Hypostomus plecostomus (known colloquially as a sucker fish) is the scientific name for a type of freshwater tropical Central and South American fish belonging to the family Loricariidae.
They are large algae eaters, and to differentiate them from small algae eaters, they are often referred to as plecostomus, often abbreviated as plecos or plecs. They are extremely popular in aquariums for their ability to clean tanks by eating algae growth and dead fish. These friendly-natured fish can typically be purchased when about 8 cm (3.1 in) and often grow up to 60 cm (24 in). Such larger specimens are impractical for any but the largest aquariums.
Plecos are omnivores. They are not picky eaters. In planted aquariums, they will eat any food left behind by other fish, as well as naturally growing algae in the tank. They have also been known to have a taste for discus mucus. In tanks without live plants, their diets can be supplemented with sinking fish food, usually algae wafers readily available from a pet store.
Although the plecostomus is a known common algae sucker, it requires more than just pellets and tank algae. It should also be fed algae wafers, zucchini, cucumber, lettuce, peas, and melon, and any semisoft fruit or vegetable will do, as well. They also can eat shrimp, shrimp pellets, and flake fish food.
Click on any of the images below to view our Plecostomus gallery.