Queen Arabesque Pleco, Scribble Pleco, L260

Scientific name:

Hypancistrus sp. Queen Arabesque


Not yet described/classified.


Peckoltia sp.


Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)


Siluriformes (catfish)






South America: Rio Tapajós, Pará, (Brazil).

Maximum size:

Up to 5" (12 cm.)

Minimum tank size:

Because of its small maximum size, a relatively small tank is sufficient for a small group: a tank width a surface area of 80x40cm. (32x16") is enough to house a (breeding) group of 5-6 individuals, if aquascaped properly (ie. at least one suitable hiding place for each fish).

When kept solitarily, the tank should measure at least 24x12" (60x30 cm.)

Aquarium set-up:

A dimly lit tank with lots of cover (driftwood, rocks, plants) is necessary to house this strinkingly beautiful Pleco.

Because of the large amounts of waste that this fish produces, a very powerful and efficient filtration system is necessary.

This fish prefers a good amount of current, so a strong powerhead is highly recommended.

Suitable tank mates:

Suitable for community tanks, but can be outcompeted by larger, more outgoing bottomdwelling fish. Ideally kept a species set-up.
Territorial in nature, sufficient room and hiding places are required when kept with other bottomdwelling fish.

Water chemistry:

Ideal is soft, slightly acidic water, but this species is very strong and adaptive, being able to live in different conditions.
Warm, well oxygenated water 78-82 degrees F (25-28 degrees C) is required.

This fish prefer warm, fast-flowing water that is very oxygen-rich. This can be accomplished with a powerhead or filter with diffusor unit, or a filter outlet positioned in such a way that it keeps the water surface in motion (which enhances the gas exhance at the surface).


Like all Hypancistrus Pleco's, this species is not too hard to breed, but it is easily disturbed by other fish: therefore, breeding attempts will have a much larger chance of succes when kept in a species tank.
The division of sexes is ideal with one male for every 2-3 females: a tank measuring 80x40cm. (32x16") is enough to house a (breeding) group of 5-6 individuals.

To breed this fish, the water temperature should be raised to 82-86 degrees F (28-30 degrees C). The Queen Arabesque Pleco is a cavebreeder: these can be built by stacking up pieces of slate or other decoration, or bought as prefab caves made of ceramic. Important is that the cave can only be accessed from one side - otherwise, they male will be unable to keep the female in the cave to lay here eggs.
A powerful powerhead should be installed create water flow: the current should flow along the entrances of the caves. A diffusor unit can be attached, as the water should be very rich in oxygen.

Once a pair has formed, the male will attempt to lure the female into his cave: there she will lay her eggs. The male takes care of the eggs, fanning his fins to provide a constant supply of oxygen. Unfertilized and infected eggs will be eaten by the male, but unexperienced males can also eat healthy eggs. Otherwise, the parents will not bother the eggs and fry.
Once the fry hatches, they will remain in the cave until they have used up their yoke sack. Then they will emerge, and can be taken out to be raised in a seperate tank.


A close look at the teeth of this pleco reveals we're dealing with a carnivore. Meaty foods like shrimp, krill, mussels, pieces of fish, blood worms, mosquito larvae, sinking carnivore wafers etc. are readily accepted. Once acclimatized, this species will also eat algae/bottomdwellers tablets.
This catfish will not clean algae.

Additional information:


Pictures of Hypancistrus sp. Queen Arabesque

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