Orange Seam Pleco (L106 Hemiancistrus guahiborum): Ultimate Care Guide

Native to the Rio Orinoco in Venezuela, the L106 Orange Seam Pleco is a hardy and attractive aquarium addition. The name comes from the vibrant orange along edges of its dorsal and caudal fins. This Pleco does best in aquariums which simulate their native environment by including rocky substrates and strong water currents. This species likely hasn’t been bred in captivity which means all individuals available in the trade have been wild caught.

Sometimes confused with the similar-looking L122, this L106 Pleco has a higher profile than the flatter L122. Profile differences are the best way to know which Pleco you have as patterns can be similar between the two types. It’s best to deal with knowledgeable suppliers to ensure you are receiving the correct fish.

Orange Seam Pleco (L106 Hemiancistrus guahiborum)
Orange Seam Pleco (L106 Hemiancistrus guahiborum)

Orange Seam Pleco Care

Orange Seam Plecos need high-protein foods, and rocky aquarium environments with water currents. This Pleco doesn’t have any particularly unusual needs different from most other Pleco varieties. Like many Plecos, Orange Seams need very pure water and extra attention should be given to quality filtration and keeping water nitrates low.

Are Orange Seam Pleco easy to care for?

Orange Seam Plecos are hardy and simple to care for. This is a good Pleco for beginning aquarium hobbyists and those new to Plecos in general.


Orange Seam Plecos prefer water a water temperature between 75° and 82° F.

Water pH

Orange Seam Pleco need water that’s close to neutral in a range between 6.5 and 7.5 pH.

Orange Seam Pleco Size

Most Orange Seam Plecos reach an adult length of 5 inches in home aquariums.

What is the Max Size of Orange Seam Pleco?

Orange Seam Plecos can reach a maximum length of nearly 6 inches. This large size isn’t common in captivity where this species’ adult length usually won’t exceed 5 inches.

What is the Growth Rate of Orange Seam Pleco?

Orange Seam Plecos aren’t known for fast growth, and it can take over two years for this species to reach its full adult length. Quality nutrition and excellent water maintenance are needed for best growth.

Food & Diet

Orange Seam Plecos are considered omnivores but are known to eat a protein-rich diet in nature. While they will often accept vegetable foods such as blanched cucumber, meaty foods should be a primary part of this species’ diet. Some Internet sources report this species needs a low-protein diet but this doesn’t agree with gut analysis of wild caught specimens.

What do Orange Seam Pleco eat?

Orange Seam Plecos should be provided a protein-rich diet with some live foods such as bloodworms. They will accept frozen foods, but high-protein gel food is a good choice as well. Gel food can be commercial or DIY preparations customized to this fish’s high-protein needs. Orange Seam Plecos are mostly nocturnal but will make daytime appearances once they become comfortable in their new tank environments. Because of this nocturnal behavior, food should be added to the aquarium in the evening just before lights out.

Do Orange Seam Pleco eat algae?

Orange Seam Plecos can and do eat algae but this isn’t their primary food source in nature. Constant algae eating may be a sign of nutritional deficiencies from improper, low-protein feeding.


Most Orange Seam Plecos can live about 10 years in captivity. Longer lifespans are possible with excellent care.

Tank Size

Orange Seam Plecos need a tank which is at least 30 gallons. If you are planning to keep multiple Orange Seams a larger tank will be necessary.

Tank Setup

Orange Seam Plecos prefer tanks which simulate their natural environment which includes rocky substrate and water currents. Along with smooth rocks and pebbles the tank should be supplied with rock arrangements that create caves and openings where this Pleco can rest and hide.

What is an ideal tank setup for Orange Seam Pleco?

The ideal tank setup for Orange Seam Plecos is smooth rocks and pebbles as substrate, rocks arranged to form caves, and a powerful filter capable of creating water currents inside the aquarium. While this species doesn’t need strong current they do appreciate some water flow. A filter with a strong output can create water currents which help simulate this species’ natural environment and keep waste and debris suspended for easy removal by filtration.

