L270 Chocolate AKA Tapajos Zebra Pleco (Hypancistrus sp.), Tank-Bred!
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The L270 Chocolate Zebra Pleco is a marvelously-marked nano species, and we have tank bred specimens!
The L270 Chocolate Zebra Pleco (Hypancistrus sp.) is a sought-after, beutifully-marked member of the Loricariidae family of South American suckermouth catfishes. Its entire body is covered in black and white/cream labyrinth-like patterns, which create a mesmerizing pattern. This undescribed species is also sometimes categoized as L307 or LDA76 in the Loricariidae L-number classification series. Like many plecos, the Chocolate Zebra Pleco has generally been a wild-caught species (though reportedly currently restricted for collection and export in its native Brazil), but we are proud to offer superior tank-raised juveniles at a generally lower cost than wild-caught specimens!
A generally peaceful and hardy species, the Chocolate Zebra Pleco is an excellent, undemanding candidate for many tropical aquariums. Unlike the widely-seen Common Pleco (Hypostomus plecostomus) and Trinidad Pleco (Hypostomus punctatus), which easily reach a monstrous size of 18 to 20+ inches (45 to 51+ cm), the Monte Dourado Pleco grows to a size of up to only 5.1 inches (13 cm). This smaller size makes for a much more manageable (and less messy) pleco that can thrive permanently in a well-maintained aquarium as small as 20 gallons. Male plecos may be somewhat territorial with other males of their own or similar species, but disputes can usually be diffused by providing ample territory and hiding places for each fish. All other fish tankmates will be generally ignored, although it is possible that juvenile and subadult dwarf shrimp may fall prey to the Chocolate Zebra Pleco. However, ornamental snails will not be bothered and large Amano, Green Lace, Flower, and Vampire Shrimp are generally unthreatened by this fish. Please note that this fish requires a significantly warmer temperature than some other fish and invertebrates, especially subtropical species. Some shrimp will not thrive in these high temperatures.
The Chocolate Zebra Pleco is primarily nocturnal, but will often become active during daytime hours once established in an aquarium with plenty of driftwood, rockwork, and other hiding places. It is not known to eat wood heavily like some plecos (Panaque sp., etc.), but it may benefit from some supplementary wood (or bio-film on driftwood). The Chocolate Zebra Pleco will not bother most plants and it is not an effective algae eater. Like most Hypancistrus species, the Chocolate Zebra Pleco is omnivorous, but but it leans heavily on the carnivorous side, especially as an adult. It will also appreciate being fed some fresh vegetables such as shelled peas, spinach, zucchini and cucumber. Meaty foods such as bloodworms are definitely necessary for this species, especially in comparison to some other “pleco” species. This species also requires a very clean, well-maintained aquarium with moderate to high water flow in order to thrive.
The Chocolate Zebra Pleco is a reclusive species, but it will typically be increasingly outgoing in a heavily planted and/or decorated aquarium with peaceful tankmates. Please note that it can hybridize with other Hypancistrus species.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Extremely beautiful and very peaceful, hardy addition to almost any tropical community aquarium.
- At a maximum size of 5.1 inches, this is a very practical and manageable fish.
- Will not bother most plants and will also scavenge and consume a great deal of uneaten fish food
- Striking appearance as well as plenty of personality
- Supreme tank-raised specimens
- Diet: Omnivorous, so a varied diet is necessary. This species is much more carnivorous than many other “pleco” species.
- Social behavior: Generally solitary, but will socialize somewhat, especially during breeding.
- Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to Rio Jari, Brazil, South America.
- Average adult size: 3.9 inches (10 cm)
- Average purchase size: .75 - 1.5 inches (1.2 - 3.5 cm)
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- pH level range: 6.0 - 7.0 (somewhat flexible as long as sudden changes are avoided.)
- Temperature range: 80.6 - 86° F (27 - 30° C)
- KH: 6 - 16 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 20 gallons for a single fish, 30+ gallons for a small group
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