So, I recently acquired a very young (under 1 inch) albino bristle nose pleco, and its currently in a 10 gallon tank (will be upgrading to a 20 at some point). So far so good, but I have no idea how to be sure he's actually eating. My tank has recently finished cycling, there's no sign of algae in the tank, but he/she/it doesn't show any interest in algae wafers, so I usually just suck them up with my turkey baster when they get really broken down, so as not to spike ammonia. He also seems to prefer sucking on the glass instead of the two pieces of driftwood I've got in there. I don't know if it's eating, and I have no idea how long they can go without an actual meal.
If you blanch the zucchini (boil 3-5 minutes, then dunk into ice water to stop the cooking), it will sink on it's own and be softer for the young pleco. Mine never care for spinach or lettuce for some reason.
You can slice an entire zucchini, blanch it, then lay the slices onto a thin cookie sheet or plastic placemat and freeze. Dump the well-frozen pieces into a zip-loc and then just take a piece out when it's feeding time. For a single pleco, you might even slice each round piece into quarters. I blanch 5-6 zucchni at a time, then feed for a month+ out of the freezer, but I also have 8 adults and more than 50 BN fry on hand at the moment! NOTE: frozen pieces will float until they thaw, then they sink.
Only veggies I have on hand that aren't frozen are carrots, beets, and some lettuce (not Iceburg). The lettuce is called "living lettuce" and is packaged as a whole plant - roots and all. They last longer that way (and, being a college student with no roomies trying to eat healthy, the longer I can get fresh stuff to last, the better!). Would that work, if I just took a leaf and blanched it? So far all I've done is give him algae wafers, but as I said, I usually take it out if its in there for a really long time.
When I first got back to my apartment after getting some groceries, I saw my pleco hanging out on a decoration. Haven't seen him since >.> but, the back of my tank is pretty densely planted. Hoping he hasn't gotten himself stuck somewhere. He manages to find the smallest crevices to swim into, as this picture is evidence to (he's in the driftwood - I thought it was flush against the glass, but apparently not!)
I think your pleco's probably munching on almost invisible things on the tank sides and plants, as well as the algae tabs. They can be shy, so it's probably feeding when the tank lights are out. I wouldn't sweat it too much, but keep dropping in an algae tab periodically. If you don't have fresh stuff, don't worry too much, but try to snag some greens from the campus dining hall to try them out!
Since I don't have a meal plan, I can't get anything from there XD but... a friend of mine still does, so I might be able to get him to pay for me so we ca get some veggies for him once everyone moves in.
i adore my bristlenose. he definitely eats the algae wafers, loves fresh veggies, and sucks on the glass and filters too. He's been here for a few months, and is getting large. i think he probably gets food that falls to the bottom too, though it might not be much- my betta girls are piggy. I wouldn't worry too much though ;3 unless he's ill, he should have the instinct to go find food when he's hungry, and as long as it's available, he should be good :)
Well, I haven't seen him touch algae wafers (left in overnight) or a small piece of lettuce (not iceberg) that I put in there for him over the past few days. I think I might have a planaria infestation though, so I won't be complaining if he's eating those XD His stomach isn't the dark brown color that it was when I got him, though. Hasn't been since the day I got him, and it looked like he was full of either food, or fecal matter. So... I don't know. I'm leaving the lights on for a few extra hours a day, to maybe create an algae colony in there or something, just to be sure he has SOMETHING.
I don't know if this is a normal appearance for BS pleco's, but his face almost looks like its starting to hollow out. Maybe I just didn't notice when I got him, maybe its just started happening. I don't know. But I gave him another algae wafer, and even directed him to it, and even though he would sit right on it, he wouldn't eat it. Just sat there, then eventually moved away. But, since he knows where it is now, maybe he'll eat it.