Saturday, 16 May 2020

Pleco fish or Suckermouth catfish facts, Hypostomus plecostomus

Pleco fish or Suckermouth catfish, the name pleco can be attributed to many different fish species so for simplicity sake we're going to be discussing the family of fish called Loricariidae. Otherwise known as armored suckermouth catfish or you know what goes well it may seem like the plecos you see in the pet store are all the same in reality. Loricariidae is the largest family of catfish boasting more than 600 species usually plecos are easily identified by their strange.

Somewhat flattened body shape and wacky lips their bodies are made up of bony plates and they typically have large dorsal fins or the fins along their back their lips function as suction cups for their faces keeping them closer to their favorite food sources while they eat. They consume algae as well as invertebrates and plants along with just about anything else as they are opportunistic eaters some people go so far as to call them janitor fish judging by pet store shelves it might seem like plecos would fit easily in a small 10-gallon tank but don't.

Some species can reach nearly 40 inches in length which is about as long as the tallest dog ever recorded was tall. Still, this is relatively rare and they're usually closer to 20 inches at full size, of course, that's still pretty big this can actually be a bad thing when these fish are released where they shouldn't see being such a ubiquitous pet species. Plecos are a pretty commonly owned fish thing is most of them are only natively found in South America.

So when a large enough quantity of them are released and are able to begin reproducing in non-native habitats they can cause damage to ecosystems by consuming food that otherwise wouldn't be eaten so quickly we're by competing with native species for diet resources. They can really mess up the food chain in some environments they can also cause erosion with their nests when plecos are ready to mate they will either find natural cave-like structures under logs or rocks or they will construct nests in the banks of their habitat.

Pleco fish can live in just about any freshwater environment so streams lakes rivers and ponds are all at risk for their destructive tunneling behavior yes tunneling plecos will create a network of tunnels in which to lay their eggs of which there maybe 500 or more depending on the species even though the babies take less than a week to hatch all that uprooting of sediment can cause erosion of water banks.

So if you ever own a Pleco fish and you find yourself unable to care for it, meaning they can live more than ten years in captivity so they're a pretty long-term investment the worst thing you can do would be to release it into your local waterways it can really hurt the environment is described but in reality, it can also hurt the fish. Since they live in warmer regions of South America.

They're not used to cold weather and they'll perish under conditions that are too frigid the best thing you can do is to try to bring it back to the pet store or see if you can donate it to a local museum college or other organization, of course, plecos are quite beautiful creatures and it makes sense that we've brought them into our homes they have striking features that make them stand out from other fish in our home aquariums.

Pleco fish also serve the purpose of cleaning up after others they're relatively friendly towards other fish though prospective owners need to remember how large these fish can get you should be able to recognize at pleco in a pet store by their dark color with speckles or you know the placard that says you're looking at a Pleco fish really though different species come in different colors.

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Hypostomus plecostomus


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Suckermouth catfish


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