Bristlenose Pleco - Diet

My Bristlenose Pleco "Eval"
TetraVeggie-Tropical Algae Wafers (Wal-Mart for $3.79)
My bristlenose pleco (whom I have had for several years now) seems to love TetraVeggie algae wafers. I've had guppies and goldfish also nibble away on this. I usually drop in half a wafer in my tank every other day (not daily because I still want my pleco to keep any possible algae growth obsolete).

Cucumber and Squash
To prepare cucumber I start by washing the cucumber off in hot water (you can go the organic route if you prefer to be on the safe side), peel off the outer skin (as the skin tends to go uneaten),  slice the cucumber in 1/2in thick cuts (or you can slice it long ways) and try to pick off any seeds, and then soak the cucumber in a container of water in the fridge for several hours (this helps the cucumber slice sink to the bottom). Or you can boil the slices which may soften the vegetable quicker and allow the fish to more easily eat it. A single slice can generally feed a bristlenose for a good week (although you may want to remove the slice after several hours as to not pollute the tank).

Brown and Green Algae
This generally occurs naturally in an aquarium with too much lighting (the reason I bought my pleco to begin with) and my pleco is always in search of this as she is consistently cleaning (and she does a great job of keeping the algae at bay).

Pellet Food
I have recently found that bristlenose may be attracted to certain pellet foods as mine has recently been seen eating some OmegaOne goldfish pellets which I recently purchased, so perhaps there's an ingredient in certain pellet foods which attracts them as my bristlenose does not go for my tanks usual goldfish pellet food (NLS).

Side Notes: Among other things I have read people feed bristlenose frozen bloodworms, but I have never seen her eat that or show any interest in them. I also find not all algae wafers seem to interest algae bottom feeders. Some say bristlenose need driftwood in the tank to help their digestive system and provide them with more fiber in their diet, but I have not found it to be necessary... although they do seem to like having adequate dark hiding places (caves, pots, etc) and I believe this is because they generally breed in dark areas. My bristlenose does get a little territorial over her wafer until she has had her fill to eat (she kind of darts at other fish to chase them off her food.. nothing that causes any real harm though).


Lionhead Progress (1-Month)

During the first week of having my lionhead they gained 1-2 grams (Ramen was the only one that gained 2g), they were timid of my aquarium lighting but as soon as I put up a black background and added an additional fake small plant they were no longer scared to swim around with the aquarium light on. On occasion they still get a little temid of the aquarium light but usually a bit of food persuades them to come out, and then all is good in the tank.

Around the time of the 2nd-3rd week I setup a new filter and ended up having a nitrite scare right before heading out of town, but luckily a few big water changes and 5x the amount of Seachem Prime helped control the nitrite and kept all my fish alive.

After a months time (exactly 30 days) these fish have tripled in weight as Sumo now weighs 12g which is an 8g gain, Pocky is now 16g which is an 11g gain, and Ramen now weighs 18g which is a 12g gain. Ramen is a very hefty fish as you can tell, Pocky has actually more than tripled in weight compared to the others, and I am pretty certain Pocky is Sumo's sibbling so I hope Sumo catches up in weight. At times I wish I could separate them to insure they all weighed the same but overall they seem happy, gaining, and perhaps the tides will change in terms of weight gain months from now. My ranchu from before would average somewhere around 0.22 grams a day so, these 3 lionhead are definitely bulking up quickly at around an average of 0.34 grams a day, but then again I think they were perhaps underweight for their age when I got them so I am kind of hoping by next month Ramen will reach at least 28-30g (think he can do it?).
Sumo, Pocky, and Ramen (left to right)
Now that I have officially had my lionheads for a month I will share with you their current diet. They've mainly been on a diet of New Life Spectrum goldfish pellets (daily), Hikari frozen bloodworms (generally every other day), a little Hikari Lionhead and Jungle Anti-Parasite pellets (daily), and Earthworm Flakes (as a treat once in awhile). They've also had some steamed spinach and nori at least twice this month, and they will eat a bit of TetraVeggie Algae Wafer which I feed to my bristlenose in the aquarium (half a wafer every other day). I do use a FishMate F14 feeder to feed my fish daily which allows my fish to gradually be fed throughout the entire day (that's how I set mine up anyhow). All together they currently get a little over 1/3 tsp of a mixture of the pellet type food throughout a 24hr period which feeds all 3 lionhead. They also get several drops of VitaChem weekly after their water change.