Christmas is in a few short days, and there is always the eccentric friend you haven’t found the perfect gift for yet. Procrastinators rejoice! The general consensus at the Wet Spot is that the promise of a new Pleco is the best gift one could receive! While giving pets as gifts is often regarded as giving a friend a chore, sucker mouthed catfish are very low maintenance, and if the receiver is already a freshwater aquarist, you would be reducing their algae cleaning workload! Our fish lists contain only the best catfish; some of our most beautiful and prized species include Hypostomus gomezi, Panaque cf. nigrolineatus, and Peckoltia lujani.
Dark bodied and ornamented in gold, H. gomezi, will bring the warmth of their Amazonian habitat to your freshwater tank, and to your heart at this blustery time of year! More commonly known as the “Yellow Pleco” or L231, these catfish are slow moving and gentle giants reaching up to 10 inches in length. Inhabiting driftwood littered areas of fast flowing streams and rivers in Peru, these plecos require large tanks for long term care. Biotope setup would include sandy substrate, dim lighting,surface vegetation, well oxygenated water, and plentiful driftwood logs and chunks. Yellow Plecos can most often be found munching happily from logs, and wood makes up the most prominent part of their diets. In captivity, their meals can be supplemented with prepared greenery like cucumbers and blanched spinach, as well as sinking pellets. Waters should be maintained with temperatures between 71 and 82°F with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5, and hardness of 36 to 268 ppm.
If the gift receiver is regal, like many difficult people to shop for are, P. cf. nigrolineatus may be the answer to your troubles! Also known as the “Spotted Royal Pleco” or L330, these beauties live up to their name in grandeur. These plecos can get up to 15 inches in length, have dark brown-black bodies with golden spots covering their bodies, and thin gold stripe at the tip of their caudal fin. Hailing from the Orinoco, these plecos can also be found amid tangles of branches from fallen trees and driftwood, and enjoy dining on these bogwood delicacies. In captivity, tinned peas are a favorite supplement, along with a variety of prepared vegetable matter. Tank setup should be similar to that of the yellow pleco with water temperatures of 77 to 82°, pH of 5.5 to 7.5, and hardness between 125 and 267 ppm.
Another pleco originating from the Rio Orinoco of Venezuela, P. lujani, is slightly less assuming than our last 2 spotlights. More commonly referred to as “Orinoco Peckoltia” or L127, these catfish reach 5 inches in length, and are a marbled tan and brown with flattened bodies and a sucker mouth. Males are particularly unique due to ‘cauliflower floret growth’ palps on their cheeks. This is an extremely peaceful fish that can be kept in a variety of community tanks, and due to its smaller size, large tanks are not essential. Setups require rock piles and branch tangles and sandy substrate, but plants are not necessary. As cave spawners in nature, they enjoy dark hiding places. Water conditions should mimic the spotted royal pleco, and can follow the highly vegetal dietary regimens common to plecos.
Your friends and family deserve only the best. Luckily our catfish collection only contains the cream of the crop. Check out our fish list and Santa’s Elves moonlighting at the Wet Spot to help you pick just the right Loracariid!