L021 Pterygoplichthys pardalis

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Retired Staff
Apr 8, 2009
All Assigned Numbers: L021, L023

Name: Pterygoplichthys pardalis

Common Names: L021, L023, Common pleco


Very similar to the Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus and often misidentified, the only difference is the pattern on the tummy. This plec is more spotted whereas the Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus tummy pattern is vermiculated.

A fairly placid pleco but can get territorial over space and food with similar sized plecs, especially in smaller tanks. To keep two of this size would really require a tank size of 125(uk) gallons.

Sexing and Breeding:
Sexing is very difficult and involves inspecting thegenital papillae although some sources have suggested that large males have thickened pectoral fins that can have a red looking colour to them. Breeding is unlikely in an aquarium.

This plec is an omnivore and even though will eat the algae in tank, it also need to have other foods provided. Veggies, algae wafers and occasional meaty foods should be their diet. Floating veggies such as mushrooms are good exercise for these large plecs.

Water parameters:
Not too fussy about the PH- Anything between 6 and 7.8 should be fine. Also the same with the GH. Temp should be between 25c and 30c. Would like some cover provided as doesn't always like to be in the open. Plants aren't really suitable due to the size of this pleco, they can be a little clumsy and likely to uproot them. Sand can also be problematic as the plec is likely to unintentionally stir it up which can be damaging for filters.

Max Size:
Almost 1.5 feet but commonly averages around 1 foot or slightly larger.

Bred by:

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