Rubberlip pleco not eating?



I got my first tank (20 gallon) 2 weeks ago, and after 1 week of cycling it I got 2 platys. A week after that (1 day ago) I got 1 rubberlip pleco (he is about 2" now, can grow up to around 6-7"). I am afraid of him starving because he is not eating. I tried putting 1/2 algae wafer in the tank, but the platys ate it all! This happened a couple more times, and now I have fat platys and possibly a hungry pleco. Can I try to give him another piece of wafer (maybe overnight since he is nocturnal), or will this be overfeeding my platys if they eat it first? He seems to be sucking on the walls but I'm not sure if he is eating algae (I don't see any, and I don't know if the tank could get algae this quickly?) or just climbing up the walls using his lips. Should I be worried? Any suggestions? Thanks so much!!


Welcome to FishLore!
Try putting some green veggies in for him at night. Veggies such as zucchinnI and cucumber. The platys will peck at it but they won't eat it up from him and he needs lots of veggies in his diet.
Now since your tank has been cycling for about two weeks you may be having an ammonia spike, plecs produce huge amounts of waste and there probably isn't enough beneficial bacteria built up to handle it yet so a water change of about 25% is in order.
At the top of the freshwater beginners forum are some articles I recommend to you called fishlore articles for beginners, they explain how to cycle a tank with and without fish in the tank.
Let us know if we can help
  • Thread Starter


Thanks so much Carol! I had checked the ammonia right before getting the pleco and it was zero, but 24 hours later had gone up to almost 0.5! thanks so much for warning me about that, I changed ~25% of the water and did that again 2 days later and it is close to 0 now. The pleco loves the zucchinnI slices so much that even when he isn't eating, he sits next to it to guard it! Thanks so much again!

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