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Pterygoplichthys scrophus (Cope 1874)

Image contributors to this species:

Kent Cannon (2) Danny Blundell (1) Peru Aquarium Group (1) Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (3)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology =Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase   Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory  Catalog of Fishes

Relevant Information:

You can identify a Pterygoplichthys species from Hypostomus for example due to the many more rays in the dorsal fin, which can be up to 10 or over. They also have nasal flutes on the nose. Aquarium Care: Reasonably peaceful if large species which will need a good sized aquarium starting of with a 3 footer when small with good external filtration to facilitate a good oxygen content, as it excretes copious amounts of waste if fed properly on vegetable matter. If the water quality is not adhered to, small holes can appear in the fin membranes. You will notice when your water quality is not up to the mark as they "hang" in the water just of their fins, from the substrate, which means 'get that water change done'. It is kind to plants in the aquarium, the only problem is when it gets bigger and can uproot them in its conquest around the tank. Diet: They are mostly vegetarian with algae being their number one source of food but to keep a large fish fed on algae alone is impossible so you can feed also, spinach, blanched lettuce, cucumber, courgette (zucchini) and also non veg food such as tablets and prawns. 

Common Name:

Rhino Pleco, Chocolate Pleco, Alligator Pleco


Liposarcus scrophus, Glytoperichthys scrophus  




Peru: Marañón and Ucayali River basins.


28cm. (11ins)


23-28°c (73-83°f.)




All L-Numbers Datz Special. www.datze.de 



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                                                                                               updated = November 17, 2018 © ScotCat 1997-2018