Hypostomus plecostomus is the scientific name for a type of freshwater tropical Central and South American fish belonging to the family Loricariidae. They are large algae eaters, and to differentiate them from small algae eaters, they are often referred to as plecostomus, often abbreviated as plecos or plecs. They are extremely popular in aquaria for their ability to clean tanks by eating algae growth. In Malaysia, these fish are called 'ikan bandaraya' or 'municipal fish' in English because of their ability to clean fish tanks. These friendly-natured fish can typically be purchased when about 8 cm (3 inches) and may grow up to 60 cm (2 ft) if there is adequate room, making them mostly impracticable for any but the largest aquariums.