It takes about five years for a common pleco to grow to its full size. A common pleco typically grows 3-5 inches in its first year. After that, its growth rate will slow down until it attains its full size of 20-25 inches.
Several factors can affect your pleco’s growth, including:
- Genes – Some plecos grow faster or bigger purely because of their genes.
- Tank size – Your pleco requires ample room to maximize its growth range. While you can keep it in a small 20-gallon tank as a juvenile, it will need a 75-gallon tank or bigger to thrive.
- Environmental conditions – Your pleco needs the optimal water, temperature, pH, and lighting conditions to support its growth.
- Feeding – A pleco requires a high-quality diet, especially within the first couple of years of its life.