Can Plecos Eat Wood?

Plecos have a reputation for eating pretty much everything. Carrots, zucchini, cucumber, and any organic matter are all types of food that plecos will eat.

And yes, plecos do eat wood. In fact, plecos actually need wood in their diet.

Now, plecos eat wood, but they not completely destroy the wood in your aquarium. They will nibble on the wood and chew the bark off of it.

Why Do Plecos Eat Wood?

Plecos eat wood because it helps with their digestive tract. It’s not entirely necessary for them to eat wood, but it’s something we recommend to ensure their health.

All types of plecos will eat wood. Again, it’s not a requirement for plecos to have wood in their diet. Just something that will make them a lot happier.

What Type of Wood Do Plecos Eat?

You should probably not feed your plecos plywood or other treated wood because it has a lot of chemicals in it. I recommend putting driftwood that has bark on it in your fish tank. The plecos will only eat the bark on the driftwood, so it should have some bark on it.

They generally won’t touch any wood that doesn’t have bark on it.

How Long Does It Takes Plecos To Eat Wood?

How long it takes your plecos to eat wood mostly comes down to how big they are, how many you have in the tank, and the size of the wood.

It will take a few months for bristlenose plecos to eat all the bark off a piece of driftwood. If you have bigger plecos (ie. common plecos), then they can clean all the bark off drift wood in less than a week.


Plecos will eat the bark off of wood. But they won’t eat any more wood than that, so it’s safe to put driftwood in your tank if you’re fine losing the bark from it.

It’s not entirely necessary for them to have wood in their diet. It is something that I recommend, however, as it greatly improves their ability to digest other food that they eat.

Leave a Comment