Ultimate Rubber Lipped Pleco Care Guide: Price, Size & More

If you’re a fish enthusiast looking to add a unique and exciting species of plecos to your aquarium, the Ultimate Rubber Lipped Pleco could be just what you’re looking for.

This fascinating and vastly underrated fish is known for its striking appearance and valuable contribution to maintaining a clean and healthy tank. I

In this comprehensive care guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about keeping and caring for the Ultimate Rubber Lipped Pleco, including its price, size, and more. 

From understanding their natural habitat to learning about their diet and ideal tank conditions, we’ll provide you with all the essential information to ensure your Rubber Pleco fish thrives in your care. 

rubber lip plecos

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills to provide the best care for this unique and intriguing fish.

So, if you’re interested in adding a stunning and beneficial addition to your aquarium, read on for the Ultimate Rubber Lipped Pleco care guide. 

What is the rubber lip pleco?

Rubber lip pleco is a common name for several freshwater catfish species in the genus Chaetostoma. They are native to South America and are popular aquarium fish due to their algae-eating habits.

Rubber lip plecos are typically small fish, fully grown to no more than 5 inches long. They have a stout body with a broad head and a large suckermouth.

rubber-lipped pleco

Their bodies are covered in bony plates, and they have a distinctive rubbery lip that gives them their name. Rubber lip plecos are peaceful fish that are easy to care for in an aquarium.

They are not picky eaters and will consume a variety of algae and leftover food. Rubber lip plecos are social fish and should be kept in groups of at least three individuals. 

Here are some of the most common species of rubber lip pleco:

  • Chaetostoma acutum: This species of pleco is known for its bright yellow spots on its head and nose. 
  • Chaetostoma brevirostre: This species has a crisscrossed pattern of stripes on its body. 
  • Chaetostoma ischyodus: This species is the smallest of the rubber lip plecos, growing to only 3 inches in length. 

Rubber lip plecos are an excellent choice for aquarium owners looking for a peaceful, easy-to-care-for algae eater. They are also relatively hardy fish and can tolerate various water conditions.

How To Best Care For A Rubber Lip Pleco?

The Rubber Lip Pleco, also known as the Bulldog Pleco, is a popular freshwater fish that requires specific care to thrive. To best care for a pleco rubber lip, it is essential to provide a suitable environment.

This includes a tank size of at least 30 gallons with plenty of hiding spots such as caves and driftwood. The water should be well-oxygenated and kept at a stable temperature between 72-78°F.

Additionally, a sandy substrate should be used to mimic their natural habitat. Diet is another crucial aspect of caring for a Rubber Lip Pleco.

They are mainly herbivorous and should be fed a balanced diet of algae wafers, blanched vegetables, and occasional meaty foods such as frozen bloodworms. It is also essential to regularly clean the tank and perform water changes to maintain optimal water quality.

Providing the right environment, diet, and tank maintenance ensures that your Rubber Lip Pleco remains healthy and happy in your aquarium. 

Rubber lipped pleco Price

The price of a rubber lipped pleco for sale varies depending on the fish’s size, color, and quality. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from \$5 to \$50 for a rubber lipped pleco. Here are some factors that can affect the price of a rubber lipped pleco:

  • Rubber lip pleco Size: Rubber-lipped plecos can grow from 3 to 12 inches long. Larger rubber lipped plecos will typically be more expensive than smaller ones.
  • Color: Rubber lipped plecos come in various colors, including brown, black, and white. Some colors may be rarer or more desirable than others, affecting the price.
  • Quality: Rubber-healthy and well-bred plecos will typically be more expensive than those not.

Here are some places where you can buy rubber lipped plecos:

  • Pet stores: Pet stores are excellent places to buy rubber-lipped plecos if you want to see the fish in person before you buy it. However, pet stores can be more expensive than other sources.
  • Online retailers: Several online retailers sell rubber lipped plecos. Online retailers can be a good option if you are looking for a more comprehensive selection of fish or if you want to save money.
  • Breeders: If you want a high-quality rubber lipped pleco, consider buying one from a breeder. Breeders can typically provide more information about the fish’s lineage and health.

No matter where you buy your rubber lipped pleco, ensuring the fish is healthy is vital. Ask the seller about the fish’s history and make sure that the fish is active and alert. You should also inspect the fish’s body for any signs of disease, such as parasites or fungus.

rubber-lipped pleco tank size

When considering a rubber-lipped pleco, also known as the rubber nose pleco, it is essential to provide a suitable tank size for this species. 

Rubber-lipped plecos can grow up to 7 inches long, requiring a minimum tank size of 50 gallons. This will provide them with enough space to swim and forage for food. You will need an even larger tank if you plan to keep more than one rubber-lipped pleco.

