Running Planet Catfish has its highs and its lows. There aren't that many lows to be honest (aside from bills and having to spend six hours on a sunny weekend patching the forum with the latest anti-spam modifications) but there are quite a few highs. Every now and again I get an email out of the blue that reminds me why most of us keep fish. Such was the case for this month's article. A few weeks back I got an email from a lady called Irene Miller, in it was a few pictures of some Gold Stripe Panaque, AKA LDA01 or L169 plecos that had spawned in her care. Now, big deal you might say, everyone is breeding ancistrine plecos these days - but it made me think. Here's someone who, living in a small village on the north coast of Norfolk, retired and who had only been keeping fish seriously for about five years or so is breeding fish that, when I started keeping fish, weren't even known to the hobby. When I started Planet, we knew next to nothing about these fish let alone breeding them.
What's my point? Well, Das Aquarium's LDA numbering system started out in November 1992, Planet Catfish appeared in the same month in 1997, the L-number system started in DATZ a year later in December 1998. Fast forward to June 2007 and we're now looking at regular aquarists (and that is no slight at all on Irene, who as you will clearly see, is a diligent and competent aquarist) spawning these fish with regularity. Isn't it great to share knowledge? Here's Irene's account of her spawning success.
I first bought my pair of Gold stripes in September 2004, they were adults then so no idea of age. But old enough to sex – here is one in the bag newly arrived.
I kept my pair in community tank (a Trigon 190) for a couple of years , no plans to breed or any sign of breeding, in fact I hardly ever saw them. A couple of years later, I bought a new 4'x1'x1' to breed my common BNs (Bristle Nose Ancistrus) and moved the Gold stripes in there in the hope that I might see more of them and maybe the hormones or whatever from the commons would encourage them to breed. To trigger the common BN I did not do extensive conditioning, as they had bred earlier in a smaller tank, just did no water changes for a week then 20% cooler water every other day, and the commons laid. The tank was kept at 26-27°C with fairly soft water. It has an external eheim ecco filter and an internal fluval 2. Food mainly vegetables (peas, courgette, cabbage,etc) , algae wafers, all put in for the BNs, plus tropical flakes for the neon tetras No mating was seen between the gold stripes although the male took up territory in a clay cave. However, about 6 months later (summer 2006), I added a large driftwood log which I had drilled several holes in and had had soaking under stones in the garden pond for months to make it sink. This was what really turned them on. I have other wood in there but without holes in it. The male immediately took over a cave in the log.
The all important cave with pleco inside.
A closer view showing the male with fry
Gravid female .
In the meantime the common BNs were mating regularly throughout, which meant lots of young BNs around so water changes were almost every day a bucket or two. The first time the gold stripes were trying to mate I thought they were just squabbling over the wanting the same hole as they were taking turns to go in and out and waiting outside for a chance to get in. But then no activity for a month so I assumed territories resolved and the female took up residence in another hole. However next month saw similar activity, she sat in hole headfirst for about 4 days with him sometimes on top of her. I had no idea if any eggs were laid but he fanned for a few days after. The next month repeated, two days head first then she realised easier if she went in tail first and spent a day in with male on top. Then he fanned for two weeks but no young. Also similar activity the following month. I asked an expert who said I must have two females and a dominant female can take on characteristics of a male if no males in tank! I then noticed the L333 male I had in the tank was giving him some harassment, so I moved him out. Anyway early Nov 2006 they mated again - but his time they raised about 5 young! I did not dare scare them with a torch, but once I felt he had fanned long enough to have young hatched I did a quick picture with flash and I could see the young!
Here is a youngster only a few days out of the nest.
I continued with small water changes every day to keep quality good. I think they may have laid earlier but the L333 annoyed them in the night so the eggs got eaten! The hole is in a piece of drift wood 1.25 inch diameter (only because this was the largest drill my husband had, a size larger may have been better.) hole is not very deep, about 2 -3 inches, as only as deep as log would permit. She then laid again two more times at about 35 day intervals and each time 5-6 youngsters emerged. To the right is a picture of her trying to get into the hole to lay eggs, you can see she is gravid and her fins are more orange than his.
They don’t all come out on the same day and some stayed with dad up to the next mating –so he had no food for months other than chewing the walls of the hole. Then they rested for a couple of months, allowed dad to feed up I guess, and April 2007 they started again, no special conditioning other than good regular water changes and plenty of varied food. This time she laid even more eggs than before .
