Common Pleco (Pterygoplichthys pardalis)

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Plecostomus 700.jpg
Common Pleco

Pterygoplichthys pardalis

284 Litres (75 US G.)

30.5-33cm (12-13 ")




6.0 - 7.5

21 -26 °C (69.8-78.8°F)

6-10 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Other (See article)

8-15 years



Additional names

Common Pleco, Amazon Sailfin Pleco, L021, L023

Additional scientific names

Hypostomus pardalis, Liposarcus jeanesianus, Liposarcus pardalis, Liposarcus varius


Females are broader than males.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Can be kept with similar sized peaceful or semi-aggressive tank mates. Should not be kept with others of their own species or other Plecos as they can be territorial.


Will graze on algae around the tank, and bogwood is also beneficial in their diet. Will also eat algae wafers and blanched vegetables. May also be seen to feed on dead fish and live foods offered for tank mates.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day depending on algae content of the tank.

Environment specifics[edit]

Requires a very spacious and very well filtered tank. Will uproot plants. Hiding places in which to take cover when the lights are on are appreciated.


A large and generally peaceful fish that can be found hiding or motionless on the side of the glass or on décor.


A large fish with dark body colouration with a reticulated pattern, can be confused with Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus, but the P.pardalis has a spotted pattern on the abdomen whereas the P. disjunctivus has a vermiculated pattern. The dorsal is tall and there are two spiny ridges running down the flanks of the fish from the pectoral fins, these can cause the fish to get tangled in nets or even burst fish bags. An albino variation has been seen.


External links[edit]