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How to Feed a Pleco Catfish

Updated February 21, 2017

When keeping tropical fish, a variety of species adds balance and interest to your tank. Bottom feeders such as Plecostomus catfish, or plecos, also serve a practical purpose, as many of them also eat algae that accumulates in your tank. Plecos are grazers and need a constant supply of food in addition to algae. Knowing what and how much to feed your pleco is important to maintaining a happy and healthy tank.

Feed your pleco vegetable matter every day, as it is primarily herbivorous and needs a constant supply of food. Start with a small amount. If it is all eaten overnight, add a bit more the next day. Add variety to the diet with fresh or frozen vegetables such as peas, squash, cucumber or kale. Ensure the food sinks to the bottom where the pleco can easily access it by using clips or weights. Clips with suction cups on them are available at most pet shops. An easy way to make a weight is to attach the food to a rock with an elastic band.

Supplement the vegetable matter with algae tablets, which are available at any pet store. Feed your pleco one tablet two or three times a week and remove any that is left over the next morning.

Adjust your feeding regimen based on your observations of your fish's eating patterns. Observe how much food your pleco eats overnight and always remove the excess. It is easier to overfeed your fish than underfeed it. Overfeeding can lead to stringy dark faeces and poor water quality.

Things You'll Need

  • Algae tablets
  • Fresh or frozen green vegetables
  • Food clips or weights
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About the Author

Patricia Murray has been a professional editor and writer since 2004. Based in London, England, her work has appeared in various science journals as well as on Cram Science, an educational website for kids. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology.