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Plecostomus, or Plecos, are a group of armored catfish that belong to the Loricariidae family.

They are by far the most popular catfish amongst fish keepers and in total there are well over 150 species.

The most in demand member of this family is called the Common Pleco and can grow up to 24 inches long.

The common pleco (Hypostomus plecostomus), also known as the sucker fish, is a staple of the aquarium hobby, and is easily one of the most popular fish available.

Tiger Clown Pleco
Tiger Clown Pleco L066

Tiger Clown Pleco L066

ORIGINS South America, where it is found in Brazil’s
Rio Xingu.
SIZE 8 in (20 cm).
DIET Omnivorous.
WATER Temperature 73–82°F (23–28°C); soft
(50–100 mg/l) and acidic (pH 6.0).
TEMPERAMENT Territorial when mature.

 

A delicate patterning of white stripes on a black background distinguishes the Tiger Clown Pleco.

These markings are highly variable, allowing individuals to be recognized easily.

Females lack the spines on the pectoral and dorsal fins, and have a broader body shape.

Tiger Clown Plecos are most active after dark, and eat a wide variety of foods.
Shelled peas, either fresh or thawed, are a valuable source of vegetable matter, as are cucumber slices.

Butterfly Peckoltia L052
Butterfly Peckoltia L052

Butterfly Peckoltia L052

ORIGINS South America, occurring in parts of the
Orinoco basin.
SIZE 5 in (12.5 cm).
DIET Omnivorous.
WATER Temperature 73–82°F (23–28°C); soft
(50–100 mg/l) and acidic (pH 6.0).
TEMPERAMENT Territorial.

The coloration of these catfish, which can vary widely, is partly dependent on their background.

Their patterning of alternating light and dark patches (seen in the example below) disappears rapidly if the fish are transferred to a tank with a dark substrate, and may also be affected by the lighting.

Pairs spawn in the relative safety of a cave, with the female laying up to 120 eggs.

These may take ten days to hatch, by which time the fry have used up virtually all of their yolk sacs.

The young of this species can be reared on brine shrimp

common pleco Complete Guide: Species, Care, Tank Requirements 1
Zebra Pleco L106

Hypancistrus zebra

Zebra Pleco L106

ORIGINS South America, where it is confined to the Rio
Xingu in Brazil.
SIZE 31⁄4 in (8 cm).
DIET Relatively carnivorous.
WATER Temperature 79–86°F (26–30°C); soft
(50–100 mg/l) and neutral (pH 7.0).
TEMPERAMENT Placid.

The straight black bands across its body separate this catfish from the wavy-lined form, known as L098.

Males have wider heads than females, when seen from above, and the first ray of the pectoral fin is broader.

Include sand, rocks, and bogwood in the tank to mimic this pleco’s natural habitat.

The water must be well-filtered and well-oxygenated to encourage spawning, which occurs in a cave.

The eggs are laid in batches, and hatch in about a week.

Gold-Spotted Pleco L014
Gold-Spotted Pleco L014

Gold-Spotted Pleco L014

ORIGINS South America, where it appears to occur only
in Brazil’s Rio Xingu.
SIZE 12 in (30 cm).
DIET Catfish pellets and livefoods.
WATER Temperature 77–84°F (25–29°C); soft
(50–100 mg/l) and acidic to neutral (pH 6.0–7.0).
TEMPERAMENT Territorial when mature.

The coloration of burnished gold on the fins and contrasting yellower spots on the body is much brighter in young Gold-Spotted Plecos than in adults.

Males have a broader first ray on the pectoral fin, and a slightly bristly appearance on their heads.

At present, no breeding records exist for these catfish, which were only officially described in 1994.

They require well-filtered, moving water in their tank, with rocks and a sandy base to mimic their natural habitat.

Gold-Spotted Plecos are not particularly difficult to keep, despite their large size, but they do become more aggressive as they grow larger.

They feed near the substrate, and can be persuaded to take catfish pellets and livefoods.

If there are retreats in the tank, it is important that uneaten food does not accumulate in them, since it will decrease the water quality and harm the fish.

RASPING SUCKERMOUTHS
RASPING SUCKERMOUTHS

RASPING SUCKERMOUTHS

Loricariids are sometimes called suckermouth catfish because of their powerful mouthparts, which allow them to anchor onto rockwork and submerged wood even when faced with a strong current.

Many species also appear to need bogwood, which they eat, rasping off fragments with their teeth.

If kept without bogwood, these catfish are unlikely to thrive. Aside from keeping their teeth in check, the bogwood may also aid the digestive process, perhaps by providing additional nutrients for the beneficial microbes in the fish’s digestive tract, which help to break down plant matter

Hypostomus cf. emarginatus

Black Hi-Fin Pleco L108

 

Black Hi-Fin Pleco L108
Black Hi-Fin Pleco L108

ORIGINS South America, being common throughout
much of the Amazon region.
SIZE 7 in (18 cm).
DIET Mainly vegetarian.
WATER Temperature 73–82°F (23–28°C); soft
(50–100 mg/l) and acidic (pH 6.0).
TEMPERAMENT Territorial when mature.

