Plecostomus | Sucker Fish Info
Size: 4 to 24
Lifespan: 5 to 15 years
Temperament: Reasonably calm although can show aggression
Information / Facts: Also known as a "suckermouth", plecos are algae eaters and can do a very good job of keeping a tank reasonably clean of algae. You will want to make sure you have some kind of ornamentation where they can hide, plenty of plants for their 'grazing areas' as well as a large enough tank for them to live peacefully in. Not only can a small tank stunt their growth and lead to bad health or even a shortened life span, but pleco will not co-exist peacefully with other fish in a crowded tank. A 20 to 50 gallon tank is suggested. They will also eat algae tables or even fresh zuchinni, romaine lettuce and spinach.
Pros: Will keep a tank reasonably free from algae. As long as the tank is large enough, they generally will co-exist peacefully with a wide variety of temperature-compatible fish. They are also omnivorus and will 'clean up' food left by other fish. Although they do require algae to survive, they will also eat shrimp, flake fish food and shrimp pellets. They can also eat dead fish as well.
Cons: Can become very aggressive as they get older which may require isolation in their own tank, especially if the original tank isn't large enough for the amount of fish in it. While a pleco will usually co-exist peacefully with other tropical fish, if another hiding fish like ropefish, tire track eels or knifefish. Plecos have also been known to "dig" under plants to hide, dislodging the plants. If you have a heavily planted tank, you may find some of your plants have ben "dug up" if you add a pleco to it.