Top Largest Pleco Species – Which One Can You Keep?

With the algae-eating practices and attractive appearance, pleco species are getting more and more common these days, especially for advanced aquarists. Curiosity about the pet has promoted the seeking of the largest pleco species as well as which pleco we can pick for our home tank. 

If you are also on the same page with us, following us to visit the content below might end your interest. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started to reach the key points.

Largest Pleco Species

How Big Do Pleco Species Get? 

Pleco species have a wide range of sizes; thus, their maximum sizes are quite varied depending on different species. Normally, the aspect varies from 5 cm to 71 cm of body length (~2 inches to 28 inches).

A case in point is that some big Sailfin plecos might reach up to 68.6 cm (27 inches), while some small plecos have a fully mature body length of between 5 and 15 cm (2 inches and 6 inches). Furthermore, the most typical Plecostomus might grow to 61 cm (24 inches).

Pleco is known as a representative of the biggest catfish family, called Loricariidae also. 

Currently, there are over 680 species in the family that come in different sizes and various tank setup requirements. Thus, we are unable to give any cut-and-dried answer to this question. 

In addition, how large they are not just lying in the species but also depends on the situation where you keep them (tank).

If your pleco species lives in a healthy condition, it can grow to a size we have not expected before. 

Top Of The Largest Pleco Species

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish

The pleco Orinoco Sailfin is a catfish of the Pterygoplichthys Multiradiatus genus, which belongs to one of the biggest pleco families. Its maximum size is 71.1 cm (28 inches). Yet, the average size of a mature catfish is 48.3 to 51 cm (19 to 20 inches).

Common Pleco

The Common Pleco falls under the umbrella of the Hypostomus Plecostomus genus. Typically, the species will not exceed 28 cm in captivity. Yet, if your pet fish resides in a healthy environment that makes them feel comfortable, it might grow to over 61 cm. Therefore, the pleco species can extend their body length to 38 to 61 cm (15 to 24 inches).

Bristlenose Pleco

The pleco species is also called Bushy Nose, a part of the Ancistrux genus. This pleco’s size can vary from 7.6 to 15.2 cm (3 to 6 inches). One of the remarkable things about the pleco is that the genus includes some prevalent Bristlenose species, particularly:

  • The maximum size of Cirrhosus Bristlenose Pleco can reach 10.2 to 15.2 cm (4 to 6 inches) if settled in an ideal condition. 
  • The maximum size of Cirrhosus, Albino Bristlenose Pleco is 12.7 cm (5 inches); still, its medium size of a mature one can drop from 7.6 to 10.2 cm (3 to 4 inches).
  • The maximum size of Ancistrus Dolichopterus Starlight Bristlenose Pleco is 11.4 cm (4.5 inches)
  • The maximum size of Gold Ancistrus claro Marble Bristlenose can grow up to 6.9 cm (2.7 inches).

Which Type Of Plecos Might You Consider for Your Aquarium? 

Zebra Pleco

  • Minimum tank size: 76 liters (20 gallons)
  • Size: 7.5 cm (3 inches)
  • Diet: carnivore
  • Care level: medium

This lovely pet is reckoned the gem of this plecos genus. They come in white with unique black stripes, which brings them an ideal appearance to settle in most natural environments. 

However, the little guys seem to be quite picky because they don’t eat, even just a bit, algae which are common food for most pleco species. So, if you have the intention to find a pet to help with algae, they are not a wise choice. 

Brine shrimp, bloodworms, and shrimp are their favorite foods. They easily adapt to a broad range of water conditions as long as the oxygenated water and high-flow rate in your tank are run well. Most owners chose this Zebra Pleco aiming for aesthetics for their home aquarium.

Clown Pleco

  • Minimum tank size: 113 liters (30 gallons)
  • Size: 9-10 cm (3.5-4 inches)
  • Diet: herbivore
  • Care level: simple

The pet is quite simple to keep in your lovely aquarium. They prefer algae to other food, yet they don’t belong to the best effective cleaning-up team for our tank. In addition, they can eat some slender-fibrous logs from sunken woods.  

You can find them in light-brown color with distinctive mustard yellow stripes, which will certainly add a focal point for your aquarium. They are not too big and won’t grow into a super large catfish in your tank, so you need not worry about how long your tank must be to keep the catfish. 

Bristlenose Pleco

  • Minimum tank size: 151 liters (40 gallons)
  • Size: 10 to 15 cm(4 to 6 inches)
  • Diet: herbivore
  • Care level: easy

Many aquarists recommend Bristlenose when being asked which pleco species will be suitable for our home tank. They not only meet the requirement for cleaning up the aquarium as an algae eater but also in terms of the aesthetic aspect with a wide range of unique colors.

In addition, Bristlenose males will introduce some interesting things to your tank thanks to their unique habits. They have a cluster of portly tentacles on their face, used for combat with others.

Bristlenose Pleco

Final Words 

What is the largest pleco species? It is no longer tricky for you if we still have your company until the bottom lines. The answer will depend on which pleco species and living environment you have. 

From now on, you also know which pleco species you should choose for your beautiful aquarium. Their attractiveness and habits will contribute to creating a special and beautiful spotlight for your tank. 

Sharing is caring! Forward the post to other fish keepers who have the same interest as you. Thank you for following, and see you soon!