Hypostomus Plecostomus – Care, Feeding, Tank Mates & Details

Hypostomus Plecostomus is very popular among breeders. Often it is used as a kind of natural cleaner. The fish eat algae with pleasure, scraping them from the aquarium glass. Thanks to it, the tank will always remain clean. This species is one of the most unpretentious and hardy.


Hypostomus Plecostomus has an elongated light brown body, covered with bone plates. The head is massive, the eyes are small. The mouth has spikes, which allows you to peel off algae on any surface.

The fish is covered with a large number of dark spots, this allows it to remain invisible against the background of stones and fallen leaves at the bottom.

It has one jaguar like pattern which looks very beautiful. There are species with a small number of spots or lack thereof. Usually, males are brighter and larger than females.

Living in natural conditions, catfish grows up to 60 cm. In an aquarium, it can grow only up to 38 cm. As for life expectancy, individuals live longer in the natural environment. At home, fish can live up to 15 years.

A small individual gets along well with its neighbors, only occasionally “quarreling” with them. Growing Hypostomus Plecostomus becomes intolerant of any encroachment on its territory. He is not so pleasant in the neighborhood with other relatives.

Sometimes such a fish does not stick to the glass of the aquarium, but on someone’s back, moving for a long time around the aquarium, so to speak, on someone else’s hump.


Thanks to the suction cup, catfish easily collects food from the bottom of the aquarium. In the environment, this feature allows individuals to remain within their range during rains, while other inhabitants of the reservoir are sometimes carried by water over long distances.

The Hypostomus Plecostomus can absorb oxygen dissolved in air, which is due to the structural features of the intestine. Out of the water, this species can remain alive for about thirty hours.

It should also be noted the amazing ability to move on the ground through the pectoral fins and tail. So these fish travel huge distances in search of an optimal place to live when the native pond dries up.

Aquarium Conditions

In general, Keeping Hypostomus Plecostomus does not cause much trouble. The only inconvenience is the need for a large tank. Water parameters do not play a big role, the main thing is to observe cleanliness. You need to be prepared for the fact that the fish grows fast.

Hypostomus Plecostomus can jump out of the tank, so you need to cover it with something. Due to a large amount of waste, high-quality filtration is required. The temperature of the water should be within 19–26 degrees, the recommended acidity is 6.5–8.0 pH.


Algae and plant foods predominate in the diet. However, fish also loves to live food. With a lack of algae, she can agree to soft plant species. An aquarium with plenty of fouling is needed. Artificial top dressing is used when the catfish eat algae faster than they grow.

Plecostomus can also be fed with vegetables, it will relish with pleasure:

It is preferable to give food in the evening before turning off the lights.

A small individual needs An aquarium of 300 liters, an adult fish already needs a volume of 800-1000 liters. Be sure to place stones and driftwood so that the catfish can hide during the day.

Driftwood is necessary for the aquarium for these reasons:

  • algae grow quickly on them;
  • they contain cellulose that promotes normal digestion.

Compatibility with other Fish

Hypostomus Plecostomus is a territorial fish, he does not tolerate other males of his species and can arrange real fights with relatives, perceiving strangers as rivals.

Choosing tank mates, you need to take into account their size. Hypostomus Plecostomus will quickly eat any small fish available in the tank. Hypostomus Plecostomus is well compatible with tropical fish like Cichlids, Loaches, Molly Fish, Tiger Barbs, Betta Fish, and other catfish species.


Distinguishing a male from a female is not an easy task. Experienced breeders identify males by genital papilla. Under natural conditions, individuals breed in burrows along the banks of the river.

As for the aquarium, it is very difficult to reproduce natural conditions. Breeding these fish is a troublesome business, and not everyone can handle it. This is one of the reasons for the high cost of Plecostomus in the market.

If the difficulties of breeding and the high price are not scary, you should get this charming fish. A funny pet will help take care of the aquarium and bring a lot of positive emotions.