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Mmm, Zucchini

August 31, 2011

This is not a post about food, it’s a post about fish.  Our plecostamus (plecostomi?), Dyson & Hoover, love their zucchini!  Prevailing wisdom in the fishkeeping world is that plecos like a little fresh veg now and then to supplement their diet.  Of course, it depends on which variety you have – there are carnivorous varieties that prefer having some shrimp and bloodworms and things like that.  We don’t have any of those, though we may get one eventually.  They are super-cool and often strikingly colored.  We visited a local aquarium shop last weekend that had what was labeled as a “Flying Anthrax” pleco.  Har de har har – this is no real variety that I have been able to find, and it seems that they made up the name just to attract attention.

Near as I can tell, what they had was this – Leporacanthacus galaxias, or the Galaxy Pleco (L240).  See what I mean?  These guys are flashy as all get out, and the ones they had in the shop were super active and cute as a button at about 3-4″ long.  The nice thing about most of these carnivorous types is they don’t get quite as big as the veggie eaters tend to do.  Planet Catfish says L. galaxias maxes out at about 9″ instead of the potential 18-24″ you can get with the veggie guys.   I was sorely tempted to pick one up, but they were priced at $45 apiece and we don’t have another tank up and running to accommodate one right now.  Maybe someday…

Anyway, regarding the boys we do have, we started feeding Dyson chunks of zucchini about a year ago and he glommed onto them right away.  Loves him some fresh zucchini, Dyson does.  We had tried giving Hoover some cucumber and zucchini a few years back and he totally ignored them, since all he was used to in the past was the compressed algae pellets.  Finally, following the advice of some of the posters on the Monster Fish Keepers discussion board, I let Hoover get a little hungry and then crammed a bunch of his pellets into a chunk of zucchini.  Boy, did he get the idea!  Now, the old guy LOVES zucchini and attacks it pretty much the minute I drop a piece into the tank!  I tried to get a couple of pics of him working over a piece last night, but it was tough to do with the tank lights off.  Plus, the platys kept getting in the way…

In this pic, you can see where Hoover has already scraped away some of the outer peel of the zucchini.  He ate enough of it overnight that the remaining piece floated free of the fork I used to weight it down and this afternoon, he was actually going after the floating piece at the top of the tank and trying to get ahold of it!  I stuck it back on the fork and it looks like he’s actually eaten some more of it (in fact, he’s fussing with it right now).  I’ll probably put a fresh piece in each tank at bedtime tonight, just to give the guys a little more of their healthy treat.  I can’t get photos of Dyson eating at all – he is super shy and I can only just sneak up on him with a covered flashlight to get a glimpse of him enjoying his veg.

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