Common Pleco Care Sheet

Common PlecoTropical Fish Information
SizeDepending on tank size up to 20 inches or 50 cm
Fish HardinessEasy to keep
Water Temperature69 to 82.4°F or 20 to 28°C
Water pH6.0 to 8.0
Water Hardness1 to 25 dH
Peaceful or AggressivePeaceful nocturnal fish
Number of same species in tankOne. Because of its adult size you really need a large aquarium to have more than one
Community SpeciesYes, excellent community fish
SexesNot possible to determine
FoodFeeds on algae, supplement its diet with bottom feeder pellets to assure they get enough food
BreedingNot possible in a home aquarium
Other namesPlecostomus, Suckermouth Catfish, Pleco
Scientific nameHypostomus plecostomus, Hypostomus punctatus and Pterygoplichthys pardalis are all known as the Common Pleco
Lifespan15 years and older

Ideal Common Pleco Conditions


  • The Pleco have a unique shape compared to other tropical freshwater fish. They do not have the usual fish shape but are flat on the underside from head to tail. On their top side they are sharply rounded from the front tapering down less sharply to the tail. Their main colors are a mix of light and dark brown spots and stripes.


  • This is a nocturnal creature which mainly feeds at night. They do come out during daytime especially when feeding them bottom feeding pellets they will come after the smell of the food.


  • They tend to swim mainly near the bottom of the tank but when eating algae off of the glass they can cover the whole tank. They prefer well planted tanks with ornaments to have enough hiding place during daytime.

Peaceful, Community

  • They are peaceful algae eaters ideal for a community aquarium setup.

Other names

  • Also referred to as the Armoured Suckermouth Catfish or Plecostomus or just Pleco.


  • This hardy fish can live ten to fifteen years and even beyond.
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