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Plecostomus and Common Pleco were listed on Wikipedia:Duplicate articles. I merged the articles and then decided they were different and unmerged them. As part of the merge I added Nocturnal from Common Pleco to Plecostomus. Need to check if this is generally applicable. RJFJR 05:58, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)

As the one who created both articles, I ran into the problem where Plecostomus was popularly used as a generic term to describe a rather large number of fish. Although technically Hypostomus plecostomus is the only fish with plecostomus in its genus/species, they all seem to be called Plecos. (On a sidenote, I think that in some older classification systems the genus Hypostomus was referred to as plecostomus, which may be a historical reason for the name being used generically). My second problem was that there is no scientifically defined Common Pleco, but instead many different species are all labeled as such. The Common Pleco article is in some sense a disambiguation page, although since the term is freely used in the aquarium fish trade, it should probably not be a disambiguation page on Wikipedia. I do plan to update these articles with more and/or better information sometime, as I learn more. -- RM 13:55, Mar 23, 2005 (UTC)
I've added disambiguation pages on suckermouth catfish and related terms, as well as Armoured catfish and related terms. I've pretty much deleted the 'common plec' page(redirects here now) - and move unduplicated info to this page. There is a species specific page called Hypostomus plecostomus. 'Plecostomus plecostomus' was an old name for Hypostomus plecostomus and now links there. I've left this page as a general 'plec' page - as it covers well the common plecs found in pet shops.
A minor point, but please remember to sign your comments so we know who is saying what. Also could you review the proposal to merge these pages into Loricariid, seeing that you seem knowledgeable about this subject? Keithieopia (talk) 15:30, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Aquarium Plecos[edit]

I have just added a small section on aquatium plecos, noting that Bristle nose catfish are a better alternative for those who are looking for 'A glass cleaner'. I hope this is ok. I have also added a side note about l numbers as these are a facinating area of fishkeeping.

Not sure about the glass cleaner bit (obviously must depend on species) but in my experience the 'common plec' sold in pet shops has always been an excellent glass cleaner - ancistrus were also good I think - however Sailfins (Sailfin Plec (L164)? Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps?) were never very good at that? HappyVR 18:37, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
I've created a page for L-numbers (just the basics) and a link - please feel free to add to it.HappyVR 10:10, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

mark was here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:38, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Armoured catfish[edit]

Armoured catfish are not Loricariidae, but Loricariidae are armourd catfish. There are several types of armourd catfish including Corydoras (Callichthyid armored catfishes), Loricariidae (Suckermouth Armord catfish) and others.

I've added disambiguation page for Armoured catfish. This should solve this problem.HappyVR 10:10, 28 May 2006 (UTC)


Not sure about this - I've removed nocturnal for now - some might be, some might not be.HappyVR 18:37, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Same or different species?[edit]

Two Plecos Facing Each Other.jpg

We have two plecos (see the photo) — both about the same age (4-5 years), bought at the same time from the same store. They both have 12 (or maybe 13) dorsal rays, so I've assumed they are both Liposarcus pardalis. However, their heads look different (note the lengths and shapes of their snouts), and their eyes are different too (compare the sizes of the white circles in the middle of their irises). Are these variations within a single species, or are they different species? Any ideas? Richwales 18:19, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Odd, before I start don't forget that Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science can be used to ask questions - increases your chances of getting an expert. For the white circles - these species have an iris see omega eye - not sure why both fish aren't showing the same extent of pupil dilation. To be honest neither looks quite right to me. I've seen examples of plecs and other catfish with 'broken noses' - maybe from bumping into things too many times - were they like this when you got them? My gut reaction is that both are slightly deformed - seeing as you got both together and apparently these fish are captive bred commercially could it be that they are 'inbred'. The pattern on them suggests that they are quite big now so I suppose otherwise they are ok. There's also a possibility that they are hybrids - as you got two 'odd' fish from 'the same batch'. They both look like odd examples of liposarcus pardalis as you say. It'll be interesting to see what other people say.HappyVR 20:42, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Have you got any more photos - from a different angle?HappyVR 21:00, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Sure. Here are some more photos. I didn't really pay that much attention to their noses until fairly recently, so I can't say what they looked like when we first got them. Interestingly, "Algaegon" (the one with the longer snout) bumps into the sides of the tank a lot more often than "Sam" does — you can see a small bruised spot on the tip of Algaegon's snout. They're both about 11-12 inches (28-30 cm) long; Sam (the one with the blunt snout) is a bit shorter than Algaegon. As for their eyes, I can't recall either of them ever looking any different than what you can see in these photos — the white circles in Algaegon's eyes are always noticeably larger than Sam's. I should also say that my interest in the details of their species / breeding is purely one of curiosity; we didn't buy them with the expectation of having purebred fish or breeding them ourselves, and we'll continue to love them, pay attention to them, and take care of them just the same whether they're hybrids, inbred, or whatever. Richwales 04:59, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
They look more normal in these photographs - the white circles on the eye are odd though - the tank looks quite bright and I'd expect the area of the white to increase in bright light (note this change takes minutes - not fast as in the human iris). The difference in the snouts might be due to being kept in a small tank and the inherent bumping involved.HappyVR 10:37, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and there's Liposarcus anisitsi as well - look similar to L. pardalis.HappyVR 10:59, 11 June 2006 (UTC)


