Plecostomusincludes plecostomus species
Plecos are well-known algae eaters that originated in the rivers of the Amazon jungle in South America. Plecos attach themselves to hard surfaces with specially adapted mouth parts. They are scavengers and will eat almost anything. Recommended for beginning aquarists.
|Average Adult Size||up to 12+ inches long, depending on species|
|Average Life Span||depends on species|
|Minimum Aquarium Size||20+ gallons, depending on species|
A well-balanced Pleco diet consists of:
- Algae and sinking algae wafers.
- Supplement with raw zucchini or cucumbers as a treat once or twice a week. Raw vegetables should be anchored near the bottom of the aquarium.
Things to remember when feeding your Pleco:
- Feed daily.
- Typically feeds at night.
- Some Plecos require driftwood as part of their diet.
- Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; provide proper filtration to maintain health. Acrylic aquariums are not recommended for large Plecos as they will scratch the acrylic. Driftwood is commonly used to maintain pH at slightly acidic levels.
- 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, Petco provides free water testing.
- Spend most of the time on the bottom or hanging from the side of the aquarium.
- Attach to glass, rocks, and other hard surfaces with their mouths.
- Very territorial towards other Plecos.
- Will uproot or eat most live plants.
- Primarily nocturnal (active at night).
- 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.
- Can be kept with community fish; keep only one Pleco per tank.
Signs of a Healthy Fish
- Clear eyes
- Remains on or near the bottom of the tank
- Eats vigorously
- Attaches to the side of the aquarium or décor
Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.
- loss of color
- spots or fungus on body or mouth
- feeding during the day
- cloudy eyes
- frayed fins
- labored breathing
Common Health Issues
|Health Issue||Symptoms or Causes||Suggested Action|
|Health Issue Cloudy eye||Symptoms or Causes Eyes are covered with white or gray slime and appear cloudy, fish my appear offcolor and swim awkwardly.||Suggested Action Improve water quality; consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment.|
|Health Issue Ich||Symptoms or Causes White spots appear on fins and body, fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly.||Suggested Action Quarantine fish immediately; use commercial ich remedy for at least two weeks.|
Ask an associate about Petco’s selection of books on Plecos and the variety of Petco Brand products available for the care and happiness of your new pet. All Petco Brand products carry a 100% money-back guarantee.
Because all aquatic life are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your aquatic life and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases.
Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for aquatic life and should consider not having aquatic life as a pet.
Go to the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov/healthypets for more information about aquatic life and disease.
This care sheet can cover the needs of other species.
Note: The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources on the following page or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.
Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.