Water Conditions- Not Critical. Temp
70-82, Some water movement, aeration, places to hide, water
Behavior- A Very peaceful community
Breeding- Male guards large eggs, see
Size- 5 inches +
Not a difficult fish to maintain, these fish do well when
kept together and are perfect tankmates. Other fish
that will fin nip should be kept separate as their fins can
become quite long and flowing as they mature.
Supposedly not difficult to breed, I had trouble and could
not understand why. Like most fishkeepers I was using
3/4" and 1" PVC, then 2" black PVC as caves, in thinly
stocked tanks of fish I didn't believe would eat
eggs if given the opportunity. (Alfaro cultratus- a
schooling, surface feeder.) After many months of trial and
the fish began to breed frequently after making these
- The temperature in the tanks in this fishroom are generally
between 70 and 74 degrees. I had raised the
temps to 75, but found I started getting breeding at about
- I found some natural looking, perfectly sized ceramic caves the fish
took to immediately.
- I increased slightly the biological filtration in the
breeding tank by adding a thin layer of gravel over slightly
more than half the bottom surface of the aquarium (The tank
was previously bare bottom)
Long lived and hardy, the showy plecos are perfect tankmates
for anything, but can be vulnerable to those
fish that may be prone to fin nipping. When well fed they
grow quickly and are very hardy.
How to blanch zucchini- You will need:
8 regular sized zucchini
A large mixing bowl
Slice the zucchini in slices about 3/8" thick. Put into bowl,
and cover with water so that the zucchini is floating
at least an inch above the bottom. If not, remove some of the
zucchini and do a second batch. 8 zucchini usually
works out just about right.
Cover with plastic wrap, and put into microwave for 30
minutes. When done, let sit for 10-15 minutes until as many
slices as possible sink to the bottom. You want to cook them
just enough so they will sink, but not to where the
zucchini starts to break down. Most, if not all of the
zucchini should sink. If not, drain out some of the water after
the sunken zucchini has been removed and zap the remainding
floaters for another few minutes, until they sink.
If they don't sink here, they won't sink to where the plecos
can get to them in your aquarium.
With a spoon, gently place each slice on a clean cookie
sheet, as close together as possible without touching
one another. When the sheet is full, place a sheet of
aluminum foil over the first layer and lay another layer on.
You can do as many layers as you like, and the foil doesn't
tear like plastic wrap does, and also tends to conduct
heat well, so the process of removing the slices afterward is
no big deal. When done putting the slices on the
cookie sheet, freeze it all overnight.
After being frozen, twist and manipulate the cookie sheet and
foil sheets to free up the loose slices, and store
in zip lock bags in the freezer, dropping them into the
aquarium as you need them.
The plecos are given either stone work, clay pots or PVC
piping to hide in, and raised with attention to keeping
the tank fairly clean. Daily zucchini is always eaten
entirely and enthusiastically, but it can cloud the water.
the amount of zucchini going into the tank under control, so
the water does not cloud, is an evolving measurement
taking into consideration the size tank, the number of plecos
and the amount of zucchini. 2 daily slices of zucchini
in a 50 gallon tank with 4 grown plecos generally will not
cause the water to become cloudy. 2 daily slices into a
10 gallon with 15 1" young plecos most certainly will. They
can also certainly thrive on any number of catfish/pleco
foods available. I also feed French cut green beans, which
is probably best overall, but can become expensive.
For these reasons a tank with regular water changes, some
water movement/ aeration and a sense of security
through provided hiding places or plants keeps them happy.
When sexually mature, they can be identified easily as the
male possesses the bristles on his face. With
uncrowded, comfortable conditions and consistent, proper
feeding, pairs will mate, and the male will guard the
large, orange eggs, up to 150 with each batch. Though sometimes
eaten by the male, they generally are allowed to
hatch, and grow out to eventually spread throughout the
aquarium. Some breeders prefer to remove the eggs after
hatching, to then raise the fry separately.
These are a fascinating, showy pleco, and they go along
perfectly with livebearers!
See other Care