Plecostomus are common in aquariums because they're algae eaters. Plecos keep an aquarium clean of algae and are fascinating to watch as they do so. Don't think you don't have to feed them, though. They eat algae, but it takes a lot of algae to keep a pleco fed. A variety of pleco diet options exist.
A home aquarium does not produce enough algae to provide nourishment for full-grown plecos. Readily available algae tablets sink down to the bottom where plecos can easily find them. It's important to feed your pleco in the morning and right after the lights go off. Otherwise, faster-moving fish snatch up food you provide during the day, leaving plecos to go hungry.
Plecos can eat vegetables. Romaine lettuce, the tops of celery and other leafy vegetables provide a good plant food source. Slices of cucumber, parboiled zucchini and parboiled peas are welcome in the pleco's diet.
Once or twice a week, provide cut up earthworms, shrimp or bloodworms for your pleco to munch on. If you don't want to deal with live food sources, feed shrimp pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms or frozen bloodworms. These are OK as treats, but plecos are mostly plant eaters. You should never feed them protein on a daily basis.
Plecos and Goldfish
Plecos don't eat other fish per se. However, they can be attracted to the substance that covers goldfish. They will suck on the outside of the goldfish and will eventually kill it. If you're going to house goldfish with plecos, make sure the plecos are well fed.
- Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images