Feeling... Plec-ish?

Plecs are a very popular addition to aquariums, from peaceful community tanks to dedicated setups, but what is a plec? Which is best for keeping your algae under control? Which should you choose?

We carry a wide range of ‘plecs’ – the common name for a catfish of the loricariidae family. With a variety of sizes, we have a plec to suit any community tank.

For algae control we recommend bristlenose, growing to 4-5” maximum, they are suitable for aquariums 70l and upwards. For smaller tanks, otocinclus are the ideal choice, growing to just 2”.

Bristlenose Plec

Red Bristlenose

Lemon Bristlenose


As a larger feature plec, gold nuggets, green and blue phantoms all make good choices. These larger fish (7-8”) require a suitably large set-up, 200 litres should be considered the minimum. Bear in mind they are not algae eaters, and require a varied omnivorous diet. An assortment of pellets, wafers, cucumber, prawns and mussels will provide an ideal diet.

Green Phantom Plec

Gold Nugget Plec

Blue Phantom Plec

Plecs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, species such as red lizard whiptails, regal whiptails and twig catfish (farlowella) can make an intriguing addition to an aquarium, what's more that they eat algae too. All ‘vegetarian’ species should be fed specialised foods containing high algae/veg sources as well as an occasional ‘meaty treat’ such as bug bites pleco formula, bloodworm or other suitable live food.

Red lizard whiptails

Regal Whiptail


Many plecs will consume wood as part of their natural diet. Some, such as royal plecs, will need a constant supply of bogwood as they grow. These large plecs (12”+) and other large wood grazers such as chubby plecs, will also eat a variety of fresh vegetable based food, as well as dry food. JBL Novo Pleco contains 10% wood fibre, and is an ideal sinking wafer for these larger species. Some other larger species, such as para plecs, require a more omnivorous diet as described above. Due to their size and the amount of waste they are capable of producing these species will need suitably large aquaria with very efficient filtration. It is always better to double check with us that the plec you’re interested in is suitable for your aquarium, a we can usually offer an alternative selection if required.

Chubby plec

Royal Plec

Para Plec