Typhoon Pleco (Pseudacanthicus sp. “Typhoon” LDA105): Ultimate Care Guide

Typhoon Pleco
Typhoon Pleco

Typhoon Pleco Facts

Originally from South America, the Typhoon Pleco, often referred to as the Giant Pleco, is a type of freshwater fish very popular with aquarium hobbyists.  It belongs to the family of suckermouth catfish called Loricariidae and is formally known as Hypostomus tympanum.  These fish are a favorite among aquarium hobbyists because to their well-known big size and distinctive appearance.  The Typhoon Pleco dwell among submerged tree stumps and branches in Brazil’s large, swiftly moving rivers, notably the Rio Jamanxim and Rio Tocantins. They frequently inhabit slow-moving rivers and still ponds, where they eat organic debris such as algae and detritus.  Even though this species of fish has been popular in aquarium culture for more than ten years, it is still difficult to find them because Brazil forbids their export and they are known to be difficult to breed.

The Typhoon Pleco is easily recognized thanks to its broad, flat head and body and its long, whisker-like tongue.  The majority of them are brown or olive in appearance, however some specimens have a black stripe running down the middle of their bodies.  These fish are a distinctive addition to any aquarium because they may grow to be extremely enormous, up to 24 inches in length.

The Typhoon Pleco is a nocturnal fish that is more active at night, which is an intriguing feature about them.  The movement of their pectoral fins also allows them to make a buzzing or croaking sound, which is another characteristic they are well recognized for.  The Typhoon Pleco is also a long-term investment for aquarium hobbyists due to its longevity of up to 20 years in captivity.  If you’re fortunate enough to acquire one of these fish, your aquarium will gain a lovely and distinctive addition as a result.  Listed below is some conditions to follow if you decide to get a Typhoon Pleco. 

Typhoon Pleco Care

Typhoon Pleco are incredibly easy to take care of as long as you follow certain requirements in the tank.  Like all fish, the quality of the aquarium will directly affect the livelihood of your aquatic creatures and plants.  It is imperative that you take quality care of your aquarium and all of its components to ensure a healthy and happy life for your Typhoon Pleco.  By following these helpful guidelines, you will be able to create the ideal environment for all of your fish. 


Tropical fish like Typhoon Pleco need a certain temperature range to survive.  They prefer warmer water that is between 80°F and 89°F in temperature.  For their health and wellbeing, it is essential to maintain a constant temperature, so using a good aquarium heater is recommended.  To make sure the water stays within the specified range, it is necessary to frequently check the temperature and adjust the heater as necessary.  The Typhoon Pleco are sensitive to sudden temperature changes, which can lead to stress and disease.

Water pH

For the Typhoon Pleco fish to be healthy and happy, the pH of the water in the aquarium is very significant.  The pH range that these tropical fish enjoy is 5.0 to 7.0.  Their health depends on maintaining a constant pH level because changes can lead to stress and illness.  Using a pH test kit, which is easily accessible at pet stores, is encouraged in order to measure the pH level of the water.  It is important to regularly check pH levels to make sure they stay within the ideal range.  To prevent any unexpected pH changes, it’s crucial to carefully follow the directions and add the product gradually.

Additionally, frequent partial water changes can assist in preserving the proper pH ranges.  You may support the Typhoon Pleco’s long-term health and wellbeing by providing them with a pH environment that is steady.

Typhoon Pleco Size

The Typhoon Pleco is a huge type of fish that can reach lengths of up to sixteen inches.  This means that for them to dwell peacefully in an aquarium, a large amount of room is needed. Their size will greatly depend on how well you take care of them.  Make sure to feed them a lot of protein so that it will help them grow healthy.

Food & Diet

The Typhoon Pleco is an omnivore, which means it will consume both plant and animal stuff.  However, they are more carnivorous than anything, which means their health, growth, and overall well-being will depend highly on the types of food that you give them.  Their diet should consist primarily of high-quality pellets with specialized meat-based foods added throughout the feeding schedule.  Bloodworms, either live or frozen, or brine shrimp, can occasionally be given as treats.  You can also give them krill, black worms, mussels, and tubifex worms.  To make sure they obtain a balanced diet and to keep them from getting bored, it would be best to offer the Typhoon Pleco a variety of meals. They like to scavenge for food, so you can give them some vegetables to graze on in the bottom of the tank.  Feeding them more than they can consume in a few minutes can affect the quality of the water, therefore it’s crucial to avoid overfeeding.  Keep a well maintained log of your feeding schedule to ensure the Typhoon Pleco are eating the right amounts and kinds of food.  Additionally, giving them a varied food will help to keep them busy as they can scour the tank for different kinds of foods.  Typhoon Pleco are not really predators, so make sure they get a nutritious and balanced diet. 


Typhoon Pleco, on average, live anywhere between ten to twelve years.   Getting a Typhoon Pleco to twelve years is a bit challenging and takes a little luck with a whole lot of maintenance (see the Tank Setup section).  Although these fish are resilient and can adapt to a variety of aquatic environments, they do need enough room to swim, feed, and hide.  The more you keep your aquarium in tip top shape, the higher chance your Typhoon Pleco will live a longer life.

