Plecostomus, pleco, or plec is the common name of several species of freshwater loricariid catfish commonly sold as aquarium fish.
H. plecostomus is one of a number of species commonly referred to as "plecostomus" or "common pleco" by aquarists. These fish are sold when they are young and small, but they can grow to be a maximum size of 50 centimetres (20 in). In the aquarium, this dark-colored, bottom-feeding, nocturnal catfish is often purchased for its ability to clean algae from fish tanks but also contributes a lot of waste to the nitrogen cycle.
A large variety of common names is used to describe H. plecostomus, where plecostomus and the shortened "pleco" are interchangeable in all common names. The names include:
- algae sucker/eater
- pez diablo (devil fish)
- janitor fish
- municipal fish – 'ikan bandaraya' in Malay
- suckermouth catfish
- sweeper fish – 'ikan sapu sapu' in Indonesian
- crocodile fish (not to be confused with Papilloculiceps longiceps, which is originally known as the crocodile fish or tentacled flathead)
Things to remember when feeding your Pleco:
- Feed daily.
- Typically feeds at night.
- Some Plecos require driftwood as part of their diet.
A well-balanced Pleco diet consists of:
- Algae and sinking algae wafers.
- Supplement with raw zucchini or cucumbers as a treat once or twice a week. Raw vegetables should be anchored near the bottom of the aquarium.