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Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps
Leopard Sailfin Pleco

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Leopard Sailfin Pleco - Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps

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pterigo1.jpg (28kb)
Photo Credit: Andy Isoft

Name: Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Amazon
50 cm 250 L 7.0 26°C


This pleco can grow to be large, but not as large as some as the others. They are very peaceful and can be kept with many other diffrerent kinds of fish. CAUTION: do not keep with slow moving fish if you don't want them to be sucked on! They won't damage plants, but still may knock them down when they suck on the substrate near the base. Although they eat algae they should also be fed other foods like algae wafers and green veggies. And of course they need a large tank, probably at least 200 liters. Also be sure to feed them in the evening when you turn the lights off, because they come out mostly at night. Something interesting I found out is that in the wild they usually are in groups of 10 - 20 plecos.

Contributed by Mr Discus

I have a leopard Sailfin Pleco in my tank (200 L) it is doing great. I prefer this type of pleco over any of my others, I have an albino bristle nose, mango pleco, marble pleco, albino chocolate pleco, zebra pleco (the leopard is almost at a tie with this one), royal pleco, and a gold nugget pleco. They are not all in the same tank. They range from 5 cm to 60 cm. Needless to say I really like them. My sailfin is one of the largest (50 cm). I've had it since it was 8 cm, it is the only one in the 200 L tank and it is doing great, the tank has no algae in it at all. For a treat, or when there is no algae for them to eat, I place a piece of zucchini in the bottom tied down by a strand of pencil lead, the type used for fishing. I suggest if you come across one of these in your local pet store give it a chance. You will recognize them by their brown body and redish rust color spots in the shape of circles on their entire body, mine also has a fringe of white around its fins. They are really beautiful fish. If you have troubles finding one ask your local pet store if they can special order one for you. I work in one so that's where I got all of mine.

Contributed by Brooke Wilson

I was given one of these from my cousin who'd neglected it for over a month or two, and it stayed alive in a small 4 liter fish bowl with no water changes, food, rocks or anything. I've got it in a 40 liter but plan to transfer it to a 110 liter soon. He lives mainly with 4 gourami's so he's a bit shy and mainly stays in the corner, but he's loosening up and I can't wait to put him in the bigger tank. I've started feeding him an algae tablet every so often at night because the gourami's like the tablets too.

Contributed by B. Walden

I have 1 Leopard Pleco in my tank and when I or anybody else gets too close to the tank he swims and hides under a ledge of a rock formation in my 75 liter tank. When I give him algae discs he will fight the tiger, and red-tail barbs. The barbs nip at him to try the disc. Other than that he gets along with the other fish. He is big and comes out at night mostly.

Contributed by Ryan Coulter

I bought one under the name "Butterfly Pleco" and it's doing fine. There is a smaller common pleco also in the tank which is about 6 cm long and they don't seem to bother each other. I recently bought a Striped Raphael Catfish and the two always seem to be pushing each other around for the hiding spot under the rocks.

Contributed by Raymond Enoki

I have 2 Gibbiceps in a 120 liter tank. I got the first one about 10 years ago when it was about 5 cm long. It is now about 30-32 cm long. I inherited a second about 3 months ago, which is about 15 cm long. They share the tank with 4 Synodontis, 5 small Ancistrus, 4 Corydoras, as well as a variety of community fish. They get fed flake food and veggie pellets as well as the occasional treat of a thick slice of cucumber. The two fish don't seem to object to each otherīs presence or the presence of the other fish. The two fish do not really hide during the day and can often be seen stuck to the glass at the front of the tank, or gliding gracefully along the (admittedly short) length of the tank.

Contributed by Terry Lewis

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