Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, (Kner), 1854
Leopard Sailfin Pleco
Origin: Rio Pacaya, Peru.
Synonyms: Ancistrus gibbiceps, Chaetostomus gibbiceps, Hemiancistrus gibbiceps, Liposarcus altipinnis, Liposarcus scrophus.
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) Order: Siluriformes Family: Loricariidae (Armored catfishes), subfamily: Hypostominae
First European import: Germany, 1961, by K. Lüling.
Description: See pictures.
Care: This is an easy to care for fish, with only one problem, it's size. Leopard Plecos do not eat plants, are peacefull, and good algae eaters. They should be kept in large tanks, over 1.5 meter, with good filtration and regular waterchanges, since the fish pollute a lot. Usually juveniles are offered in the shops, but they can grow really fast, up to 20 cm in the fist year! During the day Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps hides in a suitable hole, or underneath driftwood.
Feeding: Algae, flake food and algae wafers. Some wood to graze on should be present in the tank.
Size: Up to 50 cm
Breeding:Unknown. In the wild the fish occur in large groups, it may be neccesary to keep a group of full grown fish together to get them to breed.
Prices: Start from 8€
Additional:Will not adapt to the tank size. In smaller tanks it will grow less fast, but it will keep growing. Do not buy them, unless you can provide them with a suitable environment.
Picture references: All pictures E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)
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