How can you tell Pleco's are getting enough to eat?
My tank is only a few weeks old and I have 2 Longfin bn pleco's in it. Both are smaller in the 1.5" range with one slightly bigger and he bullies the small one a bit when the small one gets too close where the big one is trying to feed. They are always on the hunt for algae as they are all over the place but the tank is fairly algae free so far other than some hair algae on the tops of the Vals. I have 2 pieces of driftwood in the tank which the plecos are all over as well. But I cannot tell if they have enough natural type foods to eat.
I dropped in some algae wafer parts with the lights on and that was a mistake. Half the other fish in the tank went after them. Next time I tried it with aquarium lights off but room lights on so I could get the wafers in the right spot where the plecos tend to hang out. Still a bunch of other fish saw it fall and went after it. So the last couple nights I broke up the wafers into 1/4's and dropped them in at night after the aquarium lights went out and with no room lights on. It didn't seem like the fish found it but in the morning all wafer parts were gone. So I have no clue who actually ate them or if both plecos got some wafer or just one. Are there any signs to look for?
I'd not worry about underfeeding too much...they get leftovers from fish too. I'll tell you what I do...
I drop 3-4 pieces of bottom feeder or algae tabs (like halves, or whole, but at least three pieces of something) that way my loaches don't outmaneuver the BN. Then everyone is happy. BN's can also get territorial (he does with the loaches) over their food, which is why I've seen it recommended not to have more than one pleco in the same tank once they are juveniles.
I feed a little extra to the fish now and then so that flakes sink to the bottom and the bottom feeders have that too munch on as well.
By the way, I can relate to your story...the other day, an algae wafer landed right next to my massive amano shrimp. This shrimp picked up the ENTIRE wafer and started trying to smuggle it into shrimp town under the java fern. It was hilarious.
Oh, and it's a good thing not to have the remaining food there all night long...you don't want to have food sitting int here for that long...
LOL @ the shrimp.
Yeah, I don't want food to be in there for long periods on the bottom but none of the algae wafer pieces (and keep in mind we are not evening talking one full wafer total) have been there the next morning so someone(s) is eating them in the dark.
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