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Leopard Pleco

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Leopard Pleco (Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps)

Photo of: Leopard Pleco (Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps)

Scientific Name(s): Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps, Ancistrus gibbiceps, Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps


Common Name(s): Leopard Pleco, Sailfin Pleco, Leopard Plecostomus, Sailfin Plecostomus, Spotted Sailfin Pleco


Family: Loricariidae


Species Type: Plecostomus


Maximum Size: 20 inches


Life Span: 25 years


Natural Habitat: South American rivers (Peru)


Minimum Tank Size: 120 gallons


Tank Region: Bottom


Possible Tank Mates: Works well in most tank settings that require similar water parameters. Some species would include Angelfish, Barbs, African Cichlids. Loaches, Oscars, Convicts, Tetra, etc


Description: The Pleco or Plecostomus are nocturnal so it is best to feed them in the evening just before turning out the lights. A word of caution, they have been known to remove slime from latterally flattened fish like discus and angelfish when they are sleeping! Even though they are herbivores they can get quite large and can become too big for small aquariums. Keep some wood in the tank since rasping algae from the wood provides a perfect place for more algae to grow maintaining a constant food source for this fish. Also, the cellulose in wood is necessary for their digestive process. Pleco or Plecostomus make very good community fish as they are peaceful with other tankmates. The only exception to this is they can get aggressive and territorial towards other plecos if they were not raised together.


Temperature Range: 72°F - 82°F



pH Range: 6.4 - 7.6

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 5° - 20°



Breeding Information: Very difficult simply due to space constraints. In the wild, they dig or utilize pre-dug caves excavated into the riverbank, amidst flooded charcos of questionable water quality. Thus, provided that size requirements are met, this species is likely fairly easy to spawn, as they are in southeastern Asia.


Sexing Information: No known way to determine sex visually.


Diet: Herbivorous - Does eat algae but diet needs to be supplimented with algae wafers and/or fresg green vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce or zucchini slices.


Temperament: Generally peaceful but once this fish reaches adult size it may eat very small tank mates.


Common Diseases: None specific to species.


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Keith Pardee

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