My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

All posts regarding the care and breeding of these catfishes from South America.
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My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:11 am

EDIT: About one year after arrival, the L397 spawned! (To jump to post, click here)

EDIT AGAIN :-): About 13 months after arrival, the P. compta spawned too - AWESOME! (To jump to post, click here)

----------------------------------------

As a follow up to this post: Want advice: how to set up a 75 gal tank's filtration system for Panaqolus

I'm home safe and sound with 23 Panaqolus sp(l397) (now 9 for me and 7 each for my two friends) and 8 Peckoltia compta (all for me ;-) ). 100% survival of all the fish I bought!

Individually or in pairs (for the smallest specimens), the fish were double-bagged in breather bags, each bag with no more than 100ml water (two full shot glasses of water per bag - thank you, Tourist-trap store selling Shakespeare shot glasses), treated with SeaChem Prime used at about 4-5x strength (I estimate). The fish were bagged for about 22 hours like this. Each bagged fish was then wrapped in a 1/2 sheet of newspaper, then arranged in a layer in the Styrofoam box. Three layers of bags were separated above and below by some really funky-smelling socks from my 14-day visit to the UK (I'm sorry the fish had to breathe that through their breather bags). Then into my checked suitcase the foam box (taped closed) went.

After receiving official USFWS importation approval late last night (all three of us had to sign letters declaring that we would not use these fish in ANY commercial fashion for gain or profit), I had no trouble in US Customs once in the USA.

I'd like to thank everyone who made this possible. First and foremost, Nick Ridout, both for the P. compta and for the amazing orchestration he performed with other parties involved to arrange, receive and store some of the L397s, for meeting me at Stonehenge to make the transfer, and also for the home-made c**k-cover caves he shared. I will not mention the actual names of the suppliers of the L397, for anonymity sake, but I cannot thank you folks enough, and more thanks to one of you for going to the trouble to drive into London to meet me at my hotel to deliver the L397s; without that, the purchase couldn't have happened!!!

I also got some great oak caves for my friends and me from Robert Pope. Thanks so much Robert.

Finally, I want to thank several people (again, anonymous) who gave me great advice and wisdom for packing the fish and navigating the process. If I talked to you about bagging and packing fish, you know who you are! ;-)

You folks were all awesome. Thanks to you, there are some wonderful plecos in California tonight.

The fish are currently in a slow drip acclimation to my water before going in the tank. I haven't slept a wink sink 6am Saturday (London time, and yet I'm not done till the fish go in the tank).

Thanks again to everyone!!!!!

Cheers, Eric
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Last edited by bekateen on Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:48 am, edited 10 times in total.

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:58 am

And icing on the cake, one of my clowns is sitting on another batch of newly hatched fry (not counting the fry in the fry-saver from the day I left town two weeks ago) and a second clown dad is sitting on eggs. Alas, no spawns for anybody else... Although my male mustard spot is FINALLY getting really hairy. Hopefully that indicates future prospects. I was beginning to wonder if my putative male was actually male... The good news is, he is! :-)

Cheers, Eric
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16 day old juvies and new fry taken from dad today.
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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by Jools » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:24 pm

Great to hear they all made it and the paperwork worked out. Now the fun begins...

Jools

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by Jobro » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:50 pm

Wow, great! Well done job on the packaging! Best luck with them! :-)

Are L134 hard to come by in the US? I know the L397 are rather rare over there.

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:46 pm

Thanks, Jools and Johannes. Yeah, I'm pretty excited right now.

The paperwork is a story unto itself (getting it right), even though at its core it is straight-forward. I unwittingly (or perhaps nitwittedly) made it more difficult by changing my plans along the way and bringing back so many fish at once, more than I originally declared. Understandably, this gave the USFWS the impression that I was trying to pull a fast one and that I planned to sell the fish for profit upon my return. But the inspectors were amazingly patient with me and guided me and my two friends to a solution. Without the patience and guidance of the inspectors, this would have ended with no fish coming home.
Jobro wrote:Are L134 hard to come by in the US? I know the L397 are rather rare over there.

Yes, P. compta are uncommon in the USA (well at least in the places I've been). But they are much more available than are L397. It's just that when they are available, they cost about 2-3 times more than I paid. Granted, stores would sell larger fish than the ones I bought, but I think most good pleco keepers are willing to buy young fish for the lower price so that they can save money obviously, but also so that they can have the experience and pleasure of raising the young.

Cheers, Eric
Last edited by bekateen on Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:08 pm

Hey, it's time to change my signature graphic! ;-)

In that light, I almost bought six Corydoras robineae at $15 apiece, a deal as far as I'm concerned. But given (1) my available tank space at home, (2) the amount I'd already spent on plecos on this trip, (3) that I was already nervous about my packing technique and whether any individuals might die in flight and I've been told that C. robineae is more sensitive than typical corys when it comes to transport, and (4) that I didn't want to make matters worse between myself and the USFWS, I elected to pass on them. So they will have to remain in my signature graphic for a while longer.

Cheers, Eric

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by syno321 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:47 pm

Does double bagging the breather bags effect the O2/CO2 exchange rate in the water?
Ask not...

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:03 pm

Yes, I've read that the second layer reduces gas exchange by 50%, but apparently that's still okay if otherwise packed correctly.

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by naturalart » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:46 pm

Congrats Eric! Way to take it too the next level. Look forward too you becoming the granddaddy of 90% of the L397's on the west coast! :-O :-BD

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:50 pm

Thanks, Clay... Sounds like you have big plans for me. LOL :))

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by zebra10 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:54 am

They look very nice, put me on the fry waiting list. I live 20 minutes from you. Do you know R. Bireley?

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:12 am

Hi zebra10,

These fish are still very young. It'll be a while before any are large enough to spawn. And even when they're big enough, the fish will only spawn if they want to. But I'll be sure to tell everyone if and when they do.

Yes Rich is a friend, and he is one of the other people getting some of these fish in this shipment. :-)

Cheers, Eric

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by zebra10 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:08 am

Small World, this is great news. It feels great to have two connections very close by, for future L397 pleco fry.

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by jac » Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:07 am

Happy it all went well!! Congratulations with your fish and I hope you will enjoy them for many years to come :-BD
Every great achievement begins with a dream ;-)

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by naturalart » Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:56 am

Yes 'granddaddy' :)) put me on the christmas list for ... about 2 years from now :-C!

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by Linus_Cello » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:47 pm

Congrats on your new fish. Wow a good news story with USFWS? On the orchid forums all I see are bashing USFWS and CITES. Hopefully your will reproduce soon (and we will see progeny at the Catfish Convention).

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:29 pm

Thanks. Indeed I have nothing but praise for the USFWS in this case. About the future, the USFWS inspectors were very clear that by allowing this import as "personal" (vs. "commercial"), they required all three of us to sign letters of intent with explicit understanding that neither the fish nor their progeny will be used now or in the future for profit or gain. So if any of the three of us are fortunate enough in the future that any of our fish breed, and if we seek to share them with others, as I understand the rules, we cannot gain or profit from them; we will have to go back to USFWS to find out what our options are. I'm fine with that.

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by MarlonnekeW » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:37 pm

Great looking fish!! Congrats with your new editions and I'm happy that their journey oversees went so well.

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by NCE12940 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:49 am

Congratulations on the successful search and acquisition of such cool fish! :-BD

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Re: My new L397s and Peckoltia compta, imported from the UK to California

Post by bekateen » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:21 am

Thanks Marlonneke and NCE12940. :-)

Cheers, Eric

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