In addition to providing enough space, you must provide your rubber-lipped pleco with plenty of hiding places and various food options. They are omnivores, so that they will eat algae, plants, and small invertebrates. You can feed them different flake foods, sinking pellets, and live or frozen foods.

With proper care, rubber-lipped pleco can live for ten years or more. They are hardy and adaptable fish but are still susceptible to diseases such as ichthyophonisis and bacterial infections. Keep your tank clean and well-maintained to help prevent these diseases.

Here are some additional tips for caring for your rubber-lipped pleco:

  • Keep the water temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Maintain a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.
  • Perform regular water changes to keep the water quality high.
  • Monitor your pleco for signs of disease, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or unusual swimming behavior.

With proper care, your rubber-lipped pleco will make a great addition to your aquarium. They are a peaceful and beneficial fish that will help keep your tank clean and algae-free.

What To Put In Bristlenose Pleco Tank?

When setting up a tank for Bristlenose plecos, it’s essential to consider their specific needs. These fish require a well-oxygenated environment with plenty of hiding spots and surfaces to graze on.

rubber lip pleco

A suitable substrate for their tank is fine sand or smooth gravel, as they like to burrow and sift through the substrate for food. Decorations such as rocks, driftwood, and caves are ideal for providing hiding spots and simulating their natural habitat.

Live plants can also be added to the tank, as they help maintain water quality and provide additional surfaces for the plecos to graze on.

Regarding water conditions, bristle nose plecos prefer slightly acidic water with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 and a temperature range of 73-82°F. Monitoring water parameters and performing regular maintenance is essential to ensure a healthy environment for these fish.

Providing a well-decorated tank with suitable water conditions will help keep Bristlenose plecos happy and thriving in captivity. 

Here are some additional tips for setting up a bristlenose pleco tank:

  • Cycle the tank: Before you add any fish to your tank, it is essential to cycle it. This means establishing a colony of beneficial bacteria that will help to break down waste.
  • Test the water: Regularly test the water in your tank to ensure it is within the optimal parameters for bristle nose plecos.
  • Perform partial water changes: Perform partial water changes weekly to remove waste and replenish minerals.
  • Observe your fish: Keep an eye on your bristlenose plecos to ensure they are healthy and active.

By following these tips, you can create a happy and healthy home for your bristlenose pleco.

Rubber Lip Pleco Diet & Food (Feeding Rubber Lip Pleco)

The Rubber Lip Pleco is a freshwater fish native to the Amazon River basin in South America. They are popular aquarium fish because of their peaceful nature and their ability to clean algae from tanks.

Rubber Lip Plecos are omnivorous, which means they eat plants and animals. In the wild, they typically eat algae, biofilm, small invertebrates, and detritus. They can be fed various foods in captivity, including sinking pellets, algae wafers, vegetables, and fruits.

Here are some specific food recommendations for Rubber Lip Plecos:

  • Sinking pellets: Sinking pellets are a good staple food for Rubber Lip Plecos. They are a good source of protein and other nutrients, and they will help to keep the fish’s digestive system healthy. 
  • Algae wafers: Algae wafers are an excellent algae source for Rubber Lip Plecos. They can be attached to the side of the tank or placed in a feeding dish. 
  • Vegetables: Rubber Lip Plecos can eat various vegetables, including zucchini, spinach, and cucumber. Vegetables should be blanched before feeding to make them more accessible for the fish to digest. 
  • Fruits: Rubber Lip Plecos can also eat fruits, such as mango, apple, and banana. Fruits should be chopped into small pieces before feeding. 

It is essential to vary the Rubber Lip Pleco’s diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. They should be fed two to three times per day, with only enough food to consume in a few minutes.

Here are some additional feeding tips for Rubber Lip Plecos:

  • Feed at night: Rubber Lip Plecos are nocturnal, so it is best to feed them at night.
  • Don’t overfeed: Overfeeding can lead to health problems, such as obesity and bloat.
  • Monitor the fish’s health: Keep an eye on the fish to make sure they are healthy and active. If they are not eating or seem sluggish, there may be a problem with their diet or their environment.

Rubber Lip Plecos can live for 10 years or more with proper care and feeding.

Recommended Rubber Lipped Pleco Tank Mates

Rubber-lipped plecos are peaceful, bottom-dwelling catfish that add great to community fish tanks. They are known for their algae-eating habits and can help to keep your tank clean. However, it is essential to choose tank mates for your rubber-lipped pleco that are compatible with its temperament and size.