The article says, "Plecos can also wink using an eye membrane." Is this really a membrane moving over the eye? That isn't what it looks like to me. When my plecos "wink", it appears to me as if they are rolling their eyeballs down and then back up. Richwales 23:24, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

To me it looks like the skin over the top of the eye moves down, and maybe the eyeball is depressed too. The 'eye membrane' description isn't really clear to me, but the winking happens so rarely and so quickly I've never been able to work out exactly what they do. It's also been suggested the winking is a rapid change in the iris. Maybe the article is wrong - I agree with your description. Can't find any other info. though.HappyVR 13:20, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I've changed the description - I'd like to add more but can find any more info. on it.HappyVR 09:13, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Plecos can cohabitate with goldfish just fine[edit]

"Because they are tropical fish, these catfish cannot be kept in coldwater tanks with species like goldfish, Carassius auratus" is an inaccurate staement as I have, not only seen it done many times, have it doing so in my livingroom at this very moment. cheeers ~Km

This is obviously true to anyone who has ever kept either easy fish. The point was that coldwater fish, which can survive in normal warm water cannot live with a plecostomus in very cold water because the pleco would die or if clear what is trying to be said. Ram-Man 11:43, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
The article also needs to cite its sources... --Lethargy 01:13, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

plecos just die slower in goldifsh tanks than other tropical fish do. but that doesnt make it okay, responsible or humane to do so. Antisoapybubbles 00:15, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

i think it would make most sense to remove, or atleast alter, the part that mentions it to be okay to keep plecos with goldfish. goldfish do better in cold water. plecos do better in warm water. that should be the end of it really. even if both remain alive in such conditions, it is known not to be ideal. so i believe this should either be advised against, properly and scientifically explained, or not mentioned at all. perhaps you should make the a small change from: "These catfish can be kept in tanks with "cold-water" species like goldfish, but will do better if the water is heated." to: "These catfish may survive in tanks with "cold-water" species like goldfish, but it is genrally not advised due to the different temparature preferences." or something similar. it's still not very informative, but atleast better.Fantiquitous (talk) 23:32, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Agreed,'s[1] info sheet says 23 – 27°C for the Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus which seems to be one of the most common hobbyist aquarium Plecos. I found similar ranges of temperatures for other species of plecos, so it's defiantly not met to be in the same temperature ranges goldfish live best in. I'm not saying it can't be done, many people have no problems with keeping Pleco's in cold tanks, it's just not optimal for the Pleco and that should be included. Keithieopia (talk) 08:23, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
That temperature range is well within the range of goldfish keeping, unless you have a pond or something. I definitely don't advocate keeping plecos with goldfish, but it would be for reasons other than temperature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:29, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
As an aside, I would also be hesitant to classify goldfish as "easy" fish. They're considerably hardy I guess, but they make a fantastic mess and that causes all sorts of problems on its own. Even then, some of the fancier varieties aren't even that hardy. I mean, they're not discus hard but when I think "easy" I think of stuff like bettas or white clouds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:49, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Too much focus on Aquariums?[edit]

I think this articles concentrates too much on aquarium plecos. While this is an important part of an article on the pleco, there is only a mention of behaviour in the wild. What about breeding habits, and are they maternal with their young? What types of water do they they live in i.e. lakes, streams, brackish waters? Also, how big do they grow? If they're omnivorous, as the article says, what non-flora things do they eat, i.e. do they hunt or scavenge?

