Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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dr2b 12-30-2009 09:10 PM

Question on clown plecos
I heard Clown Plecos are wood-eaters and they must be in tanks with driftwood. Are there any types of driftwood in particular that they like more than others?

bettababy 12-31-2009 01:47 PM

Clown plecos tend to be primarily omnivore, not wood eaters. A piece of standard aquarium drift wood found in a pet store won't hurt, as they enjoy using the wood for hiding/shelter. They are awesome and beautiful fish, but they need foods like shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and the occasional slice of zucchini squash should supplement their diet along with any algae they may find to eat in the tank.

Are you sure your pleco is a clown?

NC Frank 12-31-2009 01:56 PM

I would certainly add driftwood (anything clean from your LFS) for a clown pleco. Mine "chews" driftwood all the time. They love grazing on driftwood more than anything else on the tank and mine also uses it as a source of shelter.

dr2b 12-31-2009 10:21 PM

It is a clown pleco... that I know. Is there any driftwood in particular though that they like more than others? I read that some driftwoods are too hard for them. See, the LFS said only certain veggies, algae, and algae wafers. I read about the driftwoood online.

bettababy 01-01-2010 01:48 AM

Its hard to offer a specific name of driftwood that is good for them because many of the pieces sold in pet stores are not labeled by wood species name. You will have to use your best judgment and handle the wood before choosing. Its pretty easy to tell if you have a soft wood or hard wood just by weight. Harder woods are more dense, thus they are heavier.
1 to stay away from is Wellaby. Also, if adding wood, be sure to watch your pH, Gh, and Kh in the tank water. Some woods have more tannins in them than others, which will soften water as those tannins are released. The longer it is submerged the more tannins build up in the water. If the water starts to go tea colored you know you have heavy tannins. Lots of water changes to keep the levels low so your water chemistry isn't swinging all over the place is the best way to control it if you don't wish to remove the wood. Wellaby wood is known for its heavy tannins and softening abilities.

Malaysian drift wood is a softer wood, but tends to have heavy tannin levels also.

Just be careful.

iamntbatman 01-08-2010 03:14 PM

Just be sure to position the wood somewhere so that you can see the fish when he's latched on to it. Clown plecos are known for their tendency to hide all day so if you ever want to see the little guy, this is really a priority.

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