The Green Phantom Pleco, scientifically known as Hemiancistrus subviridis or L-200, is a striking and sought-after species of freshwater catfish native to the rivers of South America, particularly in the Rio Orinoco and Rio Ventuari basins in Venezuela. This pleco is admired for its distinctive appearance and unique coloration.
Green Phantom Plecos are characterized by their dark, nearly black body covered in contrasting vibrant green or turquoise markings. These markings can vary in intensity and pattern, making each individual fish quite unique in its appearance. Additionally, they have a flattened body with an extended snout, common to many species of plecos.
These catfish can grow to a moderate size, typically reaching around 7 to 9 inches in length. They are known for their algae-eating habits, which can be beneficial in aquariums as they help control algae growth. However, they also require a varied diet that includes not only algae but also high-quality sinking pellets, vegetables, and occasional protein-rich foods.
In terms of aquarium care, Green Phantom Plecos need well-maintained tanks with plenty of hiding places, such as caves or driftwood. They prefer water with a neutral to slightly acidic pH and a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C). A moderate to strong water flow and efficient filtration are recommended to replicate their natural habitat.
These fish are known to be somewhat territorial, so it's important to provide each pleco with its own hiding spots to reduce potential conflicts. Overall, the Green Phantom Pleco is a captivating and colorful addition to freshwater aquariums, but their care requirements should be understood to ensure their well-being.