Native to the Xingu river in Brazil, the Mango Pleco (L047) is a vibrantly colored but somewhat rare Pleco that can be a good addition to community tanks. This is an eye-catching species with lime green bodies and yellow stripes along the edges of their fins. All known specimens available are wild caught which means they can be a bit more difficult to care for than Plecos raised in captivity. This species likes warmer water and may not pair well with freshwater fish from temperate climates.
Mango Pleco Care
Mango Plecos need excellent water purity, proper diet, and lots of places to hide in an aquarium. This species also enjoys planted tanks but needs well oxygenated water. This combination means that heavily planted aquariums should not have added CO2 injection. Keeping some planted tanks without CO2 injection can be difficult as they need careful planning and experience.
Are Mango Pleco easy to care for?
Mango Plecos can be somewhat tricky to care for properly and are best for more experienced hobbyists. These fish aere more rare and expensive than other Plecos making them harder to replace if harmed by inexperienced care.
Mango Plecos prefer water with a temperature between 78° and 82° F.
Water near neutral is best for Mango Plecos; between 6.5 and 7.5 pH.
Mango Pleco Size
Mango Plecos are usually between 3 to 4 inches when bought, but can grow to 8 inches with proper care.
Food & Diet
An algae grazer in nature, Mango Pleco will mostly eat algae wafers. Blanched and cooled vegetables such as zucchini can be an occasional treat which this species will appreciate. Like some Plecos, Mangos will graze on wood if available. Your tank should include driftwood or cholla wood. These are prime locations for algae growth, and your Mango will benefit from this variety in their diet.
All Mango Plecos are wild caught and may need to grow used to eating in captivity. New fish may not recognize algae wafers as edible. One trick to encourage feeding is clipping a sheet of dried nori inside the tank. Nori is a good transition food for wild Plecos moving to algae wafers and other prepared foods.
Mango Pleco Lifespan
Mango Plecos, like many other Pleco varieties, can live 10 to 15 years in captivity.
Tank Size for Mango Pleco
Adult Mango Plecos will need a tank size of at least 75 gallons. Young Mangos can be kept in smaller aquariums, but they will eventually outgrow these and must be moved to larger tanks.
Tank Setup for Mango Pleco
Mango Pleco need aquariums with well oxygenated and clean water along with caves and other hiding places. Pots, rocks, driftwood, and caves can give this species places to hide and claim territory. While this is a peaceful fish, they do like having their own space in any community tank.
You’ll need to pay extra attention to filtration. Mango Plecos can be messy, and they are healthiest in very clean water. You’ll want a filter which can turn over at least 4 to 5 times the volume of your tank in an hour. For instance, a 75 gallon aquarium will need at least a 375 GPH (gallons per hour) filter. Canister filters can be more expensive but are a good choice. The higher flow of these filters can help to keep tank waste suspended where it’s easier to remove.
While your Mango Pleco will be happiest in planted tanks, it’s not a good idea to include CO2 injection. Many planted tank enthusiasts add CO2 to increase plant growth rate and suppress algae. However, this fish species needs well oxygenated water and adding too much CO2 can displace oxygen. If Mangos don’t have enough dissolved oxygen in their water they can begin to show a reddish coloration around the mouth. The best recommendation is to only include plants which don’t need added CO2. If algae growth becomes an issue, add some good algae eaters such as the Amano shrimp.
Mango Pleco Breeding
All known Mango Plecos in captivity are wild caught, and breeding in captivity hasn’t been reported. Females are said to have rounder foreheads and bellies than males. Most commercial breeders of Plecos use added reproductive hormones such as Ovaprim, to induce spawning. But this method likely hasn’t been attempted with Mango Plecos.
Mango Pleco Disease
Mango Pleco are susceptible to common freshwater diseases such as Ich and Velvet. As all Mangos for sale are wild caught you should quarantine new fish for 6 to 8 weeks before adding to your community aquarium. Keeping a separate quarantine tank is a good way to watch any new additions to check for signs of disease. Good quarantine procedures are especially important when adding wild fish to established mixed-species aquariums.
Tank Mates for Mango Pleco
Mango Plecos are peaceful fish which can get along with a wide assortment of common freshwater fish. They can be territorial and keeping them with other Plecos or algae eating bottoms dwellers can be a bad idea. Guppies, Mollies, Bettas, and Tetras will all be good tank mates for Mango Plecos. It’s best to avoid other bottom dwelling algae eaters, but with enough tank space these pairings can be attempted.
It’s important to avoid pairing Plecos with fish which have a slime coating such as Discus and Goldfish. Plecos can remove the coatings from these fish when they are sleeping which can kill or injure them.
Where can I find Mango Pleco for sale?
Mango Plecos are rare and can be difficult to find in local fish stores. Your best bet is online suppliers. Even then you may need to be added to a waiting list. Expect to pay between $55 USD to $65 USD per fish.
Green Mango Plecos
Green Mango Pleco can be another name for the L047 Mango Pleco. There may be some confusion with L-47 which looks similar to a Mango Pleco but is a different L-number.