Pleco fish is known as the suckermouth catfish and named hypostomus plecostomus. The tropical fish is belong the armor catfish in the family of Loricarridae. They are also well-known as the algae eater and they originated in the river of Amazon in South America.
This are one of the scavengers and they consume mostly everything. The fish will stick itself on the aquarium wall or any hard surfaces which are easily adapted to it mouth. Most aquarist would address this fish with all kind of different name. In the wild, the fish will keep jumping from the water to make an escape when comes to dry season.
The fish couldn’t travel in land but they will keep wriggle until they reach a swallow puddle to deeper puddle in a drying riverbed. The fish are different from other freshwater fish because pleco have the capable to absorbing oxygen directly compare to other freshwater fish. The fish will last longer than usual freshwater fish and if you found your pleco is on the floor unconscious, place the fish back to the aquarium and the fish will start to swim as usual.
Some of them called hypostomus plecostomus as the pleco, algae sucker, suckermouth catfish and janitor fish. The fish can live up to 10 years with a proper care. Some aquarist even said the fish can live up to 30 years which surprise me. The fish itself are a bottom swimmer it is better prevent adding another bottom feeder with the fish to avoid aggression against different fish.
The fish are usually active in the night and you can feed the fish in the late evening. Here are the tips of pleco fish care you need to aware of before keeping the fish in your aquarium.
Housing Them At Home Aquarium
If you are a beginner, you can consider keeping pleco fish as your pet. First you need to prepare an aquarium to house the pleco. The fish are usually small in most of the pet store. Pleco fish will reach the size of 50-60 cm with proper care.
If you own a small aquarium with the size of 10 gallon, you can keep the pleco in the aquarium when they are small. When the fish grow bigger, you need to house the fish in at least a size of 100 gallon aquarium which the fish can thrive in. After setting the aquarium for the pleco fish, don’t forget to install a heater to maintain the water temperature in between 20-28°C which the fish can thrive in.
Do not fill your water up to lid of the aquarium because pleco will swim up to the surface for some air. The reason of the fish swim up for air because the fish require air to control it buoyancy. Make sure you cover your aquarium to prevent the fish jump out from the aquarium.
The fish love to gnaw on the wall of the aquarium which you can prepare driftwood for the fish to gnaw on. It is the nature habit of the fish which it will gnaw on the driftwood and also prepare a hiding place for the fish to hide in the aquarium. The driftwood do play an important role which helps in maintaining a slight acidic pH level.
Maintaining The Aquarium For Them
The fish would like to hide in the dark and providing them a lot of place to hide would be great. Do not forget to monitor the pH level of the aquarium although the pleco can thrive in a wide range of water parameter. It is better maintain the pH level of the aquarium in between 6.5 to 7.5.
The fish are algae eater but common pleco will produce a lot of feces which require to vacuum the aquarium. If the fish produce a lot of feces and I recommend change a 30- 50% water. The pleco will tries to make an escape from the aquarium if the water quality drop too much.
The fish will thought is a dry season and it will keep on jumping out from the aquarium for escaping. The pleco will desperately make an escape and keep bashing itself until the fish sustain sever injuries which can lead to death. If the fish didn’t produce a lot of feces, monitor the water quality every week and perform water changes of 30% of the water volume in the aquarium every 2 to 4 week.
We know that pleco fish consume algae in the aquarium and no need to worry about the fish. The fish itself are also omnivore and they do need protein in their daily nutrition. Pleco are not picky with food and they eat almost everything you feed them.
You can also feed the fish with normal fish product such as omega one shrimp pellets, bloodworm and product which contain good source of protein. Beside meaty food, you can also feed the fish with algae wafer, spirulina based flakes and pellets (any fish brand will do).
Beside the fish product, feeding the fish with cucumber, green lettuce, green peas and spinach leaves are advisable feeding the pleco fish. You can feed the fish in the night time, because pleco are active in the night.
You can add pleco fish into the community tank as long as the tank are large enough for the fish to thrive in. Make sure adding the fish with round body fish or flat body fish are not advisable. Here the example of fish which not advisable such as discus fish, goldfish, angelfish and other similar body type of fish. The pleco will gnaw on the fish which see them as food.