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Zebra Plec - Not Growing

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:10 am
by Kirstos
Hi everyone

I have a group of five juvenile zebra plecs that I got back in March time. Since I got them, four of them have grown steadily but there is one that just has not grown. I know this one could just be a 'runt' but I am concerned that he just isnt getting enough food if he may be being muscled out by the bigger ones. They are the only inhabitants of the tank.

I have a breeding box that I could hang in the tank, if that might help with targeted feeding?

Any advice or suggestions would be welcomed.



The other four are pretty much the same size as the bottom one on this picture so he (?) is clearly a lot smaller.
Small Zebby.JPG
Small Zebby 2.JPG

Re: Zebra Plec - Not Growing

Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:02 am
by wu19
I can relate. I added 6 zebbies recently myself and now currently have 13. I have a couple of little ones also and I try to combat the problem by spreading the food around. At first I fed as normal but then like you I noticed the little ones getting out boxed. So what I did was I put 3 sticks in the back and 3 sticks in the front. Now one of the sticks I put right in front of my alpha male, so he is preoccupied and being a pig right in front of his favorite cave. Seems to work for me. I have a 37 Gallon tank. I also noticed my alpha female doesn't look like the alpha anymore and what surprised me was the size. I'm seeing this new female, she is half the size of my previous alph female and she is feriouciously fighting an area and is dominating. I've been monitoring her little arm that has been red for a couple of days. It's fading away but she is a firecracker :shock:. I also target if it's feeding time and I see a little one.
With Frozen foods I have no problem. The stick foods and pellets can be tricky as sometimes my Alpha male tries to bully everyone during feeding time but since I started spreading the food out he has been behaving but he has his days. Good luck.. Oh females tend to be a little smaller so maybe you have a small female? Even tho it does look like a small male.

Re: Zebra Plec - Not Growing

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:11 am
by Kirstos

Thanks for the reply! :) I have tried to ensure the food is spread about the tank well, they wont eat anything unless its really small so I grind the pellets/sticks etc into powder and put that in front of the filter outlet so it scatters all over the tank so that they can each forage. I have always done this though.

I didnt want to, but I think I will have to resort to using a plastic breeding box in their tank to try to target feed him. Do you think this will be OK if I vacuum it daily?

Re: Zebra Plec - Not Growing

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:37 pm
by wu19
From what I gather from the pros is try not to put your hands too much in the tank. If you wana isolate him to fatten him up? I don't see why not. They are expensive and you want the peace of mind. I isolated my female when my male trapped her and basically ate her back fins :( . She is healthy but scared. Back fins never regrew. :? But she is alive. Me personally I wouldn't keep putting my hands and clean everyday. I try to leave them be. I clean and change the water once a week.

Re: Zebra Plec - Not Growing

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:01 pm
by Kirstos
Mmm fair point. I usually do bi-weekly water changes but perhaps I should try to resist!

Yeah I just want to be sure he is OK and will be OK. I certainly dont want to stress him out but clearly something isnt working at the moment.

I'll let you know how I get on :)

Re: Zebra Plec - Not Growing

Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:25 am
by Bugsy
Growing Zebras is like growing a beautiful Bonsai, it takes much patience as I have found... :D

I use wood dowling sticks in all my tanks instead of using my hands, its great you might want to get some so you can move food around that way.

I feed Repashy foods to my zebras and they are doing amazing. I only have 2 Zebras, very long story about my plecos but one is bigger than the other as one is new and the other I got a year ago this past April. Due to my ignorance both my first zebras ended up with a bad bacterial infection due to water quality issues from dirty sand I thought was clean, so one died the other I managed through many many weeks of praying it pulled through and is doing very well, its one pectoral fin is not going to come back by the looks but all the rest did and the fish is so healthy otherwise. I got it a new friend this year and they are best of buds hoping they are a pair oneday. I now use nothing but a bare bottom tank, keeping it very clean but I do have 1 otocinclas in there to keep the glass clean and no other fish. They both share a cave and just love it.

As for the food I do a mix of Repashy Meat Pie and Repashy Solient Green. I do a mix of 3-1 with this gel food its so easy to make, the plecos just love it, I freeze it in small pieces so all I do is drop 2 of them in every night when lights are out, they don't break apart like other foods do and the plecos just love them. You could certainly use these in your tank and give each pleco one in different places and see how that works everyone should get enough food that way.