Common Plec
Common Plec

Common Plec

Pterygoplichthys pardalis
SynonymsHypostomus pardalis, Liposarcus jeanesianus, L. pardalis, L. varius
DistributionSouth America. Has also been introduced to parts of Asia.
Sexual DimorphismMature adult males will possess thickened pectoral fin rays. Mature adult females may appear wider when viewed from above.
Maximum Size50cm (20”)
Water ParametersUnfussy, providing good water quality is maintained.
Temperature20-30 deg C (68-86 deg F)
CompatibilityCommunity
LightingNo special requirements
Care

The Common Plec has the potential to grow very large, even if kept in small aquaria. It should be housed in a tank at least 4ft long to start off with, and moved on to larger quarters to give the fish the space it deserves. Often sold as ‘good algae eaters’, these fish will rapidly outgrow the average community aquarium. A better choice of algae-eater for the smaller tank would be Bristlenose catfish (Ancistrus sp.). This species will not harm tankmates, even small sized fishes. Minor squabbles may occur when more than one specimen is housed in the confines of the same aquarium. Larger specimens can be clumsy, knocking over décor, which should, therefore, be chosen very carefully. May also be seen on sale as Pleco, Plecostomus, and Suckermouth Catfish.

Feeding

Omnivorous, although the majority of the diet should be made up of vegetable matter.

Breeding

Unlikely in the home aquarium.

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