I recently purchased a royal pleco for my 170 liter bow front. He is nothing short of spectacular! He measured about 8 cm and is the most beautiful fish in my tank. I saw him at the pet store one day and he looked awful, like he had been starving to death, but I brought him home and in less that a week he is as fat as he can be. He's not shy at all, although he's usually stuck to a piece of driftwood in the center of my tank. But, like most people recommend, this fish is truely not for the novice.
I recently purchased a beautiful little Royal Pleco for my brand new tank - and obviously he died within a week. I am new to aquariums, and I am really upset that the supposedly knowledgeable pet store owner didn't caution me about the delicate care these plecos need. Nor did I have any idea that they needed their own special food. I am going to try again after my tank has been established a while and armed with my new knowledge of how to properly care for these cute little guys. And the driftwood! I had no idea they had to have it for their dietary needs. People always talk about "algae eaters" and seem to believe they can live under any condition and eat nothing but algae. Wish I had known better than this before my poor little guy had to suffer for my ignorance.
I have 2 different royal plecos in my 1000 L room divider. They are 25 cm and 27 cm. I have had them there for 2 years and they share this tank with 21 very rare plecos!
A very beautiful fish. Very peaceful, if a bit greedy with food. Always the first to eat. Driftwood is an absolute requirement, as Panaque literally means wood eating fish. Only downside is I have caught it eating the stems of one of my Amazon swords. Very slow growning, but can reach 35 cm.
I hope readers here realize how big these fish get. Royal plecos should be kept in 250 liters minimum and allotted at least 60 L of the tank, because they get so large and they do move about a lot. They also need to have very good water and filtration. That's why the sick one mentioned above responded to the water changes. The cleaner water and oxygen that was added with the change would help a lot.
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