Sailfin Pleco – Care | Tank | Size | Male | Female | Traits | Albino

Sailfin Pleco

Sailfin Pleco, scientific name Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps also called Leopard Pleco belongs to the Loricariidae family. Sailfin Pleco or Leopard Pleco is probably the most seen inhabitants of huge aquariums.

They have a good looking look and are of great profit like consuming algae fouling within the aquarium, and so forth. Sailfin Pleco or leopard pleco will likely be mentioned deeply in our today article.

Sailfin Pleco facts

Scientific Name: Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps
Common Name: Sailfin pleco, leopard pleco, Gibby pleco
Tank size: 70 gallons (320L) for one fish
Temperament: Territorial/Aggressive
Diet: Omnivorous backside feeder
Temperature: 77-79 °F (25-26 °C)
pH: 6.5-7.4
Length: 19.7 inch (50-55 cm)

Sailfin Pleco Overview

Despite its spectacular size, Sailfin Pleco is a peace-loving fish and their gastronomic curiosity is sort of fully restricted to vegetation. These fish are good helpers within the battle in opposition to algae growths on the partitions of the aquarium.

The Sailfin Plecos are largely nocturnal. When stored with carefully associated species, skirmishes are possible, throughout which a fascinating type of behavior is noticed.

Leopard plecos increase the dorsal and unfold the pectoral fins in all instructions. In nature, fish thus deceive predators by visually growing their size.

Under natural situations, throughout dry intervals, Sailfin Pleco buries themselves within the ground and hibernate before the onset of the wet season.

These catfish are characterized by intestinal respiration: with an absence of oxygen, the fish is ready to swallow air above the surface of the water and soak up it utilizing the circulatory system of the gut.

Being pulled out of the water, Pterygoplichthys could make hissing sounds. It is believed that that is additionally an adaptation with a purpose to scare predators.


Sailfin pleco has an elongated body, barely flattened on top. The complete body, except for the stomach, is roofed with dense bone plates.

The head is giant, with attribute protruding nostrils. The mouth is modified into a big suction cup, with the assistance of which the fish will be held on vertical surfaces. At the bottom of the oval suction cups are thick antennae.

The eyes are small, positioned on the top of the pinnacle. They are organized in such a method that the fish sees not solely what is going on in front of it but in addition in a position to observe the state of affairs from behind or from the facet. Only the area above the catfish stays in the lifeless zone.

The dorsal fin is giant, sail-like, has at the very least twelve rays. The pectorals resemble wings and are very near the ventral. They are very highly effective and assist the fish dig into the ground.

The foremost body coloration is chocolate or nearly black, with numerous beige strains that create a pattern resembling leopard pores and skin. With age, it will possibly fade and disappear fully. There are albino types as nicely for this fish.

The pectoral fins are additionally giant, composed of thick bones, which help the catfish dig into the ground.

Under appropriate situations, brocade catfish can develop as much as 50 cm.

Sailfin Pleco Habitat

The birthplace of Pterygoplichthys is South America. They will be discovered within the river methods of the Amazon, Orinoco, the Brazilian rivers of Shingu, and Tefe.

Fish want slow-flowing rivers, settle primarily on the shallows in these locations the place there may be a variety of silt. Often collect in giant teams.

During the moist season, they’re very energetic and voracious and feed on vegetation and algae.

In dry instances, they dig into moist sludge and hibernate to outlive antagonistic situations. Currently, they’re actively bred in Asian nations, from the place they’re equipped worldwide.

Sailfin Pleco Feeding Sailfin Pleco

For the complete growth and improvement of Pterygoplichthys, their diet ought to include vegetation (80%) and reside feed (20%). Some aquarists want to feed these catfish with natural vegetables and herbs: zucchini, spinach, carrots, cucumbers.

The disadvantage of such feeding is a high likelihood of decay in water high quality in case of incomplete consumption of fish meals.

Pterygoplichthys won’t refuse from the natural animal feed like bloodworm, tubule, however, it’s not beneficial to feed the fish with residing meals, i.e. It can introduce the infection into the aquarium.

Dry feeds are a great selection for sailfin catfish. To diversify the diet, we suggest giving the Tetra Pleco Veggie Wafers catfish – tablets with the addition of zucchini to enhance well-being and keep the vitality of fish.

It is essential that there’s driftwood within the aquarium with pterygoplichts as sailfin plecos get the necessary cellulose for correct digestion from driftwoods.

It is finest to feed the fish after turning off the light and ensure that energetic tank mates don’t encroach on their meals.

Thanks to their particular love for algae, Pterygoplichthys will develop into good helpers in sustaining the cleanliness of the aquarium.

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Sailfin Pleco Care and Maintenance

Sailfin Pleco is a really giant fish, the minimal quantity for preserving one particular person is at the very least 250 liters. Coarse sand or small pebbles are appropriate as soil.

It is beneficial to put in quite a lot of shelters within the aquarium: caves made from stones, ceramic or plastic pipes. There should be a natural snag.

The aquarium ought to be geared up with a strong exterior filter and compressor, fish love clear oxygenated water. It is price paying consideration that intestinal respiratory can not substitute aeration.

If the sailfin typically pops up for a portion of air, then there’s a downside with the oxygen content within the aquarium. Sailfin plecos additionally require weekly (as much as 30%) water adjustments.

The optimum parameters of water for the content: T = 22-26, pH = 6.5-7.5 GH = 2-15.

When selecting vegetation, one ought to consider the truth that leopard pleco can simply dig up any aquarium plant, so it’s higher to dwell on species that might be well-rooted like cryptocorynes, wallisneria, and so forth.

If the plecos do no get sufficient feed or algae to eat then they may start consuming the natural vegetation of the aquarium.

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Sailfin Pleco Tank Mates

The sailfin plecos are peace-loving fish, however, it is going to be improper to maintain small species to them, they will develop into an unintentional sufferer of a large.

It is finest to maintain large tank mates with sailfin like cichlids, clown loach, kuhli loach, black skirt tetra, Honey gourami, Green Terror Cichlid, Giant gourami, glowing dollar fish, and so forth.

Even the flower horn fish that destroys all of the flowers won’t be able to do something of those armored Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps.

Sailfin catfish are fairly zealous of their territory and might drive away undesirable visitors. Conflicts might come up, with their family members or say carefully associated species like Ancistrus and Gyrinocheilus.

The life expectancy of Sailfin Pleco within the aquarium is as much as 20 years.

Breeding Sailfin Pleco

Sexual maturity in Pterygoplichthys happens at the age of about three years. At this time, fish normally attain a size of 15-20 cm. Sexual dimorphism just isn’t pronounced. The most correct option to decide gender is by the form of the genital papilla.

Breeding sailfin pleco catfish in a house aquarium just isn’t possible. Indeed, in nature, fish dig deep tunnels within the silt, the place they lay eggs. After which the males guard the fry. It is troublesome to breed such situations. At fish farms, Pterygoplichthys is bred in particular ponds of huge quantity.

Spawning happens at night. One feminine can lay 120-500 eggs. The fry is distinguished by a gray-gray coloration with black dots and, after resorption of the yolk sac, they’re fed tablets for catfish. Read more about common-carp-invasive-species.

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