Here are some recommended tank mates for rubber-lipped plecos:

  • Small, peaceful fish: Guppies, mollies, platies, swordtails, neon tetras, and cardinal tetras are good choices for small, mild fish that will not bother your rubber-lipped pleco.
  • Corydoras catfish: Corydoras catfish are another excellent option for tank mates as they are peaceful bottom-dwellers. They will help to clean up any leftover food particles from your other fish.
  • Otocinclus catfish: Otocinclus catfish are small algae-eating catfish that are very social. They will help to keep your tank clean and algae-free.
  • Dwarf gouramis: Dwarf gouramis are peaceful fish that are not too large for a rubber-lipped pleco tank. They are also lovely fish that will add some color to your aquarium.

Here are some fish to avoid keeping with rubber-lipped plecos:

  • Enormous, aggressive fish: Cichlids, Oscars, and other large, aggressive fish can bully your rubber-lipped pleco.
  • Fin nippers: Some fish, such as tiger barbs and silver dollars, will nip at the fins of your rubber-lipped pleco.
  • Fish with similar temperament and size: Some fish, such as common plecos, can compete with your rubber-lipped pleco for food and territory.

When choosing tank mates for your rubber-lipped pleco, it is essential to consider the size of your tank. Rubber-lipped plecos can grow to be up to 12 inches long, so you will need a tank of at least 20 gallons.

You should also ensure that your tank has plenty of hiding places for your pleco, as they are nocturnal and like sleeping during the day.

With careful planning, you can create a beautiful and harmonious community aquarium that includes a rubber-lipped pleco and a variety of other peaceful fish.

Rubber Lip Pleco Care & Tank Set-up

The Rubber Lip Pleco are relatively easy to care for, making them a good choice for beginner and experienced aquarium enthusiasts. Here’s a comprehensive guide on Rubber Lip Pleco care and tank set-up:

Tank Requirements:

  • Minimum Tank Size: A minimum of 20 gallons is recommended for one rubber lip Pleco, which can grow up to 12 inches long.
  • Water Parameters:
  • Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.8
  • Hardness: 5-15 dGH
  • Filtration: A robust filter is necessary to maintain good water quality and remove waste products. A canister filter or a strong hang-on-back filter is suitable.
  • Substrate: A fine-grained sand or gravel substrate is ideal for Rubber Lip Plecos as it is soft on their underbelly. Avoid sharp or rough substrates that could injure their skin.
  • Decorations: Provide plenty of hiding places, such as rocks, driftwood, and caves, to make your pleco feel secure and reduce stress.

Maintenance and Water Changes:

  • Weekly Water Changes: Perform 25-50% weekly water changes to remove waste products and maintain water quality.
  • Siphon the Substrate: Occasionally siphon the substrate to remove uneaten food and debris that could contribute to poor water conditions.
  • Monitor Water Parameters: Regularly check water temperature, pH, and hardness levels to ensure they are within the optimal range for your pleco.

General Care Tips:

  • Avoid Sudden Water Changes: Avoid drastic changes in water temperature or pH, as this can stress your pleco and make it more susceptible to diseases.
  • Quarantine New Fish: Quarantine any new fish for at least two weeks to prevent the introduction of diseases to your established aquarium.
  • Handle with Care: When handling your pleco, wet your hands beforehand to protect their delicate skin. Support their body firmly and avoid sudden movements.
  • Observe for Signs of Disease: Be vigilant for signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or white spots on the body. If you notice any abnormalities, isolate the fish and consult with an experienced aquarist or veterinarian.

Following these guidelines, you can provide your Rubber Lip Pleco with a healthy and thriving environment in your aquarium. Remember, proper care and a suitable tank setup will ensure your pleco lives a long and fulfilling life as a valued member of your aquatic community.

Rubber Lip Pleco Lifespan & Common Pleco Disease

The Rubber Lip Pleco, a popular algae-eating fish in the aquarium hobby, has an average lifespan of 10-15 years. These hardy fish can live even longer with proper care and a suitable environment.

However, several common diseases can affect these fish and shorten their lifespan. One common disease is Ich, a parasite that presents as white spots on the fish’s body and fins. Another common ailment is “Pleco Disease,” which can manifest as sores or lesions on the fish’s body.

Poor water quality can also lead to issues such as fin rot and other bacterial infections. To prevent these diseases and ensure a long, healthy life for Rubber Lip Plecos, it’s crucial to maintain a clean and well-filtered aquarium environment.

Regular water changes and a well-balanced diet can help boost the fish’s immune system and prevent potential illnesses. 

While they are less commonly bred than some other pleco species, producing them in captivity with the proper setup is possible.

