How Fast Do Common Plecos Grow To Full Size?

Last Updated on February 28, 2022 by cmoarz

How fast do common plecos grow? If you planning on upgrading your tank down the line to accommodate a larger pleco, you’ll want to know an answer to this question.

Luckily we have a pretty straightforward answer for you.

How fast do common plecos grow?

In general, A common pleco can grow between 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch every month for the first year, and slow down as it ages. This number fluctuates based on factors such as water conditions, the level of food available, and water temperature. Individual genetics also plays a role.

Some will grow faster while others will grow slower but in general stay within the average of 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month for the first year or so.

So, how long does it take for a common pleco to reach its full size?

While plecos tend to start off growing very rapidly, they will eventually slow down and reach their full size at around 4-5 years old and about 25 inches long.

However, there have been reports of plecos reaching sizes of only 18 inches, so it really depends on the individual fish and the conditions in which it is raised.

So if you’ve only got a smaller aquarium, and planning on upgrading the size, Consider doing it sometime during the first year of growth.

How can I make my pleco grow faster?

Plecos reach their max growth potential when they live in ideal water conditions with ideal temperatures (between about 75 and 82°F (24-28°C)) and have a well-balanced diet of algae wafers and fresh vegetables (such as peeled cucumber).

You don’t need to balance the cucumber, However, it will float.

A good trick to solve this problem is to simply stick a stainless steel fork into the cucumber to act as a weight to hold the cucumber down, or use food clamps and weights specifically designed for such.

Adding the occasional protein is also beneficial, such as bloodworms or shrimp wafers, but overfeeding can lead to problems so be careful.

Additionally, provide plenty of hiding places in your aquarium for your pleco to rest and feel secure. This will help reduce stress levels and promote healthy growth.

So while there is no one surefire way to make your pleco grow faster, by following these tips you can give your pleco the best chance to reach its full size as quickly as possible.


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!