Scientific Name: hypostomus plecostomus
Habitat: tropical freshwater
Diet: algae, aquatic plants, and small crustaceans
Life Span: 10 – 15 years
Young: 300 eggs per clutch
Size: 28 cm average, but can grow up to 50 cm

The Plecostomus is known by many names including Sucker Catfish, Common Pleco, algae eater, and sucker fish. Its native range is tropical northeastern South America; it naturally occurs in northeastern Brazil, the Guianas, and Trinidad and Tobago. Common in the aquarium trade, they have been introduced into Florida, as well as some Asian countries. Plecostomus are not known as a food source though they are occasionally consumed in their native range.

Hypostomus Plecostomus is named for its sucker-like mouth, which allows it to adhere to surfaces, as well as to hold and grasp at its food. They are known for their ability to keep aquariums clean, because of their tendency to eat algae build up. These fish are a peaceful species that can be kept with many other types of fish but are very territorial within their own species.

For more information on the Plecostomus, go to, or check them out at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.