The Royal Plecostomus is a handsome suckermouth catfish belonging to the Genus Panaque. A classic representative of this genus, the Royal Plecostomus is a stout, muscular fish with a distinct “tadpole” shape. Compared to other Loricariids, members of the Genus Panaque sport a truncated body with a pronounced anterior that gives them a “top-heavy” appearance best seen from the profile view. The Royal Plecostomus, also known as the Royal Panaque, Royal Black-lined Panaque or Broken Line Royal Plecostomus, has irregular black steaks set upon a deep mossy or cement colored body. This bold and eye-pleasing graphic pattern elevates this very attractive fish to royalty status among Loricariid enthusiasts. The distinct body shape, striking pattern and prominent eyes make the Royal Plecostomus a welcomed change from the usual and a peaceful addition to large freshwater aquariums.
Hailing from the rivers and tributaries of South America, the Royal Plecostomus has evolved to exploit fast-moving riparian environments with sunken bogwood (driftwood). Planted aquariums with hardy, fast-growing plants and high aeration and water movement provide a healthy environment. Be sure to aquascape with driftwood and rocks to provide hiding spaces for the Royal Plecostomus. The use of driftwood is essential since natural feeding behavior of the Royal Plecostomus revolves around foraging for food items growing on or encrusting driftwood. A recommended minimum tank of 125 gallons should be provided to house the Royal Plecostomus.
The Royal Plecostomus has not been bred in an aquarium and little is known about their breeding habits.
Feeding the Royal Plecostomus is not difficult since it is not a picky eater. However, plenty of driftwood should be used in the aquarium housing this fish. As previously mentioned, biological matter such as detritus and algae that forms on and inside of the wood itself makes up a major portion of its diet.
Supplement the diet of the Royal Plecostomus with foods that sink to the bottom of the aquarium such as a high-quality flake food, sinking carnivore pellets, sinking algae wafers, freeze-dried bloodworms, and tubifex worms.
Approximate Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2″ to 2″; Medium: 2″ to 2-1/2″