Sailfin Pleco (Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps)

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Sailfin Pleco

File:Plecostomus 1.jpg
Sailfin Pleco

Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps

568 Litres (150 US G.)

43.2-50.8cm (17-20 ")




6.5 - 7.8

23 -27 °C (73.4-80.6°F)

5-19 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Other (See article)

25-35 years



Additional names

Sailfin Pleco, Leopard Pleco, Gibby, L083, L165

Additional scientific names

Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, Ancistrus gibbiceps, Liposarcus altipinnis


These impressive fish come from the Orinco and Amazon River basins in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. They are found in sluggish, slow river waters and move to flooded areas during the wet season. They love to burrow into muddy banks to make their homes.


These fish can be sexed by viewing their genital papilla on their belly, only really apparent in mature fish, the males will small thick stump that protrudes from the fish's undercarriage, the females are less obvious and lies flat to the body.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Larger individuals are territorial towards other Plecos. A tough fish that can live with semi-aggressive and moderately aggressive tank mates. One best kept to a tank due to tendency towards being territorial and being quite messy fish. Best not kept with very aggressive fin-nippers due to it's tall dorsal fin.


Will take most vegetarian foods including algae wafers and blanched vegetables, will eat soft brown algae in the tank. When mature will also take prawns and similar.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day, may be more active towards feeding when the tank lights are off.

Environment specifics[edit]

Requires exceptional filtration, although not fussy with water quality, this fish produces a high amount of waste. Appreciates wood in the tank and places offered as hiding spots. Planting is not ideal as although this fish won't generally eat the plants, they will uproot them.


Territorial once mature. Will out compete other catfish for food.


A very large and attractive Pleco. It has a broad dorsal fin which gives it its common name as it is sail-like when raised. The body base colour is light brown with dark brown to black reticulated spots across the body and fins, slightly giraffe-like in pattern. Albino variations have been seen.
Can be miss-sold or confused with Glyptoperichthys joselimaianus, Pterygoplichthys pardalis, Hypostomus plecostomus or Hypostomus punctatus.



External links[edit]