Because this species can live in smaller tanks some hobbyists are tempted to use low-cost hang on back filters. Unfortunately these common filters don’t create enough water movement inside the tank. The best choice are canister filters which have strong flow outputs.

Do Orange Seam Pleco need a cave?

Orange Seam Plecos are mostly nocturnal and need caves for resting and hiding. These don’t need to be ceramic caves but can be arrangements of flat rocks to create sheltered gaps and openings.

Do Orange Seam Pleco need driftwood?

Orange Seam Pleco don’t eat wood so driftwood isn’t a required part of their tank setup. However, adding driftwood can create more hiding spaces and some hobbyists like the look it gives their aquariums.


Orange Seam Plecos haven’t been successfully bred in captivity. All specimens in the trade are wild caught. It may be possible to breed this Pleco but it will require patience and experimentation.

How do Orange Seam Pleco breed?

In nature, Orange Seam Plecos breed year round and juveniles are found all months of the year. Hobbyists trying to breed Plecos will try to simulate seasonal changes in an effort to trigger spawning. As this species doesn’t breed seasonally the normal tactics of Pleco breeders won’t work. The best course of action for trying to breed Orange Seam Plecos is to provide ample food, caves, and clean water.

Many commercial breeders trigger spawning in other species artificially through the addition of Ovaprim and other breeding hormones. The use of breeding hormones with Orange Seam Plecos is untested, but may be a possible tactic for breeders who are serious about spawning this species in captivity.

Orange Seam Pleco eggs

Orange Seam Plecos are likely similar to other Plecos with eggs that hatch after 5 to 10 days and fry which become free swimming after a further 7 days. Males usually guard both eggs and fry until they leave the spawning cave and can fend for themselves.

Orange Seam Pleco fry

Orange Seam Pleco fry likely eat a high-protein diet similar to adults. This can consist of algae wafers along with high-protein gel foods; either commercial or DIY preparations.

Male vs Female

Orange Seam Plecos are difficult to sex until mature. Mature males often have odontodes along their pectoral fins. Males can also be slightly longer and thinner-bodied than females.


Orange Seam Plecos are hardy, but need excellent nutrition and well maintained water that is mostly free of nitrates. Dirty water and poor nutrition can increase this species’ susceptibility to disease. Helping this Pleco avoid diseases involves proactive care including quarantining new tank additions for 4 to 6 weeks to check for signs of disease.

Tank Mates

Orange Seam Plecos are peaceful fish which are easy to pair with tank mates of other non-Pleco species. They can be somewhat territorial with other Plecos. Tanks with multiple Pleco individuals need plentiful rocks, driftwood, and caves to let each Pleco claim their own territory.

Compatible and Incompatible Tank Mates for Orange Seam Pleco

Orange Seam Plecos are peaceful tank inhabitants which can coexist with many common freshwater species like: Tetras, Guppies, non-African Cichlids, and African Dwarf Frogs. Some species such as Bettas and Goldfish may not be a good fit because of the water current Orange Seam Plecos prefer. If you choose other bottom-dwelling species such as, Corydoras, Otocinclus, or Kuhli Loaches, make sure you’re providing enough food for them and the nocturnal Orange Seam Pleco. Larger shrimp will be left alone but shrimp fry might be eaten by this protein-loving Pleco. Angelfish and Goldfish have a slime coating that some Pleco varieties will try to consume during evening hours. If you include Angelfish or Goldfish you’ll need to watch them closely to make sure they aren’t being injured during the night.

Are Orange Seam Pleco Aggressive?

Orange Seam Plecos are mostly peaceful but can have conflicts between males if there aren’t enough caves or other cover available in their tank.

Are Orange Seam Pleco Territorial?

Orange Seam Pleco males can be territorial, but multiple individuals can coexist in one aquarium if enough caves and other cover is provided.

Where can I find Orange Seam Pleco for sale?

Orange Seam Plecos available in the trade are all wild caught, so supply will vary. The best source is online suppliers. In some cases local fish stores will have waiting lists for hobbyists looking for a particular Pleco variety to become available.

Orange Seam Pleco Price

Orange Seam Plecos can be bought for about $20 USD to $50 USD depending on size.

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