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Common Pleco

Profile Rating: ####* (4.5/5)
Based on 2 user reviews. Write a review
Common Pleco (Pterygoplichthys pardalis)

Photo of: Common Pleco (Pterygoplichthys pardalis)

Scientific Name(s): Pterygoplichthys pardalis, Acipenser plecostomus, Hypostomus plecostomus, Hypostomus punctatus, Liposarcus multiradiatus, Liposarcus pardalis, Plecostomus plecostomus


Common Name(s): Common Pleco, Plecostomus, Pleco, Common Plecostomus, Algea Eater, Amazon Sailfin Catfish, L23, L023


Family: Loricariidae


Species Type: Plecostomus


Maximum Size: 18 inches


Life Span: 30 years


Natural Habitat: South American River Deltas


Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons


Tank Region: Bottom of tank.


Possible Tank Mates: An excellent community fish that can also hold it's own with large aggressive fish.


Description: Hypostomus plecostomus is often referred to as the Common Pleco, and is very widely available. Unfortunately, many beginning aquarists do not realize how big this fish will grow, nor do they realize that as the fish ages, it may become more agressive, especially to other plecos. It is a very hardy fish however, and is a nice addition to larger tanks. When of a proper size is able to hold its own with most other fishes. It is often thought of as only an algae eater, but while it eats algae very effectively, its diet should be supplimented with other foods, including sinking pellets, romaine lettuce, parboiled zucchini, sweet potato, squash, and green peas. Driftwood should be included in the tank. Plecos will often eat live plants in the tank. When purchasing a specimen, do not buy fish with hollow stomachs as this indicates the fish has not eaten recently, and will most likely not survive long after the trip home.


Temperature Range: 70°F - 84°F



pH Range: 6 - 8

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 1° - 25°



Breeding Information: Breeding of members in the family Loricariidae has been done fairly regularly. The aquarium should have tubes or clay pipes with a fairly large diameter. The male will clean the site and will fan water over the eggs and fry. At a temperature of about 70f the eggs will hatch in about nine days. The fry will eat small flake food as well as baby brine shrimp and algae scrapings. They are not the easiest to raise and a bare bottom tank is best.


Sexing Information: No known way to determine visually.


Diet: Herbivore - Feed algae wafers/flakes/nori. Also include fresh green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and peas.


Temperament: Peaceful


Common Diseases: None specific to species.


This Common Pleco profile has been viewed 11682 times.


####o (4/5)  Nate - Live Very Long
These fish can live to be well over 15 years of age. In my personal tank I have a Pleco that is somewhere around 23-25 years in age. This fish was bought by my parents before I was born and has lived through moving houses multiple times. They are very hardy fish.

##### (5/5)  AquariumLife - Thanks Nate
Hi Nate and thank you for the review. We did some research and you are correct; common plecos can live for much longer than the 15 years we had previously listed. We have updated our profile with better information.



Keith Pardee

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