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SusanB 12-10-2012 02:37 PM

Bristlenose Pleco Behavior
How do bristlenose plecos normally act? I know they hide a lot during the day which is fine. What I am mainly wondering about is when they eat; do they normally come out gung ho for food or do they just hide until night time and come out for the leftovers?

I have been trying to turn the light off in the room for about 30 minutes after the tank light is out and before I go to bed so I can toss in an algae wafer without the tiger barbs swarming it. I tried sweet potato last night but I didn't notice either the bristlenose or the clown pleco going for it. The tiger barbs were interested but didn't make too much of a dent in it. I am going to stop at the store tonight to pick up some zucchini and try that but I want to make sure they are getting enough to eat.

The bristlenose was acting a little off yesterday which has me wondering if he is eating enough.

DragonFyre14 12-10-2012 05:19 PM

Oddly enough my bristlenose could care less if the light is on or off when I feed him. I feed him right after I turn the light on at night (I leave the light on while I sleep and off during the day). He usually goes around the tank as if he's searching for food, but never seems to find the algae wafers unless they fall like right in front of him. It seems like he doesn't eat much but he is still plump as ever.
Now if I put a slice of cucumber in there, he always finds it eventually and usually happily chows down most of it.

lakemalawifish 12-10-2012 05:41 PM

Our BNP don't really hide, we can usually find them somewhere in the tank. We just happened to have some Albino Bristlenose fry that were growing out at the same time two of our fish had fry. So the baby bristlenose were put in the tank with the fry and kept the fry tank clean and are still in there right now even though they are juvies. In our other tanks, they clean up food and stuff all over the tank. Once a week I give them a Hikari Algae Wafer, broken in half for the smaller ones. I found that adding too many Algae Wafers was causing some green algae in the tank so I slowed down a bit.

DragonFyre14 12-10-2012 06:05 PM

My BN doesn't hide too much and is much more active than the two I had before (they were sick when I got them so only lived about a week). I feed him 1 algae wafer every day and try to give him a piece of cucumber once a week. He devours the wafers, and since he's probably about 4 inches with fully formed bristles, I'd say that he's getting a decent amount of food.

SusanB 12-10-2012 08:07 PM

It turns out my bristlenose was off because he was ill. He was dead when I came home from work and for the life of me I don't know what was wrong with him. Hopefully my clown pleco who stays hidden until it is pitch black in the room will fare better. I have put some zucchini and cucumber in the tank to try to find out which one he likes. The tiger barbs are very fond of the cucumber.

DragonFyre14 12-10-2012 08:48 PM

I'm sorry. I've found its a lot harder to figure out why plecos died or what illness they have, than it is to tell on other fish such as guppies or bettas.

SusanB 12-11-2012 07:16 AM

I have had a really hard time with bottom feeders. I had 5 clown loaches die from ich and the bristlenose pleco die from who knows what. I am hoping that the clown pleco survives, when I see him he is really cute.

A little off topic, but when you have bottom feeders and plants should you vacuum the substrate? I was vacuuming pretty heavily when I had ich, but I don't know if I should continue to do so. I know the plants benefit from the detritus on the substrate but mainly I do it because it is unsightly, the plants aren't thick enough to hide the funk.

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