Candy Striped Pleco- A Care Guide to Candy Striped Peckoltia

A Candy Striped Pleco in its natural habitat.
By Garrison Hickles Updated

Candy Striped Pleco (L015), often known by the official name of Candy Striped Peckoltia is a magnificent Pleco species. Their unique beauty never fails to grab your attention, automatically enhancing the aura of your aquarium. So if you’re looking to own a few of these in your aquarium, you’re in the correct place.

Allow us to guide you through every detail you need to know! Follow along with our exclusive care guide, for all the intel you require on these lovely pleco catfish breed. 

Key Specifications

Here goes a few key elements you need to check before you get started:

Scientific NamePeckoltia vittata 
OriginAmazon Basin, Argentina (South America) 
Lifespan7 years 
Colours/PatternsDark Brown, Beige patterns. 
Size4-5.5 inches 
CompatibilityCompatible with most except bottom-dwellers. 
Tank sizeAt least 10 gallons 
Care levelEasy-Moderate 
Water preferenceFreshwater 


From the Loricariidae family, Candy Striped Pleco is a magnificent suckermouth Catfish species. It is an interesting addition to your tank for their grace. These Plecos take over the bottom layer of your aquarium, being massive bottom-dwellers. Naturally, the interesting thing about them is, that they are opportunistic omnivores. The level of their compatibility is pretty good, so it’s not hard for you to keep them or take care of. These freshwater lovelies don’t grow much in size, so, it’s comparatively simple to keep them. 

Origin and Habitat of Candy Striped Pleco

The Candy Striped Pleco species can be found mostly in the lower levels or middle levels of water. Their area of origin is mostly the South American waters, mainly between the Amazonian Basin and Argentina. 

In their natural habitat, they mostly swim gently in the bottom layers of the water near the layer of the substrate. You will occasionally see them rise up on the surface, when there’s low oxygen.

Appearance of Candy Striped Pleco

It’s incredible how these lovely Candy Striped Plecos can change their colours as per their mood. If you look at them in the aquarium, overall, they have a calm colour contrast, which looks soothing in a visual sense.

Let’s have a detailed look at their appearance:


You will notice a creamy, brown colour with stripes of darker shades. The contrast looks beautiful, as they swim about gracefully in the tank. Otherwise, the personality of these plecostomus matches perfectly with their smooth colouration.


They don’t grow as much in size, as their maximum size in captivity is just about 4 inches. At the time of purchase, they are sold even smaller. 

Behaviour of Candy Striped Pleco

The Candy Striped Pleco is usually pretty shy as Pleco catfish species. They majorly hide in the most convenient hiding spaces of your tank, being very shy in nature. However, these suckermouth species do possess territorial instincts, if they notice food competition. Especially, other bottom-dwelling tank mates who compete for their food, they get slightly aggressive. Otherwise, they will mostly swim about in their own layers of comfort, which is mainly the middle and bottom layers of the tank. 

Lifespan of Candy Striped Pleco

The lifespan of Candy Striped Pleco is pretty good, as they live for as long as 7 years. Just make sure you provide them with the most pristine water conditions, with properly looked after parameters.

Diet of Candy Striped Pleco

The Candy Striped Pleco fishes (L015) are efficient tank cleaners. Any algae problem in your tank can be handled by these skilled algae eaters. However, at times as we’ve studied in the behaviour section, they can be opportunistic eaters. 

Let’s have a detailed look at their eating preferences:

Herbivorous preferences-

  • Algae (All types)
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Algae
  • Bloodworms
  • Crustaceans 

Store-bought choices-

  • Commercial fish flake feedable
  • Commercial fish pellet feedable
  • Other frozen fish food

Tank Requirements for Candy Striped Pleco

Tank requirements are really important in fishkeeping. One thing going wrong could have a serious effect on the health of your precious Candy Stripes. So let’s have a look at the necessary tank requirements you must follow. 

Tank Lid

However, they are not the most active of the lot. Still, due to their rare surface wondering behaviourism, there’s a possibility that they may fall to their deaths. It’s best to have a tank lid in that case. Other than that, dust may get accumulated in the water which is harmful for not only the Plecos, but also the other fishes in the community. A tank lid prevents that from happening. Also, there are curious domestic house pets, so a tank hood protects the aquarium from any external action. 

