How Long Do Sucker Fish Live?


The suckerfish is a freshwater fish divided into approximately 100 species that commonly live in North America and Asia. For years, they have always been the strongest species to grow to a great extent.

So, how long do sucker fish live? And what is the proper care that helps them live as long as possible? Check out our article!

How Long Do Sucker Fish Live?

Compared with other fishes, the suckerfish tends to have a longer life, often ranging from 10 to 20 years on average. In Particular, sucker fishes commonly swim and live in schools. However, you can still mix them with some compatible fish species in an aquarium.

  • Size

You can easily find the small sucker fish in the pet stores whose length is approximately 3 inches only. That said, it is not the size of all suckerfish. For months or even days, they keep growing (maybe reaching 12 inches).

As we mentioned above, there are numerous species of suckerfish. Some of them can even grow up to 24 inches in length throughout their 10-20 years of life. Due to this fast growth, preparing a large tank for your suckerfish would be better.

  • Reproduction

In the aquarium, the suckerfish often choose a small container (like cans, pots) as a location for breeding. After each time of mating, a female sucker fish can produce around 2000 eggs. Then, it will need ten days for hatching.

When the female completes hatching, you should transfer the baby fish into another tank. The primary purpose is to separate them from other species till they grow up. Thus, the baby can be safe and healthy.

How To Help Sucker Fish Live A Long Life?

There are lots of factors affecting how long suckerfish can live. And one of those keys is how you care for this species daily. If you still have no idea about it, follow some tips as follows.

Preparing Their Favorite Home

A well-decorated aquarium is always the favorite home of suckerfish.

There is no doubt that this species can interact with numerous species in the aquarium. However, the pleco seems to be the best choice as an ideal place to hide.

Also, an intricate ceramic decorated aquarium is not a bad idea (especially for algae suckerfish). This type of aquarium decoration helps collect the algae well to keep the tank polished. Moreover, natural sunlight is an indispensable part of practical aquarium care.

It comes as an essential need for the algae to grow. Consequently, the fish can enjoy fresh aquarium greenery. Also, it gives them a chance to bask. Plus, you can place some driftwood for them to chew.

Another note to bear in mind relates to the plecos. They often excrete a lot of body waste. Thus, we suggest preparing an effective filtering system.

Choosing Right Tank Size

You can choose the suitable tank size for suckerfish based on their body length. For the smallest ones (around 12 inches), it would be better to prepare a tank of 20 gallons at the minimum. In terms of the smaller ones, the tank size should be around 30 gallons.

When it comes to a suckerfish of 24 inches in length, the tank should get the size of 50-60 gallons. Generally, the aquarium should have a width and length, which are at least twice and three times, respectively, more than the length of the fish.

If you only have a small tank, raising Plecos should not be a great choice. When they outgrow the aquarium, nothing can avoid their weird behaviors. Also, their body waste will destroy the water quality quickly.

In general, a modest space with more fish, plants, and food will be dirtier easily only in a very short time.

Feeding Them Right Food

The green algae are one of the favorite foods for suckerfish. Furthermore, they also eat food that you add into the aquarium for their mates. But this combination is not enough for healthy growth.

In other words, they need some supplementary food and fresh veggies, too. For instance, a lettuce leaf can attract the fish well. Plus, you can give other greens (including peas, cucumber, zucchini) a try.

Read more: What do sucker fish eat

Keeping Them Safe

Keeping suckerfish safe means that you prevent them from leaping out of the tank. So, what to do?

  • Suitable Air Space

First of all, it should be a distance of 1-2 inches from the water surface to the top of the aquarium. This air space plays a vital role in helping the suckerfish to control buoyancy.

Sometimes, they may accidentally jump out of the tank. Then, you should bring it back to the water for recovery immediately. Like many other species, without water, they can live in a short time.

  • Tank Mates

Another risk for suckerfish is, undoubtedly, plecos. Occasionally, a pleco in the bully size probably becomes an aggressive tank mate. A pleco will no longer act as a calm and vegetarian fish when it reaches the size of 12 inches. At that time, it often chases and then swallows other species in the aquarium.

As a solution, you had better keep big Plecos separately to ensure safety for other pets in the tank. Not only that, but the water quality can also go down due to the body waste from Plecos. For days, all fish in the aquarium will get a severe infection quickly.

Wrapping Up

In a nutshell, the answer ranges between 10 and 20 years for the question “How long do sucker fish live?” The better the living conditions are, the longer lifespan they will get. It is why we also bring here some tips so that you can care for your suckerfish well. Hopefully, our guide can help.

Thank you for reading!

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