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Author Topic: Plecostomus need to gnaw on wood  (Read 15093 times)
dang
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« on: November 14, 2011, 02:44:45 AM »

  This one has been around forever.

  I've always kept at least one piece of driftwood in with any plecostomus type.  The theory is that the wood fiber aids their digestion.  They do seem to spend a fair amount of time grazing on it.  (just grazing off the algae or actually gnawing on the wood?)

  I would be interested on what the experts here have to say about it.
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Debra
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 02:47:27 AM »

Yes and No.

The type of pleco determines if they need wood or not. Smiley
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redfan
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 05:32:57 AM »

Though it is fair to say that most pleco's are happiest with wood in the tank as most will make the wood a home.
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 07:53:56 AM »

I believe that it is just easier for the pleco to rasp wood than it is for a rock (or in the case of our aquariums), glass.  lookaround


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Brent
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2011, 01:16:36 PM »

Driftwood in a tank does several things.  First and foremost, it looks really cool. Wink  Secondly, it will often leach some tannic acid into the tank, dropping the pH some and softening the water. I live in Florida, where tap water pH is in the neighborhood of 7.8-8.2, and plants do not like that.  Next, because of the varigated surface of most driftwood, there is a lot of surface area for bacteria for nitrification as well as hiding places for fish.  As for Plecos, several types of plecos have continually growing teeth.  They need to chew to grind it down.  Glass and smooth rocks don't allow that to happen.  A lot of types of plecos eat driftwood to grind their teeth and injest some as a part of their diet even if it is accidental as with the carnivorous types.  So all in all, I don't think you can go wrong with driftwood as long as it is clean and you don't mind some possible yellowing of the water from the tannins.  I hope this helps.
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Ed
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2011, 07:32:15 PM »

Ditto what Debra said!!
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redfan
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2011, 08:10:05 PM »

Debra - Yeah it does depend what kind of plec you have, but that is only true to the extent of the diet of the given plec.  Most pleco's will appreciate wood in the tank, and certain types of pleco would be considered as a form of wood cats and require it as part of their general health!

From the various plecs I have housed this last year I would say as before that bogwood is always a good addition in a pleco tank.  It does reduce ph and also just simply provides something much more like natural cover.

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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2011, 10:19:17 PM »

As Debra already stated I really depends on the species of Pleco . Their dietary needs are just as varied as the numbers of species in this classification of fish.

Dang a tidbit about some of the species that do require wood in their diet ..told to me by a man who has been breeding many different species of Plecos for well over 50 years.

with certain species....
 It may not even be the wood ..but the biofilm that grows on the wood that the plecos need.
Newborn fry need to ingest the biofilm in order to develop the intestinal bacterial flora in their gut in order to be able to digest the large amounts of cellulose in their diet .
Some newborn Plecos are fed this first meal of biofilm by their fathers .  some get it from wood in the in their habitat.

As I said I have only been told this .. I don't have the scientific evidence to back it up.



 
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dang
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2011, 04:17:01 AM »

  Thanks everyone!  This shows that we're never too old to learn.  (but maybe too old to remember biggrin)
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