Hopefully they will reward me with some more babies yet. I have no idea how long these fish live for. I hope you found this interesting, thank you for reading it.
Mum with a youngster about 3 months old.
One of my juveniles
This article has had 15475 hits. Photo credits for the images used in this article can be found on the Cat-eLog page.
|Cat-eLog Data Sheet|
|Scientific Name||Panaqolus sp. (L169)|
|Common Name(s)||LDA001, Gold Stripe Panaque
|Size||80mm (3.1") SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.|
|Identification||Many similar species exhibit similar patterns and coloration so not that easy to firmly ID, closest to L002 (Rio Tocantins), L169 is from the middle of the Rio Negro. Compare also to the very similar L074 & L306.
The base coloration is brown with black stripes running form the upper body to the lower body. The black bands are slightly bigger than the brown. They are smaller on the snout and get bigger on the rest of the body. Fins have same pattern as the body. The abdomen is light brown with dark bands, these bands usually oriented from snout to tail and do not join each side of the fish.
|Sexing||Males have longer pectoral and interopercular odontodes. They also have plate odontodes at the base of the caudal peduncle. Females are more rounder in the ventral region and tend to stay a bit smaller.|
|General Remarks||A nocturnal pleco mainly active at night.|
|Distribution||L169 is found in the Rio Negro. LDA01 is only known to occur in Brazil without any further information on the precise locality.
Amazon, Middle Amazon (Solimoes), Negro (click on these areas to find other species found there) (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
|pH||6.0 - 7.6|
|Temperature||24.0-28.0°C or 75.2-82.4°F (Show others within this range)|
|Feeding||A wood eating species; vegetables are avidly eaten. Animal protein can be given once in a while but should not be the main diet except when conditioning the fish for breeding as it helps the female to mature the eggs.|
|Furniture||Driftwood over a fine sand substrate. Slate, coconut or bamboo caves provide shelter. Aquatic plants can be kept as these plecos don't seem to touch them.|
|Compatibility||A good community citizen. Its small size make it good for basically any type of tank size. Not very territorial if enough hiding places are given.|
|Breeding||A cave spawner with the male guarding the brood. They use holes in submerged wood as breeding caves - see Catfish of the Month article link.|
|Registered Keepers||(1) plecoready, (2) lordotterby, (3) Tuti, (4) Bristle nose (k: 2), (5) BarbieDoll, (6) humle (k: 4), (7) prutsprogrammeur (k: 2), (8) helshøj (p: 2), (9) rosemarydawn, (10) Gog, (11) limed, (12) greg61, (13) Troender, (14) Breus (k: 2), (15) theonetruepath (k: 3), (16) scatz, (17) L-ko, (18) karlwu, (19) ronsterrc, (20) Numbers, (21) plumbob3VRK6J5 (p: 2), (22) tvwav, (23) BrendanK, (24) jemslie, (25) Glauko, (26) CatsandFish, (27) Bacce, (28) OlePaulsen (k: 6), (29) goodgoth42, (30) Sanplec, (31) Bigpig, (32) jha61 (p: 2), (33) andi, (34) PlecoCrazy (k: 8), (35) Derzel (k: 5), (36) Astrea (k: 2), (37) stensson (k: 4), (38) janne dahle (k: 5), (39) littlebristlenose (p: 2, k: 2), (40) kouen (k: 4), (41) dt23, (42) oldman60, (43) ITR371 (k: 8), (44) somethingpishy1, (45) Mike_Noren (k: 4), who also notes: "I've had them for, oh, it must be over two years now. They've taken up residence in a pile of driftwood, and I never ever see them. I know they're still there because I regularly have to replace the driftwood. Incredibly shy fish, even worse than Hypancistrus.", (46) eyal8a, (47) ChristianS (k: 4), (48) Loricariidea1990, (49) dav (k: 3), (50) pollie, (51) corsairF4U (k: 2), (52) matti2uude (k: 6), (53) cardo (k: 6), (54) Wijnbelevenis, (55) Andrewjw (p: 2), (56) pleco rob, (57) CoryWally, (58) Rebel00357 (k: 6), (59) LostYeti (k: 2).
Click on a username above to see all that persons registered catfish species. You can also view all "my cats" data for this species.
|Breeding Reports||(1) Andrewjw (b: 43), (2) OlePaulsen (b: 40).|
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|Look up Panaqolus sp. (L169) on AquaticRepublic.com|
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|Last Update||2012 Oct 10 20:37 (species record created: 2001 May 10 00:00)|