I'm not claiming to know all these things about the pleco, but when I want to find out about the pleco, these are the things I'd like to know. I think this article could have a stub banner or "expert needed" banner on it, until someone expands the article. IanUK 08:21, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Currently this article most deals with generic 'plecs' as sold in fish shops - you need to look under hypostomus loricariidae or liposarcus maybe. Perhaps the article should be clearer
IMO, this article should focus on aquariums. "Pleco" is a vague common name and is an idea that is constructed within only the aquarium trade. This common name can refer to a NUMBER of unrelated species. In general their biologies are rather similar, but some of the things such as maximum size and natural distribution are specific to individual species, not to all species that have been called "common plecs". There are some broad-sweeping generalizations you could make, though, so I suppose you could include some information about that. MiltonT (talk) 20:18, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

i think they cobinate so good. i had a goldfish moore and another type of fish and they worked out so good. now i have a 17 incher pleco and a 2 cn babby goldfish I still have it its ben there for 2 years!!

"Best Pleco Statement"[edit]

I have deleted the statement "the best species of plec is the bulldog plec". i think its arbitrary and besdies that has no place in this article, but im giving the author a chance to justify, back up, or defend their statement. Antisoapybubbles 00:19, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

when good plecos go bad![edit]

I have heard MANY reports of plecos killing other fish & even taking total control of a tank! I want to know when plecos kill the other fish via sucking off there slime coats, do they do it on purpose or just for natural reasons?--Lolicon(Anti Child Porn)Saikano 13:34, 23 February 2007 (UTC) Also, how can you tell the difference between a male pleco and a female pleco? --Lolicon(Anti Child Porn)Saikano 17:44, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Citation needed[edit]

Citation, details, and clarification needed for "A relatively new species is hardy and grows to a maximum of 10 cm (4 inches)". What species? Is it really a new species, or just a new strain? Dominicanpapi82 02:46, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Since there is no response I've removed the statement. I believe they were probably talking about bristlenose plecos which actually belong a completely different genre. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:11, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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Edible fish[edit]

Why is this in "Category: Edible Fish"? There's no mention of this in the article. You certainly wouldn't want to swallow them whole (they have spiny, choking fins). There was a guy who died when he tried to swallow one (perhaps he was inspired by goldfish swallowing)!

I suppose you could try eating pleco meat, IF you removed all the scutes and fins beforehand (which would be tricky to do). Maybe the Amazonian Indians do eat them, but there should be some mention of that in the article if they do. Stonemason89 (talk) 14:09, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. This isn't a commonly eaten fish. It is mostly just kept in aquariums. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

ok. I found this on eating even small members of the Chaetostoma genus of lori: but of course it is by the locals in 3rd world countries. However in the USA, UK, Canada, etc they are just kept as pets afaik. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

This species is often recorded as being one of the "food fish" used by locals, by collectors for the aquarium trade and as such is a "food fish", regardless of whether you or I would even consider eating them. Kat (talk) 20:00, 28 October 2011 (UTC)


This plecostomus article is in need of much work. "pleco" is a common name used for any member of the Loricariid family (also commonly reffered to as suckermouth catfish). See the much better writen lori article: The scientific name Hypostomus plecostomus is for ONE species of Loricariid.

Better yet why not just redirect "pleco" to Loricariidae instead of Plecostomus?