The difficulty in naming plecos with certainty, even with the L-number system, is well illustrated by the Black Hi-Fin.

Although it is often described as L108, this fish is assigned a variety of other L-numbers in different parts of its range.

Exact coloration may vary, but all forms display a dense pattern of black spots on a darkish background.

More than 600 loricariids are now known, making it a large and diverse family, and others still await discovery.

Longtail Pleco L131
Longtail Pleco L131

Hypostomus cf. emarginatus

Longtail Pleco L131

ORIGINS South America, being common throughout
much of the Amazon region.
SIZE 7 in (18 cm).
DIET Mainly vegetarian.
WATER Temperature 73–82°F (23–28°C); soft
(50–100 mg/l) and acidic (pH 6.0).
TEMPERAMENT Territorial when mature.

The elongated body of this fish, which narrows toward the caudal fin, displays a dense pattern of dark spots.

Although the Longtail Pleco has been assigned the number L131, it is actually regarded as effectively being the same fish as L108 (see top right), but from a different area within their overall range.

It has also been suggested that the loricariids assigned numbers L11, L035, L116, L153, L166, and L195 are, aside from minor variations in coloration and patterning, examples of this same species that have been described differently.

Panaque nigrolineatus

Royal Panaque L191

Royal Panaque L191
Royal Panaque L191

ORIGINS South America, ranging from Colombia and
Venezuela through central parts of the Amazon basin.
SIZE 131⁄2 in (34 cm).
DIET Mainly vegetable matter.
WATER Temperature 72–86°F (22–30°C); soft(50–100 mg/l) and neutral (pH 7.0).
TEMPERAMENT Territorial.

The greenish background color of these catfish is marked with black lines, which appear straight on the face but are often more wavy elsewhere on the body.

In common with other plecos, these fish need bogwood in their tank, on which they can rasp.

Their diet can include shelled peas, but try experimenting with a range of plant foods, since these fish can be picky eaters.

Parancistrus tocantins

Peppermint Pleco L030

Peppermint Pleco L030
Peppermint Pleco L030

ORIGINS South America, in the lower Rio Tocantins and
the Rio Xingu in Para state, Brazil.
SIZE 6 in (15 cm).
DIET Mainly vegetarian.
WATER Temperature 73–82°F (23–28°C); soft
(50–100 mg/l) and acidic (pH 6.0).
TEMPERAMENT Territorial when mature.

A black background decorated with white spots helps to identify this particular loricariid.

It now seems that the Peppermint Pleco ascribed the number L030 is merely the juvenile form of the variety recognized as L031, which has a finer
spotted pattern.

L030 may appear more common simply because juveniles are caught more often than adults.

Peppermint Plecos need to be kept in well-oxygenated water with a low nitrate reading.

common pleco size

Plecostomus Size
In the wild a common Pleco will grow to around 24 inches, and in an aquarium it will typically grow to around 15 inches.

How big do common Plecos grow?
Before you purchase a Pleco, it is a good idea to find out how large that particular species can grow. A small 8 centimetre (3 inches) Pleco from the fish store can eventually turn into a 60 centimetre long (2 feet) fish that needs a very large aquarium to do well.

common pleco lifespan

10 – 15 years
Size of fish – inches: 24.0 inches (60.96 cm) – These fish seldom exceed 12 – 15″ (30.5 – 38 cm) in the aquarium. Lifespan: 15 years – In the wild they can live more than 15 years, but have an average lifespan of 10 – 15 years in captivity.

How many years do Plecos live?
Plecos who live in captivity tend to have slightly briefer lifespans than those out in the wild. Pet plecos often survive from 10 to 15 years, according to Rosamund Gifford Zoo. Those that live on their own in natural settings, however, often exceed 15 years in age.

common pleco tank size

The common Pleco, it requires a huge tank. Once they reach an adult they need at least a 150 gallon tank. As for other popular species here are their minimum tank sizes: Bristlenose Plecostomus (Ancistrus sp.): 25 gallons.

Common plecos can easily grow 12 inches long and up! If you need a minimum tanksize though.. I would say a 55 gallon would work but the fish will be on the brink of constantly out growing it.

common pleco max size

Plecostomus Size
In the wild a common Pleco will grow to around 24 inches, and in an aquarium it will typically grow to around 15 inches

common pleco care

One of the best algae wafers to feed them is Hikari Algae Wafers and I use them for all of my plecos. It is also important to regularly feed them a variety of fruits and vegetables. Their favorite foods are blanched zucchini medallions, shelled peas, cucumber and any soft melons.

common pleco diet

A well-balanced Pleco diet consists of:
Algae and sinking algae wafers.
Supplement with raw zucchini or cucumbers as a treat once or twice a week. Raw vegetables should be anchored near the bottom of the aquarium.

