Pleco won't stop eating

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fishorama

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OK, guys, just stop this BS! You're both overreacting...(except you NoodleCats, always a voice of reason :) )

Almost any fish will eat dead fish, starved or not. Many plecos eat the "biofilm" on plants & may chew on leaves as they do...but many plecos will eat veggies in any form, sword plants, zucchini, romaine, peas, etc., some are more carnivirous & don't. Juvenile fish are pretty much always hungry, they have some growing to do for a while & need food! Plecos are pretty much all grazers, they want to eat almost all the time & will eat often off the surface. We taught our "common" pleco to wink for a tabimin, it wasn't hard to do.

JB'sWifey, I'm wondering why your other fish are either dead or unable to get away from even a biggish pleco. Please tell us more about your tank & we'll try to help. What size tank? How long have you had it & did you cycle it before you got fish? What are you water parameters (ammonia, nitrite & nitrate)?

I can't tell what species your "common" pleco is...Can you try for a better pic? There are a few species that are "common", different now than in "the olden days". From what little I can see maybe a gibbiceps? I dunno...
 

JBsWifey

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He whacks them with his tail, and whacks me for that matter. He throws a lot of fits when he can't find food.. The tetras and frog were not very fast anyway & the angel fish must've died (just a few days ago) because he was quite big.
We've had him and both angel fish since July 2019 in a 20g when he was a baby and a few months later we got a 50g, and that's where he's been. I cycled the tank for about a week before moving tanks.
The ammonia is 0ppm right now and I lost the other test strips. Replacements are on their way. I'm in the process of moving the tank and putting in an undergravel filter so my tank is pretty bare right now. I've tried giving broccoli and lettuce but the only 1 who ate them is the shark.
I'm not starving him I just want to make sure that his giant appetite is normal, which you answered so thank you lol.
 

the loach

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1st off I definitely don't starve him or why would I give 2 sh**s about him eating constantly. 2nd he does eat plants, he ate 5 giant Amazon swords. If you want someone to judge go to another feed.
But it wasn't a judgment, I should have written 'if one starves them'.... I did not think you were doing it, or he wouldn't be 8" and you enquiring about it.
They are known to eat the slime coat off slow, high bodied fish such as fancy goldfish and discus if they don't get fed enough. They are typically peaceful/ignorant towards smaller fish. He might be very territorial, and maybe slap fish because of that, if the fish happens to die he eats them. Common plecos don't attack or kill fish to eat them. You might be unlucky with his temper, and if he killed those tetras it might be accidental because of the small tank (for his size) My posts might come out poorly worded but are not judgmental, I'm here to help aquarists.
 
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fishorama

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I can't really tell your pleco's species from your pics. Maybe a L-001? A gibbiceps? Does he ever put up his dorsal fin? How about a tail shot too...especially if it's spread out. No hurry, do the best you can.

Was that your angel that died? A pretty marble or whatever it's called these days...

Your pleco seems a bit thin, not starved. Behind the head looks a bit iffy...but that can be a species thing too...More pics please...
 
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Sprinkle

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Each fish has their own temperament. Don’t they?
I have a 2.5” or 3” bushy nose plec with his bristles growing already, he will headbutt and conquer my other fish [even my cories!] for food, but leaves shrimp alone.
And he’d never do that before so from my point of observation, some behaviour and temperament comes with age/time, but maybe bristlenoses are normally like that, I don’t know that. Common plecos, if you’ve noticed, have almost to no plants in their natural habitats and have plenty of algae to graze on, and if your boy behaves like that, is very aggressive in your eyes and ruins plants, I’d return him if I were you, I would look for someone who has a large enough pond to house him in.
 
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fishorama

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I should also have asked if you have real wood in the tank. I don't see any in your pics but maybe you said? Some plecos need wood in their diet, many just like it to graze on it, a few don't care. All that fiber does lead to long poop strings but that's partly because many have very long digestive tracts to deal with plants & wood lignin, lots of roughage...just part of pleco charm? lol

Some "commons" get 18-24 inches but some don't much bigger than 8 or 10". That would still be a large fish! but much more manageable for a "normal" home big tank size. Any luck with better pics?

How's it going now? Any changes in behavior? Or more dead fish? I'm concerned about that...Maybe some wafer foods would help slow him down, they take a while to eat & he may need more than 1 or 2 most days. There are even 1s with wood in them :)
 

JBsWifey

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I can't really tell your pleco's species from your pics. Maybe a L-001? A gibbiceps? Does he ever put up his dorsal fin? How about a tail shot too...especially if it's spread out. No hurry, do the best you can.

Was that your angel that died? A pretty marble or whatever it's called these days...

Your pleco seems a bit thin, not starved. Behind the head looks a bit iffy...but that can be a species thing too...More pics please...
It was a white angel. I'll send more pics soon.
 

JBsWifey

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Oct 25, 2020
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Each fish has their own temperament. Don’t they?
I have a 2.5” or 3” bushy nose plec with his bristles growing already, he will headbutt and conquer my other fish [even my cories!] for food, but leaves shrimp alone.
And he’d never do that before so from my point of observation, some behaviour and temperament comes with age/time, but maybe bristlenoses are normally like that, I don’t know that. Common plecos, if you’ve noticed, have almost to no plants in their natural habitats and have plenty of algae to graze on, and if your boy behaves like that, is very aggressive in your eyes and ruins plants, I’d return him if I were you, I would look for someone who has a large enough pond to house him in.
I have a gold bristlenose & he's got bristles too. He's beautiful but very peaceful. I'll post a pic when he comes out. I also have the tiniest Otocinclus Catfish who's only maybe 1" long & that's the biggest he'll ever be. So adorable. These 2 are in my betta tank which is a 25gal
 
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JBsWifey

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I should also have asked if you have real wood in the tank. I don't see any in your pics but maybe you said? Some plecos need wood in their diet, many just like it to graze on it, a few don't care. All that fiber does lead to long poop strings but that's partly because many have very long digestive tracts to deal with plants & wood lignin, lots of roughage...just part of pleco charm? lol

Some "commons" get 18-24 inches but some don't much bigger than 8 or 10". That would still be a large fish! but much more manageable for a "normal" home big tank size. Any luck with better pics?

How's it going now? Any changes in behavior? Or more dead fish? I'm concerned about that...Maybe some wafer foods would help slow him down, they take a while to eat & he may need more than 1 or 2 most days. There are even 1s with wood in them :)
Yes I put some large driftwood pieces in there for him but so far he could care less lol. I had to put all the fish in a different tank (20gal) just so I could move the 50gal & every single fish died except him (his name is suckery which my daughter chose). I used their water & they were only in there about 1 day so I could cycle the big tank so I can only think that they were too stressed out & now I feel like a big jerk for killing them. I moved him to my 25gal tank after that and A LOT of my fish in that tank died too. I had about 10 fire tetras & about 12 blue tetras now I'm down to 1 blue tetra & about 6 fires. I never had any die in that tank before suckery got in there. I love my fish so I'm pretty bitter about it.
 
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