Can Plecos Eat Broccoli?

As you may know, plecos eat a lot of different types of food. They will quite literally anything that they can fit in their mouth.

It should come as no surprise then that plecos eat broccoli. It does require a little preparation to ensure that the fish can eat it with minimal issues.

Preparing Broccoli for Plecos

Broccoli does require a little preparation before you can give it your plecos. I recommend cooking it because that will make it much softer and easier to eat.

Just make sure you don’t overcook it and make it soggy.

The broccoli will float, so you should fasten it to a rock or use a vegetable clip to weight it down. It’s not entirely necessary to make sure the vegetable sinks, but it’s recommended because plecos prefer eating food on the bottom.

Also, feel free to feed your plecos broccoli crowns. Some owners don’t feed them the crowns, which I don’t understand.

My experience tells me that the plecos prefer the crowns over the stalks. They will eat broccoli crowns as soon as they go in the water and then slowly eat the stalks over the night (catfish are nocturnal eaters).

Is Cooking Broccoli Necessary for Plecos?

No, you don’t need to cook the broccoli before feeding it to your plecos. I still recommend it because it’s much faster for them to eat cooked broccoli instead of raw broccoli. Cooked broccoli will also sink a little easier than raw broccoli.

Cooking broccoli only takes a few minutes and it’s often something you do when making dinner, so just making some extra broccoli for your plecos when preparing to dinner to cut down on the preparation time.

Is Frozen Broccoli Ok for Plecos?

Yes, it’s perfectly ok to feed your plecos frozen broccoli. You obviously should not dump frozen vegetables into the tank as that will drop the temperature of the tank.

In fact, you should still cook frozen broccoli before feeding it to your fish. If you don’t want to cook it, then make sure it’s fully thawed before putting it in the tank.

Putting frozen food in the tank can harm your plecos as it will drastically decrease the water temperature in the tank. Plus, the fish won’t touch the broccoli until it fully thaws.


So, plecos will eat broccoli. It’s not their favorite vegetable, they greatly prefer zucchini or cucumbers, but they will happily eat it. Just make sure you figure out a way to keep it on the bottom of the tank before feeding it to them and you should not have any problems.

Also, they prefer the crowns over the stalk, so don’t take off the crowns!

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