The L201 Snowball Pleco (Hypancistrus inspector), also known as the Orinoco Angel Pleco, is a member of the Loricariidae family of South American suckermouth catfishes. Its black body with large white polka dots makes it a very striking fish for the planted or nano aquarium. Like many plecos, the Snowball Pleco has generally been a wild-caught species, but we are proud to be among the first stores to offer tank-raised juveniles at a much lower cost than wild-caught specimens!
A generally peaceful and hardy species, the Snowball Pleco is an excellent, undemanding candidate for most aquariums. Unlike the widely-seen Common Pleco (Hypostomus plecostomus) and Trinidad Pleco (Hypostomus punctatus), which easily reach a monstrous size of 18 to 20+ inches (45 to 51+ cm), the Snowball Pleco grows to a size of only 5.5 to 6.3 inches (8.9 to 10.7 cm). This smaller size makes for a much more manageable (and less messy) pleco that can thrive permanently in a well-maintained aquarium as small as 40 gallons. Male plecos may be somewhat territorial with other males of their species, but disputes can usually be diffused by providing ample territory and hiding places for each fish. All other fish tankmates will be generally ignored, although it is likely that dwarf shrimp will fall prey to the Snowball Pleco. However, ornamental snails will not be bothered and large Amano, Green Lace, Flower, and Vampire Shrimp are generally unthreatened by the Snowball Pleco.
The Snowball Pleco is primarily nocturnal, but will often become active during daytime hours once established in an aquarium with plenty of driftwood, rockwork, and other hiding places. It is not known to eat wood heavily like some plecos (Panaque sp., etc.), but it may benefit from some supplementary wood (or bio-film on driftwood). The Snowball Pleco will not bother most plants and it is not an effective algae-eater. Feed the Snowball Pleco a diet heavy in both meaty and vegetable matter, including high-quality vegetable flakes, sinking algae wafers, and pellets. It will also appreciate being fed some fresh vegetables such as shelled peas, spinach, zucchini and cucumber. Meaty foods such as bloodworms are definitely necessary for this species, especially in comparison to some other “pleco” species. This species requires a well-maintained aquarium with moderate to high water flow in order to thrive.
What We Like About This Fish:
- The Snowball Pleco is an extremely beautiful and very peaceful, hardy addition to almost any aquarium.
- At a maximum size of 5.5 to 6.3 inches, this is a very practical and manageable fish.
- This fish will not bother most plants. It will also scavenge and consume most uneaten fish food.
- The Snowball Pleco is an aquarium fish with a unique appearance as well as plenty of personality.
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 72 - 86° F (22 - 30° C)
- pH: 5.0 - 7.5 (flexible as long as sudden changes are avoided)
- KH: 6 - 10 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 40 gallons
- Diet: Omnivorous, so a varied diet is necessary.
- Social behavior: Generally solitary, but will socialize somewhat, especially during breeding.
- Origin: Tank-raised, but indigenous to South America.
- Average adult size: 5.5 - 6.3 inches (14 - 16 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5 - 3.5 cm)