Thursday, January 11, 2007

L128 Blue Phantom Pleco Profile

Scientific Name : Hemiancistrus sp. L128
Family : Loricariidae
Common Name : Blue Spot Pleco
Maximum Length : 17cm / 7"
Origin : Rio Orinoco, Venezuela - A black water river
pH Level : 6.0 - 7.0

Things to note: L128 live in a blackwater river and hence blackwater extract or lots of wood will make it easier to acclimatize.

Personal comments : L128 is one of the more popular plecos in the world. It is one of only two blue plecos (the other being L239) and in term of personality and beauty it far outstrips the latter. It comes from the same stretch of river as the L200, and it is conjectured that they look the same (sans the colour difference) because they ARE the same, just a colour variation. My L128 is the most active (and fiercest) pleco in my tank, and moves around all day.

Tips : There are two things to look out for when choosing a L128. Firstly, it must be as well spotted as possible (such a specimen would be rare), and secondly it is more desirable to have white rims on its dorsal and caudal fins.

Sexual dimporphism / reproduction : Not known.

Feeding : A look at the mouth of the Blue Phantom Pleco reveals that this species is an "Aufwuchs" eater. Aufwuchs is the organic layer, part plant, part animal (small crustaceans, fresh water sponges, small insects and their eggs, plankton), that over time develops on submerged surfaces. The fish uses its large diskshaped suckermouth, equipped with a large amount of tiny teeth, to graze on these surfaces. Once acclimatized, this species of Loricarid will usually readily accept meaty foods (bloodworms, mosquito larvae, artemia, tubifex) as well as vegetable matter (vegetables, pellet food, algae and, to the dismay of many aquarists, also aquarium plants). The emphasis should be on vegetable matter, as a diet that is too proteine-rich can lead to digestive problems, ingestation and bloat.

Behavior in captivity : This medium-sized Loricarid prefers a dimly lit tank with a good number of hiding places, either created with plants, drift wood, rocks or artificial (pleco spawning) caves. To keep more than one adult specimen in the same tank, or together with other bottomdwelling fish, you need at least a 48x20" (120x50 cm.) tank or larger: this fish can be quite territorial, and when suitable hiding places are lacking, it can be agressive towards other bottom dwellers. When kept as only catfish in an aquarium, a tank size of 40x16" (100x40 cm.) is sufficient, although a 48" (120cm.) aquarium would be better.

L128 requires warm and very oxygen-rich water, preferably soft and slightly acidic water (pH 6.0-6.5). Also, lots of underwater currents are appreciated. A powerful filter system is recommended, as this fish produces a lot of waste.

1 comment:

qbical said...

great info!! I have had the pleasure of owning an L128 for quite sometime now. wonderful fish