About Royal Pleco Fish
The Royal Pleco (scientifically known as Panaque nigrolineatus) is a freshwater fish species native to South America, found throughout the Amazon and Orinoco river systems. Royal plecos grow to around 8 to 10 inches (20-25 centimetres) in length and are popular for their unique, armored-plated black and yellow bodies.
Royal Plecos are a common fish species in the aquarium hobby, and make excellent additions to many freshwater tanks. Due to their timid behaviour, many aquarists recommend that royal plecos be given plenty of hiding places and provide them with an environment within the tank that simulates their natural habitat.
Along with their good nature, royal plecos add a unique look to an aquarium, making them a popular choice for aquarists of all experience levels. However, they require special attention to their dietary and water quality needs in order to stay healthy and live a long life. Read on to learn more about royal plecos, including their diet and water requirements.
Royal Plecos belong to the Panaque genus, and are found in South American rivers, such as the Amazon and Orinoco. Specifically, they tend to inhabit submerged wood in slow-moving waters, where they remain hidden among the branches, roots and bark while they feed and rest.
In their natural habitat, Royal Plecos feed on a diet rich in plant material, such as soft and hard woods, vegetation, and algae. For these reasons, Royal Plecos are important in governing growth of aquatic plants and algae, ensuring that the local environment is neither overgrown nor devoid of vegetation.
Basic Care Requirements
Royal Plecos make excellent tank mates, and can live up to 10 years in accordance with their basic care needs. In the home aquarium, Royal Plecos should be kept in tanks of at least 25 gallons (100 liters) due to their large size. They prefer dim lighting, and should be given plenty of cover by including driftwood and plants in the aquarium setup.
Royal Plecos are considered an intermediate to difficult species to keep, as they require a change in water quality over time to thrive. Regular water changes and use of a good-quality filter is highly recommended. They should also be provided with an appropriate diet, including slow-release foods that mimic their natural diet of wood, soft vegetation, and algae.
Common Health Issues
For the most part, royal plecos are relatively hardy and can survive in a home aquarium, under the right conditions. But, like all aquatic species, there are a range of health issues to watch out for. Common health problems that can occur in royal plecos include constipation, which can be caused by an imbalance in their diet and a lack of roughage.
Royal Plecos are also sensitive to low-oxygen conditions, and should not be kept in tanks with inadequate filtration or oxygenation. If they live in an irregularly-tightening decrease of oxygen strength setting, they may suffer from health problems such as sluggishness or low appetite.
Lastly, Royal Plecos can be sensitive to medications, so it’s important to consult with an aquarium professional before treating for any health problems.
Royal Pleco Facts
Royal Plecos are a popular species because of their unique, armored-plated black and yellow bodies. These fish are a low-maintenance, good-natured fish that can survive in the home aquarium with attentive to water and dietary needs. When kept in the appropriate environment, royal plecos can live for 10 years or more.
To thrive, royal plecos need an appropriate diet which includes soft vegetation, hard wood, and algae. Royal plecos also require regular water changes and filtering to remain healthy, as they are sensitive to low-oxygen environments. Follow the instructions in this guide, and your royal plecos will be a welcome addition to your home aquarium.
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