Suckermouth Catfish (Diet, Reproduction, Interesting Facts, Etc.)

Suckermouth Catfish

Suckermouth Catfish, also known as Common Pleco, is a tropical freshwater fish. It’s part of the armored catfish family called Loricariidae.

This fish has armor-like scales on the upper parts of its head and body, while the lower surface of its head and belly has soft, unprotected skin.

Although “Hypostomus plecostomus” is often used to describe suckermouth catfish sold in pet stores, most of these fish actually belong to different groups.

Suckermouth catfish are commonly kept in aquariums as they assist in cleaning the tank’s bottom.

It can be challenging to house two adult suckermouth catfish together due to their territorial and aggressive behaviors toward one another.

These fish feed on algae and small crustaceans in their natural environment.

They are raised in ponds in Singapore and Hong Kong for the aquarium trade, where they are very popular.

Read more about how to take care of suckermouth catfish.

Suckermouth Catfish Interesting Facts

  • Suckermouth catfish has armor-like scutes on its head and body.
  • They are popular in the aquarium trade because of their ability to clean up algae from the tank.
  • Adult suckermouth catfish can become aggressive toward each other and are difficult to keep together.
  • Suckermouth Catfish are cultured in ponds for the aquarium trade in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Suckermouth Catfish Habitat

Suckermouth catfish is originally from South America, specifically the coastal areas of the Guianas.

This fish has been introduced to several Asian countries for the aquarium trade.

It lives in freshwater and stays near the bottom of the water.

Suckermouth catfish live in water with a pH range of 6.2 to 8.2, and a water hardness (dH) range of up to 28.

The ideal water temperature for these fish is between 72°F to 86°F (22°C to 30°C).

They thrive in a tropical environment, between 12°N and 25°S latitude, and 60°W and 51°W longitude.

The recommended water pH for their well-being in aquariums is between 6.5 to 7.5.

Water Temperature:72°F to 86°F (22°C to 30°C)
Water pH:6.2 to 8.2 pH
Water Hardness:Up to 28 dH

Suckermouth Catfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 11.0 inches (28.0 centimeters)

Suckermouth catfish can grow up to a maximum length of 50.0 cm (19.7 inches) in their natural habitat.

However, its average size in captivity is around 28.0 cm (11 inches) long.

This fish has one dorsal spine on its back, along with seven soft rays. It also has one anal spine and between 3 to 5 anal soft rays.

The body of suckermouth catfish is short and robust, and its tail area (caudal peduncle) isn’t flat.

The upper parts of the head and body are covered with rows of armor-like scales (scutes), while the lower surface of the head and abdomen is unprotected and has no scales.

Suckermouth Catfish Reproduction

Suckermouth catfish lays its eggs on smooth rocks.

One or both parents protect the eggs to keep them safe. Sometimes, they also lay their eggs in small hollows or dents.

Suckermouth Catfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Hypostomus plecostomus
Also Known As:Suckermouth Catfish, Common Pleco
Conservation Status:Unknown

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