Aquarium Setup

The first step to breeding Rubber Lip Plecos is to provide them with a suitable aquarium setup. The tank should be at least 55 gallons and heavily planted with Amazon Swords or other broad-leaved plants. The water temperature should be between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.


Once the tank is set up, you must introduce a male and female Rubber Lip Pleco. The male will typically be larger than the female, with a broader head and thicker lips. The female will be smaller and have a thinner body.

The male Rubber Lip Pleco will build a cave from rocks and plants. Once the shelter is complete, he will attract a female to lay her eggs inside. The female will lay between 50 and 100 eggs, hatching in about five days.

Fry Care

Once the fry has hatched, they must be fed a diet of infusoria or liquid fry food. They must also be kept in a separate tank from the adults, as the adults may eat the fry.

The fry will proliferate and will reach sexual maturity in about two years.

Additional Tips

Here are some other tips for breeding Rubber Lip Plecos:

  • Make sure that the tank is well-oxygenated.
  • Keep the water clean and free of debris.
  • Do not overcrowd the tank.
  • Be patient. It may take several months for the Rubber Lip Plecos to breed.

You can successfully breed Rubber Lip Plecos in captivity with careful planning and preparation.

Breeding Rubber Lip Pleco

Breeding Rubber Lip Plecos can be a rewarding and exciting experience for fish hobbyists. To encourage breeding, providing the right environment and conditions for the fish is essential.

Rubber Lip Plecos prefer hiding spots and natural caves, so adding driftwood and rocks to the aquarium can create a suitable environment for breeding.

Maintaining a clean and stable water quality is crucial for their reproductive success. The water parameters should mimic their natural habitat, with a slightly acidic pH level and a temperature between 72-82°F.

To encourage breeding behavior, providing a varied diet rich in algae and vegetable matter is essential. Once breeding behavior is observed, removing the eggs from a separate aquarium is recommended to prevent other fish from eating them.

Remember: Generating Rubber Lip Plecos requires patience, attention to detail, and understanding of their natural behavior and environmental needs.

How big do rubbernose plecos get?

Rubber nose plecos, also known as Chaetostoma milesi, are a popular aquarium fish that typically grows to about 6 inches long.

Can two rubber lip plecos live together?

Two rubber lip plecos can live together if the aquarium is large enough and provides plenty of hiding places.

What is the Latin name for a rubber lip pleco?

The Latin name for a rubber lip pleco is Chaetostoma milesi, a freshwater fish species commonly kept in home aquariums. Known for its distinctive rubbery lips, it belongs to the Loricariidae family and is an effective algae eater in aquatic environments.

What do rubber lipped plecos eat?

Rubber-lipped plecos are primarily herbivores, consuming algae and plant matter. Their diet can be supplemented with sinking pellets or wafers for herbivorous fish.

Do Rubber Lip plecos need driftwood?

Yes, rubber lip plecos benefit from having driftwood in their aquarium. Driftwood provides them with a place to graze on algae and a hiding spot. It also helps to replicate their natural environment and can make them feel more secure.

Are Rubber Lip plecos good algae eaters?

Yes, Rubber Lip plecos are good algae eaters. They are known for their voracious appetite for algae and are one of the most effective algae cleaners in the aquarium hobby.

Can Rubber Lip plecos live with goldfish?

Rubber lip plecos and goldfish can coexist peacefully in an aquarium that meets the ideal water parameters for both species. However, ensuring the tank is sufficiently spacious and provides ample hiding places to minimize potential territorial disputes is crucial. While the Rubber Lip Pleco gracefully occupies the bottom of the tank, in stark contrast, the goldfish enjoys unrestricted movement throughout all sections of the aquarium.

Are Rubber Lip Pleco Suitable for Your Aquarium?

Rubber plecos are relatively peaceful fish that can significantly add to many community aquariums. They are known for their voracious algae appetite and can help keep your tank clean. However, they do require a spacious tank and plenty of hiding places. 

What is a Picasimus fish?

“Picasimus fish,” commonly known as “plecos,” is part of the Loricariidae family, the world’s most prominent catfish family. They’re recognized by their robust armored plates and mouths shaped like suction cups.


In conclusion, the world beneath the water’s surface is a captivating realm filled with fascinating creatures. Each ecosystem has unique inhabitants, from vibrant coral reefs to tranquil freshwater lakes. One such remarkable creature is the rubber lipped pleco. With its distinctive appearance and beneficial role in aquariums, this fish has garnered the attention of fish enthusiasts worldwide. Its rubbery lips and algae-eating prowess make it a valuable addition to any aquatic community tank. If you want to add charm and functionality to your underwater world, consider welcoming a rubber lipped pleco into your aquarium.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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