Leopard Frog Pleco: Facts, Lifespan, Care, Feeding, & Breeding

Having an aquarium can be something exciting and fun; seeing colorful fish swimming around can be something relaxing. If you want to add a new fish to your aquarium, you can find a new friend on a Leopard Frog Pleco, which is known by its yellow coloration and stripes. They’re easy to breed and peaceful, so you can expect them to be around for a while.

This friendly fish can become an excellent addition to your aquarium. They’re originally from South America, so you need to make sure that you’re able to mimic their natural environment without any problem. Besides that, their breeding and care aren’t that complicated; you will definitely want to take one home. This is a fish species that is usually caught in the wild, but some pet shops have already started to breed them so you if you don’t want an adult, you can be sure that you will find some young specimens somewhere.

Through time, their coloration will change from softer shades of yellow to darker shades of brown, and when adults, the stripes around their bodies will become more visible. Their bodies are different in both males and females, so you will quickly recognize which one is which when you see them.

When adults, they can reach a total size of about 8-9cm (their maximum size is known to be around 10 cm, unlike other species of the same fish which can reach a tremendous size). The young ones can show softer colors than the adults; they have a coloration that varies from shades of yellow to darker shades of brown, and the usual stripes around their bodies.

Lifespan and Physical Characteristics

As mentioned above, they have yellow/brown shades depending on their age; they gained their name thanks to the stripes that cover their bodies. There isn’t anything else that we can mention about this fish that makes them unique. But don’t worry, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing; a simple yet beautiful fish that you can easily take care of can be something really good to add to your aquarium!

When you first buy them, you will be surprised with their tiny size; when they’re young, they usually have a size from 1 to 3 centimeters, and they can grow up to the size that we’ve already mentioned above, which is of 10cm.

This is a fish that has different characteristics depending on their sex. Males have some decorations around the pectoral fins while the females do not have them, but they do have a more round shape on their body, so you can be sure that you will find the differences between them easily.

Facts and Characteristics

Despite being friendly and peaceful, these striped friends can become a bit aggressive with males of the same species; the problem can be solved if you provide enough space for both males to coexist with each other. Besides that, you won’t find any other problem with them. Also, you can trust that, unlike other Pleco species, they won’t eat any wood that you have as decoration around the aquarium, so you can be sure that you will be able to maintain things under control. As said above, they’re simple and easy to take care of, and you should take into account the following facts before getting a new one for your aquarium:

• They’re not really difficult while trying to manage them, so you can be sure that you will have things under control in case something happens. Accidents are possible, but they will not be the cause of them as long as you don’t pair two males in the same little space!

• You can watch their coloration vary through time if you have bought a young one. They will add a really interesting scene to your aquarium.

• Other fish around the aquarium will not be a problem around them; but there is the possibility that they will any tiny species of shrimp that you might have around your aquarium.

• They will spend most of the day hiding somewhere in the aquarium since they’re a nocturnal species, so you must provide enough spaces for them to be comfortable in their new home.


They’re omnivorous, so you should provide food rich in meat (such as for example, bloodworms), and these little friends would like some fresh veggies once in a while. Sometimes, besides the usual fish food, you can offer them vegetables as treats; they will accept them without any problem.

Care & Housing


As already mentioned, they’re nocturnal, so you must provide multiple spaces in which they can hide during the daylight hours. You can place as many plants as you want around the aquarium without thinking it twice since they don’t like to eat them (unless you have other species that DO like to eat algae in the same aquarium), the decoration is up to you!  The pH of the habitat should be of between 6.5 and 7.5, and the KH should be between 6/10. The habitat should have a minimum size of 30 gallons.


As said above, they will be hiding during most hours of the day, but once the sun has come down, you should make sure that the temperature of the aquarium fits not only your new Pleco, but also the rest of the aquarium. The perfect temperature for them to be comfortable is between 75° and 86°F (from 24°C to 30°C).

Leopard Frog Pleco Breeding

Your aquarium should have enough rockworks so they can breed without any problem. When in the wild, they usually start breeding with the change of seasons, in which the temperature of the water changes as well. To trigger this, you can fool around with the temperature to mimic the information said above. After they lay the eggs, they will hatch after 5 or 7 days and will be swimming around on their own after another 3 or 5 days. Make sure to change the water frequently to avoid any problems with the new babies. When the eggs hatch, the males are in charge of taking care of the newborns.


The Leopard Frog Pleco is an exciting and good option to add to your aquarium. They won’t cause any harm to the other fish (except for what we have already mentioned, which you can give an easy solution) and will spend most of their time in solitude, ignoring everything else in the environment. With their beautiful colors and not-so-big size, this is a fish that you definitely want to have in your aquarium; everything will be okay with them as long as you fit the needs specified above!

As already told, pairing two males in the same aquarium can become a problem since we’re talking about a territorial fish. If you find yourself in this situation, you can either provide a bigger aquarium so you can be sure that both fishes will have enough space to coexist with each other without any problem; or you can try to put them in different aquariums. However, since they’re not really big, we believe that you won’t too much problem at long term while having more than one specimen of the same fish!