Adonis Pleco Stats InfographicThe Adonis Pleco, also known as Acanthicus adonis, has descended from the Loricariidae family. Originating from Brazil, South America, this fish species can be a fantastic addition to your aquarium. These fish are found in the Lower Tocantins River basin.

They are a marvel to look at and spectacular in a fish tank. If you’re an enthusiastic aquarist and you wish to house this fish species, read on.

We will take a look at how to appropriately care for this species, their diet, tank mates, breeding, and much more.

Adonis Pleco Stats

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Average adult size: 24 inches (60.6cm) in the aquariun, in the wild up to 40 inches (60.6cm)
Tank: Min. Tank requirements: 125 gallon (500 litre). Public aquarium is best.
Strata: Bottom feeder and bottom dweller
PH: PH recommendation 7.5 to 9.0
Hardness: Hardness: 5-14 dH
Temperature: 75°F to 80°F (24°-27° C)


Order: Siluriformes
Family: Loricariidae
Sub family: Hypostominae
Genera: Ancistrini
Species: acanthicus

To begin with, acquaint yourself with the basic statistical information about this fish species. Without knowing about their stats such as water preference, preferred dwelling strata, level of care, etc., it is not possible to house them.

The following table contains their basic statistical information:

Size 39.4 inches (adult fish size)
Tank capacity 1000 gallons (4000 liters)
pH 6.0 – 7.8
Water temperature 68°- 86° F (20° – 30°C )
Hardness of water  36 – 215 ppm
Aquarium strata Top, middle, and bottom dwellers
Level of care Moderate level of care

Now that you know about their basic stats, let’s take a look at the biological specifications of this species. Biological specifications give you a clear understanding of their family, genus, species, origin, lifespan, and other basic information that you should know as an enthusiastic aquarist.

The following table states the biological specifications of this fish species:

Scientific name Acanthicus adonis
Common name Adonis Pleco, Polka Dot Lyre Tail Pleco, Adonis Plecostomus
Origin Brazil, South America (Lower Tocantins River basin)
Lifespan 5-8 years
Genus Acanthicus
Species A.adonis
Family Loricariidae
Diet Omnivorous diet

General Facts about the Acanthicus adonis

Adonis pleco also known as acanthicus adonisWe have covered the statistical information and biological specifications of this fish species. Also, there are some general factual details that you should know about this species.

Important general facts about this species of fish have been stated as follows:

  • These fish have a unique body shape. They have a round, large head that is flattened and a comparatively skinny body.
  • Their entire body is covered with hard plates. Their fins and body have strong spines too.
  • As juveniles, these fish are very attractive. They have black-colored bodies with white spots all over their body.
  • As they grow and mature, they gradually lose the white spots. Adult fish of this species have a black-colored body with very few white spots.
  • Another unique characteristic of this species is its size. In their natural habitat, these fish can grow up to one meter (39.4 inches). In captivity, their body size can range between 0.6 to 1 meter.
  • These fish are best suited for public aquariums or a large private aquarium. As an aquarist, you should be able to provide adequate space to house these fish.
  • Adult fish need to be kept in aquariums that are 600cm in length and 200cm in breadth.
  • Fully grown fish of this species need a 1000-gallon fish tank to thrive.
  • Water conditions are also important. The temperature of the water should range between 68°- 86° F (20° – 30°C). Water hardness should be between 36 to 215 ppm and the pH level should be between 6.0 to 7.8.

Adonis Pleco care

– About the general set-up

The black and white spotted catfish are quite easy to care for. Their main requirement is a large fish tank. That is why this species is best suited for public aquariums, lakes, or ponds.

If you have a large enough space to accommodate a 1000-gallon fish tank, then you can definitely house this fish in your private aquarium.

As mentioned earlier, maintaining the water quality and condition in the fish tank is very important for their survival. The water temperature should be between 68°- 86° F (20° – 30°C). Maintain a neutral to alkaline water chemistry with the pH value ranging from 6.0 to 7.8. The hardness of the water should be between 36 to 215 ppm.

The aquarium should be located in a place that does not have access to direct sunlight. The spotted catfish prefer dim lighting. You also need to have an efficient filtration system in place. The water needs to be changed very frequently.

