What do plecos eat and do they need driftwood?

plecomaniac
  • #1
Hello!,
I'm happy to say that I'm a member of this web-site and I appreciate the benifitsit brings! BUt down to my real question....

I just recently bought a common Pleco at my fish store the other day, and I could use a few pointers.....such as what do small plecos like to eat, what fish are compatable and is driftwood necessary and are their substitutes for it? All help would be greatly appreciative!


My setup: 1 live plant, one pleco, gravel, 10 gallon tank with filter and lighted hood, and a plastic blue cup with the bottom cut and sanded off. ( don't worry its not sharp at the edges)
 
Barbrella
  • #2
HI there and welcome!

I hate to tell you this, but you need to take your common pleco back to the petstore.

They grow up to 16" long, and unless you're planning on getting a 55 - 75 gallon tank in the near furture, you absolutely cannot keep this fish.

There are plecos that grow no more than 3 or 4 inches, and that's what you need for a 10 gallon tank.

Most of the more common species of small plecos (like sp.3) do need driftwood (no substitutes) and lots of places to hide. The herbivorous kind need veggies, algae and algae wafers to eat. Others are carnivores, so you need to find out about them before purchase.

Just curious - did you tell the pet store this pleco was for a 10 gal. tank?
 
plecomaniac
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Well, I'm not exactly sure its a Common one, ill try to put up pics and yes, I have a 45 gallon tank that's very low stocked that has been running for about a year. BUT PLEASE!!!, what the heck do I feed the little guy in the mean time? Thank you so much and god bless you!
 
SereneReyn
  • #4
he can eat algae wafers or sinking pellets... weighted cucumber or zucchinI slices are usually a big hit (rinse very thoroughly!!!)
 
kra-z-fishmumm
  • #5
HikarI Tropical sinking algae wafers. Just one,,, If you put it in in the a.m. and by eve. there is some leftover, remove it.
 
plecomaniac
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Oh thank you so much! I didint know you had to rinse em tho!
 
susitna-flower
  • #7
WELCOME TO FISHLORE!


I love plecoes also! Can I ask you why you put him in the 10 gallon? No problem if you are using it as a hospital tank, to quarentien him for a couple of weeks, a good idea in fact. But there may be some algae over in your other tank on a decoration or fake plant you could put over for him to graze on. Other than that they eat most food that falls to the bottom, just don't over feed, as it will foul the water. A part of an algae wafer every couple of days should be ok.


Rinsing veges is always a good idea, just like for us, the fish don't need pestisides in their diet.

I'm still inclined to agree with Barbrella though, a common pleco grows too large to keep even in a 46 gallon tank. I had one in my 55 for awhile, and his poop would get over a foot long, SEVERAL times a day, he was 12 inches long and really made a mess. I finally traded him in and pledged never to get a common again! There are so many really cool plecoes out there that don't grow so large.

Right now I have 5 bristlenose plecoes, a Royal, and a sailfin, all great tank mates in my different tanks. Good Luck, and let us know how it goes...
 
plecomaniac
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
THank you so much you have really helped!! and yes I'm using it as a hospital tank currently. I will plan to get a biger tank in the future. Are you sure about what they eat thouogh? he is just a lil guy....and how long will it be before he starts eating? its his second day. God Bless You!
 
Butterfly
  • #9
HI there and welcome!

Most of the more common species of small plecos (like sp.3) do need driftwood (no substitutes) and lots of places to hide. The herbivorous kind need veggies, algae and algae wafers to eat. Others are carnivores, so you need to find out about them before purchase.
As Barbrella said Veggies , algae and algae wafers are good foods for your common. Plecs eat better if you put their food in just after lights out as most of them are nocturnal.
Carol
 
plecomaniac
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Oh would it be okay if I put them in around 6-7 o clock ? before I turn lights out?
 
susitna-flower
  • #11
Does he ever come out during the day? Do you see him up on the glass? The reason I ask is because even though you may not see him eating, as Carol stated they usually come out at night, and you will know if he is eating and ok, if his tummy looks fat (full), if it is sunken he is not eating and it could be a problem.

One rule is not to buy a pleco from the store if it's tummy isn't fat looking. When they are in this condition, and come home, they may not start eating, being too stressed out....
 
plecomaniac
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Yeah he is usually outy and about from his little hiding place during the day, and I had turned the lights off and its completely dark in the room, hopefully he'll start eating. Hes two inches now in a 10 gallon hospitalizing tank, roughly how big will he grow a month? Thank you all, you have been so kind.
 
Gargoyle
  • #13
My last pleco grew from 2 inches to just over 14 inches in about 16 months. He was fed well and in an Oscar tank.. If he is the black one you can bet hes gonna be big and at times destructive. As mine grew larger he also grew aggressive. No biggie in an Oscar tank but just an FYI to ya..
 
plecomaniac
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
ok thanks but what if my pleco isn't eating right away, its day two and he seems fine, just hasnt been eating. is that natural? and this is the pleco description...... dark brown/brown with tan pock marks all over, and a biege/ tan belly. Any guesses? sorta looks like this... thank you very much! and he also looks like this
 
Butterfly
  • #15
If his stomach isn't sunken in you can bet he's finding something to eat at night. You can try feeding him earlier but the best way to make a plec comfortable in a new tank is to feed it after lights out. He will start eating sooner that wayalso
Carol
 
Barbrella
  • #16
BTW, how long has this tank been set up? Did you cycle it before putting the fish in?

You really need to get driftwood. Not only do plecos need to munch on it, but love to rest upside down under it and hide.
 
plecomaniac
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Yes!!! He is finally eating on my live plants! I saw him munching and now he is poopin!!! Oh I'm so happy, and now the hunt continues for a pet shop that sells driftwood......
Thanks For Commenting Back!!!
Peco and Me appreciaite it!
 

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