I agree, I reviewed both pages and the Loricariid page is much better and covers all and even more of the material presented in this article; there's no reason why someone couldn't add a Plecostomus section to Loricariidae if it is indeed merged. This article IMHO falls under the Overlap category as a justification for a page merge see also Wikipedia:Wikipedia_is_not_a_dictionary . To that extent, I added the page merge tag to the article to get other's thoughts. Keithieopia (talk) 04:21, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
If we merge then perhaps all various 'pleco' sub pages should just be merged to the Loricariidae page? There is also a "Zebra_pleco" page —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:40, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Really there's no need for all those subpages to begin with (see wikipedia's notability section), however if there is unique material on them it would be a good idea to merge them like you said. Maybe you could make a list of all those pages that should be merged to? Keithieopia (talk) 20:56, 9 November 2008 (UTC) has a compleate list. These are the ones I think should be merged (but I would like opinons of more knowledgeable Loricariidae keepers). Perhaps to thier genus, tribe, or subfamily page rather then to the family page of Loricariidae.
Glyptoperichthys_joselimaianus, Pterygoplichthys_multiradiatus, Clown_pleco, Pterygoplichthys_pardalis, Panaque_nigrolineatus (if not merged then major cleanup needed), Hypostomus_punctatus, Pterygoplichthys_gibbiceps, Acestridium_colombiensis, Blue-eyed_plec, Chaetostoma_carrioni, Dentectus_barbarmatus, Farlowella_acus, Furcodontichthys_novaesi, Gymnotocinclus_anosteos, Aposturisoma_myriodon,... I will review more later.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I added merge tags to all those articles you lised. For the most part they're pretty lame, save a few. Still, all the content could be merged into Loricariidae (most of it's the same), or like you said genus instead.
I'm going to also going to put a notice on the Loricariidae page about the proposed merge, as I think there might be more knowledgeable people on the subject watching that page. Keithieopia (talk) 15:47, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
It's pretty well established that all species of animals should eventually get their own article. Some of the articles listed here are valid stubs; other are even more complete; there is no need to merge these. I've removed all merge notices. -- Eugène van der Pijll (talk) 18:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I just want to note that a lot of the time when people say "pleco", at least as far as the aquarium community goes, they are referring to the common pleco, i.e. this one. If someone is talking about something else, like a bristlenose, then it'll be mentioned otherwise, just because this species is more common and aggressive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:20, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
As far as many of the articles about Pterygoplichthys species go, I agree that many of them are sorry excuses for articles and Wikipedia would not lose much merging them with the article Pterygoplichthys (I disagree that these articles should be merged with Loricariidae because Pterygoplichthys would be much more specific). The "Plecostomus" is probably one of my least favorite articles and I have hardly touched it; however, you cannot redirect this article to Pterygoplichthys because in the past "pleco" has referred to Hypostomus plecostomus, which of course is not of the genus Pterygoplichthys. Similarly, as mentioned above, "pleco" generally refers to the common pleco, and thus it is appropriate to give discussion specific to the common pleco in the aquarium trade outside of the discussion of the entire family Loricariidae. Perhaps an expanded definition of "pleco" might include other members of the subfamily Hypostominae, but very rarely are any other loricariids called "plecos" outside the subfamily. Farlowella acus and Blue-eyed plec aren't fantastic, but warrant article status due to their importance in the aquarium trade. Also, some of the latter articles listed for fish which are not aquarium fish are articles I myself created in the process of creating catfish articles for each genus in 2007 (although I'll admit I have yet to finish). However, some genera only had one species. If a genus has only one species, I'm pretty sure the article is supposed redirect to the species; thus, these monospecific genera all have species articles. In the framework of Loricariidae as it is with every genus having an article, it'd be a little strange if some of the genera didn't get articles due to the mere fact that they only have one species each. Personally I feel that it is worth it to at least have an article for each genus, if not each species as suggested above by Eugene. MiltonT (talk) 20:12, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Unexpected Survival[edit]

According to the Tampa Bay times, seven months the police after removing every animal owned by Danny Baker, arrested for shooting five Chilean students and killing two of them, it turned out a sole Plecotomus remained still alive in spite of more of the new blackened water in its tank evaporated and no food to eat. I think this fact should be used in terms of the species's background. (talk) 20:31, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

merge into Hypostomus plecostomus[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was to merge. Kat apparently already copied the content over to Hypostomus plecostomus back in October 2011, but curiously the easiest step in merging, turning the source article into a redirect, was never attended to, possibly because of the proposal later in this discussion that it be converted to a disambiguation page instead. I'm going to go ahead and redirect it now, and if there's still a sentiment that it should be a disambiguation page then another editor can take care of that. NukeofEarl (talk) 17:15, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

