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What to feed a huge fish?

I have a red belly pacus that is humongous! It's 12" long and living in a 30 gallon tank with a 4" algae eater. Since he's so big I'm afraid the shrimp pellets we've been giving him aren't enough. The nearest pet store is 50 miles away and the selection at the local Wal-Mart is limited at best. And of course their "fish-dippers" know zippo about any of the fish. So should I start feeding him people food? Or maybe the stuff they sell for bait in the Sporting Goods department? We have fed him swatted flies before and he's done OK. I just want to make sure he's around for a long time, he's as much a part of the family as our cat.


Asked by JerbysMom at 7:19 PM on Jun. 4, 2009 in Pets

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Answers (6)
  • Firstly, he is in too small of a tank... they get 2 feet long. He needs to be in at least a 55 gallon, not to mention the Pleco gets 18".
    As far as feeding goes- They are omnivorous, BUT when they get larger they need some meat in their diet. Most people do feed them feeders, however, once they have them once, they will probably only eat if you give them feeders.
    You can give him cucumbers, zucchini, shrimp pellets, blood worms, and also brine shrimp.
    I've had fish for over 20 years, so if you have any questions let me know.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 9:03 AM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • walmart should sell feeder fish. they are just small goldfish

    Answer by aeemom at 8:20 PM on Jun. 4, 2009

  • I'm pretty sure pacus are omnivorous. You can try giving them veggies or meat. A friend of mine used to feed his little ones carrots as a snack.

    Answer by youngfirsttimer at 1:14 AM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • My brother fed his 2 pacus feeder fish. Unfortunately we had a bad ice storm a few months back that knocked the power out for a long time. They ended up dying. Great fish though!

    Answer by BabyBeans0506 at 2:41 AM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • I have been afraid we might need a bigger tank. Crunk (the pacus' name) has been acting crazy lately. He's totally destroyed one side of the tank, tearing out plants and shoving a ceramic shark clear over to the other side, making more room for himself I guess. Also he's chewed up the remaining plants. Sometimes he'll start thrashing around and smack himself into the glass so hard I'm afraid he'll kill himself! And the algae eater isn't a plecostamus (sp), his tag at the store just said "Algae Eater" and since the workers at Wal-Mart are friggin' clueless I don't know what his actual name is. Also Crunk's tag said he only got up to 10 inches (baloney!). I guess I should start watching the classifieds for a bigger tank. Holy crap, how am I going to get him out of the old one?!

    Answer by JerbysMom at 3:43 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • I had 2 large Oscars, grew to 18 inches by the time I gave them away, (not pacus I know but they are somewhat similar diet wise) and if I ran out of food for them they would eat dry cat food for a day or two--honestly, dry cat food, just a few chunks for each of them. Kept them from going hungry and made a great party trick too! Just don't overdo it or feed them cat food exclusively.


    Answer by pagan_mama at 5:08 PM on Jun. 5, 2009