September 13

Sarah Robertson

The Amazing L201 Pleco: Everything You Need to Know

The L201 Pleco (Orinoco Angel Pleco) is an extremely lovely and peaceful, tough fish that may be kept in almost any aquarium. This fish will not harm most plants. It will also scavenge and consume the most uneaten fish food. They have a unique appearance as well as a lot of personalities.

L201 Pleco is so tiny and they are far easier to care for (and less messy) and may live permanently in a tank as small as 20 gallons. Male plecos may have a bit of a territory issue with other males of their species, but problems can usually be resolved by offering plenty of territory and hiding places for each fish. The L201 Pleco is nocturnal by nature but will become active during the day once it has been introduced to an aquarium with plenty of driftwood, rockwork, and other hiding places.

It is not known to consume a lot of wood, but it may benefit from some supplementary wood (or bio-film on driftwood). The L201 Pleco is not an effective algae-eater. Feed the L201 Pleco a diet that is high in both meat and veggies, such as sinking algae wafers and pellets.

It will also benefit from being fed fresh vegetables such as shelled peas, spinach, zucchini, and cucumber. In comparison to some other "pleco" species, this species' dietary requirements are unquestionably meaty. Bloodworms, for example, are quite important. This fish will not survive if the water in its aquarium is sluggish or has no flow.

Quick Facts about L201 Pleco

  • Scientific Name : Hypancistrus Contradens, "L201"
  • Common Name: Pleco Catfish L201
  • Family: Loricariidae
  • Origin: South America
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Average Size : 10.2-11.9cm (4-4.7 ")
  • Diet: Carnivore (Pellet Foods, Flake Foods, Live Foods)
  • Min. Tank Size: 76 Litres (20 Gallon)
  • Recommended Temperature : 25 -29 °C (77-84.2°F)
  • Recommended Ph Range: 5.8 - 7.5
  • Recommended Water Hardness: 7 - 15°n (125 - 267.86ppm)
  • Reproduction: Spawning
  • Temperament to Its Own Species: Peaceful
  • Temperament Toward Other Fish Species: Peaceful
  • Usual Place in the Tank: Bottom Levels
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Availability: Uncommon

L201 Pleco Care

These fish, like many of the pleco species, enjoy some sort of current in the aquarium as long as there is some form of water flow. A pair of tiny power heads or careful angling of the outlet pipes from internal or external filters might be used to generate water movement.

They will require hiding places to the aquarium, such as driftwood, bogwood, or even terracotta planters placed on their sides.

They can be difficult to maintain due to their sensitivity to poor water quality, so weekly water changes are advised and the oxygen levels in the water should be kept high by keeping the power heads directed at the water's surface, increasing gas exchange.

Keep this pleco with tankmates that don't fight as they will not tolerate any aggressiveness, causing them to hide away, which will lead to stress and long-term health problems.

The majority of Hypancistrus pleco species originate from swiftly moving bodies of water that are both clean and oxygen-rich. They also enjoy the warm water, which they prefer around the low to mid-80s F. Because oxygen saturation is less in this warm water, water movement and clean water become especially crucial in order to maintain enough oxygen available for these plecos.

L201 Pleco Size

This is a very practical and manageable fish, with a maximum size of 4 to 5 inches. To grow to their potential, they need to be in a tank no smaller than 55 gallons. Proper diet and water quality will also play a role in how large your fish gets.

L201 Pleco Lifespan 

Hypancistrus contradens is expected to live for 10 years. If they are properly cared for and maintained, they can live even longer, up to 12 years.

L201 Pleco Appearance

L201 Pleco Appearance

The L201 Pleco's body is a deep brown/black color with neat round pale yellow spots. The belly is whitish. It might be confused with Hypancistrus inspector pleco (Snowball Pleco). L201 Big Spot Pleco, as well as small spot pleco, are both sold under the name Orinoco Angel Pleco.

Sexual Dimorphism

Teeth-like formations will appear on their pectoral fins in males. In the spawning season, these are more apparent. The easiest approach to determine these fish is to look at them from above. The female's overall build will appear more robust than the male's, and she may have less coloration.