Inert sand is the perfect substrate for this species of fish. Owing to the enormous size of these fish, it is important to only keep heavy rocks, pebbles, and decorative items that can be fixed or secured to the base of the aquarium.

If you keep light, floating decorative items or rocks, they can easily destroy these objects because of their enormous size and strength. Large rocks, lengths of plastic piping, and driftwood are your best options. These fish are quite aggressive by nature. For this reason, if you’re keeping more than one adult fish in an aquarium, you need to keep enough hiding spots.

Owing to their omnivorous diet, it’s best not to keep any plants in the aquarium. If they do not consume the plants, the adult fish will definitely uproot or destroy any vegetation. However, you can keep plants and other vegetation with juveniles.

– Diet

These catfish are generally detritivores. It is important to feed them a balanced diet consisting of equal parts vegetables and plant matter as well as meaty or live food options. They have a voracious appetite and need to be fed several times a day. The quantity of food should also be generous.

These fish are quite easy to feed as they can consume a wide variety of foods. They can eat flakes, large pellets, sticks, and wafers. You can also consider frozen food options. They eat fish filets, market shrimp, and mussels.

It is important that you incorporate vegetable matter in their diet. There are many options available. Feed them green beans, cucumbers, spinach leaves, kale, and lettuce.

The spotted fish are opportunistic or generalist feeders by nature. Their mouth is present on the underside of their face. This physical characteristic allows them to graze on hard substances such as wood.

– Common diseases to tackle

Malnourishment is a common issue with these fish. Before you buy these fish, properly examine them. If their eyes and/or bellies look sunken, it is a sign of malnourishment.

Even when you’re housing the lyre tail pleco, be on the lookout for signs of malnourishment. If you’re not feeding your fish frequently or in adequate portions, they will suffer from malnourishment. Increase the frequency and portion size in case you do come across signs of malnourishment.

In general, this is a hardy fish species so diseases aren’t really a problem. Ensure that you maintain the water condition by frequently changing the water. Have a good filtration system in place with fast-moving water. A good diet and optimal water conditions are all that you need to keep this species healthy.

– Breeding

There is very little information available regarding the ease of breeding this fish species in captivity. However, from the little information available, breeding and spawning should only be attempted in huge aquariums (1000 gallons) or ponds and lakes.

The male fish of this species have an aggressive temperament. They can make it very difficult for the female fish to survive after breeding. Therefore, a large enough aquarium is mandatory for breeding in captivity.

Coming to sexual dimorphism, the male fish have more spines on their body and fins in comparison to the female fish. The males are also more territorial and aggressive. The easiest way to differentiate between males and females is by observing their genitalia.

– Tank mates

The albino adonis pleco is aggressive by nature. Amongst all the plecos, this is one of the most aggressive and dominant species. So, it is best not to keep other plecos in the same aquarium as this fish species. These fish could easily attack other plecos.

Suitable tankmates would be non-aggressive, large fish that prefer dwelling in the middle and upper strata of the aquarium. Catfish and other plecos, crustaceans, and small fish are not suitable as tank mates. The tank mates should be around 8 inches or bigger. Robust, pelagic, large fish belonging to the Osteoglossum, Acestrorhynchus, Brycon, or Cichla genera are suitable tank mates for these fish.


Now that all the essential facts related to housing, breeding, and feeding the black pleco with white spots have been covered, a few of the most important pointers have been mentioned as follows:

  • Close up of adonis pleco fishIt is important that you have a strong water filtration system in place along with frequent water changes.
  • Do not keep any vegetation in the aquarium as these fish will surely destroy or uproot them. Large rocks, lengths of plastic piping, and driftwood are your best options.
  • Malnutrition is a common condition you should be on the lookout for with regard to this species.
  • They have an aggressive, dominant, and territorial temperament.
  • Breeding is best done in ponds or public aquariums.
  • Robust, pelagic, large fish belonging to the Osteoglossum, Acestrorhynchus, Brycon, or Cichla genera are suitable tank mates for these fish.

These catfish are quite easy to care for. However, they are best housed by experienced aquarists. So, if you’re an experienced aquarist, this fish species can be a great addition to your aquarium.

5/5 - (15 votes)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here