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  L# Food for my Pleco?
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SubscribeFood for my Pleco?
Cortrell
Fingerling
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Registered: 22-Feb-2010
male
I have just 1 regular common pleco in my 20g tank. I'm wondering if and how I'll need to feed him? The person at the store said he'd be able to find his own food and my dad suggested algae pellets. Should I really go buy the pellets? Or is there maybe a way I could maintain somewhat of a natural algae growth?
Post InfoPosted 22-Feb-2010 21:36Profile PM Edit Report 
Babelfish
 
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EditedEdited 22-Feb-2010 21:54
"The person at the store said he'd be able to find his own food"
You'll quickly find that most people working in chain pet stores and even in some dedicated fish stores know very very little about actually keeping fish. Most of us never listen to them cause they'll tell you all sorts of lies.

Algae pellets are good, I'd buy a canister but you can also use fresh veggies like lettuce tied to a rock or a zucchini cut in half lengthwise. Even peas from the freezer work, just let them defrost on the counter then gently roll them between your fingers till they pop out of the skin. Put the skin in the compost and feed the two halves that pop out.

Pellets are a good staple, something easy to feed every day, they won't get their full nutrition from just leftover flakes. Fresh veggies are good too, but a little more time consuming to prepare.

A 20 gallon will be way way way too small for a common pleco, they get big and they grow pretty fast. I hope you're planning on upgrading to a 50 gallon or larger pretty soon. What other fish are in the tank?


^_^

Post InfoPosted 22-Feb-2010 21:53Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Cortrell
Fingerling
Posts: 15
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Registered: 22-Feb-2010
male
I know they grow to be pretty big but I didn't know it was fast. I'm just starting out and a 20g is about all I can fit in my room haha. Should I return him or what?

In my tank I have 3 blank phantom tetra, 2 angelfish (one striped, one calico), 2 orange wags, the pleco, a butterfly fish, and a crab. All of which have been coexisting just fine for a couple months now.
Post InfoPosted 22-Feb-2010 22:02Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
lowlight
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I use Hikari algae wafers for my SAE and Oto's. I will break the wafers up into smaller pieces cause they are to big for the fish to eat before it dissolves and there would be to much left over. I would research the fish you have and make your decision based on what you find. I personally wouldn't keep a Common Pleco in anything smaller than a 100 gal. I am not familiar with Angel fish but have heard that a 20 gal is pushing it. What do you mean Butterfly fish? That is a generic name for a few different fish I know of.
Post InfoPosted 23-Feb-2010 00:02Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cortrell
Fingerling
Posts: 15
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Registered: 22-Feb-2010
male
All the fish I have a pretty small. The pleco is only 3" long and both the angelfish and hardly over an inch long.

It's an African Butterflyfish. Pantodon buchholzi if that helps distinguish at all.
Post InfoPosted 23-Feb-2010 00:15Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Shinigami
 
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EditedEdited 23-Feb-2010 01:25
Ideally you should return the plec. A bristlenose pleco should be much more appropriate for a 20 gallon aquarium, growing only a couple inches in length. Growing fresh algae isn't necessary.

I use a combination of algae wafers and fresh veggies for all of my plecs.

lowlight is right about the angels, a 20 gallon isn't appropriate for more than small juveniles.

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Post InfoPosted 23-Feb-2010 01:25Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cortrell
Fingerling
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Registered: 22-Feb-2010
male
Alright well for the time being while they're small I'll just continue keeping them. I've only seen bristlenose plecos once at my local Petco, but next time I see them I'm check them out.
Post InfoPosted 23-Feb-2010 03:43Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
keithgh
 
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Cortrell

At the moment you have three topics going,basically
Your 20g tank with a list
The Crab minus one leg same tank
What to feed a Pleco

I think you better do a lot of research on what you have in the tank "NOW" At the moment "the Fish" will will survive but it will not be long before problems start over stocking mainly caused by growth, can cause massive problems which will end in tank deaths.
I suggest you add a lot more info about your tank eg 20g what type of tank Tall, Hex, or a long. Its not only the size its the water surface that is most important.

Now back to that Pleco you have no alternative but to return it.
Next locate a good LFS not a chain store who are only interested in a sale.

Keith

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Post InfoPosted 23-Feb-2010 06:30Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Cortrell
Fingerling
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Registered: 22-Feb-2010
male
Is that bad? I mean I'm just trying to put my questions in their specific areas and not all just in one you know? I'm trying to research my stuff. I'm trying to do it through some of you more experienced people because I don't have a local fish store.

My tanks is: 2' x 1' x 15"
It has a hanging filter and a cylinder heater.
I don't really know what else I could tell you.
Post InfoPosted 23-Feb-2010 20:52Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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Sounds like a standard sized 20.


Any brand info on the filter? If it came as a 'kit' you'll likely need to upgrade your filter to a more powerful HOB.

Big Als is really good for mail order stuff. They have fairly fast shipping and much cheaper than the chain stores. You may need to drive a bit further to find a real LFS to buy stock from. When I was living just outside of DC I'd drive an hour and a half north to baltimore to get stock as all the stores in the DC area were either chain stores that would sell fish when they only had a few not totally dead fish left in the tanks (all the others were obviously floating for a while ) or just didn't look after the fish in general.

Asking questions in different forums here is fine, divide stuff up as you need to so nothing gets missed. Since you're new we may ask the same thing over again till we get to know your tank.

