Polka Dot Pleco

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Polka Dot Pleco Care Guide


Polka Dot Pleco (Hypancistrus contradens), also known as the Imperial Pleco, is a strikingly patterned fish with white spots on a dark body. It is a popular choice for aquarists due to its unique appearance and manageable size.

Tank Setup

  • Size: Minimum 30 gallons.
  • Substrate: Sand or fine gravel.
  • Filtration: Moderate to strong; ensure good water flow and oxygenation.
  • Decor: Driftwood, rocks, and caves for hiding.
  • Water:
    • Temperature: 77-86°F (25-30°C)
    • pH: 6.5-7.5
    • Hardness: Soft to moderately hard (4-10 dGH)


  • Diet: Omnivorous; provide sinking pellets, wafers, and a variety of vegetables (zucchini, cucumber), along with occasional protein sources like bloodworms and brine shrimp.


  • Water Changes: 20-30% weekly.
  • Tankmates: Peaceful community fish; avoid aggressive species.


  • Common Issues: Monitor for signs of stress or disease; ensure a varied diet and clean water to maintain health.

Following these guidelines will help ensure your Polka Dot Pleco thrives and displays its beautiful patterns.

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