Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

Royal Pleco – Panaque Nigrolineatus, L190


Common name: Royal Plecostomus, Royal Panaque, Royal Catfish, L190

Scientific name:   Panaque Nigrolineatus, Chaetostomus Nigrolineatus

Average Adult Fish Size: 17 inches  /  43 cm

Place of Origin: Columbia, Venezuela, and Brazil, South America

Typical Tank setup: South American biotope with rocks, plants, caves and driftwood/bogwood. Wood is mandatory in the aquarium when keeping this fish.

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 40 gallon  /  160 litre for smaller specimens to at least a 140 gallon  /  560 litre for a full sized adult.

Compatibility: Peaceful but may fight with other plecostomus/catfish over a favorite hiding or resting place. If more than one Royal is kept, multiple hiding places and wooded areas must be provided to keep them from fighting.

Temperature: 72 – 86 degrees F  /  22 – 30 degrees C

Water chemistry: pH 6.5 – 7.5

Feeding: Feed a varied diet of algae wafers, pellets, and flakes along with frozen or live brine shrimp. They also appreciate a diet of cooked peas, blanched spinach, lettuce or kale, zucchini, cucumbers, and green beans. Wood is an important part of their diet and must be offered in the form of boogwood/driftwood.

Sexing: The only known and reliable way to sex this species is by venting.

Breeding: Royal pleco breeding in aquariums is not common, but if you want to try and induce breeding, mimic a dry season with a subsequent rainy season in the aquarium. The rainy season typically brings cooler, softer and more acidic water combined with plenty of meaty food and green foods. You can use rain water and do a major water change.

Additional Information: There are many different color varieties of this fish. Body coloration and eye coloration will vary depending on where the specimen, or its’ imported parents, originated from. Keeping wood in the aquarium is a must with this species. They will often live to be 20 years or more of age if properly cared for.