Scientific Name: Panaque sp.
Ease of Care: Easy
Approximate Arrival Size: 2 to 3 inches
Approximate Full Size: 5 inches
Native Region: South America
This fish is a native of Peru, and is one of the more highly sought after Plecostomus in the mid level price range. The Plecostomus will usually only be active during feeding and at night. Their body is flattened along the abdomen and most have a forked tail fin. The dorsal fin is kept near the body, but can be raised as a display to other fish. The pectoral fins often have small bristles and have thickened first rays. This can lead to problems when catching with a net, and the pectoral fins can puncture the unwary finger. It also makes it difficult for predators to swallow a plecostomus. While their primary diet is algae, they will scavenge other foods and should have their diet supplemented with algae wafers and blanched zucchini spears. The scales of the pleco act as armor plating and allow the pleco to survive with much larger fish. Most plecos will tolerate other plecos in the same aquarium, but there are exceptions, and plenty of hiding places are required. Generally long lived, the pleco can make a great addition as a scavenger in the aquarium.