Sailfin Pleco (Interesting Facts, Diet, Appearance, Etc.)

Sailfin pleco

Sailfin Pleco, also known as Leopard Pleco, is a type of armored catfish that originally comes from Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.

It lives in the Orinoco and Amazon river basins. Other scientific names for this fish are Ancistrus gibbiceps and Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps.

Recently, this fish has been found in the Ganges River in India and may be considered an invasive species there.

Sailfin plecos have a long lifespan and can live for over 20 years. They mostly eat plants and algae. Sometimes they also eat decaying animals.

This species’ name comes from the Latin words “gibbus” (meaning hump) and “caput” (meaning head), referring to the central ridge on their bodies.

They are sometimes called Gibbys, Leopard Sailfin Catfish, or Clown Plecs because the young ones have big, obvious spots that look funny.

Sailfin plecos are nocturnal by nature.

Sailfin Pleco Interesting Facts

  • Sailfin pleco is a type of armored catfish that can be found in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela in the Orinoco and Amazon basins.
  • Adult fish can grow up to 50 centimeters long and live for more than 20 years.
  • They have brown spots on a yellowish background that change as they grow bigger.
  • They are primarily herbivorous but also eat decaying animals.

Sailfin Pleco Habitat

Sailfin pleco is found in South America, specifically in the slow-moving rivers in the middle and upper parts of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins.

These fish live in freshwater environments near the bottom of the water.

They prefer water with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0 and a hardness (dH) range of 5 to 19.

The ideal water temperature for them is between 73°F to 81°F (23°C to 27°C), which is typical for tropical regions.

Water Temperature:73°F to 81°F (23°C to 27°C)
Water pH:6.0 to 8.0 pH
Water Hardness:5 to 19 dH

Sailfin Pleco Physical Characteristics

Size: 19.7 inches (50.0 centimeters)

Sailfin plecos have a typical pleco shape, with a pattern of big brown spots on a yellowish background, giving them a honeycomb-like appearance.

As they grow, the spots become smaller.

This fish has some unique features like a large dorsal fin with more than nine rays, noticeable nasal flares, a noticeable hump near the dorsal fin, and a large base for the dorsal fin.

Adults can grow up to 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) long.

Sailfin Pleco Reproduction

Sailfin plecos live in flooded areas during the rainy season.

In the dry season, they dig burrows about 1 meter long into the mud banks along rivers where they rest and possibly lay eggs.

Sailfin Pleco Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps
Also Known As:Sailfin Pleco, Leopard Pleco, Gibbys, Leopard Sailfin Catfish, Clown Plecs
Conservation Status:Unknown

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