Food & Diet 

This is a carnivorous Pleco that prefers to eat sinking wafers and pellets, shrimp, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and mussels. Sinking foods are the only thing these fish will consume. They rasp them from the bottom of the tank. They enjoy meaty frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms.

They adore rasping on huge sinking pellets and wafers as well. They require some vegetables in their diet, despite the fact that they are meat-eaters. They consume algae wafers, as well as zucchini coins, cut into 1/4" slices and placed on a fork to sink. It is necessary to supplement their diet with vegetables as they consume a good deal of vegetable matter in the wild.

How Often to Feed L201 Pleco?

It is best to feed them 2-3 times a day, making sure that they are getting enough food, but not overfeeding them. It is also important to ensure that the food sink to the bottom of the tank so that the pleco can eat it. Overfeeding can cause problems such as bloating and constipation. It's preferable to feed them after the lights go out.

L201 Pleco Behavior

They are mostly nocturnal. They prefer to hide during the day in caves. They come out at night to forage and become active. They are not aggressive, but they may attack other fish if they feel threatened. With their own kind, they are peaceful fish but may fight for territory. Male plecos are usually more aggressive than females.

L201 Pleco Tank Mates

They are generally peaceful with tankmates but may be harmful to fry. Plecos will be territorial toward other Plecos, but as long as there are adequate caves available, they should do well. Suitable tankmates include barbs, rainbowfish, danios, tetras, Rasbora, livebearers, and other peaceful community fish. Avoid keeping them with aggressive fish or fish that nip at fins.

Some good tankmates for the Orinoco Angel Pleco are:

  • Tetras
  • Barbs
  • Rainbowfish
  • Celestial Pearl Danio
  • Different types of snails
  • Livebearers
  • Other peaceful community fish
  • Discuss
  • Large shrimp species
  • Apistogramma

While choosing ideal tankmates, keep in mind that the Orinoco Angel Pleco is a timid fish that likes to stay hidden most of the day. So, it’s important to choose tankmates that won’t bully or harass this little guy.

Things to consider while choosing tankmates for your L201 Pleco :

  • Size of the tank: A 20-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for a single L201 Pleco. If you plan on keeping more than one, you will need a larger tank.
  • Diet: The L201 Pleco is a carnivore. So you will need to supplement their diet with live or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and krill. If you are putting tankmates with your L201 Pleco, make sure that they don't compete with each other for food.
  • Size of the fish: The L201 Pleco can grow up to 12 cm long. So, choose tankmates that are smaller than them. But not small enough to be their prey.
  • The temperament of your other fish: Avoid keeping them with aggressive fish or fish that nip at fins.
  • Water conditions: The L201 Pleco prefers soft to moderate hardness water and a temperature range of 25-29 degrees Celsius. While choosing tankmates for your L201 Pleco, make sure that they can tolerate the same water conditions.
L201 Pleco Tank Setup

L201 Pleco Tank Setup

Your L201 Pleco will not survive long in the tank if you don't have the right tank setup. Continue reading to learn how to create a great tank for your Snowball pleco.

Things You’ll Need to setup a tank for L201 Pleco:

  • Filtration system
  • Plants
  • Substrate
  • Caves/Other Hiding Spots
  • Tank decorations
  • Teabags or peat

Steps To Set Up an Ideal Tank for Snowball Pleco

Follow these steps to create an ideal tank for L201 Pleco:

  • The surface of the tank should be prepared first. It should be designed to resemble their natural setting as much as possible. For this, add a soft, comfy, and safe substrate at the bottom. They are bottom-dwelling fish that spend the majority of their time at the bottom of the tank. As a result, the substrate must be pleasant to lie on.
  • To make a darker water shade, add tea bags or peat to the filter of the fish tank.
  • Then, on the substrate, add tank decorations. L201 Pleco will benefit from any aquarium decorations that can also be utilized for hiding.
  • After that, place plants in the tank. Snowball plecos don't eat vegetation or remove it from roots, so you may add pricey specimens to the tank as well.
  • The need for a robust filtration system is an essential component of L201 Pleco's tank. In their natural environments, the water flow is high, which can carry away waste products generated in the water. In the tank, you must remove wastes as soon as possible. The removal of pollutants is made easier with a powerful filtration system.

