Clown Pleco (Panaqolus Maccus)
The Clown Pleco, also known as L104 Clown Pleco, L162 Clown Pleco, Clown Panaque, is a small and fascinating fish that adds a touch of whimsy to any aquarium. This species is known for its distinctive cream-colored vertical bands against a brown body, which gives it a clown-like appearance, hence the name. Adult Clown Plecos typically reach a size of about 3 to 4 inches.
The Clown Pleco is a peaceful creature, but it can be a bit territorial, especially when it comes to defending its patch of ground against other Plecos. Despite this, it's generally shy and will often hide, especially when first introduced to a new environment. However, with time, it will venture out, especially if food is provided at the front of the tank.
When it comes to tank mates, the Clown Pleco is compatible with other peaceful species such as Ember Tetra, Pygmy Corydoras, little Rasboras like the harlequin rasboras, dwarf gourami, and primary tetras, German blue rams, Corydoras, White cloud mountain minnows. However, it's not ideal to pair them with large, aggressive fish that might bully or stress them. They are not schooling fish and are quite content to live alone or in small groups.
The Clown Pleco is essentially a wood-eating fish. Its diet mainly consists of driftwood, which it loves to chew on. They also enjoys vegetables like squash and cucumber, and it's a good idea to supplement its diet with frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms a few times a week.
The ideal tank habitat for a Clown Pleco is one that mimics its natural environment. They are found in Andean whitewater rivers flowing through the Llanos into the Rio Orinoco. Their ideal habitat for a Bristlenose Pleco is a well-decorated aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and a dark background. They appreciate a substrate of sand or fine gravel that is red-brown in color, along with driftwood for them to rasp on. Live plants, smooth rocks, and caves are also appreciated for providing cover. Resilient and rapidly growing plants such as Java fern, Java moss, Amazon sword, and wisteria make excellent decorative choices. Their robust nature ensures they remain firmly anchored in the substrate, even when the fish are rummaging for food. They can handle a wide range of water conditions but need well-oxygenated water with moderate to strong currents. The lighting should be moderate to mimic their natural habitat in the Amazon River.
The water parameters for a Clown Pleco are quite specific. The minimum aquarium size should be about 30 gallons, while the ideal community aquarium size is around 50 gallons. The pH should be 6.5-7.5, and the hardness should be fairly hard at 6-8 dGH. The temperature should be kept around 75-82°F (24-28°C).
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.