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Adverfishments

Amazon Sailfin Plec
Alternative Name(s): Common Plec (misnomer)
Scientific Name(s): Pterygoplichthys pardalis, L021, L023
Category: Tropical
Difficulty:
Maximum Size: 40cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 500 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 72" long, 24" wide
Water Temperature Range: 22-26°C
Water pH Range: 6.0-7.5
Water Hardness Range: 2-15 dGH

General Information: A very hardy and long lived plec, but beware - these grow to phenomenal sizes VERY quickly and can rapidly outgrow a tank. Although suitable for beginners, this is definitely a fish for the serious fishkeeper with a very large tank. Often mislabelled as a Common Plec (Hypostomus plecostomus).
Tank Requirements: Vegetation and hiding places; bogwood is a useful hiding place and they enjoy rasping algae and other micro-organisms from the wood surface. These bulldozers will plough through plants and decor so be prepared. Heater guards can be of assistance to prevent damage. Tank size as above minimum for adults. Juveniles can be grown on in a minimum 4ft long tank, but will need a 6ft within 12 months if properly cared for.
Diet Requirements: Like many other plecs they will feed on algae tablets or sinking catfish food, but regular feedings of fresh veg such as courgette, cucmber, broccoli, sweet pepper and shelled peas are a must.
Compatibility: Generally peaceful. Watch for fin nippers housed in the same tank as them; they are prone to being bullied when young. Unsuitable with other plecs, large Angels and Discus as they can become territorial when older.
Recommendations: Plenty of hiding places, bogwood, plants and lots of room to swim. A very large tank is needed for these fish, even starting with 200 litres, you need to bear in mind that you may need to increase tank size. Don't buy one of these just to eat algae. As it grows it will eat less of that and requires a proper diet of suitable foods as above. Algae is best tackled with elbow grease!
Common Problems: Outgrowing a tank as these are purchased when tiny (about 3cms), and can reach adult size at around 18 months. When stressed changes to a very pale colouration. Opportunists (though rarely) can eat small fish.
Similar Species: Very many species exist which are commonly called plecs and have similarities. Always check exactly which species you're buying as size, diet and compatibility vary enormously.
Sexing: Close inspection of the genital papillae can reveal which sex you have - males have a small, thick stump, but in females this is less obvious and lies flatter against the body.
Breeding: Very unlikely in a tank, but is bred commercially in ponds in warmer climates.
Author(s): Complecs, Fishlady | Photo: mikethorpe1968 | Views: 21274
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