L264 Leporacanthicus joselimai


Retired Staff
Apr 8, 2009
All assigned numbers: L264

Name: Leporacanthicus joselimai

Common Names: L264, Sultan Pleco, Grey Vampire Pleco, Snow Leopard Pleco

Location: South America: Rio Tapajos, Pará, Brazil.



Being territorial, this species can be unfriendly towards its own kind and similar looking fish. Bottom dwellers of different color and pattern are usually left alone, although things may heaten up during feeding time.

Sexing and Breeding:

A close look at the teeth of this pleco reveals we're dealing with a carnivore. Meaty foods like shrimp, krill, mussels, pieces of fish, blood worms, mosquito larvae, sinking carnivore wafers etc. are readily accepted. Once acclimatized, this species will also eat algae/bottom dwellers tablets and possibly even fresh vegetables.
Besides being a carnivore, the Sultan Pleco also appears to be a 'substrat filter feeder': I've often observed my specimen shuffling through the gravel in a forward dashing motion, after which it moves forwards over the 'trench' it just created. During this, it seems it use its huge sucker mouth as a net, sucking up small particles that were just whirled up: food is swallowed, inedible material such as wood particles and gravel are expelled through the gill slits.

Water parameters:
Temp 22-30 PH 5.5-7.5A tank with dimmed lights and a good amount of hiding places (plants, drift wood, rocks, artificial caves) is ideal for this beautifully patterned medium-sized catfish. A young specimen can temporarily be kept in a relatively small tank: when it's the only catfish in the tank, a 32x14" (80x35cm.) tank is enough, when kept with more bottom dwellers you need at least a 40x16" (100x40cm.) tank. Mature adults require a larger tank: at least 40x16" (100x40cm.) for a single specimen, and at least an 48x20" (120x50cm.) tank for a small group of these pleco's. This fish requires plenty of personal space, as they can be very territorial, especially towards its own kind and similar looking bottom dwellers, and with their sharp teeth they are capable of inflicting serious injuries.
The Sultan Pleco does best in soft, slightly acidic to neutral water (pH 6.0-7.0), heavy oxygenation and a lot of currents. A powerful filtration system is required, as this fish produces a lot of waste due to its high-protein diet.

Max Size:
20-25cm. (8-10").

Bred by:

Additional Comments:

A species very similar to the Sultan Pleco is Leporacanthicus sp. L263. This species however is found in a different section of the Rio Tapajós river, has less black spots and has a more caramel-grey coloration.

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