What should I feed my veggie fish?

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Bob Mehen gives his advice to a PFK reader who would like to know what food he can safely feed his vegetarian fish.

Q) Please could you tell me which veggies and other food I can safely feed my Ancistrus and vegetarian fish in addition to wafers and sinking food? How do I prepare it and how long can I leave it in the tank for before it starts to affect the water quality?

JACOB MURRAY, VIA EMAIL

A) BOB MEHEN REPLIES: Feeding fish fresh vegetables is a great idea, and I’m sure your Ancistrus will appreciate them. The classic choices are things like cucumber, courgette and frozen peas (defrosted of course). Many of these will float so need weighing down with something — I tend to push a small teaspoon through a slice of the chosen veg which usually works well, and lead plant weights can also be effective.

The peas are best ‘skinned’ into the two small segments inside, which typically sink by themselves.

Sweet potato and carrots are also well received but it’s often best to blanch them before adding them to the tank to help soften them.

Most vegetables will last a couple of days in the tank but after that any veg remaining uneaten needs to be removed and replaced to prevent it decaying and polluting the tank water.