If you're not able to upgrade you're going to need to find a home for the pleco. In the future do your research fully on any fish you plan on getting. Not all stores will provide size or even any info on care for the fish. Write down the names that they do provide, brief description of the fish (most stores wont' let you photograph their tanks )) then come back here and check in the profiles section and on the forums as to if they will work in your tank. Doing a little research now will keep you from some of the common beginner mistakes and let your fish grow up healthy.

BTW Welcome aboard.

^_^

Post InfoPosted 23-Feb-2010 22:49Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Cortrell
Fingerling
Posts: 15
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Registered: 22-Feb-2010
male
My filter is an Aqueon Power Filter that came with the tank.

Thanks for the tip on Big Al's. As far as I can tell, at my local Petco, the fish seem to be in pretty good shape. I only go the day after they restock so I get a better choice but the fish always look full of color and behaving normally. Maybe it's just me. Petsmart's fish, however, are always dull and lifeless. But I checked the yellowpages and I found a local store that I'll check out this weekend.

And thanks!
Post InfoPosted 24-Feb-2010 03:17Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Babelfish
 
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Sounds to me that you may want to start considering a better brand and likely a higher flow rate filter.

Never heard of that brand, but some generic made in china bits of plastic can be just as good as the brand name made in china bits of plastic.
From a look at their website, it looks to be the same style as the topfin filters that petsmart sold when I bought my first filter. Mine worked well for years (up till I moved countries and couldn't bring a filter that wouldn't work with the different plugs anyway!) The problem with them is that they combine the carbon with the floss. You want to keep the floss for as long as possible, but carbon needs to be thrown out once a month as it expires. As far as the company is concerned this works fine, you throw out the whole cartridge and they get to sell you a new one. As far as the fish are concerned this is bad because the beneficial bacteria mainly live in the filter floss, as well as in the substrate of your tank. The floss, foam, noodles, rings, balls of a filter are designed to allow the bacteria to populate in all the little holes. If it's designed to be thrown away once a month you lose a huge population of bacteria that are converting the harmful ammonia and nitrIte in your tank into the nitrAtes that are not as harmful to the fish and your tank goes into what's known as a minicycle. Once again, good for the filter company cause not only do they get to sell you a new cartridge, but also lots of unnecessary medications and tank boosters to deal with the minicycle that shouldn't have happened in the first place!

So? what are your options.
Depending on the flow rate of the filter, you may need to upgrade your filter anyway. You want a hang on back (HOB) filter to do 7-10 gallons per hour (gph). Canister filters can have a lower filtration rate due to how they're designed.
aquaclears are a good standard brand that I've almost never had trouble with. They should carry them at all LCS you can check the price, and the flow rate against what you need then order online.

Biowheel filters are considered even better than the standard HOB as the bacterial colonies take up residence on the wheels rather than floss or foam and don't get clogged as readily and are a little easier to clean. Never had one myself, but likely would have looked into them if I hadn't bought the AC's first.


If the flow rate on your current filter is ok, and it's filtering the tank well you can always do a DIY on the cartridge. You can cut open the floss and remove the carbon then wedge or sew the floss back on using cotton thread. You can use some foam blocks from an AC or other filter cut to size, generic ones are fine. There's lots you can do (not knowing your filter I cant say exactly).

The main goal is to not loose the bacterial population every few weeks. Instead the floss or foam is carefully rinsed in used tank water when you're doing your water changes in rotation with your gravel vacs.


Hope I didn't confuse you too much!


^_^



Post InfoPosted 24-Feb-2010 07:19Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
Cortrell
Fingerling
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Registered: 22-Feb-2010
male
Not confusing at all. Very informative, thanks a lot.

How do I find out my GPH? I looked on their website and it insisted the filter did 125gph. Compared to what you suggested, that sounded ridiculous. I'm not sure though.

The filter also has an insert they call the "Bio-holster" and that is where they insist the beneficial bacteria grow.
I didn't know you could change the carbon in the filter like that though, that's great. But wouldn't using the same floss eventually develop a major clog?
Post InfoPosted 24-Feb-2010 21:36Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
lowlight
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I would look into Aqua Clear filters thats what I would get if I were to purchase a HOB filter, they are IMO a better filter. There are no cartridges to replace and have better bio options. The more surface area there is for BB the better. The the "bio-holster" on that filter doesn't look like it has much of a surface. You can rinse the floss in used tank water when it starts to clog.
Post InfoPosted 24-Feb-2010 22:02Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Shinigami
 
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Wait, Babel, do you mean you want a filter that does 7-10 gph times the number of gallons in your tank?

A 125 gph filter is okay for a 20 gallon.

If you rinse out the filter pad, that will decrease the clogging.



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The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian.
Post InfoPosted 25-Feb-2010 02:30Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
keithgh
 
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YOUR FILTER

Have a look at this link to see if your filter is there.
What you have to remember its not the LPG or GPH that counts it is the quality of the filtration that is the most important.

If you clean that filter using the old tank water with your weekly water change this will help a lot.

With my 45lt Cardinal and CRS tank I have a HOB filter suitable for a 60 lt tank. With filters it pays to always go to the next size up.
Weekly I do a 15lt water change and clean my filter, mid week I also do another 15lt water change. Since doing this my filter is running a lot better and is never clogged up with gunk.

Keith ::Y
With Kit Tanks you can be sure that all the bits and pieces are not of the best quality to keep the cost down.


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Post InfoPosted 25-Feb-2010 06:29Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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