that the wafers and zucchini are also food. In the meantime it doesn't sound like he'll go hungry.
  7. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    When it's bigger it will go nuts for any food you put in. My last one- came with the tank- ate the equivalent of two whole carrots every day... and that was just the veg, it ate all the other foods too...
  8. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    Wow! I've tried carrot, zucchini, Yellow squash, spinach, and green peppers at this point. Gonna try cucmber, sweet potato, and whatever else I can find next. Yes, he is still very young. Prob only about 4 inches including tail. He is REALLY munching through some wood though!

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  9. freak78Well Known MemberMember

    Wood and more wood. That's what mine ate. I would still drop some algae wafers in there at night so I don't know if he ate it or something else.
  10. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    Royal plecos are omnivores, not herbivores. So when the microorganisms on the wood aren't enough for him, you should be feeding sinking catfish pellets and veggie wafers.
  11. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    No they're not, they're herbivores, feeding on wood and the algae and aufwuchs on it, and plants. There are microorganisms on wood that are not plants, but the tiny proportion of these in the diet doesn't make it an omnivore.

    In captivity nearly all herbivorous fish will become omnivores, eating from the foods available to it, and a lot of them actually prefer meaty foods (especially 'commons'). It's never a good idea to let them do this, although an occasional 'treat' doesn't do any harm.

    Supplement its diet with veg. Veg are totally unnatural in a river so it can take time, but it will see them as food eventually. It will eat the foods you feed your other fish, but try to keep veg/wood as the main diet.

    This is useful....

  12. alirayFishlore VIPMember

    @ hampalong, Thanks for the link. Very interesting read and I have bookmarked. Alison
  13. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    I agree with hampalong. Everything I've read thus far indicates that royals are wood eating herbivores. The link provided lists panaque as wood eater as distinguished even from herbivore which is encouraging since that's all mine is doing. My understanding at this point is that too mich meaty food can cause bloating and digestive distress in royals.

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  14. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    ... in any herbivorous fish. Some species are very susceptible (mbuna, CA veggy cichlids...), some much less so ( common plecs, dollars...)
  15. junebugFishlore LegendMember


    Just one of many articles I found listing the addition of meaty foods as crucial to keeping panaque spp.

    Without meaty foods, the fish wouldn't be getting much protein in the aquarium given we generally can't supply them with the same sort of foods in the same sort of amounts they would find in the wild. Veggie proteins are equally as important, and because of the fiber they contain, add balance to the diet.
  16. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    I sit corrected, thanks. Try and stop them anyway, lol. Big ones are like waste disposal units. :)
  17. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    LOL most plecos are. With the exception of my L144 BN, my plecos have always eaten... well.... everything they can.
  18. sawchyneggerValued MemberMember

    Well he finally started eating cucumber last night. Hadn't tried that veggie yet. He would touch zucchini. Now if I can just find a way too get him some other food before the cichlids get.

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