I propose that plecostomus is merged into Hypostomus plecostomus because both articles are about the same species. Plecostomus also has no references (the only one there does not have anything to do with the corresponding statement and is not from a reliable source) and is generally of poor quality. Hypostomus plecostomus is better organised and presented, although still in need of improvements. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KittyKat (talkcontribs) 10:50, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Given that there has been only positive response, I will start merging the articles soon. Kat (talk) 20:42, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I also suggest that Pleco is turned into a disambiguation page, with Plecostomus redirecting to it. The disambig page should link to Pterygoplichthys pardalis, Hypostomus, Loricariichthys, Loricariidae, and possibly all other loricariids that have "pleco" as part of their common name (sailfin pleco, royal pleco, zebra pleco, clown pleco, bristlenose pleco, etc.) - Soulkeeper (talk) 12:15, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Do I understand correctly that this would be after merging Plecostomus into Hypostomus plecostomus, so that the current content would not necessarily be overlooked? If so, I think it might be more encyclopedic to make Plecostomus the DAB page, and the nickname Pleco a redirect to it. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:30, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
You understood correctly, but pleco is a common name in its own right, which, while originally derived from plecostomus, is considerably more in use nowadays and covers a much larger range of species. In my experience, plecostomus is used primarily as a common name for many "common plecos", while "pleco" or "plec" for all Loricariidae. This is why pleco currently redirects to Loricariidae. You can see the discussion why the page was redirected at
Soulkeeper, I think the list of freshwater aquarium fish species is more appropriate for a list of common names containing the word because the page "pleco" should be about plecos in an encyclopedia, not a list without any information.
Kat (talk) 19:29, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Kat, I'm not sure whether we misunderstood each other. My comment was in response to Soulkeeper's follow-up proposal, not to your original one. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:33, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I meant after the merge. I'm still not convinced that making a disambiguation page at Pleco would be a bad idea, as only about a third of all known catfish species AFAIK are loricariids, but I'll leave the decision to others. - Soulkeeper (talk) 22:25, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Soulkeeper, there are 835 Loricariids which have currently been described, PlanetCatfish records 1117 species which I would consider to be of interest to fish keepers and there are hybrids on top of that, of which (I estimate) a few 100 have common names. It would take a lot of work to get a list like that together, especially when it comes to different species with the same common names and hybrids. If you find someone who is willing to do the work, it's probably worth bringing it up again :)
Tryptofish, I replied to both at once. Sorry for confusing you!
Kat (talk) 08:38, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, then we're all on the same page! In my opinion, I'd rather use the more encyclopedic sounding Plecostomus as the disambiguation page, and have Pleco be a redirect to Plecostomus. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:15, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

I have now started working on the merge. If any of you can help with the "citation needed" tags on Hypostomus plecostomus, please do! It would make my work much easier. Kat (talk) 19:57, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

I disagree since this article is about multiple species of plecostomus. For example, species of Panaque and Ancistrus are also called plecostomus.--SuperPayara123 (talk) 01:14, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

  • On a related note to the above discussion, I've just removed the older of the two merge proposals as the relevant discussion appears to have died and been superseded with the above proposal. If anyone here disagrees, can you please re-propose the older merger instead of simply reverting. I'm trying to deal with the "articles to be merged" backlog and it'll help keep the backlog fresh. Thank you. ClaretAsh 13:21, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


This fish species, looking at it, looks very primative and similar to things I've seen on ancient prehistoric fossils with the wing-like spiney fins. Could this fish be an ancient species like crocodiles and sharks, which have remained relatively unchanged and survived evolutionary extinction?

It's a very unusual fish with unusual habits and behaviours that suggest its become skilled at avoiding predators. It would be interesting to know their history, how far back they date, and how they fit into the evolution timeline? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:09, 3 March 2013 (UTC)