Pleco Facts:

Scientific Name : Hypostomus plecostomus
average adult size:12-15 inches long
average life span:10 - 15 years
diet:omnivore - flakes/pellets
minimum aquarium size:55+ gallons*
water parameters:


pH: 6.5-8


A well-balanced Pleco diet consists of:

  • Food may be flaked, pellet, frozen or live.
  • Natural Algae within the tank.
  • Avoid exclusive food which is not nutritionally complete.


Things to remember when feeding your Pleco:

  • Feed small amounts 1-3 times daily, no more than fish will eat in 3-5 minutes.
  • Thaw frozen foods if you choose to feed frozen.


  • Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; provide plants for hiding, various species may prefer sparse or thick vegetation.
  • Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of the aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, Home Aquatics offers water testing.


  • Plecoscostomus fish are difficult to sex for all but the most experienced. A trained eye can compare a male and female, with a male's genital papilla being a small but thick stub protruding from its undercarriage
  • On the female it will be either recessed or lie flat on the body.

Habitat Maintenance

Daily: Check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
Weekly: Check water quality at least once a week.
Monthly: Change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.
Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.


Plecos are compatible with most fish, however may become territorial or aggressive with others of the same species once matured.


Signs of a Healthy Fish

  • Clear eyes
  • Healthy appetite
  • Bright, even coloring
  • Clean in appearance

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of color or appetite
  • spots or fungus on body or mouth
  • erratic swimming
  • frayed fins

Common Health Issues

Health IssueSymptoms or CausesSuggested Action
Fin rotFrayed or disintegrating fins; the base of the fins usually reddens.Improve water quality; consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment.
IchWhite spots appear on fins and body; fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly.

Quarantine fish immediately; use a commercial ich remedy for at least two weeks

A minimum 55 gallon aquarium is recommended for the Pleco. Although when small they can be kept in a smaller aquarium for a short period of time, these are fast growing fish and will soon need to be moved. Some driftwood or other decor should be provided to give them caves to hide in during the daylight hours.

They are a good community fish when young, and can be kept with almost all other fish. But it does not get along with its own species and can become aggressively territorial as it becomes older. They have been known to remove slime from laterally flattened fish like discus and angelfish when they are sleeping, and also goldfish.

Although Plecostomus are omnivorous, the bulk of their diet is algae. They will eat undesirable algae and will generally not harm plants.

The Plecostomus is easy to care for as long as there is plenty of algae and/or other algae based foods provided, making it a great fish for the beginner. The chemistry is not critical, but its quality must be good. Be aware that the Plecostomus grows quickly and becomes quite large, so will require a large tank with age.

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  • Brand: Home Aquatics
  • Product Code: Plecostomus
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $3.49

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