Pleco Not Eating. Main Reasons Your Pleco Is Starving

Pleco Not Eating

Plecos are one of the important fish from the cleaning crew who can help to keep your tank algae-free. It is because your plecos like algae a lot. But if you are planning to let your fish survive on the available algae in the tank, then it is a wrong strategy. You might need plecos for cleaning, but it does not mean you can let them rely on the available algae only.

You have to keep them well by providing the food variations. If you provide your fish with the necessary food and they still don’t eat it or starving themselves to death, then there can be multiple underlying reasons to make your fish react this way.

It is better to read through this article and find the exact reason for such an attitude by the fish. Once you know the reason, you can find the solution to the problem. This article covers:

  • Reasons your plecos aren’t eating
  • Tips to make your fish eat
  • Best diet for plecos

Your plecos need a meaty diet

Plecos are omnivorous in nature. Although they like eating algae, they cannot fulfill their appetite with algae alone. So, you have to offer them a holistic diet including meat to eat and keep growing.

If you are offering them food, which isn’t rich in protein, they might not eat it irrespective of how much you try. Thus, it is better to look for the right food categories.

Some of the primary food options that you have for your Plecos include kale, cabbage, zucchini, and shelled peas. Besides, disc food and tablets can serve them well. Just make sure you are offering them food at least twice a week, preferably at night time because this is when your plecos are actively seeking the food.

Your plecos can be choosy

Multiple individuals have reported that no matter what food they offer, the plecos stick to the pallets available at the bottom of the tank. There is no particular reason for such an attitude of your fish. It might be because they are choosy about what they eat and do not want to adapt their style to what you offer.

If you have bought your plecos from a pet store, then the food that the store offered before will most likely be their favorite. So, you cannot do much about it.

Your pet might be stressed

Your pet might be stressed

One of the other reasons your plecos are not eating is that they could be in stress. Relatively low or no appetite is one of the significant symptoms of identifying the stressed fish in your aquarium.

There can be multiple reasons for stress, with the most prominent being the water quality. Besides, aggressive teammates and illnesses can also cause stress. In such a situation, your fish eat less. However, it can be the other way around too. If your fish has less food available in the aquarium at its disposal, it can get under stress. So, you must check both these factors with utmost care.

You have to maintain the tank environment

One of the other things hindering your plecos from getting the right food is the tank environment. Firstly, the environment will impact algae production in the tank, which is the food for plecos.

Secondly, if the other variables of the tank will not suit your fish, they will not eat. So, it is not about adding more food to the tank when you want your fish to eat; it is about creating an environment that will make your fish come to food.

Space can be the issue

If your plecos are not eating, they might have a lot of contenders in the aquarium for the space and the food you are offering to them. Usually, the plecos owners are sure that they will have enough food in algae, which is not valid. Similarly, if the other fish or the aquarium species like snails are all around and your plecos do not get enough room, then the impact can be seen in the form of low appetite.

So, be careful that you are not overstocking your tank as it will not only create a short-term problem, but your fish will develop eating problems as well.

Your plecos might be old

You might not find the very fish-eating algae from your tank. This is also true for the fish that have gone too old. The age might reduce the overall diet they consume. If you want them to be your algae eater at this stage, then this fish might not be the right option. However, they still might want to eat their favorite meaty food.

Your plecos might be bullied

If your pleco is bullied in the fish tank, it might reflect it is not eating its food, or maybe the other pleco might not leave enough of it for one of the plecos to eat. It is often recommended to keep only one pleco in the tank to avoid all such issues.

Your plecos might be injured

If none of the above reasons can cause your plecos not eating, then a problem that might seem to be the cause is injury. Firstly, you should analyze your fish for any external injury. There are chances that your fish might have bumped into something and got hurt as a result.

Your fish might be suffering from parasites

If it is not an injury from bumping into things, then parasitic attacks might also have spoiled the internal system of your fish. It is better to set your fish in quarantine, especially if it is new to you. Treat your fish with medicine and have a close look at it. While you are quarantining your fish, do not forget to keep feeding your fish with some good food (even though it does not eat, your fish must have the food readily available.

Tips for feeding your plecos fish:

Tips for feeding your plecos fish:

Below are the main tips for feeding your plecos fish. Adopting these measures might help change your fish’s mood, and it can start eating if it is just the mood problems with your fish.

  1. Choose the right food for your plecos. You must choose a mixture of food, including vegetables, fruits, and even meat options.
  2. Algae wafers must always be present in your tank as the drift food, so your plecos can snack on this food whenever required.
  3. Observe how your plecos have been eating. If they get to the food immediately, they might be hungry, and you have to feed them more often. But if they ignore the food, they are already full, and you must feed them less often.
  4. Give your fish at least one algae wafer every day.
  5. Try adding the food for plecos at night because they are nocturnal animals and like to feed at night.

Summing up

There can be multiple reasons that your pleco is not eating. From the minor mood changes to the internal problems like injuries or the parasitic attack, you have to go through many checks to determine and resolve the exact reason your pleco is facing in the aquarium. The above-stated points can offer you the complete checklist, so go on one by one and see where things go wrong.