Do Plecos Crossbreed? Here’s The Truth

Do you have two Plecos of two different species of Plecos in your fish tank and you’re wondering if they will cross breed? I also had the same question in the past. So, I did a lot of research on this topic and let’s see what I have found!

So, do Plecos actually crossbreed? It’s rare but certain species of plecos do cross with each other. This cross breeding takes place out of desperation and it’s most definitely not the norm. Such a fateful event will take place only when there are only two different plecos of two different closely related species available. 

In this article, I’ll be discussing the topic of Pleco crossbreeding in more detail. I’ll also be answering some questions that you may have about the process. So, if you’re curious to learn more, then please keep reading.

Can Two Different Plecos Mate?

It is possible for two different plecos to mate, but it is not very common. To put it in context, it is more likely for two different species of a particular type of animal to mate than two different plecos.

In most of the cases, the two separate species of Plecos cannot cross and create a viable hybrid. 

Now, it’s like crossing a lion and a tiger. They will be able to crossbreed but not produce a hybrid baby.

So, you should not crossbreed male and female Plecos of separate species together in the same aquarium unless you want the hybrid baby to be infertile.

For instance, the Hypancisrus Sp. L333 and Peurto Du Mos can create a crossbreed. But, remember, it will not be a true hybrid as the offspring offspring will be infertile.

How To Crossbreed Plecos? 

First of all, you have to take into account that cross breeding Plecos is a really difficult task. 

It rarely happens and artificially doing it may not be a viable choice in most cases. 

And even if you’re able to do it, it may not produce the results that you might be expecting. It could result in a weird looking fish.

But, if you’re adamant, then you can follow the regular fish breeding formula in order to cross breed Plecos.

 Here’s a Step by Step by Process of How Plecos Are Crossbred:

1. Place Two Plecos of Two Separate Species Inside the Same Tank First

2. Make Sure the Fish are in Good Health and have Good Feces 

3. Ensure that the Water Temperature is Appropriate 

4. Make sure there is Enough Food and that the Fish are Eating Well 

5. Observe the Fish for Signs of Spawning

6. Once the Fish have Spawned, Remove the Eggs and Raise Them 

7. Re-Introduce the Fish after They have Spawned

If you just introduce a Breeding cave for plecos (Amazon Link) in your fish tank and they will start breeding like crazy.

Different Types of Hybrid Plecos:

First of all, you need to understand that cross breeds and hybrids are not the same. A crossbreed is an organism that has purebred parents of two different varieties, or populations of the same species. 

So, crossbreeding would be the cross between two varieties of the Pleco species. While hybrids are crosses between different species. So, in this case, it would be between a Pleco and a different species of the same genus.

We just want to let you know, having a crossbreed or a hybrid is not an ideal option for you. When it comes to Plecos, hybrids are actually possible. In fact, this phenomenon is quite common in the Hypancistrus genus.

The other genuses known for having hybrids include: Leporacanthicus, Pseudacanthicus, Panaqolus, Ancistrus and Peckoltia.

Here’s a list of possible cross hybrids:

  1. Ancistrus dolichopterus (L 183) x Ancistrus sp. “Gelb-Schwarzauge-Schleier”
  2. Crossoloricaria bahuaja x Pseudohemiodon thorectes
  3. Hypancistrus cf. debilittera “L 340” / “LDA 19” x Hypancistrus sp. “L 411”
  4. Hypancistrus sp. “L 28” x Hypancistrus debilittera (L 129)
  5. Hypancistrus sp. “L 28” x Hypancistrus cf. debilittera “L 340” / “LDA 19”
  6. Hypancistrus sp. “L 66” x Hypancistrus sp. “L 201”
  7. Hypancistrus sp. “L 66” x Hypancistrus sp. “L 333”
  8. Pseudacanthicus cf. spinosus “L 160” x Pseudacanthicus leopardus
  9. Pseudoplatystoma corruscans x Pseudoplatystoma reticulatum
  10. Rineloricaria sp. “Rot” x Hemiloricaria lanceolata
  11. Sturisoma aureum x Sturisoma festivum
  12. Sturisoma festivum x Sturisoma barbatum
  13. Hypancistrus sp. “L 66” x Hypancistrus sp. “Gurupá”
  14. Hypancistrus sp. “L 136” / “LDA 5” x Hypancistrus sp. “L 333”
  15. Hypancistrus sp. “L 136” / “LDA 6” x Hypancistrus sp. “L 333”
  16. Hypancistrus sp. “L 136” x Hypancistrus sp. “L 411”
  17. Hypancistrus sp. “L 201” x Hypancistrus sp. “L 333”
  18. Hypancistrus sp. “L 260” x Hypancistrus sp. “L 333” [Source]

Will a Bristlenose Pleco Cross Breed? 

Yes, it’s a known fact that almost all Bristlenose variants can crossbreed. But, you shouldn’t expect to get a new color even after crossing two different Bristlenose variants because the result will be a mix of the parental colors. 

Moreover, the fry resulting from the cross-breeding will not necessarily have the same color as their parents. So, it’s always a gamble when you’re trying to get a specific color Bristlenose.

Can Different Bristlenose Plecos Breed? 

Yes, different bristlenose plecos can breed. In fact, they will cross breed if they are of different variants. But, you can’t really predict the color of the fry because it will be a mix of the parental colors.

Also, the fry won’t necessarily have the same color as their parents. So, it’s always a gamble when you’re trying to get a specific color bristlenose.

Recommended Article: Are Bristlenose Plecos Aggressive?

Can Albino Bristlenose Breed With Common Bristlenose?

Yes, they will spawn, the albino Bristlenose from Australia is basically the same fish as the common Bristlenose. So, there’s a good chance that they will breed and produce fry with albino coloring.

Related Questions 

Can Different Species of Pleco Live Together? 

Different types of plecos can live together, but it is not recommended to mix different species of plecos. Actually, it is better to house plecos alone, as they can be very territorial. 

Can Bristlenose Pleco Live With Clown Pleco? 

Well, there is no one definitive answer to this question as there are many different types of both bristlenose and clown plecos, and they are all individuals with their own personalities and preferences. 

In general, it is often possible for different types of plecos to live together peacefully, so it is worth giving it a shot. 

Can You Keep 2 Bristlenose Plecos Together? 

Yes, it is possible to keep 2 bristlenose plecos together, but it is not recommended. These fish are territorial and will likely compete for space and resources. It is better to house bristlenose plecos alone.

How Can You Tell If a Bristlenose Pleco Is Male or Female?

Both male and female Bristlenose Plecos have fleshy tentacles, and that’s why they are called Bristlenose. You can determine if a Pleco is male by checking if it has a larger size, whiskers, and larger bristles. 

An effective method of determining if a Pleco is male or female is by checking their bristles. Males’ have bristles on their heads. On the other hand, females have their snouts.

Final Thoughts 

That marks the end of our article about whether or not Plecos can crossbreed. By now, we hope you have a better understanding of the topic.

Plecos may not be avid cross breeders, but with the right circumstances, they can produce offspring. 

However, the likelihood of fry survival is typically low, and the fry may not resemble either of their parents. 

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of whether or not Plecos can crossbreed and what you can expect if they do. 

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to do so in the comments section below.

Also, if your plecos are breeding a lot and you want them to stop, this article may help.

Sifatul Shohan

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