Animal Stories - Leopard Pleco

Animal-World Information about: Leopard Pleco

The Leopard Plecostomus is one of the hardiest and most enduring of all catfishes!
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justice - 2008-08-20
I have a pleco thats a foot long. I measured when he was on the side and he is in a small tank 18 inches. Should he get that big, all I have in there are 6 guppies but we don't have the funds to buy a new tank, will he get bigger?

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  • steve quirk - 2020-10-26
    hi there , leopard plecos can get to 20 inches
Anonymous - 2020-04-24
I have an approx. 15 inch long leopard Plecasamus who has eaten every fish of different breeds, and sizes that I have put into the tank with him. I feed him algae tabs etc. Is this normal?

Diaz - 2016-10-10
I resently bought a leopard pleco and its about 6 in I have a 65 gallon tank I wanna know for how long I can keep it in this tank.

brenda - 2014-01-09
I have two sailfin plecos, 1 is 12-14 inches and 5 years old the other is 8-10 inches and 3 years old, why do they both swim at speed straight up and hit their heads on the glass top on the tank?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-09
    Sounds like the tank may be too small to accommodate them.
  • SHAY - 2014-03-23
    The reason that they are doing that is because the tank may be dirty (not saying anything bad about your tank). They do it because in their natural habitat when the water in a lake or stream dries up the pleco would actually jump to another water source (Plecos have been known to actually hit their heads on the side of a aquarium until they cause damage to themself or even death). The reason that they are going to the top of your aquarium is because they actually use air to adjust its buoyancy. I hope this helps but the main thing is to 1. clean your tank (if needed) and 2. do not fill your tank up to the brim (I always leave 1/2 to 1/2 inch between the water level and the top of the tank and most importantly DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TANK'S LID UP UNATTENDED.
lindsey brown - 2008-06-18
I have 3 plecoosomus and I have recently seen 7 babies, they are so cute. Didn't even know I had them til I saw a little line. I thought "what's that" but when I got close it was a baby pleco. So people they do breed in a house tank. I'm so pleased the fish feel comfortable in their tank to breed. I think I have done a good job, and my tank is only 18" so it's a small one, but they still had young. I have to upgrade now to a larger tank when they get a bit bigger. I never saw any eggs just babbies. I won't sell them, they are my grandkids. If you like, I made it possible, so give it a go.

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  • Meob57 - 2012-11-28
    Hi, I'm new to this site.Your message was from 2008, can you let me know how your pleco's are all doing?
  • john - 2013-12-14
    Hi you say your pleco had babies. I just wondered how do you know which is male/female? I've got one myself, would like to put another in the tank of the opposite sex, how can I know..?
sharon - 2012-04-11
Hi I just bought a tank and it had a big plec in but it's spotted skin is dark and other parts very faded please help me

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-04-12
    Some times it is just there natural camo. How is your amonia levels? This will some time wash out a fish's color if it is too high.
  • Meob57 - 2012-11-28
    Hi, just read your note,my pleco was 3' a year ago now 11'. It will cost a small fortune to get a tank big enough for him/her? What do other fish lovers recommend. Another reader stated that if they don't have a big enough tank the inside keeps growing and the upside stops because of the tank size and they can explode.  Please say this is'nt true.
  • Meob57 - 2012-11-28
    Hi, just read you note, my pleco was 3' a year ago now 11'.It will cost a small fortune to get a tank big enough for him/her? What do other fish lovers recommend. Another reader stated that if they don't have a big enough tank the inside keeps growing and the outside stops because of the tank size and they can explode. Please say this is'nt true.
dennis - 2010-12-17
I have had mine for 8 years he is 14 inches and still growing I have never given him anything but flakes and wafers I just changed to a bigger tank a month ago went from 35g to 50g.

Chris Norris - 2011-07-08
I have a two and a half inch long fin bristle nose. When I got him, he had awesum long fins. After having him for two mounths his fins are not as nice as they were. He is in realy good conditions and he has never been nibbled on. Can you please tell me what this is?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-08
    I included the article on Fish Disease and Treatment. It might be Fin & Tail rot which is a bacteial infection. He could have had it when you brought him home. He could have hurt himself somehow in the tank and it caused a bacterial infection. Another fish could have nipped him. It happens. Anyway, look at the article and find the symptoms and check out that disease and just look at symptoms in general. The recomended treatment is there.
Sarah - 2010-03-26
I have 2 leopard sailfin plecos in my 20 gallon tank. I always thought they were corys as thats what the woman in the petshop told me. Now I love my plecos, but I don't know if they will outgrow the tank. And I have read that there are thousands of pleco varietys and mine might not be one of those, but something similar that won't get very big. I've had them for about 2 months and they are about 3 inches.

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  • christine - 2010-04-19
    I have a pleco I have had him for nearly nine years now and he's over a foot long but I have got a 4ft tank if that helps.
  • mat - 2010-04-23
    If these are in fact leopard sailfins, then watch out - you can expect them to reach 6 inches in a year and up to two foot over their lifetime. You need a seriously large aquarium, something like 120 gallon, if you want them together, full grown. I have one and he is a good 3 inches, I've only had him for 2 months and he's already doubled in size. Well worth the effort though, a truly magnificent and charismatic fish.
  • katie - 2010-07-16
    What other foods do plecos eat?
  • Andrea - 2010-10-22
    Hi Sarah,
    Because these plecos will most likely get over 2 feet long, I would suggest getting a 100-150 gallon tank minimum to put them in.

    Plecos in general are a species of catfish, and though they are strictly herbivore at a young age, they become omnivores (eating both algae and fish products) after about a year or so. (Mine normally start eating fish species before that time).

    That being said, though they are okay with eating Algae, they are not the greatest. They produce a lot of ammonia and nitrate as well that can lead to the death of your other fish.

    If you want a good algae eater, you can try snails (that stay herbivores their whole lives) or Otocinclus (that are similar to Plecos except for they only get 2 inches long instead of 2 feet ;)) That being said, Ottos are also good algae eaters but will at some point eat fish products too to get their protein.

    People think that most fish will grow to the size of the aquarium they are placed in. This is half true. If the plecos are not placed in a larger aquarium, what happens is the following: Their external structure, such as their skin, skeleton, and eyes for example stop growing, however their internal structure such as their heart, intestines etc will continue growing, until it gets to maximum size. That being said, the pleco will at some point "explode" since his organs are getting too big for his tiny body.

    I hope this helped!
  • Jamie - 2010-12-30
    Hi there. I have had a leopard pleco in my 70 gallon tank for three years. It is approximately 10 inches from nose to tail. They will eventually (assuming they live long enough) get up to around a foot and a half long. That is clearly too big for your 20 gallon tank. Your smallish tank will retard the growth of your pleco, but it will not prevent it. It is probably a good idea to sell it back to a pet store once it gets too big for your tank. Hope this helps.
Emily - 2011-02-14
I have a Pleco, but I have no Idea what kind it is. It is tan with black spots, but doesn't look like a leopard pleco.

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  • Tyler Pelleran - 2011-03-24
    It would be highly likely to be a simple common plecostomus.
  • george - 2012-08-09
    Yes is a leopard Pleco/ ihave one too and his name is Simon