5 Best Food for Pleco Fish – How to Feed Plecos?

Disclosure: I may earn a commission when you purchase through my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. – read more

You plan to buy a pleco catfish for your aquarium? If you do, you should know how to care for plecos. One of the most important aspects of fish keeping, is the food and feeding process.

Plecos are no different in this regard. You have to know exactly what type of food they eat and how often. That’s because this way, you’ll make sure they’re healthy and thrive in the tank. What is a pleco’s diet?

Pleco Fish Diet

Plecos are most of all, algae eaters. All the algae the appears in the aquarium will be eaten by the pleco that’s present in there. But does that mean, you don’t have to feed this type of fish at all? No, that’s not true.

An aquarium won’t have enough algae in it, to feed your plecos all the time. Since you clean the water and filter it, the algae won’t appear in such a big quantity. The plecos will starve if you expect them to live only on the algae in the tank.

So, what else do they eat? Keep in mind that plecos are omnivores. This means that you can give them vegetable food and meat as well. The food items I list right below, are all perfect for Plecos:

  • Algae wafers
  • Driftwood – very important for all types of Plecos. This is a naturally encountered food source, so make sure they have plenty of it in the tank.
  • Earthworms
  • Bloodworms
  • Shrimp
  • Vegetables

Any one of the food items listed above can prove to be a good source of nutrients for plecos. Later in the article, I will tell you about some vegetables they really like.

But now, let’s see what the feeding schedule is for plecos:

Pleco Fish Feeding Schedule

The feeding schedule depends in a degree on your pleco’s age. If your pleco is still young, it will probably live on the algae that’s present in the tank and some algae wafers. However, when it grows, you’ll need to give it more consistent food.

For example, since plecos are nocturnal animals, you can give it an algae wafer when you go to bed. If the wafer is gone by the morning, you can give it another one. Usually, 2 algae wafers are enough for a pleco during the span of 1 day.

I mentioned above that plecos are omnivores. This means that they eat meat as well, not only vegetables. You shouldn’t give it meat every single day though, or even multiple times a day. To keep a healthy pleco in your tank, meat should only be given once or twice a week. The same is true with vegetables.

To get food for your fish, you can buy it from local markets or online stores. Most people like this method very much, because they can find many healthy and cheap products on the market. We’ll see about this shortly.

Another method would be to prepare the food yourself. If you think it’s hard or complicated, you’ll soon know that isn’t true. I will even give you an easy to prepare recipe.

But first, let’s talk about some of the commercial food products you can get for the plecos in your aquarium.

5 Best Commercial Pleco Food

Any of the products listed here, can be bought on Amazon.

Veggie Wafers by Aquacarium

Like its name suggests, the Veggie Wafers is a totally vegetarian fish food. It comes in multiple different package sizes, like ½ pound, ¼ pound, 2 pounds or others.

These wafers last quite a long time in the water without dissolving. It will give your pleco chance to feed for a longer period of time. What is it made of? The following are all part of the wafer: seaweed, carrots, squash, broccoli, dried spirulina, plankton, spinach and others.

It comes with vitamin supplements and minerals, to help your fish be healthy. The composition is this: 35% protein, 5% fiber, 6% fat and 6% moisture.

Api Algae Eater Premium

This is another wafer product specifically created for pleco fish. You can get it in 3 different sizes, all in ounces. Is it any good?

The wafer is created for plecos, so it’s made of algae mostly. But there are other substances added also, to provide a pleco with a rich and balanced diet. All the nutrients that a pleco could need, are added into the wafer.

To optimize their health and growth, Omega-3 and fatty acids were added too. It was formulated to help your fish use nutrients more efficiently with less waste. This will result in cleaner and clearer water as well.

Hikari Tropical Algae Wafers

This wafer comes in a single type of package, of 8.80 ounces. But you can get in in 2 packs at once as well. It was developed specifically for pleco fish and other bottom eaters, so your plecos will surely like it.

The Hikari wafer is again, an algae wafer, perfect for pleco fish, that don’t have enough algae in the water. You shouldn’t go wrong with this product, since Hikari is one of the first to ever produce algae wafers for plecos; they have a long and good track record for making quality fish food.

Tetra PRO Pleco Wafers

The Tetra PRO pleco food is an algae wafer, that comes in a single package size of 5,29 ounces. It contains many wafers that are perfect for feeding even larger pleco fish. All of the wafers were created to sink to the bottom of the tank while leaving a clear water behind them.

This product is also great to support your fish’s immune system. That’s because every wafer includes important vitamins and minerals needed by pleco fish to grow and be healthy all times.

Also, every wafer in the package in high in fiber, that helps the digestion process of your plecos.

Omega One Veggie Rounds

Here’s the last commercial food on our list. It’s just as good as all the others from above. It comes in a single package size, of 4,2 ounces. It was crafted to stay solid when you feed it to your fish, thus not clouding the water.

It was made to be rich in vitamins and minerals that plecos need to stay healthy. For instance, Omega-3 and Omega-6 are present in the food, as well as a whole bunch of proteins.

These pellets are made of kelp, that is harvested from the Gulf of Alaska. This is where the intense green color comes from.

Homemade Food for Pleco Fish

The food items listed above, are all great for feeding pleco fish. But if you want to make your own fish food at home, you can do that too. Let’s see how!

Since plecos are omnivores, preparing food for them is quite simple. Here’s a recipe that you can easily prepare at home within 30 minutes, without any special knowledge:

Get some spinach, peas, cucumber, shrimp and crab. Chop them all into small pieces, then blend them together. If it becomes too thick, just add some water to it.

In a separate container, make some gelatin mix. When all is done, mix it all together and pour it into ice cube trays. Freeze it and when it’s done, you can give it to your plecos. They will probably love it.

However, just like with other foods, don’t feed this to your Plecos all at once. Make some rations, and combine this food with others, to keep your Plecos on a healthy diet.

Something else you can give your fish, are vegetables. Plain simple vegetables. This is actually among the best ideas, because most of them will strengthen your fish’s immune system. What vegetable do plecos like to eat? These are only some of them:

  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Shelled peas
  • Kale
  • Lima beans
  • Cucumber
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots

Most of these vegetables are good without any additional preparation. But if you want to, you can boil and give them to your fish that way. Also, don’t forget to slice these into small pieces, so they can eat easily.

Another great idea would be to mix vegetable types together, and make a salad out of them. If you want to, you could even add some bloodworms or earthworms to this salad, making it even tastier for them.


In this article we’ve talked about pleco catfish diet. As you can see from above, plecos eat many different foods, since they’re omnivores.

I listed some of the best commercial food products you can find on Amazon. Whichever you may choose, your plecos will surely like it.

Right above, I also talked about homemade food. If you don’t want to spend more money on ready-made commercial food, just try out one of the ideas I mentioned above. I even talked about a recipe that works for most pleco fish keepers. Making it only takes about 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to always give you fish food that’s rich in vitamins and minerals. This way, you’ll make sure they stay healthy and thrive in your tank.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
Questions and Answers
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *