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Sultan pleco - Leporacanthicus joselimai

Sultan pleco - Leporacanthicus joselimai

Scientific name: Leporacanthicus joselimai

Common name: Sultan pleco

Family: Loricariidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 10 - 15 cm (3.94 - 5.91 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.2 - 7.4

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 17°N (71.43 - 303.57ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 24 - 27 °C (75.2 - 80.6°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; Sultan pleco are found in the water ways of Brazil.


The expected life span for Leporacanthicus joselimai is 5-8 years.

Short description

Sometimes these fish are referred to as vampire plecs, this name is derived from the two fangs that they have evolved for grasping their prey particularly hard shelled invertebrates such as snails etc. They have very beautiful markings are considered to be one of the best looking plecs from this classified family. Leporacanthicus joselimai require high water quality and prefer acidic water but can tolerate parameters just above neutral. They are more active when kept in small groups but ensure the tank is large enough so that they can all establish their own territory. They need bog wood adding to the tank to create hiding places. Dimmed lighting is definitely appreciated by these fish as bright lighting can startle them and cause them to hide away more in the daylight hours.

In the wild they inhabit fast flowing waters so powerheads added to the aquarium will help provide lots of water movement and will also keep the water well oxygenated, note should be taken though that because of this only provide them with tank mates that prefer the same water flow such as SA cichlids. They are a very territorial species especially when mature so make sure the aquarium has a large footprint if more than one specimen is being housed and only add tank mates that occupy the higher water levels.

Food and feeding

Sultan pleco are not fussy eaters and should accept all foods offered. For the staple diet offer them a quality flake or pellets and vary this with algae wafers. As juveniles they tend to be more herbivorous with their food choice but as they mature they will require more of a carnivorous diet.They will also relish treats twice a week of live or frozen foods, especially krill or blood worms.


Mature males will have a longer and broader head shape than the females. They will also display a more vivid colouration and also possess a larger dorsal fin.


As of yet there are no reports of Leporacanthicus joselimai breeding in the aquarium. It is known that in their own habitat they are cave spawners making caves in the riverbanks and using these as a nest. Like most of the plec species it is the male that assumes the parental duties of caring for the eggs and fry with the female taking no further part once the eggs have been fertilised.


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Sultan pleco, picture 1 Sultan pleco, picture 2 Sultan pleco, picture 3 Sultan pleco, picture 4 Sultan pleco, picture 5

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