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Orange spot pleco - Panaque albomaculatus

Orange spot pleco - Panaque albomaculatus

Scientific name: Panaque albomaculatus

Common name: Orange spot pleco

Family: Loricariidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 11 - 13 cm (4.33 - 5.12 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.3 - 7.1

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 5 - 20°N (89.29 - 357.14ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 24 - 30 °C (75.2 - 86°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


South America; Orange spot pleco’s are found in the waterways of Ecuador.


The expected life span for Panaque albomaculatus is 12 years.

Short description

As Panaque albomaculatus mature, the males will become territorial with each other, it is best to house a single male on its own. Provide hiding places in the tank as they are a nocturnal fish and are rarely seen in the daytime. They get their common name of orange spot pleco and mustard spot pleco for obvious reasons, they display beautiful markings of pronounced spots all over their bodies which makes them very appealing to many keepers.

The size of the spots can vary not only in the colour but also the size makes each specimen unique in its own right.

They can easily be kept in a community set up providing the aquarium is large enough for their needs and gives them plenty of room to swim around but as they mature they will become very territorial towards other bottom dwellers so it is advised to only keep one specimen unless there is plenty of room available.

Hiding places should be added to the aquarium by using rocks or wood and make sure that the water quality is kept high by a suitable filtration system and regular water changes.

Food and feeding

Sinking catfish pellets and algae wafers should be given to this fish as the staple diet. Also supply them with live or frozen meaty foods like blood worms, brine shrimp or white worms. Bog wood must also be included in the tank as this plec will gnaw on it to aid its digestion. Not only does the orange spot plec digest the wood but it also gains nourishment from the coating on the outside of the bog wood which over time will cover itself with micro organisms that accumulate on it which is a natural part of the wood ageing in the aquarium.

These fish have a small circular rasping mouth which contains many small teeth that are used to gnaw away at their food and at the wood, they are often referred to as sucker mouths.


Mature males will develop longer interopercular spines and hairy body denticles.


As of yet, there are no reported cases of Orange spot pleco’s breeding in the aquarium. It is known that the males play the major part in the parental care with the female being moved away from the nest after the eggs have been fertilised.


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