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Royal Pleco (L027 Pleco)

The Royal Pleco L027, a stunning and unique fish, is a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Known for its distinctive appearance and interesting behavior, this freshwater fish adds a touch of royalty to any aquarium.

Royal Pleco L027 Facts

Scientific Name Panaque armbrusteri
Common Names Royal Pleco, L027 Pleco, Tapajos Royal Pleco, Thunder Royal Pleco
Family Loricariidae
Adult Size Up to 17 inches (43 cm)
Lifespan 10-12 years in captivity
Natural Habitat Rivers of South America
Preferred Water Parameters Temperature: 73-81°F (23-27°C), pH: 6.5-7.5
Diet Primarily wood, supplemented with vegetables and occasional protein
Behavior Peaceful but territorial with same species
Tank Requirements Minimum 60 gallons, with plenty of hiding spots and driftwood
Compatibility Best with large, non-aggressive fish

Royal Pleco L027 Profile

The Royal Pleco, scientifically known as Panaque armbrusteri, belongs to the Loricariidae family. Native to the rivers of South America, it thrives in fast-flowing streams with plenty of wood debris. This species can grow up to 17 inches in length and has a lifespan of around 10-12 years in captivity.

Royal Pleco Coloring

One of the most striking features of the Royal Pleco L027 is its coloration. It sports a dark body with light yellow to white lines or spots, creating a mesmerizing pattern. Each fish has a unique pattern, making them a fascinating subject for fish enthusiasts.

L027 Pleco Habitat

The L027 Pleco, a captivating freshwater fish, primarily inhabits the fast-flowing, oxygen-rich rivers of South America. These waters are typically dense with submerged wood and vegetation, creating a natural environment rich in food sources and hiding spots, essential for the Pleco’s wellbeing and natural behavior.

Tapajos Royal Pleco Aquarium Setup

Creating an ideal environment for the Royal Pleco L027 is crucial for its health and well-being. This section covers everything from tank size to water parameters and decor, ensuring your Royal Pleco thrives in its new home.

  • Tank Size and Water Parameters

The Thunder Royal Pleco requires a spacious aquarium to accommodate its size and activity level. A minimum of 60 gallons is recommended, but larger is always better, especially for full-grown specimens. The water temperature should be kept between 73-81°F (23-27°C). A pH level ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 is ideal, with moderate water hardness. Regular water changes are essential to maintain water quality, especially considering the Pleco’s messy eating habits.

  • Filtration and Water Flow

Robust filtration is necessary to handle the bioload of a L027 Pleco. Canister filters are a great choice as they provide thorough mechanical and biological filtration. The Royal Pleco is accustomed to strong water flow in its natural habitat, so replicating this environment with powerheads or a strong filter outlet will help keep your catfish comfortable and healthy.

  • Substrate and Decor

A mix of fine gravel and sand works best as a substrate for the Royal Pleco. This allows for easy cleaning and mimics their natural riverbed environment. Decorations should include plenty of hiding spots like caves, tunnels, and driftwood. Driftwood is particularly important as it forms a part of their diet and helps in digestion. Plants can be included, but sturdy species are recommended as the Pleco might damage delicate plants.

  • Lighting and Maintenance

While lighting is not a critical aspect for the wellbeing of Plecos, subdued lighting helps mimic their natural habitat and reduces stress. Regular tank maintenance, including vacuuming the substrate and cleaning the glass, is essential to prevent the buildup of waste and uneaten food, ensuring a healthy environment for your pleco.

Royal Pleco L027 Breeding

Breeding the Royal Pleco L027 can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Understanding the specific requirements for their breeding environment and the spawning process is crucial for success.

Breeding Environment

To encourage breeding in L027 Plecos, replicating their natural habitat as closely as possible is essential. The breeding tank should be spacious, with a minimum size of 100 gallons to comfortably house a pair or small group. The water temperature should be slightly increased to between 80-86°F (27-30°C), and the pH should be maintained around 6.5-7.0. High water quality is crucial, so efficient filtration and regular water changes are necessary.

Provide multiple hiding places and potential breeding sites such as caves or clay pots. These should be large enough to accommodate the size of the fish. The presence of driftwood is not only important for their diet but also provides a familiar environment that can stimulate breeding behavior.

Spawning Process

The spawning process for Thunder Royal Pleco can be elusive. They are cave spawners, meaning the female lays eggs in a secluded cave or similar structure, which the male then fertilizes. After fertilization, the male takes on the responsibility of guarding the eggs, fanning them with his fins to provide oxygen and prevent fungal growth. The eggs typically hatch within a week, depending on the temperature of the water.

Once hatched, the fry can be fed with finely crushed flake food, algae wafers, and vegetable matter. Special care should be taken to maintain water quality during this stage, as the fry are sensitive to water conditions. It’s also important to monitor the adult fish, as they may need to be separated to prevent stress and aggression.

Royal Pleco L027 Diet & Feeding

The diet of the Royal Pleco L027 consists mainly of wood, which aids in their digestion. However, they should also be provided with a varied diet including vegetables like zucchini, cucumbers, and peas, and occasional protein-rich foods like brine shrimp. Avoid overfeeding as they are prone to obesity.

L027 Pleco Compatibility

When it comes to tank mates, the Tapajos Royal Pleco is relatively peaceful. It is best kept with other large, non-aggressive fish. Smaller fish might be intimidated by its size. Ideal tankmates include discus, angelfish, neon tetra, and clown loach. It’s important to remember that they are territorial towards other bottom dwellers, especially of the same species.

Royal Pleco Common Diseases

Royal Plecos are susceptible to common freshwater fish diseases like Ich (White Spot Disease) and fungal infections. Poor water quality and stress often trigger these ailments. Regular tank maintenance and monitoring for early signs of disease are crucial in maintaining their health and preventing outbreaks.


The Royal Pleco L027 is an extraordinary fish that can be a rewarding addition to your aquarium. With its unique appearance and intriguing behavior, it’s sure to be a conversation starter. However, it requires a dedicated aquarium hobbyist who is willing to provide the right care and environment.