Question Id Pleco Species (h. Plecostomus Vs. Sailfin?)

JessicaSwanlake

Valued Member
Messages
248
Reaction score
127
Points
38
Location
Illinois
Experience
2 years
Hi,

I was sold this pleco about 5 months ago as a sailfin, but all of his spots have started to fade to the point where they are only visible under bright light and even then only when his color seems to be fairly faded (it's usually more of a solid slate color). I started thinking that maybe he was an H. plecostomus instead due to the fact that he is already 9 inches long and his spots are fading as he gets older.
A couple weeks ago someone suggested that he might actually be a sailfin as a lot of plecos sold as "commons" are actually sailfins. I finally got him to sit out in the light by luring him with some bloodworms so you can see the faded spots.
Can anyone identify the species? Or even just the genus? I am going to upgrade his tank in a few months and want to make sure I know the max size before the upgrade tank ends up being too small too (he is in a 55g right now, I know ops.
upload_2019-8-30_10-51-50.png

upload_2019-8-30_10-52-31.png
 

treadingwater

Valued Member
Messages
217
Reaction score
187
Points
48
Location
Illinois
Experience
More than 10 years
Im counting 10+ rays on his top fin, which would make him a sail fin. Most other plecos will have 8 rays while sails have 10 or more and still get quite large.
 

JessicaSwanlake

Valued Member
Messages
248
Reaction score
127
Points
38
Location
Illinois
Experience
2 years
Im counting 10+ rays on his top fin, which would make him a sail fin. Most other plecos will have 8 rays while sails have 10 or more and still get quite large.
So Pterygoplichthys? That's good news! I was originally expecting 15-19ish inches with a sailfin, so assuming he is a sailfin I don't have to drastically change my upgrade plans! Do you think he is just a darker leopard sailfin? I would say maybe P. etentaculatus (the pics I see of those seem to have similar coloring) but he already seems too big for a species that maxes out at 12 inches?
Or maybe one of the less documented species?
 

OurFirstTimeFishy

Valued Member
Messages
302
Reaction score
111
Points
88
Location
Ontario, Canada
Experience
Just started
Hi,

I was sold this pleco about 5 months ago as a sailfin, but all of his spots have started to fade to the point where they are only visible under bright light and even then only when his color seems to be fairly faded (it's usually more of a solid slate color). I started thinking that maybe he was an H. plecostomus instead due to the fact that he is already 9 inches long and his spots are fading as he gets older.
A couple weeks ago someone suggested that he might actually be a sailfin as a lot of plecos sold as "commons" are actually sailfins. I finally got him to sit out in the light by luring him with some bloodworms so you can see the faded spots.
Can anyone identify the species? Or even just the genus? I am going to upgrade his tank in a few months and want to make sure I know the max size before the upgrade tank ends up being too small too (he is in a 55g right now, I know ops.
View attachment 584235
View attachment 584236
Yours looks similar to mine but like you said yours looks darker then mine, when you first got him how big was he? Mike was around 2 inches, then in like 6 months hes roughly 9 inches, what type of light do you have? Possibly that's why he looks dark, depending on the size yours will grow even a 55 gallon is small, they poop ALOT [I'm sure you can tell] the more room for fish the better, your pleco looks great though
20190731_172232.jpg
 

JessicaSwanlake

Valued Member
Messages
248
Reaction score
127
Points
38
Location
Illinois
Experience
2 years
Yours looks similar to mine but like you said yours looks darker then mine, when you first got him how big was he? Mike was around 2 inches, then in like 6 months hes roughly 9 inches, what type of light do you have? Possibly that's why he looks dark, depending on the size yours will grow even a 55 gallon is small, they poop ALOT [I'm sure you can tell] the more room for fish the better, your pleco looks great though View attachment 584252
Yeah, mine was 2 inches as well, so that follows size wise. He used to be spotted like yours but his is fading quite a lot over time (I haven't changed the light at all, I have 2 full spectrum fluorenscent "plant" lights). His tank is already on the small side but I am upgrading and moving some fish around so he will eventually be in a 150g Amazon biotope tank with my cowardly oscar who is about 8".
 

OurFirstTimeFishy

Valued Member
Messages
302
Reaction score
111
Points
88
Location
Ontario, Canada
Experience
Just started
Yeah, mine was 2 inches as well, so that follows size wise. He used to be spotted like yours but his is fading quite a lot over time (I haven't changed the light at all, I have 2 full spectrum fluorenscent "plant" lights). His tank is already on the small side but I am upgrading and moving some fish around so he will eventually be in a 150g Amazon biotope tank with my cowardly oscar who is about 8".
Are we the same people lol I have an 9inch oscar lol I'm not sure what else to say, just keep an eye on him
 

JessicaSwanlake

Valued Member
Messages
248
Reaction score
127
Points
38
Location
Illinois
Experience
2 years
Are we the same people lol I have an 9inch oscar lol I'm not sure what else to say, just keep an eye on him
Haha, that's hilarious! Do you keep yours together? I don't yet, the pleco is in the 55 and the oscar is in a 75g. You don't also have a freshwater eel and a shrimp tank do you?
 

OurFirstTimeFishy

Valued Member
Messages
302
Reaction score
111
Points
88
Location
Ontario, Canada
Experience
Just started
Haha, that's hilarious! Do you keep yours together? I don't yet, the pleco is in the 55 and the oscar is in a 75g. You don't also have a freshwater eel and a shrimp tank do you?
No I dont keep them together, my oscar is in a 75... mine attacks anything in the tank (heater, decorations, his own reflection) so I'd be afraid to put sally my pleco inside. I've been thinking of having a shrimp tank, an eel never thought about until now actually
 

JessicaSwanlake

Valued Member
Messages
248
Reaction score
127
Points
38
Location
Illinois
Experience
2 years
No I dont keep them together, my oscar is in a 75... mine attacks anything in the tank (heater, decorations, his own reflection) so I'd be afraid to put sally my pleco inside. I've been thinking of having a shrimp tank, an eel never thought about until now actually
I keep my Oscar with my spiney eel who is about 7 inches long. I've been told they taste bad to fish (or at least their slime coat does), so while the oscar will chase the eel away occasionally he never actually bites him and the eel is not scared of the oscar either. That being said, I think my oscar is a big baby and not super aggressive (yet?) compared to some of the stories I have heard. He doesn't do much digging, doesn't bother the floating plants I have in there, and leaves the giant mystery snails alone too.
 




Top Bottom