Orinoco Sailfin Catfish (Tank Setup, Diet, and Interesting Facts)

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish, also known as Plecostomus (plecos for short), is a tropical fish from the armored catfish family.

In the past, this fish was given other scientific names, but now it’s officially called Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus.

It has a unique sail-like fin on its back and many rays in its dorsal fin, which is why it’s called “multiradiatus.”

Aquarists often call this fish the Common Pleco.

Sometimes, people confuse it with another species of pleco called Pterygoplichthys pardalis.

Orinoco sailfin catfish has different names in different places, like “Long-Fin Armored Catfish” in Hawaii, “Sailfish Catfish,” “Many-Rayed Pleco,” or “Radiated Ptero” in the United States, and 多輻翼甲鯰 in Mandarin Chinese.

This fish is active at night and mostly eats algae and underwater plants from the bottom of the water (benthic).

It also eats worms, insect larvae, and other small animals found at the bottom of the water.

When kept as a pet, the Orinoco sailfin catfish is peaceful and gets along with other large fish like cichlids.

It should be kept in a big aquarium with lots of rocks and driftwood to hide in. This species is popular in the aquarium trade.

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish Interesting Facts

  • Orinoco sailfin catfish is also known by several other common names such as Plecostomus (or plecos) and Many-Rayed Pleco.
  • This fish species grows up to 50 centimeters in length and prefers a warm water temperature range of 73.4°F to 80.6°F (23°C to 27°C), pH range of 6.5 to 7.8, and dH range between 4 to 20.
  • Orinoco sailfin catfish mainly feed on benthic algae and aquatic weeds but can eat worms, insect larvae, and other bottom-dwelling aquatic animals.
  • They need large tanks with plenty of rocks and driftwood with hiding spots to thrive in captivity since they like solitude.

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish Habitat

Orinoco sailfin catfish is a tropical fish from South America, mainly found in the Orinoco River basin.

It has also been reported in Argentina and introduced to Taiwan, mainland USA, and Hawaii, where it has established itself.

This fish lives in freshwater streams, lakes, and muddy canals with lots of plants. Orinoco sailfin catfish are bottom-dwellers.

They prefer water with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.8, a dH range (water hardness) of 4 to 20, and a temperature between 73.4°F to 80.6°F (23°C to 27°C).

They can be found in the tropical region between 10°N to 1°N latitude and 68°W to 61°W longitude.

Water Temperature:73.4°F to 80.6°F (23°C to 27°C)
Water pH:6.5 to 7.8 pH
Water Hardness:4 to 20 dH

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 19.7 inches (50.0 centimeters)

Orinoco sailfin catfish has a brown/black pattern. It reaches maturity when it’s about 32.5 cm (12.8 inches) long.

But it can mature early when it’s anywhere between 25 cm (9.8 inches) and 40 cm (15.7 inches) long. This fish can grow up to 50 cm (19.7 inches) long.

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish Reproduction

Orinoco sailfin catfish’s mating season comes once a year.

They dig burrows to lay their eggs. Male orinoco sailfin catfish show parental care, which means they take care of their offspring.

Orinoco Sailfin Catfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus
Also Known As:Orinoco Sailfin Catfish
Conservation Status:Unknown

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