What do common Plecos eat?
They are actually omnivores, and eat plant material, algae, insects and small crustaceans in the wild. This diet should be reproduced as closely as possible in the home aquarium, and they should ideally be fed algae wafers and a high quality flake food.

albino common pleco

common albino pleco

How big do albino Plecos get?
Unlike the widely-seen Common Pleco (Hypostomus plecostomus) and Trinidad Pleco (Hypostomus punctatus), which easily reach a monstrous size of 18 to 20+ inches (45 to 51+ cm), the Albino Bristlenose Pleco grows to a size of only 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 cm).

common pleco growth rate

How big do common Plecos grow?
Before you purchase a Pleco, it is a good idea to find out how large that particular species can grow.

A small 8 centimetre (3 inches) Pleco from the fish store can eventually turn into a 60 centimetre long (2 feet) fish that needs a very large aquarium to do well.

Common pleco people ask

how to breed plecos

how to breed them.

Firstly, it’s highly unlikely the eggs or fry will survive in a community tank so you will need a specific breeding tank. If they do breed in a community tank, you can move the eggs (along with whatever they are attached to), to another tank.

Secondly, breeding of this species usually occurs in the cooler winter months during the Amazon’s rainy season. To replicate this you may want to make your tank slightly cooler than normal.
Thirdly, you should provide plenty of caves and driftwood for the males to select the best possible spawn site.
Let’s take a look now, at how to breed them. The first thing you’ll need to be able to determine is which are male and females. This is really easy to do with Bristlenose Plecos.

The males tend to have larger bristles, which grow out to the middle of its head. The females have much smaller bristles which only grow around their mouths. You should always try and have more females than males, as the males are extremely territorial, especially during breeding.

The male will claim a cave, and prepare and clean its surfaces ready for the eggs. If you have more than one male, they will fight for control of the cave, and will eat their rival’s eggs given the opportunity.

You should therefore provide as many caves as possible if you have more than one male.

He’ll then wait for a female. The female will inspect the cave, and if she is impressed, she’ll deposit some bright orange adhesive eggs.

The male will then fertilize them, and push the female out to guard the eggs. More than one female can lay eggs in a males cave.

The male will clean the eggs and the nest, and aerate them with his fins during the 4-10 days that they take to hatch.

Once hatched, the fry will attach themselves onto the sides of the cave until they have completely absorbed their egg sacks; this normally takes a further 2-4 days. By now, if they are free swimming, they’ll be able to feed on algae and you can supplement them with mashed vegetables such as peas.

They grow very quickly, and by around 6 months old, they’ll be almost as big as their parents.

sucker fish babies

Sucker fish the most importing fish for tank that he’s job to clean and remove all the dirty staff in the thank

how long do plecostomus live

15 years
Size of fish – inches: 24.0 inches (60.96 cm) – These fish seldom exceed 12 – 15″ (30.5 – 38 cm) in the aquarium. Lifespan: 15 years – In the wild they can live more than 15 years, but have an average lifespan of 10 – 15 years in captivity.

common pleco need heater?

Does Pleco need heater?
Plecos like waters that are in the mid-seventies. Although they can survive water temperatures that are lower or higher than this, they do best in moderate temperature.

Attach an aquarium thermometer to the outside of the tank and check the temperature every few days to ensure your temperature is correct.

common pleco 60 gallon

What size tank do you need for a Pleco?
The common Pleco, it requires a huge tank. Once they reach an adult they need at least a 150 gallon tank. As for other popular species here are their minimum tank sizes: Bristlenose Plecostomus (Ancistrus sp.): 25 gallons.

common pleco and otto in same tank

Mr. Pleco does a great job of eating the algae in the tank, too. And two … The fish in question is called the common pleco, and is known scientifically as Hypostomus plecostomus.

About a … They all look basically the same, and can be pretty hard to tell apart. … Try a small group of Otocinclus (or “Otto”) cats.

difference between bristlenose and common pleco,

common pleco not eating,

common pleco.is bristlenose pleco,

pictures of common pleco,

common pleco and neocaridina,

common pleco petsmart,

common pleco water temp,

black and white common pleco

Published by Giovanni Carlo

I am a koi fish keeper and breeder a husband of beautiful wife Maybel and beautiful daughter May Carl I have been in fish keeping hobby for over 35 years. Like many kids in the 80's We catch fish in the rivers and canals and kept it in the "pasong" local visayan name for pond. or a large mayo bottle since We don't have aquariums yet on that time. decades later their is a small petshop open in my place and that starts me from buying aquarium and fishes that are sold in the pet store decades later start growing goldfish and koi fish until today.

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