17 Most Beautiful Types Of Plecos

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Plecos are one of the most beautiful fish for the bottom of the tank. These suckermouth catfish belong to the armored catfish family (Loricariidae) that developed unique patterns and colors. This made them very popular fish among freshwater aquarium owners.

The word “Pleco” is a general term given to all suckermouth catfish in the Loricariidae. The word Pleco originates from Plecostomus catfish that first became popular among fishkeepers. Since word pleco is an easy term to use, fishkeepers slowly used it for all Loricariidae catfish. 

Here in this article we gathered the most beautiful types of plecos for you to select the right one for your aquarium. 

1. Vampire Pleco (Galaxy Pleco L240)

Galaxy Pleco (L240)

Galaxy Pleco (Leporacanthicus cf. galaxias(l240)) is one of the oldest kept pleco fish in the aquarium hobby. They are a very popular community tank species that has been in the hobby for a long time. Despite the popularity of this fish, We’ve seen a lot of incorrect information shared online about this species. We have seen many new aquarists follow these inaccurate guides which result in disastrous events in their tanks. These fish are hardy and can tolerate different environments, but it is important to create a healthy tank for these guys to thrive.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L240 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 80 – 86 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6.5 – 7.7
  • TDS: 60 – 120 PPM

2. Sunshine Pleco (Goldie Pleco L014)

L014 Sunshine Pleco

Sunshine Pleco (Scobinancistrus aureatus) are attractive freshwater fish that are also known as Goldie Pleco or simply L014 Pleco. This pleco adds a pleasant and different look to any tank and will capture anyone’s attention to themselves. These fish, however, are shy and try to hide under the rocks and other decorations. They are relatively low-maintenance fish which makes them an ideal fish in most tanks.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L014 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 78 – 86 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6 – 7.5
  • TDS: 80 – 120 PPM

3. King Tiger Pleco (L333 Pleco):

L333 King Tiger Pleco

The King Tiger Pleco, Hypancistrus sp. (L333), is one of our favorite freshwater fish that brings a different look to the tank. They bring both beauty and functionality to the tank. This bottom-dwelling fish will constantly search in the tank for any leftover food which will keep your tank healthy. It’s always nice to have a little extra help in maintaining the tank clean! L333 are also very easygoing and friendly fish that can live in any community tank. Given the right conditions, they will not bother other fish in the tank. 

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L333 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 80 – 86 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6.5 – 7
  • TDS: 60 – 120 PPM

4. L397 Pleco (Alenquer Pleco)

L397 Alenquer Tiger Pleco

L397 Pleco (Panaqolus sp. ) have recently become very popular among aquarium owners all over the world. They are easy to care for, which made them a good fit for most fish keepers of different skill levels. These hardy plecos will adapt to a wide range of aquarium parameters. However, they will thrive under specific tank setup and conditions. 

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L397 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 75 – 86 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6.5 – 7.5
  • TDS: 60 – 120 PPM

5. Leopard Frog Pleco (L134 Pleco)

L134 Leopard Frog Pleco

The Leopard Frog Pleco (Peckoltia compta) is a gorgeous freshwater fish that is pretty famous among aquarium owners. This vivid and neat-looking fish will be the showpiece of the tank’s bottom area. These easy going peaceful fish won’t cause any issues or disturbance in the tank and will need low care. 

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L134 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 75 – 86 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6 – 7.5
  • TDS: 60 – 120 PPM

6. Bristlenose Pleco 

Albino Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Pleco (a.k.a Bushy Nose Pleco or BushyNose Pleco) is a beautiful algae eating fish that stands out for its unique look and behaviour. If you are setting up a new tank or having a community tank, Bristlenose Pleco fish should probably be on your list. As they provide both beauty and functionality to your aquarium. Bristlenose pleco or Bushynose Pleco is one of the most kept Pleco in the aquarium hobby. Most people keep them in their aquarium to clean the tank off algae and excessive food.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep Bristlenose Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 78 – 82 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6.5 – 7.5
  • TDS: 60 – 180 PPM

7. Queen Arabesque Pleco (L260 Pleco)

L260 Queen Arabesque Pleco

Queen Arabesque Pleco (Hypancistrus sp. (L260)) are beautiful bottom-dwelling freshwater fish that you can have in your aquarium. They will bring both beauty and functionality to the tank. This fish will constantly search in the tank for any excess food which will result in keeping your tank healthy. They’re easy to care for and relatively smaller compared to other plecos. L260 Pleco are also very calm and sociable fish that can live in any community tank. 

