FAQs on Loricariids, South and
Central American Suckermouth Cats: Genus Hypancistrus
Otocinclus, From Pan-ack-ay to Pan-ack-zee, A Detailed Look at the
Bizarre But Beautiful Panaque Catfishes
by Neale Monks
FAQs: Loricariids 1,
Farlowella, Loricaria, Sturisoma,
Rhineloricaria: Twig Plecostomus, Genera
Liposarcus, Pterygoplichthys, Sailfin Giants
among the Loricariids, The Zebra
Pleco, Hypancistrus zebra,
Scobanancistrus, L-number catfish,
Loricariid Disease, Catfish:
QUEEN ARABESQUE PLECOS L-260; stkg.; sys.; comp.
Have been seriously considering getting this fish but am finding
<Indeed? Do try PlanetCatfish.com. It's by far and away the biggest and best
repository of up-to-date catfish information. Has an excellent forum, too.>
I have hard water and have read both that they prefer soft to medium hard and
also that they are ok in hard water?
<Hypancistrus species generally prefer softer water. They're less adaptable (or
hardy) as, for example, Ancistrus ("Bristlenose Plecs") or Pterygoplichthys
("common Plecs"). That said, if you have the warmth,
excellent water quality and lots of oxygen, they can do well in fairly hard
water. I wouldn't keep them above 20 degrees dH, pH 8 though, and ideally 2-12
degrees dH, pH 6.5-7.5 would be about right.>
Secondly, I have read they should be kept as a single specimen but also that
they should be kept 1 male to 2 females.
<Quite so. They're territorial. Singletons are easy to keep. Multiple females
per male can also work given space for the "harem" to spread out.
Allow about a square foot per specimen and you won't go far wrong.>
I have also read stocking is 1 fish per square foot regardless of sex.
<Indeed, I'd agree with this. Certainly spread any caves or bogwood roots around
the tank so the fish can have breathing space apart from each other, especially
I plan on keeping them in a lightly planted tank, 55 gallon with a school of
Corydoras and Celebes Rainbows.
<Corydoras potentially excellent companions, but do note more Corydoras prefer
rather cool water, 22-25 C/72-77 F, whereas Hypancistrus are happier around
25-28 C/77-82 F. So while "hothouse flower" Corys like Corydoras sterbai would
be good, the usual sorts like Corydoras aeneus won't enjoy that level of warmth,
and conversely, too cool conditions will weaken your Hypancistrus. Celebes
Rainbows dislike acidic conditions and need neutral to hard water chemistry to
do well (even thriving in low-end brackish) so they aren't obvious companions
for Hypancistrus at all.>
I realize some of the conflicting information is due to the wide range of
Loricariidae available, but I would like to get this right for them. I am hoping
some of you have kept this fish and can give me some guidance.
<Hope this helps.>