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Pleco Food

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Help and advice on shopping for: Pleco Food

Pleco catfish come from rivers in South America, where they've evolved suckermouths to graze wood and rock surfaces for food items. Many Pleco fish eat algae but some eat the critters living in the algae and may eat and digest wood. Some Plecos are even known to eat meat.

Do Plecos need special food?

The first mistake in fish keeping is thinking that Plecos will eat uneaten fish food left by other fish or even fish waste. They won't. The other misconception is that Plecos exclusively eat algae and will survive long term in a fish tank just by eating algae. Plecos need their own food, formulated especially for them, and fed in the right way and the right quantity to sustain them and enable them to grow and breed. They can't eat algae alone and there is rarely enough algae for a Pleco's diet.

Swell Pleco foods are easy to feed dry foods that have been specially formulated for Plecos kept in aquariums. They are sinking tablets or algae wafers which can be grazed by Plecos over long periods and provide them with the essential nutrients they need. Swell Pleco foods are complete diets for a wide variety of Pleco species. A Pleco's diet can also be supplemented with botanicals like leaves, raw vegetables, meaty foods like frozen cockles and mussels, and frozen bloodworms to give them a balanced diet.

Many other tropical fish types will graze Pleco food too, from Guppies and other livebearers to Sharks, Loaches, Cichlids and Gouramies. The vegetable and spirulina content in an algae wafer offers a good dietary supplement and environmental enrichment. Sinking wafers are good food for herbivorous fish that would otherwise eat plants as well.

How long can a pleco go without eating?

When they are first imported plecos may have gone without food for days or weeks, but in the aquarium, they should have access to food every day. Check large plecos for signs of hollow bellies or sunken eyes and offer mature bogwood as well as pleco foods at all times. Large, fast fish may steal pleco food so feed all other fish first and then feed the plecos after lights out or place food in a cave that the plecos can fit in, but other fish can't.