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Name: Panaque nigolineatus
Synonyms: Cochliodon nigrolineatus, Chaetostomus nigrolineatus
Common Names: Royal Pleco, Royal catfish
Family: Loricariidae (Armored catfishes)
Subfamily: Ancistrinae
Order: Siluriformes (catfish)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Max size: in captivity 43.0 cm (17") SL (male/unsexed; Ref. 36713), possibly larger (60cm, 24") in the wild.
pH: pH 6.5 - 7.5
Temp: 72-79°F (20-28°C)
Distribution: Orinoco Basin, Orinoco tributaries, and Amazonas Basin, southern Middle and Lower Amazonas tributaries.








*above pic taken from: www.piranha-info.com

The strikingly patterned Royal Pleco is still a pretty rare sight in home aquariums, and although they have become more readily available in the last years, they are still sold for high prices.

The Royal pleco is found throughout Amazonian South America, and a few regional varieties exist, which vary in color, pattern and finnage.
The most common variant is the "true" Royal Pleco, also known as L190, which has a stripey, greenish pattern.
Other variants are the Gold Line Royal Pleco (Panaque cf. nigrolineatus: L027, L027c) with yellow pattern, Watermelon Pleco (Panaque sp: L027a, L330) with a dotted instead of striped pattern, Panaque sp. cf. nigrolineatus(1) (L027b), and the Dull-eyed Royal pleco (Panaque sp: L191).
It's still unknown wheter these fish are the same species or not.

It's a known fact many pleco's require drift wood in there tank, and the same applies to the members of the genus Panaque. They actually eat the wood, and for that reason, Royal Pleco's are extremely messy fish that require a well-filtered tank. Because of their large potential size, a large tank is necessary as well, although they are known to be slow growers.

Other than wood, Royal pleco's eat pellets, fresh vegetables (such as spinach, lettuce, potato, zucchini, peas, cucumber, etc.), shrimp and other meaty foods.









*above pic taken from: www.piranha-info.com

Although planetcatfish characterises this species as shy, secretive, and for a good part nocturnal, my personal experiences with this fish are quite different: my juvenile Royal Pleco is the single-most active and outgoing pleco I have ever had. Usually just minding his own business, it can be pretty quarrelsome during feeding time or when lacking personal space, and can show signs of agression especially towards the other bottom-dwelling fish in his tank.

Tank mates should be chosen with some care: Royal Pleco's have been known to latch onto slow-moving fish like Discus (probably because of the nutritious skin excretion they use to feed their young).

This fish is pretty undemanding as far as water quality and decor goes: pH should be somewhere between 6,5-7,5, water temperature is standard tropical, and a powerhead will be appreciated, to mimick the fast-flowing river in their native habitat. As said, a powerful filtration system is necessary to cope with the large amounts of waste this fish produces (even more when it's staple diet is wood, which results in a large amount of undigestable matter being released).
Plants can be used in the tank, but Royals have been known to strip plants bare in no-time. Drift wood provides food as well as a shady retreat for the day-time hours, and rocks can offer additional hiding places.

For futher reading, try the following links

- www.fishbase.org

- www.planetcatfish.com Catfish of the Month

- www.catfish.com factsheets:- www.aquahobby.com Info and testimonials

- www.welse.net Article (german)

- www.malawicichlidhomepage.com Info sheet
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
As always, if you have additional information or pictures, feel free to post it here for all to read/view.

If you have questions concerning this fish, please post in the Bottom Dweller Forum.
 

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I HAVE THE SOUVLAKI POWER!!!!!
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Great info Jonas!
It is my favorite non-p fish!!!
I have mine for 2 years now and i have "test" him in 3 different tanks varying in decoration and co-habitants.
First i had him with cichlids.Then i put him with my pacus.His third and more long staying was on a full-planted tank with Discus with not a problem more than a year untill now!!!He never hurt the discus and neved eat or destroy my plants.
As you wrote he loves the driftwood and he eats with great appetite pleco pellets and also meaty food!

Mine now is 6" and he slowly growing.I love that fish!!!!


My plans are to succesfully sexing him/her and found his/her a pair in order to live happily in their seperate tank!!!

As i show do you have yours with your P's?How is he going along?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
husky_jim said:
As i show do you have yours with your P's?How is he going along?
So far, so good - I had him with my reds first, but the big ones are very well capable of swallowing the Royal whole, so I moved him to the manueli tank (who is pretty laid-back towards larger, active tank mates).
It seems to work out fine!

Good luck finding a mate for your Royal, Jim - breeding them would not only be an achievement to be very proud of, but also a bad-ass cash machine
 

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I HAVE THE SOUVLAKI POWER!!!!!
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Here are some old pics i found.....







 
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