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L260 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 74 – 84 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6 – 7.5
  • TDS: 60 – 120 PPM

8. Green Phantom Pleco (L200 Pleco)

L200 Green Phantom Pleco

Green Phantom Pleco (Hemiancistrus subviridis) is an interesting freshwater fish that is kept by many aquarium owners. They are attractive-looking fish and are fairly peaceful. They don’t have complex care requirements and can easily live in your tank. Their size makes them a preferred pleco choice for most aquarists. The L200 Pleco will need specific tank conditions to thrive and happily live for many years.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L200 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 72 – 80 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6  – 7.5
  • TDS: 100 – 120 PPM

9. Blue Phantom Pleco (L128 Pleco)

Blue Phantom Pleco

Blue Phantom Pleco (Hemiancistrus sp. L128) is an attractive freshwater fish that is owned by many aquarium owners.  They are beautiful and unique-looking fish that are fairly peaceful. They are easy to care for and will happily live in your aquarium. This makes them a desired pleco choice for most aquarists. The L128 Pleco will need specific tank conditions to thrive and happily live for many years.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L128 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 76 – 86 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6  – 7
  • TDS: 100 – 120 PPM

10. Blue Eyed Pleco 

Blue Eyed Pleco

The Blue Eyed Pleco (Panaque cochliodon) is by far one of the most beautiful fish in the Loricariidae family. This pleco adds beauty and a diverse look to any aquarium and will grasp anyone’s attention to themselves. This large pleco won’t cause any problem or disruption in the tank and is very easy to care for. Despite this, if you want your Blue Eyed Pleco to thrive, you might need to make a few adjustments to your fish tank setup.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep Blue Eyed Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 75 – 80 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6.2 – 7.5
  • TDS: 80 – 140 PPM

11. Royal Pleco (L027 Pleco) 

L027 Royale Pleco

The Royal Pleco (Panaque armbrusteri) are unique-looking freshwater fish that are also known as L027 Pleco. They are beautiful fish with amazing patterns that make them very different from other fish in the pleco family. Caring for this species is relatively straightforward and will not take up a lot of your time. They’re easygoing, friendly, and pretty aquarium species that will not bother other fish in the tank.   

Below are the tank parameters you can keep L027 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 72 – 80 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6.5 – 7.5
  • TDS: 60 – 120 PPM

12. Clown Pleco

L103 Clown Pleco

Clown Pleco (Panaqolus maccus) has become one of the most popular plecos among aquarium owners. Their unique appearance and ease of care is the reason this fish was able to make it to aquarists’ hearts. This is a unique-looking pleco fish that will bring beauty and functionality to your aquarium.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep Clown Plecos in: 

  • Water temperature: 73°F – 82°F
  • pH levels: 6.8 to 7.6 
  • Water hardness: 10 GH

13. Sailfin Pleco

Sailfin Pleco
Image from Wikimedia under licence (Image is color corrected and resized)

The Sailfin Plecos are one of the largest plecos available in the pet trade. They are named as Sailfin Pleco because of their large dorsal fin that stands high like a boat’s sail. In the aquarium, their unique appearance will draw any viewer’s attention. These large fish have unique patterns and large dorsal fin that make them very different from other fish in their family. Generally, they’re easygoing, friendly, and pretty aquarium species that will not bother other fish in the tank. 

Below are the tank parameters you can keep this species in: 

  • Temperature: 70 – 80 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6 – 7.5
  • TDS: 100 – 200 PPM

14. Mega Clown Pleco (L340)

L340 Mega Clown Pleco

Mega Clown Pleco (scientifically known as Hypancistrus sp. (L340)) is an interesting freshwater fish that is kept and bred by many aquarium owners. They are attractive-looking small pleco fish that are very peaceful. They don’t have complex care requirements and can easily live in any aquarium setup. Their size makes them a preferred pleco choice for small aquarium. 

Below are the range you can keep L340 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 80 – 86 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6 – 8
  • TDS: 60 – 200 PPM

15. Flat Flyer Pleco (L235)

L235 Flat Flyer Pleco

The L235 Flat Flyer Pleco (scientifically known as Pseudolithoxus anthrax) is a member of the Loricariidae family (plecos) that is somewhat new and rare in the aquarium hobby. In recent years they have become a very popular choice for community aquariums. Despite the popularity of this fish, we have not seen a good high quality guide on how to properly care for this fish. There is much accurate information shared online about this species that new aquarists might follow which may result in disastrous events in their aquarium.

Below are the range you can keep L235 Plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 75 – 82 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6.2  – 7.0
  • TDS: 60 – 160 PPM

16. Lujans Pleco (L127)

L127 Lujans Pleco

The L127 Pleco, scientifically known as Peckoltia Lujani, is a beautiful fish in the Loricariidae family (Plecos). This pleco adds beauty and a diverse look to any aquarium and will grasp anyone’s attention. They are peaceful and won’t cause any disruption in the tank. They are very low maintenance fish but if you want your Lujans Pleco to thrive, you might need to make a few adjustments to your aquarium.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep Lujans Pleco plecos in: 

  • Temperature: 75 – 82 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6.5 – 7.2
  • TDS: 100 – 200 PPM

17. Common Pleco (L021)

Common Pleco

The Common Pleco (Pterygoplichthys pardalis) are unique-looking freshwater fish that will draw any viewer’s attention to themselves. They are large fish with unique patterns that make them very different from other fish in their family. Caring for this species is relatively straightforward and will not take up a lot of your time. They’re easygoing, friendly, and pretty aquarium species that will not bother other fish in the tank.

Below are the tank parameters you can keep this species in: 

  • Temperature: 70 – 80 Degrees Fahrenheit 
  • PH: 6 – 7.5
  • TDS: 100 – 200 PPM