Last update:

Pterygoplichthys Gibbiceps - Learn How to Care for a Sailfin Pleco

Fish keeping is a highly popular hobby which gains new enthusiasts every year. But the most popular fish is not all you should take care of. Your fish tank should contain a Sailfin Pleco as well. Not only it is good-looking, but also very useful. Check the characteristic features of this animal, what it looks like and most importantly - what it needs. It's crucial knowledge if you want to keep fish responsibly.

Pterygoplichthys Gibbiceps - Learn How to Care for a Sailfin Pleco

Sailfin Pleco - what kind of animal is it?

Sailfin Pleco, also known as Leopard Pleco or Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, is a freshwater fish from the loricariidae family. Because of its behaviour, usefulness and appearance, it has become a popular species, often picked for fish keeping.

It originates in upper and middle waters of Amazon and Orinoco rivers. It’s so popular that one can purchase it in any pet shop and online auctions websites.

What does Sailfin Pleco look like?

Adult Leopard Plecos have characteristic body build. It’s a wide fish, and it looks bulky. It has a large head. Its pectoral and ventral fins are quite characteristic. The dorsal fin is noteworthy as well. The whole body of the fish is covered with peculiar spots, typically brown. Albino Sailfin Pleco is a very attractive-looking fish - it’s rare, which makes it more valuable.

As for the Leopard Pleco size, the fish reaches from 50 to 60 cm in length in wilderness. When kept in aquariums, they are typically 50 centimeters long.

Sailfin Plecos are relatively calm fish, but sometimes might get aggressive towards others, especially those remaining close to the bottom of the tank. The fish are active mostly at night, they prefer spending the day in hidden somewhere. It’s possible, however, that the fish gets used to being active during the say.

What does Sailfin Pleco look like?

What environment does the Sailfin Pleco need?

Pterygoplichthys Gibbiceps needs a large aquarium - keeping it in a small tank might be harmful for the fish. Keep in mind that the fish grows large, so adding small and pretty objects at the bottom is pointless. It’s best to keep things simple. Remember the fish needs a place to hide as well.

A 200-centimeter-long aquarium is a perfect tank for the Leopard Pleco. The bottom should be covered with many roots, where the fish can hide.

Sailfin Plecos love digging in the bottom, so a sandy base is perfect for them. To provide the perfect conditions, make sure to install an efficient filtering system and water aeration. The ideal water temperature is 24-28°C (75.2-82.4°F).

What does the Sailfin Pleco eat?

Feeding the Leopard Pleco is not a problem at all. The fish is not picky when it comes to food. Soft brown algae are its basic source of nutrition. Sailfin Plecos also like eating dry, frozen and live fish food falling at the bottom of the tank. You can also add some vegetables to the fish’s diet.

Adult Pterygoplichthys Gibbiceps can be fed with shrimp or chopped fish fillets, e.g., trout.

The fish is a predator. When it reaches 20 centimeters, you might notice small fish disappearing from the tank. When it has 30 centimeters, only large fish can remain in one tank with the Sailfin Pleco.

What does the Sailfin Pleco eat?

Sailfin Pleco - how does it reproduce?

Because the Sailfin Pleco is a large fish, reproducing it in a fish tank is practically impossible. The process requires a lot of experience and equipment.

Young fish available to purchase come from special fish farms. They have special water tanks, with prepared embankments. The fish can dig tunnels in them and breed.

Marble Sailfin Pleco - lifespan

The Sailfin Pleco lives longer than other members of its family. In domestic conditions, if the fish is provided with a large enough tank, the fish can live up to 20 years and more. This is quite rare, however. The average Sailfin Pleco lifespan is 10-14 years.

What are the common diseases of the Sailfin Pleco?

A too small tank and poor water filtration is a big problem for this fish. Remember that it’s a large species, which urinates a lot over the course of 24 hours. The most common diseases it can catch are a result of bad water filtration and small aquarium. Ascites is the most common one.

Where can you purchase a Sailfin Pleco?

Sailfin Pleco can be bought in practically any large pet shop. Also, check the local auction on the Internet. There, you can find fish in different ages.

How much does a Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps cost?

The Leopard Pleco doesn’t cost a lot of money, despite its exotic appearance. The price for one fish depends on its size and colors. An albino Sailfin Pleco is much more expensive than other fish with characteristic colors. $10 is a standard price for one fish.

How much does a Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps cost?

📍 How long does the Sailfin Pleco live?

The Sailfin Pleco is a peculiar species. The fish of this type live up to 20 years. For comparison, algae eaters of other types live 12 to 13 years on average.

📍 How fast does the Sailfin Pleco grow?

Sailfin Plecos grow quite fast. In a relatively short time, it can reach an impressive size, so make sure to buy a large enough tank for this fish.

📍 What does the Sailfin Pleco eat?

Algae, especially soft and brown, are the main source of food for the Sailfin Pleco. But Pterygoplichthys Gibbiceps fish aren't picky, so they can eat any food dropped at the bottom of the tank.

📍 Where can you buy a Sailfin Pleco?

You can purchase a Sailfin Pleco in most pet stores. You can also find some offers from fish farms or private collections.