Tank Size

The minimum tank size needs to be 10 gallons, where we recommend you to at least use a tank size of 20 gallons. It’s good to allow these lovelies enough space to themselves, while they exist in pairs or more. 


A fine substrate should work fine, as long as there are enough medium-sized rocks mixed in it. Even incorporating large rocks in the layer of substrate is good.  


The Candy Striped Plecos produce significant amounts of waste, which can make the water really toxic. It’s best to use a good filter, like the Canister filter or the H.O.B should work equally fine. The water should remain properly oxygenated and aerated, which keeps the fish’s health intact. 


Light decoration is fine, as long as there’s enough space on the substrate for the Candy Stripes to dwell about in peace. Add driftwood and enough hiding spaces like hanging caves and bridges, that enable them enough space to hide. 


Keep the lighting moderate or mostly mellow, as these bottom-dwelling species don’t really appreciate much bright lighting intensities. 

Presence of Flora

Add some nice, green aquarium plants. That not only enhances the look of your aquarium, but the Plecos really appreciate that. 

For instance, you could add plants like:

& similar plants. 

Cleaning Method

Don’t forget to keep the water clean, by following a proper water replacement procedure. Make sure you do it at least weekly, if not on alternate days. Keep the substrate clean, use a test kit to keep everything in check if necessary. Use a fine, cotton cloth to wipe down the tank walls and keep them clean. 

Water Type for Candy Striped Pleco

Water Parameters are really important for the pleco’s health. Let us present you with what exactly you need to maintain!

The important water parameters needed for Candy Striped Pleco:

Hardness2-20 dH 
Temperature23-26 Degrees Celsius 
pH5.5-7.0 (Tops 7.5) 


Their range for general hardness and carbonate hardness seems quite spread out, so anything between 2-20 dH should work just fine.  


The temperature range is neutral, but these Plecos can surely benefit from the warmer water temperatures. So, keep the temperature range constant between 23-26 Degrees Celsius. 


Keep the pH range 5.5-7.5 for the best results. Seems like Candy Striped Plecos really like their waters to be acidic. 

Compatibility of Candy Striped Pleco

As we’ve already learned in the behaviour section, these adorable creatures are quite reserved in nature. So species of similar temperament should be compatible with them! Studying their behavioural patterns, we can conclude that they could easily fit into a community of fishes. 

Suitable Tank mates

Nevertheless, let’s have a proper look at the fishes you can flexibly pair them up with:

and more. 

Unsuitable Tank mates

Make sure you don’t increase their competition for feeding by introducing more competitive bottom-dwellers. Other than that, they could sometimes be opportunistic feeders, so better you keep small, weak fishes away. It’s best not to test their territorial instincts. 

Breeding of Candy Striped Pleco

Breeding them is not that complex, as there are enough instances of them breeding under captive conditions. Remember to add enough caves and hiding spots, as in their natural habitat they prefer to breed in caves. The male pursues the female, fertilizing the eggs. After the female parent Pleco is done with the egg-laying bit of the process, however, the male parent Pleco protects the eggs. 

After the baby Plecos hatch out, make sure you remove the parents from the breeding tank. For a certain period of time, the fry would feed on the egg yolk unless they turn unto juveniles. After a certain period of time, giving them proper time to adjust to the tank environment, provide them with nutritious food. Bite-sized food items like infusoria or Baby Brine Shrimp. 

Diseases of Candy Striped Pleco  

  • Epistylis or Heteropolaria
  • Broken Barbels

& more freshwater ailments specifically targeting the bottom-dwelling beauties. 


Some common symptoms that may be alarming to you as their fishkeeper are as follows:

  • Rotting of their fins.
  • Depleting colour contrasts or fading in colouration and vibrancies.
  • White spots or blotches.


 Here are a few ways you can treat a few of the diseases or prevent them from happening overall:

  • Isolate the sick fish from the rest of the health fishes in order to avoid further spread. 
  • Use aquarium salt, for specific diseases. 
  • Monitor the fishes well for early detection of sickness symptoms.
  • Keep the tank water clean. 
  • Make sure that the essential water parameters in check.
  • Keep the substrate smooth, in order to avoid breaking barbels. 


If you want to keep these majestic Candy Striped Pleco in your aquarium, then do it right now! Not only do they offer beauty, but a lot of interesting things. Nonetheless, it’s truly rewarding to simply look at them exist. Adding on all of that, they have an easy-care routine. So what are you waiting for?

Similar Care Guides That May Interest you