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August 23, 2013

One fish we certainly love at The Wet Spot is our plecos, from the practical algae eater like the common “Bushynose Pleco”, to the almost camouflaged “Twig Cat”. We can’t help but to want these fish in all of our display tanks but also our own tanks. I, for instance, have 3 different types living in my 75 gallon aquarium, and I’m sure many of you are like me and collect about as many as you can. If you haven’t gotten the itch for the family Loricariid because you’re under the impression that all of these fish grow to the size of your couch, well then I think it’s time I introduced you to some that may just change your mind, regarding these amazing animals!

One of my favorite recommendations for people looking for a good algae eater (that isn’t a Bushy Nose Pleco) is Cheatostoma milesi “Spotted Rubberlip Pleco” L187a. The fish were originally collected in rocky habitats in Colombia. The wide mouth makes it easy for the fish to clean up the unwanted algae in the aquarium. Chaetostoma types live in fast flowing streams where the water is cold, clear, and extremely clean. These conditions do not always make the fish easily adaptable to most aquariums, but given time they can live in a home aquarium for a number of years. The trick to these fish is having some sort of stronger current in your tank. This can be accomplished by either a good canister filter or a power head and additionally, offering them larger smooth stones, will keep these reophilic algae eaters happy in your tank.

Chaetostoma milesi L187a

If you’re looking for something a more unusual, then I would suggest a group of Hypancistrus sp. “Queen Arabesque” L260 or Hypancistrus sp. “Spotted Queen Arabesque” L262. Both of these species will only reach about 3.5” in length, and present a very striking appearance. Staring at the thin lines or dots (depending on which species) almost sends you into a trance. Both of these fish will love a diet of bloodworms, Mysis shrimp, pellets, and can even adapt to eating flake foods. If you are planning on breeding either of these or other types of Hypancistrus, be aware that they will interbreed with one another. Therefore a species only tank is highly recommended if you wish to raise their brood. These are arguably some of the best looking plecos that come out of the country of Brazil and can be found in different parts of the Rio Tapajós.

Hypancistrus sp L260 Queen Arabesque

Hypancistrus sp Small Spot

The Rio Tapajós is home to another fascinating “dwarf” type pleco, Peckoltia compta “Leopard Frog Pleco” L134. The bold black and yellow lines of this Loricariid are sure to captivate any viewer. These will reach a length of around 4.5”, and prefer a diet just like the above mentioned Hypancistrus family. Males of this species will require a pleco cave to inhabit, and if several males are to be kept in the same tank, then it is recommended that each cave be about a foot apart.


Making our way further downstream the Tapajós you can find a slightly bigger pleco, Leporacanthicus joselimai “Sultan Pleco” L264, which will get about 6”. They are quite lovely to look at and when sexually mature; the males of the Sultan Pleco are a greyish brown coloration, while the female keeps that magnificent grey tone. One of the members of the “Vampire Plecos,” these mid-sized Loricariids use their “vampiric-like” teeth, to dig out food from pieces of driftwood and rocks. This environment should be replicated in an aquarium and their diet should contain shrimp, crustaceans, and other “meaty” type foods.


That wraps up another week here at The Wet Spot. This week we’ll be featuring all of these fish, plus many more new South American arrivals. For those of you interested in West African fish, you should be sure to check out those sections. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet be sure to hit that “like” button on our homepage We also have over 400 pictures uploaded now on Pinterest, so to see a large variety of our fish, we would suggest following us on there too  If there is something on here that you wish to know more about, or looking for an item please feel free to contact me.

I’ll see you all next week!

Anthony Perry
Sales Manager