Sucker Fish Diseases

A pleco has no known deseases.
A pleco has no known deseases. (Image: Gigantic cat-fish image by nata_rass from

The suckerfish, also known as the pleco or plecostomus, is one of he heartiest fish you can put into an aquarium. It has no known specific diseases that affect only that species, but it is susceptible to several ailments that can kill. Understanding what can affect the suckerfish in a negative manner will help you take measures to keep it healthy and safe.


The suckerfish is susceptible to Ich. Ich is a white puffy fungus that attaches itself to a fish when they become stressed. Stress often occurs when a tank is dirty, or aggressive fish are present. Ich can be fatal if left untreated. Depending on the type of fish inhabiting the tank, the treatment of Ich differs. Seek assistance from your fish supplier for the best method that fits your tank’s needs.


A suckerfish needs driftwood to help the digestive process. Often driftwood is left out of a tank for fear of introducing parasites into the water. However, if you plan to keep a suckerfish, driftwood is necessary to avoid digestive issues.

Tank Size

Tank size is not a disease but is a common ailment that causes suckerfish to die. Suckerfish can grow to be very large, sometimes more than 12 inches in length. They are unlike goldfish in the fact that they will outgrow their environment if properly fed. The general rule of thumb is one inch of fish per every gallon of water. Take note of the average adult size of the suckerfish you buy to ensure the tank he is in will be large enough when he is an adult.

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