Suckermouth catfish: appearance, feeding & more


Suckermouth catfish: appearance, feeding & more

Suckermouth catfish or “Plecostomous” is considered the only member of the plentiful Loricariidae family, which you will find in the rivers of South America.

Some people wonder why this fish is called “The suckermouth catfish”, it is because of its specialized oral cavity, you will find that its raspy mouthparts are designed to grind up plant materials.

If you want to know more about this amazing fish, keep reading and we will give you everything you want to know.

Suckermouth catfish lifespan:

This amazing fish can live with you from 10 to 15 years, and it will depend on the way you take care of it.

You have to know that the more you care for this fish, the more it will last with you in the tank without facing any health problems.

Suckermouth catfish appearance:

You can easily know the Suckermouth catfish because it has a special appearance, it is known for its scales or bony plates, which look like armor.

You will also find that sometimes these dense scales have extra ridges, which give the fish a spiky and thorny appearance.

You will also notice that its main color is brown, which you will find with darker spots or stripes.

Sometimes you will find some fish, that may have tan or yellow patterns, it is okay, they are the best too.

After knowing everything about the Suckermouth catfish, you will notice that it will be difficult to raise this fish in heavily planted tanks because you will hardly see it.

Suckermouth catfish full-grown:

You will find that this fish can reach the max length, which is 50 cm, but generally, you will find that the common length is only 28 cm, here is when you know that it reached its full growth.

Suckermouth catfish feeding:

You can notice that the suckermouth catfish is like all the other fish, which are mainly herbivorous, but you will find that it needs to have a well-rounded diet, so it won’t be able to live with you on the algae in your tank alone.

You will always need to add some herbivorous fish pellets to the tank for this fish, and the best kind of it for this fish is the flat disc shape.

It will be perfect for the suckermouth catfish to mix herbivorous and omnivorous foods together, so give it what it needs.

You will have a wide variety of commercially tropical fish diets available everywhere if you want to try them with your fish.

If you want to keep your suckermouth catfish happy and healthy all the time, you can try using some supplementing with vegetables.

Although you will find a variety of fresh vegetables, which you can add to your tank, you need to make sure that you don’t add a huge quantity to its diet.

Suckermouth catfish breeding and reproduction:

It is so easy for you to watch the suckermouth catfish breading, it will be enjoyable for you to see the male and female spawn together.

First of all, you need to add some smooth rocks on your take because they love to spawn on these rocks and divots in your substrate.

You will watch this happening in a quiet corner of the aquarium, which is not easily accessible, so you will only notice that if you keep your eye on them all the time.

You will find that once the females lay the eggs, the males will externally fertilize the eggs within the new nest.

Now, you will notice that the males will remain to guard the nest until the fry hatch.

Believe me, you will enjoy seeing this process so much.

Suckermouth catfish care:

If you want to take good care of these amazing fish, then you need to know that the most important thing you need to do is to give them enough room, which will be suitable for them when they reach full size.

Then you will need to add some important things in your tank, such as natural woods, which will be good for the fish to nibble upon.

You can’t use any type of wood, it must be a special wood, which hasn’t any toxic substances, like eucalyptus.

You have also to make it clean all the time in order to keep your fish healthy and doesn’t suffer from any diseases.

How to clean the wood for your fish?

  • You can easily clean the wood by allowing it to soak in chlorinated water, and leave it for at least 24 hours there.
  • Now you will need to rinse it thoroughly before adding it to your aquarium.

If you find that you can’t wait all this time and won’t be able to clean it right, then you can easily buy the woods, which made specifically for aquariums.

In this case, you will only need to rinse them to remove dust, then you can use them for your aquarium safely.

Water temperature for suckermouth catfish:

You have to make sure that the water is fresh all the time because it will be the main problem for your fish, who doesn’t love dirty water, just like all other fishes, such as Kuhli loach, Pygmy cory, Panda cory, and more.

You will notice that this fish is a peaceful fish, who can live with other fishes without facing any problems; it will only need to be in soft water with a low pH in the wild.

Therefore, the water must be between 7.0 and 8.0 pH, and the alkalinity between 3° and 10° dKH, and the temperature between 74° and 80° F.

Important Notes:        

  • You have to change 10% of your water every week or 25% of it every 2 weeks, and you can do that by using an aquarium water changer or you can also try siphon vacuum gravel cleaner.
  • It is important to treat tap water with a water conditioner before refilling your aquarium.

Tank size:

Although this fish is small, it will need a huge tank, and you will notice that you must have a tank that sizes 125 gallons for every single fish in your hand.

Therefore, you will always need to create a suitable space for your fish no matter how many they are.


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