Fishkeeping For Kids

The Perfect Pleco for your Tank! (#5 is stunning!)

The perfect pleco for your tank


There are a lot of different pleco types. So many, in fact, that not even all of them have been named. They are assigned a number attached to an L, like L-96. The L stands for the scientific family name, Loricariidae. Some are so common they are in every pet store you can find, and some are so rare you could wait years to obtain one at costs of hundreds of dollars. So which is best for your tank?


Zebra plecos are black-and-white striped fish. They can also be pricey, ranging from $150 to $300. They are small, only growing to around three inches. They are hard to breed and cannot be taken from the wild, due to local protection laws. 

Clown plecos are another small pleco, only growing to around 3 inches. They have light orange stripes with a dark, rusty brown background. They don’t eat algae like traditional plecos- they eat meatier foods as well as some plant matter. They also need wood to eat off of.


Bristlenose plecos are yet another small pleco, growing to 4-5 inches. They will eat algae as much as a regular pleco, and come in many varieties, such as black with white spots, long-finned, and albino. They are called bristlenose plecos due to the males having bristle-like appendages on their heads.


Gold nugget plecos are another popular pleco. They cost from $50 to $100. They are dark brown with gold edging and spots. They are very pretty and grow to around 10 inches. They need a minimum tank size of 55 gallons.


Common plecos, the ones seen in pet stores, grow very large, up to 2 feet. They need a minimum tank of 8 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet, which is around 240 gallons. They really do need massive tanks! They are also very messy fish, which causes more harm to a system then good done from algae eating.

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