Pleco or Suckermouth Catfish
Pleco or Suckermouth Catfish (Hypostomus Plecostomus), is a tropical freshwater fish belonging to the armored catfish family (Loricariidae), named for the longitudinal rows of armor-like scutes that cover the upper parts of the head and body (the lower surface of head and abdomen is naked soft skin). These fish are sold when they are young and small, but they can grow to be a maximum size of 20″ inches.
This species’ native range is tropical northeastern South America; it naturally occurs in northeastern Brazil, the Guianas, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Pleco or Suckermouth Catfish is named for its sucker-like mouth, which allows it to adhere to a surface, as well as to hold and rasp at food. This omnivorous species feeds on algae, aquatic plants, and small crustaceans.
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. Pleco or Suckermouth Catfish are difficult for other fish to harass, both due to the semi-aggressive nature of the fish as well as its thick armor.