Will Pleco Eat Neon Tetras? What to Know

Both plecos and neon tetras are very popular fishes. You will find them in any local fish store around you. Right now, I have three plecos in one of my fish tanks.

As an aquarist, if you have ever thought of keeping neon tetras with plecos, you might wonder if plecos will eat your neon tetras.

Plecos usually don’t eat neon tetras or any other aquarium fishes. Plecos are bottom feeders and mostly survive on eating algae and plants. Plecos and neon tetras are great tankmates and can live with each other. However, a pleco might scavenge on already dead neon tetras.

In this article, I am going to explain why a pleco won’t cause any harm to neon tetras or any other community fishes and what would actually a pleco eat as their balanced diet. Keep reading till the end as I’m going to provide some awesome information about plecos!

What Do Plecos Eat?

It’s well known to all of us that plecos are algae eaters, and their diet mainly relies on plant-based food, which is true because Bristlenose plecos are herbivores, and they get most of their nutrients from plant-based foods. 

But you can also offer them protein-based food like bloodworms as protein is also important for proper growth. Plecos are bottom dwellers, so they stay at the bottom of the aquarium and eat algae most of the time.

You can offer algae wafers to the plecos if there are fewer algae in your aquarium. Offer a sufficient amount of algae wafers that they can eat within less than five minutes.

I also have seen plecos coming at the top of the tank to eat pallets as well.

To offer your plecos and other community fishes the best living conditions, you can add a sufficient amount of plant, maybe driftwood which will provide oxygen, stabilize the pH level and fish will have a good amount of hiding spaces that will make them feel safe.

You don’t need to worry about the plants; plecos won’t eat plants unless they are starving. However, plecos will eat the algae that grow on the driftwood.

Plecos eat the following foods:

  • Algae, sinking food pallet, algae wafers
  • Plecos eat fibers like zucchini, lettuce, carrot, etc.
  • Algae that grow on Driftwood
  • Plecos are scavenger fish, that will eat anything that comes in their way.

Will a Pleco Eat Other Fish?

No, plecos don’t eat other fish. They are well known as algae eaters among aquarists. However, as plecos are scavengers they can eat dead organisms and dead fish particularly.

Don’t be afraid! Plecos won’t touch fish that are alive.

One of my friends returned from his school and saw that his pleco was eating a neon tetra. He has been successfully keeping neon tetras and plecos in the same tank for a while.

He was thinking of separating plecos and neon tetras.

But later, he discovered that the neon tetra was already dead, and pleco was scavenging on the dead neon tetra.

So, if you are worried that pleco might eat your other fish, let me tell you that there is nothing to worry about.

Right now I have 3 big size plecos which I kept with a lot of community fishes,, but I never saw any aggression toward other fishes.

Plecos are very peaceful in nature, and they certainly don’t eat other fish.

What Fish Will Eat Neon Tetras?

There are different kinds of fish that will happily eat neon tetras. Such as:

  • Cichlids
  • Oscars
  • Arowanas
  • Giant Gouramis

I also have heard that there are some carnivorous pleco fishes in the wild that can eat other fishes, especially neon tetras, as they are very small.

In the wild plecos get very big. So, it’s easy for them to consume one of your tetras if they are carnivores.

So, just to be careful, never add wild plecos in your tank. Also, avoid common plecos even if they are not wild-caught, as they get really big.

Can Neon Tetras Live With Bristlenose Pleco?

Yes, bristlenose plecos and neon tetras get along just fine, and they can live together in the same community tank.

Both bristlenose pleco and neon tetras are peaceful in nature and can thrive under the same water conditions. Also, bristlenose plecos will eat any leftover foods that neon tetras won’t eat. That’s why I think adding a bristlenose pleco to a neon tetra tank is a very good idea. 

Also, neon tetras don’t get too big. That’s why I prefer bristlenose plecos over other varieties.

Related Questions:

Can Plecos Get Neon Tetra Disease?

If your neon tetra is carrying any disease, then there is a possibility that plecos might get it. If your neon tetra or any other fish shows any sign of disease, you should separate them and keep them in another tank.

You can add them to the community tank as they recover.

Also, if you are introducing new neon tetras in a community tank, try to keep them in a separate quarantine tank for at least 14 days.

That’s because fishes from pet stores can carry parasites and diseases. Trust me, you don’t want to make your other fishes sick as well.

Final Thoughts:

There you go! Plecos won’t eat your beautiful little neon tetras. Neon Tetras can peacefully live with plecos.

As both of them are peaceful community fish and ideal tank mates, they won’t cause any harm to each other.

If something bad happens to any of my aquarium fish, it feels horrible. In the past, I have lost several fishes for my mistakes. 

That’s why I would suggest you to do proper research before adding one fish with another in the same tank.

I hope this article was helpful. Thanks for reading my article! If you have a minute, check out my article on Do Dwarf Gouramis Eat Neon Tetras?

Asif Iqbal

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