Scientific Name: Hypostomus plecostomus
Ease of Care: Easy
Approximate Arrival Size: Small 2 to 3 inches; Medium 3 to 5 inches; Large 5 to 6 inches; Extra Large 6 to 7 inches
Approximate Full Size: 12 to 24 inches
Native Region: South America
Capable of growing two feet in length, this fish has a brown body with darker brown markings. It is generally safe with most all fish, with the possible exception of large bodied, slow moving fish like Orandas and Discus. A member of the "sucker-mouth" catfish, the Common Pleco comes from South America and is usually kept in the home aquarium for its ability to eat algae. The specialized under slung mouth and tooth structure allows the Pleco to scrape algae off of almost any type of surface. This makes it an ideal fish for general algae control in the aquarium. They will also scavenge foods that hit the bottom and may learn to even eat floating foods. Larger Plecos may damage live plants by trying to eat any algae off of the leaves, and their weight breaks the stem of the leaf.