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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I just bought 4 baby bristlenose plecos a few days ago. 3 of them were the regular black color and one albino. In the tank they were in they were eating zucchini. Since I have had them in my tank I have attempted zucchini every other day. I have never seen them eating any of it but from the ones I can see they don't appear to have sunken bellies. Every so often I see them on the driftwood but most of the time they are on the glass which has no visible algae. So what do you think? Are they getting enough food from some possible algae that I cant see, are they getting enough food from the driftwood or are they slowly starving? I try to see them eating at day and night but even at night I don't see it.
 

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Don't worry yet. Especially if they're bouncing about. Plecos can be pretty sensitive to change and being moved, and some will go for a while without eating. However, yours are bouncing around and likely eating algae and tiny waterborne organisms off the glass and wood. Just because you can't see the algae yet, doesn't mean it's not trying to pop up! Also, they will nibble on the driftwood too, they need that to aid in digestion.


Now, for the zucchini, did you blanch it first? If not, you need to. Freezing can do this for you, or you can boil it and then pop it in the fridge or freezer. What I do, because the stuff doesn't last long otherwise, is I slice it, pop it on a flat sheet with wax paper and then freeze it overnight. After that I brush it all into a ziplock bag and freeze it. I take out bits to defrost, I do so with hot water in a bowl for several minutes until it's squishy, and feed. I also like to remove the seeds in the center so they don't choke. Typically I do this when I slice them. =)

Try popping in a little brine shrimp or mysis which is better from time to time, glassworms are good too. My baby BN's like Emerald Entree, you can buy that at most pet shops in the frozen food area. Good high quality veggie flakes can be sunk in for them as well. They need a bit of protein in their diets too, not just plant matter, since they are catfish, so don't forget. If they don't go for it after ten minutes or so, or when they've eaten for several minutes, I usually suck out extra food with a turkey baster. With bottom dwellers you gotta let stuff hit the bottom and stay for a bit. I usually leave zucchini in overnight, rarely have anything to suck out after that. lol The rest needs to be yanked out after a few minutes or it hurts the water quality, you can wait until they lose interest if you want, but that can take a while since some will actually sleep on the left overs! lol


Just in case, check your water parameters. If you don't have a liquid test kit, I suggest you nab one. They're costly, but often the most accurate, strips being on the bottom of the useless list there so don't use 'em. Make sure you have no ammonia or nitrites, and low to zero nitrates(usually safe up to about 20ppm, after that if it's spiking it can bother them). And also to be safe, a small water change can't hurt. =)

Make sure you have enough room for them, even baby plecos have a pretty high bioload, though they're not nearly as bad as some species of pleco. Six of them would need 55+ gallons, under three inches or so you might be able to pull it off in a thirty gallon for a very short time, but I wouldn't recommend it since even the smaller BN's can stunt if there's not enough space and other fish hanging out with them. I have five babies in a 73 gal pool, they love it and man are they growing fast. They were about an inch when I got them a month ago or so, and have grown about an inch since. :3


OH! Forgot to mention, sometimes they wont come to eat during the day. Many plecos like to feed after dark and will minimize grazing during the day. Youngsters will especially, they're used to dad toting them around safely(of course this usually wears off after they're big enough to be sold, so I assume your babies are at least two or three inches). So try feeding them after lights out, they find the food very easily in the dark. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First I'd like to thank you for replying. Mine are probably an inch tops I'd say. They are in my 75g. I didn't blanch the zuchinni since I've heard it doesn't matter but I will try. As for water quality I do have the api master test kit...all liquid...and I always test the water. The tank is fairly newly cycled and has little to no nitrates because I'm always on top of the water changes. I'm guessing you probably got it though with transplant shock. I was just concerned because at the lfs they were all over the zuchinni but they wont eat it for me. I'm not new to keeping aquariums but it worries me that I never see them eating is all lol. Thanks again for your help...it's very appreciated.
 

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I take a slice of zuke right from the freezer & into a coffee cup of water. Microwave it on high for 1 minute & let it cool. If you have a dog feed the seeds to the dog, mine love them. Plecs won't choke on the seeds, but they won't eat them either, they just pollute the tank.

Pick up some sinking spirulina wafers, these are pretty much a staple with bristlenose. I used a bit of bbs, either live or decaps to get growth out of the fry when I was breeding them. Don't go with anything too high protein, smaller ones will be OK with it, as they get bigger they need less. Watch the males as they mature, they can get a bit territorial & aggressive.
 
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They sound ok. Keep an eye out, sometimes it takes it's toll. One of my six died three days after I got them. =( After that, nothing, everyone did fine.

Yes, watch them close. Last night I realized one of my males is getting quite nasty, slapping and attacking others for food, so put food in more than one place. ^_~ At THIS point you probably don't have to worry about aggression though. Wait a few weeks. lol

Do try the emerald entree too. Mine blast over for it. It's kinda messy(you don't have to defrost it, that makes it less messy, but I usually do pop it in hot water for two minutes or so anyways and leave it only partially together and pop the cube in), but they snarf it good. Mine had never had it before either, so yay. It's a nice omnivore diet, leaning more towards veggie and that's perfect for them.
 

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I agree with sylverclaws--they love the Emerald Entrée! Also, the freshwater formula! All my other fish both foods too. You can also try bloodworms--BN plecos are supposed to really like it. Mine rarely get it as the other fish get to it first. Mine were 1.5 inch and 2 inches long when I got them, and they wouldn't touch the zucchini or cucumber at first either. So I dropped in a few algae wafers or sinking bottom feeder wafers every night. I also tried shrimp pellets. Once they were eating these, I tried the zucchini again. I blanched it this time, and after a few tries, they started eating it. I had to introduce it about four times though, before they would even taste it. So it sometimes takes time. Now they eat zucchini, cucumber, green beans (they really love these after they get used to them) and the above foods. They just need a little time to adjust. Also each one has a different personality! My female is less afraid of me than my male. They are fascinating.
 
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