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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Fin-tastic Facts About Sucker Fish For Kids

Suckerfish facts about the popular pet fish

The sucker fish, also known as "common sucker", are freshwater fishes. There are a total of 80-100 species of vibrant and unique species. Most of the species are native to North America while some are found in Asia as well. Different types of sucker fish include Hypertelium (Hog Sucker), Carpsucker (Carpiodes), Buffalo Fish (Ictiobus), and Red Horse/Jumprock (Moxostoma). The white sucker fish, freshwater sucker fish, shark sucker fish, Chinese sucker fish, red horse sucker fish, saltwater sucker fish, and algae sucker fish are all variants of the same family of fishes. They are recognized by their sucking usually through their ventral mouth with protrusible lips. They reside in areas mostly at the bottom range of lakes and feed on invertebrates and plants. Suckers clean algae in tanks. The Suckermouth has a good sense of taste and smell and is considered one of the strongest fish species and has the ability to grow to a large extent. Suckers can be an ideal pet to get but once they grow they need to be transferred into bigger water bodies. Read on to find out more, and after, visit drum fish and longhorn cowfish.

Sucker Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a sucker fish?

Sucker fish is a type of fish. Sucker fishes are unique creatures who have abilities like eat algae as food in fish tanks keeping the tank clean at all times.

What class of animal does a sucker fish belong to?

Sucker fish belongs to the class Actinopterygii and the phylum Chordata.

How many sucker fish are there in the world?

There are approximately 79 species of sucker fishes however the total number of fishes in the world is undetermined.

Where does a sucker fish live?

Sucker fishes largely live in freshwater streams and lakes across American and the northern parts of America and even some species exist in China.

What is a sucker fish's habitat?

Sucker fish exist in freshwater bodies like ponds, lakes, and wetlands. They live at the bottom of the water body and consume plants, animals, and insects.

Who do sucker fish live with?

Sucker fishes live in packs of their own but they can also be kept along with other fishes in an aquarium who are compatible with them.

How long does a sucker fish live?

Sucker fishes live long lives, approximately 10-20 years as compared to other fishes who live shorter lives.

How do they reproduce?

If they are in an aquarium, a clean coffee can or a small flower pot can be used by the male as a breeding location. After mating the females lay eggs, close to 2000 eggs, and it takes about ten days for them to hatch. Since the adult fishes have a habit of feeding on remains, it's essential to transfer the eggs into another tank without other species and can then be transferred back once they grow up. Both male and female sucker fishes have similar characteristics hence it's essential to identify which one they are by consulting a professional. In their natural habitat, however, they find the appropriate conditions themselves and mate to reproduce.  

What is their conservation status?

The species is considered an Endangered species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).

Sucker Fish Fun Facts

What do sucker fish look like?

Sucker fishes are robust fishes with smooth-edged and cycloid scales on their bodies. Their eyes are dark olive with brassy reflections. They are recognized by their suckermouth hence the name suckerfish.

Sucker fish are similar to a catfish with a beautiful pattern.

How cute are they?

Aquarium sucker fish is an extremely unique and cute fish and a perfect addition to an aquarium if you are considering keeping them as pets.

How do they communicate?

They are sensitive to vibrations which helps them avoid any kind of prey. They also release pheromones in the form of an alarm to signify when their epidermis is damaged and signal for fight response if any dangers arise.  

How big is a sucker fish?

Sucker fishes are 2.5-100 cm which is 20 times bigger than the smallest fish in the world called Paedocypris which is 10.3 mm in size.

How fast can a sucker fish swim?

Sucker fishes move at an adequate speed and are suited to live only in freshwater bodies or aquariums where there is a supply of fresh water constantly.  

How much does a sucker fish weigh?

A sucker fish can weigh a minimum of 2-6 lb (1.6 kg). This amount can vary for the particular type of species as well.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific gender names for sucker fish. Analyzing the shape of the fish helps in gaining a close idea about the gender of the species as female sucker fishes have a more rounded body whereas males are generally skinnier.

What would you call a baby sucker fish?

Baby sucker fishes are simply referred to as common plecostomus and can survive in a tank that has 55 gal of water. Taking care of them is not a cumbersome task. Sucker fishes tend to become increasingly aggressive when they grow up hence it should be ensured that they are kept in appropriate environments.

What do they eat?

Sucker fishes are omnivores and consume invertebrates like plants and algae. The common plecostomus can survive on algae alone as well as flaky food of any kind.

Are they poisonous?

They possess tiny spines all over their body which can be considered toxic and poisonous in nature however, the white sucker fish is considered good to consume for humans.  

Would they make a good pet?

They make a wonderful pet to be kept in an aquarium. The only consideration is to ensure the aquarium has adequate space or at least an alternative to transfer them to when the fish grows.

Did you know...

Apart from keeping them as a pet, these fishes, although not popular, can be eaten and are a high source of protein and other essential nutrients.

The Suckermouth catfish is similar to these species as well.

A suckerfish named the Bigmouth Buffalo is believed to be the longest-living freshwater on earth it lived for up to 112 years.

Having your own sucker fish

These fishes can cost anywhere between $3.99-$4.99, prices may vary as per the location. Apart from the cost to buy the fish, you will also have to invest in an aquarium that can hold a minimum of 75 gal of water initially if the fish size is small and will need a bigger tank as the fish grows. Sucker fish care is simple as long as you ensure a proper environment, diet, and other factors.

Fishing sucker fish

You can eat a suckerfish as well as keep it as a pet. Fishing for a suckerfish involves more or less the same method as any other fish. The bait needs to be set at the end of a string, and ensure that the spring is long since they reside at the bottoming most instances. It is best to go fishing for them during springtime as their meat is firmer at this time of the year.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including pumpkinseed sunfish, or milkfish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our sucker fish coloring pages.

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