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Pleco Albino Sailfin

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The Albino Sailfin Plecostomus Catfish is the albino form of the common Sailfin Plecostomus Catfish that are found in inland river systems in most parts of South America. They are widespread throughout the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon, Rio Pacaya in Peru, and are also known from the Rio Orinoco. Other Common names it is known by are Sailfin Pleco, Leopard Plecostomus, Gibby and Spotted Sailfin Pleco.

The Sailfin Plecos are fairly large and a long-lived catfish. It can grow up to about 35cm in length and can live more than 20 years in the wild, though they tend to live between 10 to 15 years in captivity.

Plecos have an elongated, dark brown body with a large head. The body is covered in bony plates, also referred to as armour clad scales, except on the belly which is flat. Plecos have small eyes that are set high on the head.

The Sailfin Plecostomus has a beautiful dorsal fin the can be several centremetres high and resembles the dorsal fin of the marine Sailfish. It can also be distinguished by a ray count of its dorsal fin, it will have more than 10 rays. Juveniles have about the same colouration as adults.

The Sailfin Plecostomus is easy to care for as long as there is plenty of algae and/or other algae based foods provided, making it a great fish for the beginner. The chemistry is not critical, but its quality must be good.

Be aware that the Sailfin Plecostomus grows quickly and becomes quite large, so it will require a large tank with age.

Although Plecostomus are omnivorous, the bulk of their diet is algae. The Sailfin Plecostomus will eat undesirable algae. It will not harm plants, but make sure the aquarium is well seasoned and do feed supplements including algae wafers, green foods and sinking pellets to make sure they don’t starve. Because they are super algae eaters, they must have their veggies. Other supplements that can be offered include vegetables like blanched spinach, zucchini and peas. They also like brine shrimp as well as live worms, small crustaceans, and insect larvae.

The chemistry is not critical for Sailfin Plecostomus, but its quality must be good. Good filtration and regular water changes are important because of the large amount of waste this catfish produces. The recommended water change is 10 – 15% every other week to keep up with the bio-load.

A minimum 400 litre aquarium is recommended for the Sailfin Plecostomus. Although when small they can be kept in a smaller aquarium for a short period of time, these are fast growing fish and will soon need to be moved. The aquarium should have plenty of wood for the fish to ‘chew’. Not only do they rasp off algae, but the cellulose in wood may provide a necessary digestive aid. Wood decor also provides them places to hide during the daylight hours. A well planted tank is great, but use hardy species as they can damage delicate plants as they move around grazing on algae growths. Also, as adults they may eat plants.

Plecostomus are very popular because of their peaceful nature and ability to help keep the aquarium free of algae. The Sailfin Plecostomus is no exception and are a good community fish. They are not aggressive, and because they are primarily herbivorous, smaller fish are in no danger of being eaten. They do well with most larger fish with the exception of only the most highly aggressive species. But they are territorial towards their own species and can out compete other less gregarious plecos for available food. They also have been known to remove slime from laterally flattened fish like discus and angelfish while these fish are sleeping, and sometimes goldfish as well.

 

  • Species – Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps “Albino”
  • Common Name – Albino Sailfin Plecostomus
  • Origin – Rio Araguaya, affluent of Tocantins, Amazon system, Arunana, Goias, Brazil
  • Diet – Omnivorous
  • PH Range – Alkaline 6.5 – 7.5
  • Temperature – Tropical 24-29°c
  • Breed Type – egg layer
  • Current Size – approximately 10cm (Grows to approximately 35cm)
  • Sex – Un-sexed