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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. This doesn't concern a cichlid tank, but you all have been so helpful in the past I wanted to post what should be a general question about food.

I have a really small pleco in a 20 gal. tank that has been cycled for quite some time. Water quality, to the best of my knowledge is fine, and I change it periodically.

I'm having trouble feeding it though. It seems that no matter what food I put in the tank, literally overnight it will have a large amount of white fuzzy fungus growing on it. I have tried sinking pellets, and two different brands of algae wafers. The food eventually floats up to the filter and gets stuck on the inlet and gets very nasty.

This used to not be the case. I do not know what is going on. I suspected the quite old algae wafers I was using just went bad. So I replaced it with a new bag of a different brand but had the same results. I also added some sinking pellets and they did the same thing.

I'm not sure what started this but I'm concerned that I can't keep any food in the tank long enough for the pleco to eat. This will be my third one that I have bought.

Anybody know what this is and how to fix it?

P.S. I'm not sure if this is related but in the last few weeks I have had a very serious problem with algae blooms. I try treating with algaefix and changing the water and I get it under control, but after a few days, almost overnight it turns green again and gets bad quickly. I have had two significant outbreaks and just changed the water tonight again. I have a 100gal tank sitting next to this one and I have none of these problems.
 

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The food should be eaten by the fish within the first 3 minutes it is in the tank. Try feeding less. If the food is not eaten within 10 hours it should be vacuumed out of the tank.
 

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Ditto on what DJ said.

You didn't mention the actual numbers of your water--ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I'm guessing that your nitrates are high.
If you can, test the water and get back to us with the numbers. Then do this:

For the next 2 weeks do daily or every other day partial water changes of 25-50%. Siphon the gravel thoroughly. If the gravel is more than 3 inches deep remove it down to three inches, AFTER you have thoroughly siphoned it. Make sure you use a good quality dechlorinator when you do the water changes.
Check the filter media. If there is a build up of waste rinse it off in a bucket of tank water but don't completely replace the media.

Algae blooms are better handled by preventing the bloom in the first place rather than using chemicals. Cut down on how long the tank lights are on, cut back on feeding, and do regular weekly partial water changes of 25%.

Good luck with your tank
:)
Robin
 

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^^ Agree 100%.

There's enough of a constant food source that your fungus is happily living and reproducing in the tank, along with the algae. While following Robin's advice, I recommend that you do not feed anything for at least three days. When your fish is hungry, he will eat what is available quickly.

You say it's a very small pleco- anything else in the tank? Are you trying to grow out the pleco? Try canned, french-cut green beans. I had poor luck with pleco fry survival until someone told me to add green beans. The french cut make less mess than regular beans that still have the seeds in them. Add one piece on Day 4, and remove anything that's left after a few hours (overnight is fine). It may take a day or two for your pleco to adjust to eating green beans.

With all the cleaning and lack of food, the fungus and algae should disappear. After a week or so, try adding a wafer again and see what happens. But make sure to remove it after a couple hours.

Oh btw- a turkey baster is a great tool for removing excess food.
 

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triscuit said:
^^ Agree 100%.
While following Robin's advice, I recommend that you do not feed anything for at least three days. When your fish is hungry, he will eat what is available quickly.
:thumb: Yes, even better

Oh btw- a turkey baster is a great tool for removing excess food.
No tank should be without one--just don't return it to the kitchen when the fish are done with it.

Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I appreciate everyone's replies. For some reason I am not getting e-mail notifications.

I checked the numbers on the tank. I just did a large water change yesterday to get the green water out of the tank. I have done pretty regular changes to try and control this algae bloom over the last couple of weeks. So, as can be expected, there is no ammonia, nitrites, or nitrates that I can detect. I cleaned the inlet filter, but have not changed the filter media in a while. I rinsed it a couple of weeks ago.

I have a pleco in the tank that is about 2 to 2.5 inches. Its a 20 gal. tank.

It already has not eaten, to the best of my knowledge, in several days. Primarily because I stopped putting the food in several days ago when it kept growing fungus and the tank started turning green again.

I can understand the fish should eat the food quickly, but this is a pleco. I've never had one that ran to food. These things eat on their own time, usually at night from what I can tell. I can't keep food in the tank long enough to get it to eat. This fungus is fast acting. Its crazy.

I'll keep doing some small water changes every day and see if I can stop the algae and fungus.

I can try some green beans. How much should a fish this size eat? I mean, if I throw one algae wafer in the tank, should i be able to see it partially eaten in the morning? I usually can't tell if they have been eaten at all. They grow fungus or break apart first.
 

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My plecos come out for food along with the others. Really, any food will start to rot within 10 hours.

If you put an algae wafer in at lights out and it is not gone by morning, maybe the fish is sick?
 
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