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What is a Pleco?


The word Pleco was short for Plecostomus, a collective group (genus) of catfish. However over the years fish which were originally in this group have been extensively renamed and are no longer in this group. But fish keepers still call them under this name.

Plecostomus Catfish

Glyptoperichthys joselimaianus1.jpg

There are over 1,000 species of suckermouth armoured catfishes, with new species still being discovered and reclassified month by month.

All Plecos fall under the family name of Loricariidae (Lori-Kari-iday) meaning Armoured catfish, and the majority are found in South America. The tell-tale feature of a Pleco is a lack of traditional fish scales (instead, rows of "armour plating") and an underslung suckermouth. On some Plecos they even appear to be hairy!

Contrary to popular belief, no Pleco is truly herbivorous, indeed some won't touch algae at all! Plecos are omnivorous and opportunistic. There are several species that actually prefer meaty diets, and may even take small tank mates!

Did you know

  • In the recent past there was a superstition amongst Internet fish keepers that to type "Pleco" on a forum was bad luck and the fish would die. It was often written as "Pl*co" instead.
  • In the UK, Plecos are often referred as "Plecs".
  • To see their common names rather than latin names listed below, click here.

Common Name Species Name Image Difficulty Maximum Size Tank Size
Clown Pleco Panaqolus maccus Panaque maccus1.jpg Moderate 5 in 20 gal
Clown Pleco Panaqolus sp "L206" No Image.png Moderate 3.1 in 20 gal
Common Pleco Hypostomus punctatus No Image.png Easy 11 in 65 gal
Common Whiptail Catfish Hemiloricaria eigenmanni No Image.png Moderate 6 in 30 gal
Contradens Pleco Hypancistrus contradens No Image.png Moderate 5 in 30 gal
Dagua Pleco Cordylancistrus daguae Cordylancistrus daguae357.jpg Moderate 4 in 30 gal
Discus Whiptail Acestridium discus No Image.png Moderate 2.6 in 20 gal
Dwarf Oto Otocinclus vestitus Otocinclus vestitus.jpg Moderate 1.5 in 15 gal
Dwarf Royal Twig Catfish Sturisomatichthys leightoni No Image.png Moderate 7 in 30 gal
Ghost Pleco Ancistomus snethlageae No Image.png Moderate 5.5 in 20 gal
Giant Otocinclus Hypoptopoma gulare No Image.png Moderate 4.1 in 15 gal
Gigas Ancistrus Megalancistrus parananus No Image.png Moderate 24 in 100 gal
Iquitos Tiger Pleco Panaqolus changae No Image.png Moderate 3.9 in 20 gal
Kite Pleco Lamontichthys filamentosus No Image.png Moderate 6.6 in 30 gal
Knob-Nosed Whiptail Catfish Hemiodontichthys acipenserinus No Image.png Moderate 5.3 in 25 gal
L012 Ancistomus feldbergae No Image.png Moderate 8 in 30 gal
L020 Spectracanthicus zuanoni No Image.png Moderate 5.1 in 20 gal
L030 Spectracanthicus sp "L030" No Image.png Moderate 4 in 30 gal
L048 Scobinancistrus cf. pariolispos Scobinancistrus cf. pariolispos3453.jpg Moderate 11 in 75 gal
L094 Aphanotorulus ammophilus No Image.png Moderate 6.3 in 30 gal
L199 Hypancistrus furunculus No Image.png Moderate 4.7 in 30 gal
L333 Hypancistrus sp "L333" L333juvenile.jpeg Moderate 6 in 15 gal
L404 Hypancistrus margaritatus No Image.png Moderate 6 in 20 gal
LDA074 Ancistrus macrophthalmus No Image.png Moderate 3.1 in 20 gal
Madeira Whiptail Acestridium gymnogaster No Image.png Moderate 2.4 in 20 gal
Monte Dourado Pleco Hypancistrus sp "L411" Hypancistrus sp L411.jpg Moderate 5 in 25 gal
Opal-Spot Pleco Scobinancistrus sp "L082" No Image.png Moderate 8.7 in 30 gal
Peppered Oto Otocinclus flexilis Otocinclus flexilis558.jpg Moderate 2.1 in 15 gal
Peppermint Pleco Parancistrus nudiventris No Image.png Moderate 7 in 15 gal
Real Royal Farlowella Sturisoma festivum Sturisoma festivum.png Moderate 7 in 30 gal
Red Fin Thresher Pleco Squaliforma emarginata No Image.png Moderate 15 in 75 gal
Robocop Catfish Hypoptopoma sp. "Peru" No Image.png Moderate 1.6 in 15 gal
Spotted Orange Seam Pleco Hemiancistrus guahiborum No Image.png Moderate 5.9 in 20 gal
Sunshine Pleco Scobinancistrus aureatus L014-3736.jpg Moderate 12 in 55 gal
Three Beacon Pleco Leporacanthicus triactis No Image.png Moderate 10 in 55 gal
Twig Catfish Farlowella mariaelenae No Image.png Moderate 9.8 in 35 gal
Twig Catfish Farlowella vittata Farlowella vittata - 20120228.jpeg Moderate 9 in 35 gal
Weberi Pleco Pterygoplichthys weberi No Image.png Moderate 8 in 40 gal
Whiptail Catfish Hemiloricaria beni No Image.png Moderate 3.1 in 20 gal
Whiptail Catfish Rineloricaria fallax No Image.png Moderate 6 in 25 gal
Worm Line Peckoltia Peckoltia braueri No Image.png Moderate 5 in 15 gal


This category has the following 3 subcategories, out of 3 total.




Pages in category "Plecos"

The following 125 pages are in this category, out of 125 total.