Plecos fishes are best for cleaning the tank and reducing the algae spreading. But many people are asking about the survival hours of plecos without water and are unaware of their health and feeding. So they will not care as other fish.

Plecos fish can survive out of water for up to 18 hours. But we will not recommend trying this because all fishes need water to survive as humans we need oxygen to survive. But the plecos can survive under the mud for up to 30 hours.

Here are some of the explanations of the question that was asked by our reader.You can also read the detailed plecos care guide.

So let’s start.

Can plecos dry out?


The plecos can survive without water for 30 hours but there should be enough oxygen inside the abdomens. Otherwise, the fish may die.

I have seen on social media that plecos can survive up to one mouth without water. It was in wild, but aquarium fishes will not survive like wild fishes.

I will not recommend trying the fish life for experiments. You can give them good care and highly rich proteins for better health and growth.

Can plecos survive outside?


Plecos can live outside means you can put plecos in the outdoor fish tank. Plecos can live in tropical and semi-tropical regions. The temperature can be suitable for them, But if the temperature is too low.

Plecos cannot survive in freezing because they need 72°F above temperature to survive. So you need to place an aquarium heater in the tank.

Can a pleco survive freezing?

If the temperature was too low, then you can see the water freezing. So the fish will not get enough oxygen for breathing.

Plecos can live without water for 18 hours but if the water starts freezing then it was very hard to survive.

So plecos cannot survive in the freezing water. If you analyze the water freezing, use a heater to control the temperature in the water.

Does pleco need water?


Every fish need water for surviving. Like that it’s very important for plecos too.

They need water for survival and plecos can’t live outside the water for a long time. So it’s very important to make sure the water and proper temperature in the aquariums.

Plecostomus Water Requirements

The water requirement for plecos is listed below. You need to make sure the water requirement is correct every week.

  • pH between 7.0 and 8.0,
  • Alkalinity between 3° and 10° dKH (54 ppm to 180 ppm)
  • Temperature between 74° and 80° F

What is the average lifespan of a pleco?

The plecos have 10 to 15 years of lifespan. They can live without water for 18 hours and live 10 to 15 years in dirty water too.

They are used for cleaning the tank and reducing the algae spreading in the tank.

The plecos can grow up to 20 inches without any problems and after 10 years they may show some disorders and start struggling to survive in the water.

Do plecos clean the bottom of the tank?

It was very hard to keep the aquarium clean the free from algae. Lots of people put effort into cleaning the aquarium every 3 days.

A small story from my life

 When I started fish keeping, it was very hard to clean the aquarium and I felt very bad and tired every day due to the cleaning. The algae were spreading faster and there is no way without cleaning the aquarium because the fish started to die.

After some days, I meet a person near my apartment, and that day I realized the algae eaters benefit from him. Many new beginners are not aware of the fish’s health and algae spreading in the tank.

Then I buy Plecos and otocinclus for cleaning the bottom wastes and reducing the algae spreading in the tank.

Apart from this, You need to know the benefits of fish like plecos and otocinclus.

Here are some benefits of plecos.

  • They will clean the aquarium and reduce the spreading of algae.
  • Cleaning the bottom wastes from aquariums.
  • Suitable for any water condition.
  • Great fish for new beginners

Why do plecos jump out of the tank?

The plecos fishes may jump from the tank due to poor water quality and water conditions.

If there are sudden changes in the water temperature or quality such as nitrate spike and ammonia spike, then fish may show some erratic movements like upside down or start to jump outside the tank.

You need to be very careful with water conditions and need to check the water parameters every week and see sudden changes in water conditions.

Separate the fish into another tank and clean the fish tank. To make the plecos happy, you can feed them algae wafers and some tropical foods to reduce stress. Here is the list of plecos food.

Wrapping Up

In this blog post, you have got an idea about the lifespan and survival of plecos.

It was an explanation for many beginners who don’t know the benefits of plecos.

If this post helps you, kindly share it with friends and family who love fish-keeping.


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