- Scientific Name: Peckoltia vittata
- Family: Loricariidae
- Size: 3 to 4 inches
- Temperature: 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit
- Alkalinity: slightly acid and moderately soft
- pH: 6.6 to 7.0
- Origin: Amazon basin drainage
There are a large number of “suckermouth cats” sold in the hobby, and they in fact represent a variety of different genera and species. Within the genus Peckoltia there are a number of species sold as tiger-banded peckoltia — which one you have does not much matter because they all behave the same and are taken care of in the same manner. The tiger-banded peckolita does not grow to much more than 4 inches, whereas Plecostomus and Hypostomus species will get very large.
So, assuming that you really have a tiger-banded peckoltia, you own a wonderful fish that is a terrific algae eating species but which will not bother your plants. In fact, it is probably the best species to keep in community tanks for controlling algae. If you have algae on the glass of the tank, a peckoltia or two will usually clean that off in less than a week. This means you now have to make sure to provide it with more plant material. This is best done by feeding Spirulina wafers, pieces of zucchini or romaine lettuce.
The tiger-banded peckoltia is a cave spawner and does so in captivity. Although many hobbyists have had their fish spawn in community tanks or spawning tanks, there has not been any widespread aquaculture production of this fish. Most tiger-banded peckoltias are still imported from the wild, however.