Sucker catfish are a common fish, both in the wild and in aquariums. They will eat almost any type of food but prefer one particular food.
So what does a pleco (sucker fish) eat, then? Plecos can eat fresh vegetables, wood, and fish flakes. Technically, they are omnivores but prefer to eat algae exclusively.
But what predators can sucker fish have? What should you feed your pet pleco fish? Let’s talk about this fish!
What Are Sucker Fishes Anyway?
Suckerfish is a category of mostly bottom-living freshwater fishes. They use their specialized ventral jaws to feed and attach themselves to the ground and surrounding structures. Some are specialist algae eaters, while others graze upon driftwood or feed small invertebrates.
Suckerfish can be found in several families, including the Loricariidae, the well-known suckermouth Catfish. Other species of sucker fish, like the Siamese-algae eater, come from the same group as other well-known fish such as fish and barbed.
Suckerfish can live in a variety of habitats. Although many are nocturnal, they are adaptable to aquarium life.
How much time do suckerfish survive?
Based on their estimated life expectancy, these suckerfish live approximately 10 to 20 years. Some can live as long as 15 years. Due to their longer lifespans, they outgrow tanks and grow large despite a slow growth.
However, these fish’s lives can be unpredictable. If one does not have the care for suckerfish they need, it is possible to die before their life expectancy. Their health can be affected by the environment in which they live.
What Can a Pleco Eat (Sucker Catfish),
A suckers catfish eats algae and other water scums, driftwood, fish foods, and fresh veggies. While most wild plecos can survive on only algae, this is often insufficient to feed them.
The sucker fish is found in wild waters in tropical regions and other places worldwide. It was either accidentally or intentionally introduced into American waterways. Its ability to clean out tanks makes it a very popular pet fish.
According to CABI’s invasive species compendium, many aspects of plecos make them good invasives. They are protected by armored plates and can guard their eggs well.
They are considered invasive species because of their ability to invade ecosystems. They are capable of quickly reproducing and can consume a variety, which makes them a threat to delicate freshwater ecosystems.
A complete list 8 foods Plecos Eat
Plecos have been known for eating the following:
- Water scum
- Fish flakes
- Other fresh veggies
- Algae pellets or bars
Suckerfish Distribution, Habitat, and Prey
Most suckerfish species can be found in freshwater streams or lakes across North America and the United States. They can be found in slower-moving rivers and reservoirs. A single species can be found living in China, and fish belonging to the Catostomidae family are also found in Russia.
Suckers are bottom-feeders and omnivorous. They will consume insects, small invertebrates (crustaceans), algae, and plants.
Can Pleco Eat Regular Fish Food?
They should be fed food that is available commercially. A plecostomus will eat any food that falls to the floor. Pellets can also be created for bottom-feeding catfish. These pellets are better for plecostomus feeding.
How Much Can a Plecos (Sucker Catfish), Eating?
A pleco will eat from once to twice daily, depending on its size. It will eat whatever food it can find. It is not clear how much the sucker catfish consumes.
The Physiological and Ecochemical Zoology: Evolutionary and Ecological Approaches says that plecos are not just powerful suckers. They have many rows of very strong teeth behind that mouth.
A pleco is a fish that can eat algae, but they are not able to eat anything else. For those curious about the food preferences of these bottom feeders, you might also find out that suckerfish have taste buds.
A pleco’s jaw can be bent in many directions. According to the same study above, it is an extremely advanced mouth. Pelegros aren’t as skilled as many fish in their eating ability and exterior armor.
Food and Diet
Suckerfish can eat insects and small animals in the wild. However, algae and plant matter are the primary food source of fish. You should give the same, largely herbivorous diet as sucker fish kept in captivity.
Suckerfish will search an aquarium for algae. However, most tanks won’t provide enough algae to provide the fish with their daily food.
Feed sucker fish twice daily, and remove any leftover food each morning. Suckerfish can eat algae wafers, lettuce, cucumber, broccoli, and cucumber. Keep the fish fed a small amount of food. If you have any leftovers, reduce your feeding frequency.
Suckerfish care is no different from other tropical fish. The only thing you need to do is ensure that your tank is large enough. As you can see, it’s not that hard.