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Brhino
03-22-2010, 03:05 PM
WARNING: THIS THREAD IS ABOUT POOP

I have a 1.5" bristlenose pleco in my diatom-infested tank. He doesn't seem to be reducing the diatoms much, but I figure that's mostly because he's so little. I've also tried given him other veggies. Cucumbers and Zucchini were pretty well ignored, but some lettuce did get shredded overnight.

Last night as I was watching him working on the glass, I noticed he had poop coming out of his anus. Frankly I'm glad when I see that, because it's hard to tell if he's actually eating anything, but if he's pooping he must be. But to my surprise, the poop (I'm sorry, what's the technical word here? Feces? Droppings?) continued to emerge in a long string, eventually becoming longer than the pleco itself. Eventually it released and he went on his merry way.

I'm wondering if this is a cause for concern. I've heard that long strings of poop like that indicate you're overfeeding the fish, but since he's just eating the algae in the tank, I'm not sure how I could stop him from eating so much even if I wanted to.

Wild Turkey
03-22-2010, 03:17 PM
Long poop strings can be a sign of internal parasites. Loss of appetite can be another sign somethings up.

That being said, plecos sometimes have long poop strings and it doesnt mean anything.

Northernguy
03-22-2010, 03:33 PM
Keep trying to feed the veggies.It will figure out its food soon enough.
Long poops are normal with my plecos.:19: lol

Brhino
03-22-2010, 03:56 PM
he might be eating the veggies, I'm not sure. When I take them out of the tank they look a little worn, like someone was working on them or maybe they're just breaking down a bit. I think he just doesn't eat very much yet. I read stories about plecos cleaning tanks overnight or demolishing cucumber slices in minutes, but my little guy doesn't seem to be at that level.

Northernguy
03-22-2010, 04:09 PM
I peel 5" long sections and slice them down the center.
My bn gets halfway through his but sailfin has no problem with it.
You will know when its been enjoyed!lol

Scrup
03-22-2010, 05:15 PM
My 14" pleco regularly drops 1'+ poos. His record so far is 3'. I wouldn't be concerned.

ippielb
03-22-2010, 05:45 PM
My pleco poops every five minutes. So, if i added that up, it's would be pretty long too.

VoidParadigm
03-22-2010, 06:44 PM
My three inch plecos can compete with my nine inch goldfish easily when it comes to poop.

Unless it's white and stringy, I wouldn't worry about it.

Lady Hobbs
03-22-2010, 08:15 PM
Pleco's are poop factories! Unless it's white and springie, he's just another common pooper-dooper. He also will not eat diatoms. You can use charcoal in your filter to help with that for now and keep up with the water changes.

Brhino
03-22-2010, 08:27 PM
He also will not eat diatoms.

really? Seems like a lot of sources say they will. If they don't, that raises the question - what has he been eating? Do I have some other kind of algae on my tank? It's brown, it covers the glass and the fake plants, I figured that's what it was. Although it seems to start turning green if left alone long enough.

Well, now I'm just confused.

rhonin
03-22-2010, 10:31 PM
My 14" pleco regularly drops 1'+ poos. His record so far is 3'. I wouldn't be concerned.

Measuring poo?
How unique... :hmm3grin2orange:

Scrup
03-22-2010, 10:59 PM
Measuring poo?
How unique... :hmm3grin2orange:


its amazing the things you find to do when you are unemployed.

Brhino
03-22-2010, 11:41 PM
I thought I'd describe my setup and what I observe a little more, because Lady Hobbs' assertion that BH Plecos won't eat diatoms is causing me to question what I thought I understood of my tank situation.

The tank is about 3 months old now. I noticed a greenish brown substance spreading over the substrate (glass marbles - more on that later) and the plastic plants within 3 weeks of setting the tanks up. Based on my research I assumed this was diatoms, and the LFS agreed. I was told there to reduce feeding and reduce lighting (I don't have a strong light, but we were leaving it on for ~16 hours a day) and that the diatoms would go away on their own eventually. They didn't.

I think their continued existence is likely supported by my marble substrate. Any sinking food tends to fall between the marbles unless the fish catch it on the way down, and there it decomposes and feeds the diatoms. I vacuum the substrate during my water changes, but I'm sure I'm not getting all of it.

Three weeks ago I got a baby BH pleco, partially because I think it's an interesting fish and partly because I believed it would attack the diatoms (my first choice was otocinclus, but I've read that they're rather fragile, and prefer a planted tank, which I do not have at this time). He frequently attaches to the glass and sort of wiggles around it. You cannot visibly see the diatoms disappearing under his sucker, but there are some areas that he (or something else, I suppose) has noticeably removed what diatoms there were, such as on the filter intake tube. I have tried feeding him vegetables, once per week, a different one each week, but I have not observed him to eat any of it. He has been a prolific pooper since the day I got him.

I used to wipe the diatoms off the glass when I did a water change, but I stopped doing this since I got the pleco, thinking there was no reason to remove his food. Since then, they haven't really spread or diminished from what I can tell.

So, regarding the interaction between my diatoms and my BH pleco, one of the following must be true:
1. The pleco IS eating the diatoms
2. The pleco IS eating the brownish stuff on my tank, but that stuff is not diatoms.
3. The pleco IS NOT eating the diatoms, but is finding other things to eat, as evidenced by his continual pooping even without regular feedings from me. The diatoms have formed a stable, neither increasing nor decreasing population.

I think perhaps I'll clean the front and back of my tank with the next water change, leaving diatoms on the sides and on the plants. Perhaps this will make it easier to judge if he's actually reducing their numbers or not.

Aeonflame
03-23-2010, 03:50 PM
You'd be amazed at how much a single pleco can poop. I once caught a 3 incher that stayed in a bucket during the ride home. Maybe 4 hours later, half the bucket was a carpet of poop.

Zilla
03-23-2010, 04:19 PM
You'd be amazed at how much a single pleco can poop. I once caught a 3 incher that stayed in a bucket during the ride home. Maybe 4 hours later, half the bucket was a carpet of poop.

Ewww! And this is the reason I don't have any. They're cool looking, but they are pooping machines.

MCHRKiller
03-23-2010, 05:02 PM
You should see what comes out of my 9" L330, as nasty as it seems the geos keep the sand so well stirred the filters usually suck it all up...but their strainers need cleaned atleast weekly as they get clogged up with pleco shit the geos have kicked up. :hmm3grin2orange:

Brhino
03-23-2010, 05:04 PM
this has been an... enlightening thread.

Anyone have any comments on BH Plecos eating or not eating diatoms?

Wild Turkey
03-23-2010, 09:00 PM
this has been an... enlightening thread.

Anyone have any comments on BH Plecos eating or not eating diatoms?

They do IME

toddnbecka
03-24-2010, 04:21 AM
BN pleco's do eat diatoms, and just about everything else that grows on the glass, substrate, and/or fairly solid ornaments. They won't clean algae off of artificial plants, but otherwise are very effective.