Pleco not eating wafers

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nateyj90

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Original poster
Feb 13, 2020
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I have a small Common Pleco, (About an inch) that wont eat the wafers I have. The brand is "Hitari Tropical Algae Wafers". The Pleco is currently in the tank alone. The tank is a 40 gallon breeder with a bit of hiding spots. Water parameters are good: 0Ammonia 0Nitrite 10Nitrate. There is a lot of brown algae and green string algae in the tank because I cycled it for around 2 months using pure ammonia. He seems fine but he just wont eat the wafers. I also have Seachem chlorella flakes but those will go everywhere in the tank and dirty it up quick if he doesn't eat it. I just want to make sure he's eating enough. How could I get him to eat?
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Welcome to AC! At only an inch long your pleco might not eat much. Does it poop? I would offer only 1/4 of a wafer at a time at most. It probably is grazing on the brown diatom alga, it probably won't eat thread type algae. How long have you had it?

I'd offer a different type of pellet/tablet/wafer every other day, just a piece. Common plecs are omnivores so look at a pellet food with the first 3 or 4 ingredients of fish, shrimp, spirulina NOT corn, wheat type fillers. I like some of the Omega 1 foods, they're easy to find locally...but read the label.

Do you have any real wood in in your tank? Many plecs like to graze on it whether they "need" it or not depends on the species ("common" can be a few different kinds).

Be ready to vacuum out the uneaten food & poop often. That will help you judge how much to feed.
 
Last edited:
Apr 2, 2002
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One Hikari Algae Wafer will feed a 1 inch algae eating pleco for about 2 weeks.
 

northernlady

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Jan 24, 2020
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You might look into Repashy brand food. Its excellent, they have many types for many fish and herps. I feed Repashy Soilent Green to my community tank also feed Repashy Bottom Dweller,but the fish prefer Soilent Green. Repashy also makes a food called Morning Wood for plecos .Repashy is a powdered product that you mix with boiling water, then refrigerate in a closed jar, feeding just what your fish eat in 1 day. Repashy must be refrigerated after preparation and in its prepared state will keep up to 2 weeks. You also need to refrigerate it unmixed powder after opening the container. I keep a very small ceramic dish in the bottom of the tank so the fish can eat all the Repashy. My pleco refuses dry pellets now since getting Repashy, he thinks he is a connisuer, LOL. I have found Repashy is cheaper going straight to them on the internet, they also sell 3 oz sizes so you can try it out. With a pleco you must have some driftwood, be careful here, get it at a petstore , dont use decorative wood from a craft store or wood you pick up outside. I use Manzanita , about $10 for a smaller piece.Plecos will also hide under the driftwood.Its good that you care so much for your fish that you have noticed, good luck with him.:)
 

fishorama

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Yes, I love Repashy Soylent Green for my hillstream loaches but other fish like it too. I haven't tried the other types but will when I have fish with other food needs. My shrimp weren't thrilled with the shrimp kind, not that they were fussy feeders. I freeze small amounts & thaw as needed for a week.
 
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Apr 2, 2002
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I use a ton of Repashy. The morning wood is really only for those plecos that are specifically wood eaters (Xylivores). Most plecos are not. One nice thing about Repashy is one can mix the different foods.

The Bottom Scratcher is an ideal food for meat eating plecos and corys and the Soilent Green is great for the veggie/algae eaters. The Spawn and Grow is great if you spawn your fish and for growing out fry. I normally mix the Bottom Scratcher and the Spawn and Grow with about 20% Soilent since the young plecos need veggie matter in their diet at that age. I keep and breed the rarer black and white Hypancistrus. They are omnivores who like meat a lot. Interestingly, my clown loaches (several are now pushing 10 inches TL) absolutely shred the Igapo Explorer (previously called Fruut Luups).

You can buy Repashy food directly from Allen on his site https://www.store.repashy.com/

One way to feed Soilent Green is to paint it onto a rock with a brush while it is still warm and liquidy. Then put the rock into the tank to feed. For a one inch pleco a pebble would be be big enough. You could make a tiny amount of the Soilent and paint up a bunch of pebbles. If the food gels before you finish, nuke it and it should reliquify.
 
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fishorama

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Igapo Explorer (or Fruut Luups) is a new 1 on me, lol. I did try "painting" it on rocks & dipping them, but my rocks were too smooth for it to stick well. Not a problem, it sloughed of & the fish ate it any way.

I don't think I'd have tried to keep hillstream loaches without Allen Repashy's auf wuchs replacement food. My F1 sewellia were raised on it, as have all my generations from 7 years ago.

TTA, you breed much more difficult fish than I do but I think part of our successes are due to Repashy foods. Allen did a lot of research to get such good mixtures for various types of fish. I sometimes share a small bag of it at club meets just so others can experience the wonder of a quality food in a new form.

I also sometimes add treats like baby brine shrimp, daphnia, cyclops, flakes or bloodworms to the warm Soylent Green for the more carnivorous fish. It's funny to see an almost surprised look as they find the additives, stop, chew, & go for more!

I keep both the powder & prepared gel in the freezer. It's almost time to order more!
 
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Apr 2, 2002
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The plecos which spawn in my tanks are not hard to get to do so, they are just insanely expensive to acquire and some grow at about the speed of molasses flowing uphill. I also know that our well water is especially conducive to having success with a lot of softer water fish. Almost all of the plecos I have worked with are from the Rio Xingu. I do feed a lot of frozen since I drew the line at live. I have done some live BBS and red wiggler worms, but given my space considerations, I gave up on live even though I know it is the absolute best food for breeding. I believe most fish we keep want to spawn and will usually do so as long as we make sure we are not doing things that will discouraage this. If we provide the proper water parameters, use a proper sized tank with the right sort of aquascape and then if we feed good foods and do the needed tank maintenance, the fish will do the rest.

The Repashy and frozen foods comprise about 80% or more of the diet for my plecos. The other 20% is a mix of kensfish.com foods. My shrimp are mostly amanos and they will eat about anything that goes into the tank. Basically it takes me about 30 minutes to feed Repashy to all my tanks since I cut it into small pieces an place them all over the tank. It takes about 5 minutes when I feed the kensfish foods. These are fine if one is not working to get fish to spawn but it is the Repashy and frozen that does the trick.

I have never stored my Repashy powder in either the fridge or freezer. But I do batch it in quantity and freeze most of that in pre-sliced chunks individually wrapped. I think I batch three times a year or maybe 4.
 

the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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I'd offer a different type of pellet/tablet/wafer every other day, just a piece. Common plecs are omnivores so look at a pellet food with the first 3 or 4 ingredients of fish, shrimp, spirulina NOT corn, wheat type fillers. I like some of the Omega 1 foods, they're easy to find locally...but read the label.
No... I've read this multiple times now on this forum but as a sweeping statement it is incorrect, in this case it is, common plecos need lots of roughage and vegetable matter not high protein foods. Some fish need that it doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad food, some do need the high protein foods, but there is no "one food fits all fish".

Your pleco should prefer brown algae over the pellets, but you should be able to see him eating and pooping. If he ain't doing that something is wrong, and it's not the food but the water.
 

FreshyFresh

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Like said, common plecos need wood to rasp on and lots of it once they get big, and they will get a foot or more long in an aquarium.

Cucumbers and blanched veggies they also need.

Pellet and wafer foods can be real trash. Need to read the ingredients. If the first 3 are corn, grains and fillers, it's junk.
 
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