Can Plecos Eat Carrots?

Plecos will happily eat carrots but their affinity varies from one species to another. Even among herbivorous species that will eat carrots, you still need to make sure that you prepare them properly before serving them to your fish.

Keep on reading if you want to find out more about carrot palatability among Plecos and how to prepare them for your beloved fish!

Can Plecos Eat Carrots?

Plecos are originally bottom dwelling catfish known as “Suckermouth Catfish”, and most Pleco species are generally omnivorous.

This means that they’ll gladly eat a wide range of food items whether they’re from plants of animal origin.

In fact, Plecos can munch on anything from algae wafers, vegetables, and shrimps as well as bloodworms(live and frozen) in addition to driftwood!

For that reason, it is generally common among Pleco keepers to feed them carrots. However, you’ll still need to prepare them so that they’re suitable for Plecos consumption.

Orinoco sailfin pleco

Some Pleco Species Prefer Carrots More Than Others

There is a wide variety of Pleco species out there. While the vast majority of these species are omnivorous, some of them are more likely to eat veggies than others.

For example, many popular Pleco species are omnivores that will typically enjoy vegetables like carrots. This include:

  • Common Pleco
  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Royal Pleco
  • Flash Pleco
  • Blue Phantom pleco
  • Sailfin Pleco
  • Golden Nugget Pleco

On the other hand, Sunshine Plecos are omnivorous but they mostly eat animal meat, so they’re unlikely to eat carrots, especially after they mature.

Additionally, species like Zebra pleco and Queen Arabesque Pleco are entirely carnivorous, so they very rarely eat any kind of vegetables.

Yet, some exceptions like Leopard Frog Pleco and Candy Striped Pleco are mostly carnivorous but can occasionally accept carrots.

For that reason, it’s important to check the dietary nature of your Plecos and make sure that they’re open to eating vegetables before serving them carrots.

Are Carrots Good for Plecos?

Plecos that eat carrots will enjoy the crunchy nature of the vegetable. Carrots are quite delicious and also rich in fibers, which is essential for the plecos diet.

Additionally, the high moisture content of carrots will keep the fish hydrated, which helps in maintaining vibrant and healthy skin.

Moreover, carrots also contain a variety of micronutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B9 (folates), potassium, and more!

How to Prepare the Carrots for Plecos

Just because some Plecos species eat carrots doesn’t mean that they’ll eat them in any form or shape.

In order to encourage your fish to eat the carrots, you’ll need to prepare them before serving. This includes the following aspects:

Wash and Choose the Carrots Carefully

First, make sure that you choose organic carrots for your fish, not because they’re more nutritious, but because they’re safer.

This is because the amount of pesticides sprayed on some carrots can be quite toxic for a relatively small fish species like Plecos.

Additionally, make sure that you rinse the carrot thoroughly to get rid of any bacteria or contaminants on its surface that can make your fish sick.

Cut The Carrot into Pieces

Plecos are mainly used to eating small pieces of food, so it’s highly unlikely that they’ll munch on a large root vegetable like carrots. Make sure that you cut the carrot into smaller pieces to encourage your fish to eat it.

Some people might also peel the carrots off before serving them to Plecos. However, peeling a carrot isn’t necessary because a lot of nutrients are concentrated in the skin, so it should be enough to wash them properly.

Blanch or Microwave the Carrot

If you throw an intact carrot into the water, in most cases, it’ll just float. The problem is that Plecos rarely eat food that floats to the surface of the water, as they’re naturally bottom dwellers.

To get the carrots to sink into the water, you can simply blanch them. This will make the carrots softer to munch on while retaining some crunchiness.

Alternatively, you can just microwave the carrot pieces for a minute in the microwave, but make sure that you cool them down first.

Boiling carrots is fine but a little time consuming. However, plecos can also enjoy a boiled carrot, especially young ones who can’t munch on solid pieces.

What to Do If Plecos Don’t Eat Carrots?

As previously established, there are a few species of Plecos that will typically refuse to eat carrots.

However, if your fish is among the species that do eat carrots but isn’t approaching it, there might be a few reasons behind that situation.

The most prominent reason is that your fish is yet to recognize carrots as a type of food. This happens when you don’t cut them into small pieces, especially if your fish is only used to wafer sized bits.

The solution is to cut them into very small bits. Additionally, you can infuse them with some foods that make them more appealing to Plecos, such as garlic.

Remember to also blanch or microwave the carrots so that they sink to the bottom, which increases their chances to be eaten by the fish.

How Often Should I Feed My Plecos Carrots?

You can feed your Plecos small pieces of carrots daily. However, it’s important to start with a small amount and increase it gradually to monitor any health problems or discomfort. Make sure that you remove the pieces that the Plecos don’t eat to keep the tank clean.

Wrap Up

With that being said, you now have a better idea about the Plecos diet and whether it’s safe for them to eat carrots.

As you can see, most Pleco species will happily enjoy carrots, except the species that mainly prefer meat in their diet.

Remember to always cut the carrots into smaller pieces to make them easier to eat. You should also blanch or microwave them so that they sink in the tank, as most Plecos won’t eat floating food.