large peaceful Loricariid the 'Sailfin Plec' or 'Gibby'
can sometimes be confused with other suckermouth catfishes
such as Hypostomus
for example, but one look at the broad dorsal base
which contains between 12 and 13 rays, and the
difference is immeasurable, also the first ray is
equal to the length of the head. The small anal fin
has 4 to 5 rays and its head is conspicuous by the
large nasal flares.
mentioned above this is a comparitively peacful pleco
but if kept with its own kind can scrap, but they
do very little damage to each other. I have seen some
very impressive looking specimens on the show bench
and if up to size can do very well at shows.
and markings can vary quite a bit in each individual
as can be seen in the two accompanying photographs.
and upper Amazon and Orinoco basins.
Typical 'Plec' shape. Prominent
nuchal crest. Large nasal flares. Dorsal fin; large,
12-13 the first ray being equal to length of head.
Pectoral spine; Almost reaching middle ventral. Caudal;
Emarginate, the outer rays produced.
Body and fins with large dark
spots seperated by light reticulations. Spots on head
are smaller. Colour intensifies with age.
Care & Compatibility
To keep this fine looking animal
in mint condition you will need a reasonably sized
aquarium starting of with a 3 footer when small with
good external filtration to facilatate 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
in the home aquarium as they lay their eggs in excavated
holes dug into the banks of rivers. These fish are
now being commercially bred for the aquarium hobby.
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,
corgette (zucchini) and also non veg food such as
tablets and prawns.
Pterygos = wing, fin; pleion = more;
ichthys = fish. gibbiceps: With a hump on
Area Catfish Group Information Sheet No 13.