Tank Size

It is important to remember that these are larger fish.  One singular Typhoon Pleco will need a minimum of 55 gallons.  They may experience stress and health problems if you keep them in a tank that is too tiny. However, a bigger tank will be needed to fit more fish if you intend to keep more than one.  If you decide that you want to have more than one, then you will certainly need to get at least 150-gallon tank. The tank’s size should also account for any additional accessories like a heater, filter, and decorations that will take up room.  Bottom line, the more room you can give the Typhoon Pleco, the better.

Tank Setup

When setting up your tank, first and foremost thing to remember is the size of the Typhoon Pleco.  Since this fish is so large, you will definitely need to have a strong filtration system.  They like to swim around and they need to be able to get rid of the gross from the water fairly quickly.  Any kind of high-quality canister filter should be able to keep the water filtration system running smoothly.  Be sure to have a good water heater as well since they like the warmer water.

Secondly, Typhoon Pleco are bottom-dwellers and enjoy a softer substrate.  A gravel or sand substrate, for example, would be great as they tend to want to burrow into it.  Otherwise, the Typhoon Pleco love to swim about.  Some driftwood, caves, and any kind of hiding spot would be good to have but not too much.  They are large fish that want to swim all over, so give them the space. 


Typhoon Pleco are a fairly rare fish because they are extremely hard to breed in captivity.  You will need a large tank and many caves along the substrate area.  It is like a fish love motel and they will not mate unless they have a suitable one.  A little trick to get them to breed is by lowering the temperature just a little.  This does get the Typhoon Pleco to want to breed, but be careful not to do it too suddenly. 

The male and female Typhoon Pleco fish can be distinguished by their physical traits.  Males often have a larger, more prominent head than females do, as well as a more robust body.  Additionally, one way to tell a fish’s gender is by looking at its pectoral fins, which are bigger and longer on males than on females.  Typhoon Pleco can also be identified by their behavior, which can be used to ascertain their gender.  The female lays the eggs during breeding season, however the male frequently creates a nest and pursues the female.  The male and female Typhoon Pleco fish can be identified from one another by looking at their behavior.

If successful, you might see a male being a bit active to a female by a cave.  If she likes him, they go into the cave and she leaves her eggs inside.  The male is then responsible for caring for the eggs and kicks the female out of the cave.  Typhoon Pleco eggs are fairly large and they look like little orange balls.  A clutch can be double or sometimes triple digit eggs, but no more than 300.  If you are planning on breeding Typhoon Pleco, then make sure you have large caves for them to store their eggs.   

Typically, it takes between three and ten days for the clutch to hatch.  After that, the fish fry will live off the yolk sack for another five or ten days after hatching.  This process is very difficult and takes a lot of energy on your part, so be prepared with the proper breeding tank and materials. 


There are no specific diseases that target the Typhoon Pleco.  However, there are still the standard freshwater diseases that are possible if the tank is maintained and filtered properly.  Diseases to look out for would include:

Ich – A very common freshwater fish disease that looks like a white spot.  This parasitic disease can be cured with a proper ointment. 

Fish Fungus – This causes molds on the skin of the fish, which will look white and grayish on the body

Dropsy and fin rot – These bacterial diseases which are caused by malnutrition, which will leave them looking discolored.  This is why a feeding schedule log is so important.

Pop-eye – Easy to cure, but still odd.  The eyes of the fish seem to pop out of the head.

Avoiding these diseases will require heavy monitoring and a strict diet with regular water changes and cleanings. 

Tank Mates

The Typhoon Pleco is a sizable, calm type of fish that gets along well with many other fish in aquariums.

Tetras, corydoras, otocinclus, and kuhli loaches are a few of the greatest tank companions for Typhoon Pleco.  Other good tank mates would include the Oscar fish, Keyhole Cichlid, Chocolate Cichlid, and Cory catfish.  These types of fish are calm and comparable in size, which makes them compatible with the Typhoon Pleco.  The Typhoon Pleco is a sizable and generally calm, but will become aggressive if they feel their territory at the bottom is being infringed. 

It is best to avoid putting Typhoon Pleco in the same tank with any other aggressive fish.  It can cause fights within the tank.  Furthermore, super small fish that can fit inside the mouth of the Typhoon Pleco could potentially be gobbled up.  Shrimp and other smaller crustaceans will also be eaten.

Typhoon Pleco can get along well with African dwarf frogs, but it’s important to remember that they need a different water temperature and a diet of live or frozen meals.  Typhoon Pleco can be kept with snails as well, but it’s vital to manage their populations to avoid overcrowding the tank with waste.  In general, it’s ideal to pair up calm, comparable-sized fish with Typhoon Pleco whose water needs are compatible.

Where can I find Typhoon Pleco for sale?

The majority of aquarium shops, pet stores, and internet sellers that specialize in exotic fish carry Typhoon Pleco.  Places like PetSmart and Petco should have some options.   Depending on the size and location, the average cost for this kind of fish is $20 to $50.  It is vital that you do some research on the various sellers to make sure you are getting Typhoon Pleco that have been take care of properly. 

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