What Do Plecos Eat?


Plecos, called Plecostomus, are a small catfish species often used to keep aquariums clean. Besides feeding them the algae growing in the aquarium, you will need more because of Plecos’ additional nutrition.

We will teach you all the necessary knowledge about “What do Plecos eat?” Let’s dive right into this instruction!

See also: How Long Do Plecos Live?

What Do Plecos Eat?

Plecos are the bottom feeders known most in aquariums all around the world. They are popular for grabbing scraps, but most owners don’t consider Plecos’ exact diet.

Their basic diet should include sinking algae or algae. You can add driftwood to a plecos’ diet for the digestion process to more easily happen, depending on your plecos species.

Plecos need certain dietary consisting of:


  • Natural algae (developing in the tank).
  • Herbivore wafers or sinking algae or.
  • Blanched veggies once per week (zucchini and cucumber).
  • Driftwood (Vital for several species).

You can try placing algae wafers if your aquarium doesn’t have enough algae for plecos.


Plecos like chowing down on small pieces of vegetable zucchini, squash, and cucumbers, for instance.

Before feeding your Pleco above foods, you should make certain to clean the veggies off, then drop a few tiny pieces of zucchini into the water.

You should notice which kind of veggies your plecos eat to buy this food more often. Remember that big food like a slice of cucumbers might take time for Plecos to eat out.


It is essential in a pleco’s diet, but providing protein from meat for them every day can harm their health.

However, you can boost Plecos’ good development and growth by feeding pieces of small shrimp or bloodworms once or twice a week.

It might be an exciting idea to use live critters to feed your plecos. Besides, frozen bloodworms or freeze-dried food can be another good choice. You can also try out shrimp pellets and watch whether your plecos love them.

How Often Should Plecos Eat?

Kind of food How often
Algae wafers 1-2 ones/day (it’s up to Plecos’ size)
Veggies   (Cucumber, Zucchini, Squash, Broccoli) (1 small slice or piece)     1-2 times/week
Shrimp    (2-3 shrimp, cut up) 1-2 times/week
Shrimp pellets    (2-3 pellets)
Earthworm/Bloodworm    (1 worm, cut up)

Plecos need to eat very often. Despite Pleco’s kind, age, size, age, you should regularly feed them, often once every day. You can find their food at most pet stores.

Whether it’s a sinking algae wafer or pebbles in the bottom, which should be a session of Plecos’ daily eating habit.

There are many ways to know how often your plecos eat. For example, if you feed them algae wafers in the morning, but there is little food left at lunchtime, it means they’re going to want a bit more.

In some cases, if plecos can eat food droppings of other fish, you can feed them once every two days.

How To Remain Your Plecos Good and Healthy?

One Pleco in a tank

Catfish like plecos often fight each other when placed in the same aquarium. Some even fight to the death, so it’s best to keep only one Pleco in an aquarium at a time. Plecos generally do well in a tank with most other types of fish, except for piranhas and Oscars

Plenty of tanks

Plecos generally can develop up to 18 inches (46 cm) in length in an environment of a tank. That’s when an aquarium with more than 100 gallons (380 L) is necessary.

If you own a smaller tank than gallons (380 L), you can choose a small fish line species of Pleco such as Zebra, Golden Nugget, Bristlenose, or Clown.

Set a light timer

Plecos are nocturnal fish, so a dark sign can help them know it is feeding time. Therefore, it’s not good to light your aquarium continuously. But you should set a timer to replicate natural lighting cycles. It means that the lights shine during the day and off at night.

Hiding decoration

As you know, plecos have hiding habits. They can even spend much time of a day hiding. Putting decorations like small tunnels or caves created for fish or placing parts of PVC pipe in the tank can help them feel secure and safe.

Don’t fulfill the water

You should avoid filling water into the full of a tank, as plecos often swim to the surface to breathe and enhance their buoyancy. If the water is completely filled, they can not get the air or bump into the lid and get injured.

Safe tank’s lid

In some cases, Plecos can jump out of the tank. If the aquarium is not closed firmly, they can escape and get potentially injured or die. Therefore, you need to check the dependability of the lid.

Plecos’ Health Problem Signs

Bad health signs consist of

  • Torn fins.
  • Skin pigment changes.
  • Fungus growing on the mouth or body.
  • Clouded eyes.
  • Be around the top aquarium (they’re likely searching for more food).
  • Difficult to breathe.

Almost all these above issues can be dealt with by turning off the water filter. Feeding won’t be a problem if your plecos eat fully every day.

Suppose you see any serious health issues that don’t improve although you applied various methods. It would help if you met a consultant at a local pet store.

They certainly give you some advice about effective treatments that you need. But a new water source is the remedy for fish in the majority of health problem situations.


Remember that not all plecos are algae eaters, they have various diets, and it all depends on the species. Moreover, plecos have different living habits like “What Do Plecos Eat?” mentioned.

Don’t forget to follow Plecos’ health every day. Hopefully, with our useful guide, you can keep this fish species well and improve their health by referring to some effective methods above. Thank you for reading!

Leave a Comment