L201 Pleco Breeding

The breeding of a snowball pleco is unpredictable. It may or may not succeed, depending on several variables. They can breed in the tanks, but you must spend a significant amount of time on their breeding.

Hypancistrus contradens are cave spawners that benefit from the inclusion of some piping or artificial caves in the breeding tank. The male will do all of the broodings after the eggs have been laid, and these should hatch 14 days later. The fry can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp when the male has finished releasing them.

L201 Pleco Fry 

The fry is tiny and delicate soon after hatching. They will require very small food items such as newly hatched brine shrimp or very fine commercial foods. As they grow, you can begin to offer them larger foods such as bloodworms, blackworms, daphnia, and glass worms. Feed them 2-3 times per day in small quantities so that they can get the nutrition they need without overfeeding and polluting the water.

To help the fry grow quickly and stay healthy, you should perform regular water changes of 10-20% every few days. Be sure to use a gentle siphon so that you don't vacuum up the fry along with the water! As the fry grows larger, you can begin to increase the frequency of your water changes. Baby L201 Pleco are very sensitive to water quality and changes, so it's important to be vigilant about keeping the water clean.

L201 Pleco Diseases

L201 Pleco Diseases 

L201 Pleco’s are more vulnerable to common diseases that affect freshwater fish. Snowball pleco's body shape is responsible for this.

The most common illness that affects Orinoco Angel Pleco is Ich. White spots all over the body are a sign of it. The use of copper-based medications is the primary cause of Ich. Another disease that affects this pleco is Fin rot. The fins of the fish become red and inflamed, and eventually, they will disintegrate.

By maintaining the water parameters in the proper ranges, you can protect your fish against these prevalent illnesses. In addition, you may utilize medications that are considered safe for L201 Pleco.


How Big Do L201 Pleco Get?

The average size of a full-grown L201 pleco is between 4 and 5 inches. Because of their small size, they are a popular choice for nano tanks.

What Do L201 Pleco Eat? 

L201 plecos are carnivores and prefer to eat meaty foods. In the wild, their diet consists of small invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, and worms. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, krill, and glass worms. They should also be given a high-quality pleco diet containing all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

What Is the Lifespan of L201 Pleco?

The average lifespan of an L201 pleco is between 8 and 10 years. However, with proper care, they can live even longer.

How Do You Breed a L201 Pleco?

L201 pleco is a cave spawner and prefers to lay their eggs in dark, hidden places. To encourage breeding, you should provide them with a suitable spawning site such as an overturned flower pot or a PVC pipe. Once the female has laid her eggs, the male will fertilize them and then guard them until they hatch.

The fry can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp or very fine commercial foods. You may offer them larger meals such as bloodworms, blackworms, daphnia, and glass worms once they've grown large enough.

Are L201 Plecos Endangered?

No, L201 pleco’s are not currently endangered. However, their populations are declining due to habitat loss and water pollution. So it's important to do your part to help protect these animals by only purchasing captive-bred L201 pleco and avoiding wild-caught specimens.

How Many Babies Do L201 Pleco Have?

L201 pleco can have anywhere from 20 to 100 babies at a time. However, the number of fry that survives to adulthood will depend on a number of factors such as water quality, food availability, and predation.

Do L201 Pleco Eat Algae?

Yes, In spite of being carnivores, L201 pleco will consume some algae. But they need a diet that consists mostly of meaty foods in order to stay healthy.

Do L201 Pleco Need a Filter?

Yes, all aquariums should have a filter to remove waste and keep the water clean. But L201 pleco’s are especially sensitive to water changes and need a well-filtered tank to stay healthy.

Final Thoughts 

The Orinoco Angel Pleco (L201 Pleco) is not difficult to maintain when you fully understand their behavior, food, and living requirements. They are a beautiful addition to any freshwater aquarium and can live for many years with proper care. A healthy diet and proper tank maintenance are the keys to success in keeping this species.

They are vulnerable to many of the same diseases that affect other fish. The most common are Ich and Fin rot. These can be prevented by maintaining proper water conditions and using medications that are safe for L201 Pleco. A good quality filter is also essential to their health. With a little bit of care, you can enjoy watching your L201 Pleco grow and thrive for many years to come.

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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