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This profile was written by Chris an active contributor to the site.  

South America


Parotocinclus maculicauda

Parotocinclus maculicauda


    Similar in behavior and shape to the various Otocinclus species, Parotocinclus maculicauda can be differentiated by the addition of an adipose fin, red tinted fins and a red spot on the caudal peduncle. They can be considered as an alternative to the algae-eating Otocinclus, as Parotocinclus maculicauda are omnivores eating a range of flake, frozen, and blanched foods that helps against underfeeding by keeping their choices open.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Average adult size: Up to 2.3 inches (6 cm)
    Tank: Min. Tank requirements: 20 gallon long (75 litre)
    Strata: Bottom, middle
    PH: PH recommendation 6.5 to 7.5
    Hardness: Soft to med. dH range: 2.0 - 12.0
    Temperature: 68°F to 79°F (20°-26° C)


    Order: Siluriformes
    Family: Loricariidae
    Sub family: Hypoptopomatinae
    Genera: Parotocinclus
    Species: maculicauda


Common name:

    Red fin dwarf Pleco , Red fin Otocinclus, False Sucker

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    South America: Brazil- Coastal rivers between Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro.

General Body Form:

    A long and slender shaped fish, with the classic sucker mouth, flat belly, and curved back of most in the Loricariidae family. This fish has no barbells, but does have an adipose fin unlike Otocinclus.


    A generally grey-brown to yellow-green fish, with dark spots along its body, subtle red hues along the pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, anal and tail fins, and a red spot near the tail on either side, giving its common name. The belly is lighter than the arched back.


    Parotocinclus maculicauda


    So long as they are kept in heavily planted tanks of clean, cooler flowing tropical freshwater these fish can be kept rather well. They are calm, peaceful, and keep to their own species generally—they should be kept in groups whenever possible. They do prefer the cooler end of the tropical temperature range, being from south east Brazil rather than the warmer north western rivers. Keep up on your water changes and protect them from drastic changes in pH or temperature slightly more than you would with most fish. They may cause some damage to plants as well.


    These fish are actually omnivores, preferring other foods to algae whenever they can get them. They will eat flakes, blanched vegetables (zucchini, cucumber, lettuce), bloodworm, grindal worm, tablets and algae wafers.

    Heavily planted, flowing rivers of south eastern Brazil.


    In order for them to lay their eggs they need plants to stick them to. Breeding may take place in very clean water around 75°F (24°C) with a slightly acidic pH. They are rather popular in England and shown in aquarium competitions.


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.







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