The L340 Mega Clown Pleco (Hypancistrus sp.), also known as the Imperial Tiger Pleco, is a member of the Loricariidae family of South American suckermouth catfishes. Its bright yellow and black, maze-like striping combined with its relatively outgoing personality make it a very striking fish for the planted or nano aquarium. Like many plecos, the Mega Clown Pleco has generally been a wild-caught species, but we are proud to be among the first stores to offer tank-raised juveniles! While some wild-caught specimens may come at a lower price, those specimens are often well into adulthood. Not only will wild-caught specimens have a much tougher time adapting to aquarium life, but they may also not have nearly as many years left in them to begin with.
A generally peaceful and hardy species, the Mega Clown 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 Mega Clown Pleco grows to a size of only 3.1 inches (8 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 30 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 tankmates will be generally ignored, although it is possible that small shrimp fry might fall prey to the Mega Clown Pleco. However, some large-scale shrimp suppliers breed Mega Clown Plecos in the same pools they use for shrimp breeding.
The Mega Clown 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 Mega Clown Pleco will not bother most plants and it is not an effective algae eater. Feed the Mega Clown Pleco a diet of meaty, larval insect-based foods (such as Bloodworms, Tubifex, Daphnia, etc.). It will also appreciate being fed some fresh vegetables such as shelled peas, spinach, zucchini and cucumber. High quality dry foods with both animal and plant content, such as algae wafers, may also be accepted but should not be the staple of the Mega Clown Pleco’s diet.
What We Like About This Fish:
- The Mega Clown Pleco is an extremely beautiful and very peaceful, hardy addition to almost any aquarium.
- At a maximum size of 3.1 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 Mega Clown Pleco is an aquarium fish with a unique appearance as well as plenty of personality.
- Diet: Omnivorous, but meatier foods are preferred. This fish is not an effective algae eater.
- Social behavior: Generally solitary, but will socialize somewhat, especially during breeding.
- Origin: Tank-raised, but indigenous to South American Tomo and Orinico River basins.
- Average adult size: 3.1 inches (8 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1 – 1.5 inches (2.5 – 3.5 cm)
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- pH level range: 6.5 - 7.5 (somewhat flexible as long as sudden changes are avoided.)
- Temperature range: 78° - 86° F (26 - 30° C)
- KH: 6 - 10 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 30 gallons