King Tiger Pleco
The King tiger pleco is a member of the genus Hypancistrus and has been assigned the L-number L066. In addition to the common name King tiger pleco, the names Network pleco and Scribbled pleco are also used.
The King tiger pleco is a pattered catfish that can reach a length of 12 cm (4.7 inches).
Young specimens do not resemble the adult fish.
Geographical distribution, habitat and care
The King tiger pleco is found in Rio Tocantins and Rio Xingu in the lower Amazon region. Rio Xingu is a tributary of the Rio Amazon and is located in the north-eastern part of Brazil . Rio Tocantins flows through the Brazilian states Goiás, Tocantins, Maranhão and Pará and is not really a branch of Rio Amazon since it empties itself into the Atlantic Ocean next to Rio Amazon.
The water in Rio Tocantins and Rio Xingu is fast flowing and the King tiger pleco will therefore appreciate strong current and high oxygen levels in the aquarium. If you want to keep this fish you need to provide it with an aquarium where the water is acidic or at least neutral, from pH 5.8 to 7.0. Keep the temperature in the 25-29 degrees C (77-84 degrees F) range.
Unlike many other plecos the King tiger pleco is a carnivore species. You can use prepared food for carnivores as a base and supplement with plenty of fresh or frozen meaty foods such as bloodworms, shrimps and mussels.
Aquarium set up and tank mates
Try to resemble the natural environment of Rio Tocantins and Rio Xingu when you set up the aquarium. Keep the temperature in the 26-29 degrees C (80-84 degrees F) range. Make sure that the oxygen level is really high. The natural substrate in this region consists of stone and sand. The underwater vegetation is very sparse and there is no need to include live plants in the aquarium set up.
Include a lot of hiding spots, at least one good spot for each fish. They like to stay hidden in holes in driftwood. The King tiger pleco is generally a peaceful fish that can be kept in community aquariums, but it can be somewhat territorial and aggressive towards members of the same species.
Breeding King tiger pleco
The King tiger pleco has been successfully bred in the aquarium by aquarist Andy White. You can read his article at planet catfish by clicking here.
Andy White kept two males and two females together in a 55 gallon tank together with fish from other species. His King tiger plecos spawned inside a cave and the male guarded the eggs. The male fanned fresh water over the eggs and they hatched after roughly one week. The male continued to fan the fry and the yolk sacs were completely absorbed within two weeks.
Male King tiger plecos are bigger than the females and develop a darker and more distinct colour pattern. They also have longer odontodes and you can see more bristles on their pectoral spines.
What's in a name?
The genus name Hypancistrus is derived from two Greek words: hypo and agkistron. Hypo means under. Agkistron means hook and has been used to form the genus name Ancistrus.
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