Plecostomus "Green Dragon" Longfin - Back to Species Page

    Water Conditions- Not Critical. Temp 70-82, Some water movement, aeration, places to hide, water changes
    Behavior- A Very peaceful community fish.
    Breeding- Male guards large eggs, see below
    Size- 5 inches +

    Not a difficult fish to maintain, these fish do well when kept together and are perfect tankmates. Other fish
    that will fin nip should be kept separate as their fins can become quite long and flowing as they mature.

    Supposedly not difficult to breed, I had trouble and could not understand why. Like most fishkeepers I was using
    3/4" and 1" PVC, then 2" black PVC as caves, in thinly stocked tanks of fish I didn't believe would eat
    eggs if given the opportunity. (Alfaro cultratus- a schooling, surface feeder.) After many months of trial and error, 
    the fish began to breed frequently after making these changes:

    - The temperature in the tanks in this fishroom are generally between 70 and 74 degrees. I had raised the
    temps to 75, but found I started getting breeding at about 77-78
    - I found some natural looking, perfectly sized ceramic caves the fish took to immediately.
    - I increased slightly the biological filtration in the breeding tank by adding a thin layer of gravel over slightly
    more than half the bottom surface of the aquarium (The tank was previously bare bottom)

    Long lived and hardy, the showy plecos are perfect tankmates for anything, but can be vulnerable to those
    fish that may be prone to fin nipping. When well fed they grow quickly and are very hardy.


    How to blanch zucchini- You will need:

    8 regular sized zucchini
    A large mixing bowl
    A microwave
    Plastic Wrap
    Cookie sheet
    Aluminum foil

    Slice the zucchini in slices about 3/8" thick. Put into bowl, and cover with water so that the zucchini is floating
    at least an inch above the bottom. If not, remove some of the zucchini and do a second batch. 8 zucchini usually
    works out just about right.

    Cover with plastic wrap, and put into microwave for 30 minutes. When done, let sit for 10-15 minutes until as many
    slices as possible sink to the bottom. You want to cook them just enough so they will sink, but not to where the
    zucchini starts to break down. Most, if not all of the zucchini should sink. If not, drain out some of the water after
    the sunken zucchini has been removed and zap the remainding floaters for another few minutes, until they sink.
    If they don't sink here, they won't sink to where the plecos can get to them in your aquarium.

    With a spoon, gently place each slice on a clean cookie sheet, as close together as possible without touching
    one another. When the sheet is full, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the first layer and lay another layer on.
    You can do as many layers as you like, and the foil doesn't tear like plastic wrap does, and also tends to conduct
    heat well, so the process of removing the slices afterward is no big deal. When done putting the slices on the
    cookie sheet, freeze it all overnight.

    After being frozen, twist and manipulate the cookie sheet and foil sheets to free up the loose slices, and store
    in zip lock bags in the freezer, dropping them into the aquarium as you need them.


    The plecos are given either stone work, clay pots or PVC piping to hide in, and raised with attention to keeping
    the tank fairly clean. Daily zucchini is always eaten entirely and enthusiastically, but it can cloud the water. Keeping
    the amount of zucchini going into the tank under control, so the water does not cloud, is an evolving measurement 
    taking into consideration the size tank, the number of plecos and the amount of zucchini. 2 daily slices of zucchini 
    in a 50 gallon tank with 4 grown plecos generally will not cause the water to become cloudy. 2 daily slices into a 
    10 gallon with 15 1" young plecos most certainly will. They can also certainly thrive on any number of catfish/pleco 
    foods available. I also feed French cut green beans, which is probably best overall, but can become expensive.

    For these reasons a tank with regular water changes, some water movement/ aeration and a sense of security
    through provided hiding places or plants keeps them happy.

    When sexually mature, they can be identified easily as the male possesses the bristles on his face. With
    uncrowded, comfortable conditions and consistent, proper feeding, pairs will mate, and the male will guard the
    large, orange eggs, up to 150 with each batch. Though sometimes eaten by the male, they generally are allowed to
    hatch, and grow out to eventually spread throughout the aquarium. Some breeders prefer to remove the eggs after
    hatching, to then raise the fry separately.

    These are a fascinating, showy pleco, and they go along perfectly with livebearers!

     See other Care Guides Here