Sailfin Pleco (L-83)


The Sailfin Gibbiceps Pleco comes from the rivers and tributaries of South America. The body is different shades of brown with a pattern of lighter markings covering it. This species receives its name from its large dorsal fin. Sailfin Gibbiceps Plecos make good additions to any community aquarium.

The Albino Marble Sailfin Pleco, is a captive-bred species known by many scientific names, the most common being Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps. The Marble Sailfin Pleco is also known as the Spotted Sailfin Plecostomus. Originating from the Rio Pacaya in Peru, South America, the Marble Sailfin Pleco is a peaceful, bottom-dwelling member of the armour-plated catfish group.

Planted aquariums with hearty, fast-growing plants, high aeration, and water movement make for a healthy environment. Rocks and driftwood help to accent a natural habitat and provide hiding spaces to reduce stress for the Sailfin Pleco. A recommended minimum tank of 125 gallons should be provided to house this fish.

The Sailfin Pleco spawns in tunnels dug out of the mud banks of various tributaries. A very large aquarium with a wall of mud is required for this species to spawn. Because of this requirement, it has not yet been done in an aquarium.

Feeding the Sailfin Pleco is not difficult due to the fact that it is not a picky eater. Feeding off the bottom of the aquarium, it gets most of its nutrition from left over food and algae. If there is no algae or left over food present, supplement with high quality flake food, sinking carnivore pellets, freeze-dried bloodworms, and tubifex.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

ShrimpSauce August 23, 2002 at 2:18 am

have a large one of these with my other south american giants. a great fish, not aggresive, attractive and keeps the glass clean. they can also hold their own against other fish. they get a bit big though, so be prepared to get a bigger tank in the future.

Laurie August 28, 2002 at 2:17 am

This is a great fish if you have a large tank. They have a lifespan of over 10 years and are inexpensive and fun to watch. The sailfin and the spotted pattern is very attractive and they are great algae-eaters. They need driftwood in the tank for roughage and can be fed sinking algae wafers. Also they should be given vegetable foods like zucchini or cucumber regularly. Sinking shrimp tablets are also a favorite and they will eat flake that sinks to the bottom. They will sometimes rush to the top for air. They can live out of water by breathing air as long as their skin stays wet. They are peaceful, but territorial about their hiding cave and will aggressively compete for their food. They like a strong water current and well aerated water. They are very hardy. May be quarrelsome with other plecos but peaceful toward all other fish.

Emmy's Fish August 14, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I have one named Hoover. He got along very well with my Betta fish 7 Yellow Mystery Snail (till the Betta died). I now have him with 2 GloFish Danios & a Painted Glass Tetra. He keeps everything very clean. I just did not know how large they get. I have them in a 3 Gallon tank now, but will have to up grade in the future as he grows. He is lots of fun to watch!

Darilis June 24, 2011 at 12:51 am

Cool fish but watch out they grow big and fast, especially when the get a hold of food that is not algea or scraps. if you buy sinking food, forget about it, you will just spoil it and it won’t wanna clean the tank very well. mine started to get territorial over food regualr fish food scaring all the other fish who came near to feed away even after i give it algae wafers. it’s a feeding game. I’m sorry to say my pleco died recenlty with no apparent reason but now the other fish can eat in peace. I am looking to buy a rubber nose pleco next time around as these will not outgrow my 30 gal tank.

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