L066 King Tiger Pleco (Hypancistrus sp.)
The L066 King Tiger Pleco is a sight to behold. Its body is adorned with a striking pattern of dark bands against a light background, reminiscent of a tiger's stripes, hence its common name. The fish's coloration ranges from a creamy white to a rich gold, with the bands varying from deep brown to black. As adults, they grow to a moderate size of about 5.5 inches, making them suitable for a variety of tank sizes.
In terms of personality, the King Tiger Pleco is generally peaceful and somewhat shy. They are nocturnal creatures, preferring to hide during the day and becoming more active at night. Their level of aggression is low; however, they can be territorial with similar species. It’s best to keep only one in a tank unless it is large enough to provide multiple territories with broken up sight lines.
When considering tank mates for the King Tiger Pleco, it's important to choose other peaceful species that will not disturb them. Small dither fish which do not compete with King Tiger Plecos for food. Peaceful fish such as tetras and rasboras make good companions, as do other bottom dwellers like Corydoras catfish. However, aggressive or large fish, such as cichlids or large barbs, are not suitable tank mates as they can stress or harm the King Tiger Pleco.
The King Tiger Pleco is primarily a carnivore, with a preference for meaty foods. Their diet should include a variety of high-protein sinking pellets, as well as live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, or daphnia. Occasionally, they may be fed algae pellets or vegetables such as lettuce, crushed peas, cucumber, and squash.
Creating a comfortable habitat for the King Tiger Pleco involves incorporating elements that mimic their natural environment. This includes a substrate of fine sand or smooth gravel, which allows them to forage without damaging their delicate barbels. Plants such as Java fern, with its large leaves, can provide a sense of safety and cover as the King Tiger Pleco is a plant-friendly species. Floating plants can help reduce light intensity, catering to the Pleco's preference for low-light environments. It's also important to include structures like caves, made from smooth rocks, slate, or terracotta pipes arranged to form a network of nooks, crannies, shaded spots, and broken lines of sight to provide the Pleco with a sense of security.
The minimum aquarium size for a single individual is 30 gallons, while a community aquarium should be at least 50 gallons to provide ample space. In terms of water parameters, the ideal pH range is between 6.5 and 7.5, and the hardness should be within 5-15 dGH. The temperature should be maintained between 78-84°F (26-29°C). The King Tiger Plecos, like many species that naturally live in flowing waters, need a clean environment to thrive. It's sensitive to the buildup of organic waste, so maintaining pristine water conditions is crucial for its well-being. The water should have brisk movement and a high level of dissolved oxygenation with consistent water parameters.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.