I have a group of eight young L14 that I am growing out in a ~400L tank (140x65x48cm, had it made with the wide footprint especially), they are currently around the 5-6cm mark. I'm keeping them with a dozen or so sterbai corys and a few young Satanoperca leucosticta which I may end up moving on later depending on how fast everything grows and how long it will be before I get another large tank (I recently sold my 1400L set up as we have moved towns and are renting while we look for land to build a house, will be setting up another large tank asap). I have read the 'Making Sunshine In Indonesia" article and found it to be very useful and inspiring, but I still have a few questions;
Diet. Mine seem uninterested in hikari algae wafers and sinking carnivore tablets, but they love bloodworms and raw shrimp. I feel a good quantity of flake and NLS Thera A for the eartheaters and corys and I often see the plecs grazing on that. Should I be trying to introduce more vege matter into their diet (like zucchini and pumpkin)? What ratio of meaty to vege foods should I be feeding?
Growthrate. I have read that L14 is one of the quicker growing plecs, at what size do they reach maturity and become sexable, and how long should it take them to get there? The tank is filtered by a sump/trickle filter and gets regular water changes, so the water is pretty good, slightly soft and around 26-7C.
I haven't noticed too much aggression between them other than the occasional squabble over a piece of shrimp, and there is a big hollow log for them to hide in along with other rocks and wood. Is the aggression likely to increase or decrease as they get older?
I'm also thinking of adding a school of tetras for a bit of movement in the mid to upper level of the tank, maybe cardinals?
Pics; (not sure why but the forum seems to be trimming the right side off the pics, even tho they're within the size limit...)
I'm sorry, I can't answer the dimorphism question. I have 2 big adults and 4 5-6" young ones. The adults are easy to sex, the young, I can't tell any difference at all. I have been growing my young out for 5 years, but I have not pushed them at all. Something about starting a store seriously sucked away my spare time! I would assume they will become more aggressive as they get larger.
IME, these fish want a lot of meat and fiber in their diet. They like New Life Spectrum, but REALLY like the new repashy food gel shrimp souffle and meat pie. I feed large mysis shrimp, algae wafers, zucchini, blackworms, basically a little bit of everything. They seem to be happiest and grow best in water at 82 degrees or warmer. They should be alright with cardinal tetras at those temps, as well as rummynose and any other smaller schooling tetra.
Thanks, I'll bump the heater up a little. I'm going to try them on pumpkin tonight as thats what the "Making Sunshine In Indonesia" article recommended, but will try zucchini again soon. If your younger ones are only 6" at 5 years old I don't think they'll out-grow my tank in a hurry! What size tank do you have them in?
Also noticed two squabbling over the prime spot in the big hollow log today while I was doing a water change, so I've got another piece of wood soaking which will provide more territories once it has sunk.
How visible are the plecos compared to, say, zebras? How fast is the current in the tank?
But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I will be unique in all the world..... You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Don't get me wrong, I think I could have grown them that much in a year, if I was after fast development. They are just in a display tank in my office, not in a tank equipped for larger water changes and heavier feeding. If you really feed them and push their water quality, you should be able to have much faster results. When you feed them zucchini, they will eat it skin first. It's my favorite part .
Taratron wrote:How visible are the plecos compared to, say, zebras? How fast is the current in the tank?
I wish I could compare them to zebs, but they're still very expensive here and difficult to obtain. I was thinking about trying to source some for this tank but decided the money would be better spent on a new house and another monster tank...
That said, they are fairly active during the day, but a bit shy still and often hide when I'm in front of the tank. They seem to eat more during the day too, overnight they hardly touched the pumpkin I put in at lights out but when I got home from work around lunch time today I noticed a fair chunk of it had gone. The tank is running an Eheim 2224 canister and a Eheim Compact+ 5000 pump set at about 3/4 flow, the head is about 120cm and I'm guessing its pushing roughly 2500LPH, directed thru an FX5 return nozzle. Its not a whirlpool with the fish having to cling to the wood to avoid being blown away, but there is a bit of water movemnt thru the tank. I do have a small Tunze powerhead I could add in but I think it may be overkill even on the slowest setting.
My sunshine is 13inches. Also started mine on new life spectrum. Ever since he hit a foot in size he has become one of the most territorial plecos i have ever had, attacking severums and large geophagus . Also eats live red wriglers.
Bloodworm is fine for L14. For the pumpkin, I feed them sparingly. You can also feed frozen brine shrimp since your fish are still small. But I guess it is going to be difficult for the L14 to get the food because you have other fish in the tank. We keep our fish one species per aquarium so it is easier to maintain. I also noticed that your aquarium set up is a bit too "sparse" (if I put it correctly). Maybe you can add another hiding places for the fish to hide. We keep the fish in the dark most of the time. Thus the growth rate is quite amazing. It takes one year from an egg to become 10cm (body size). I hope this can help
Thanks, great to hear from the expert!! I agree about it being too sparse, I added another flat-ish piece of wood to provide more cover about a day after I took those pics. I have another couple of pieces soaking that will provide more cover if needed.
I don't find them difficult to feed with the other fish, they seem quite willing to come out and graze as long as I'm not moving around in front of the tank. Having a plenty of bottom feeders allows me to feed a large amount of sinking food and know it will all get eaten. I used to do the same thing but on a larger scale in my 1400L with 12 Geophagus altifrons and about 8 various plecs (3 L128, L81, L66, whiptail etc) and it worked really well. I'd put a handful of flake and a load of NLS Thera A into a vertical pvc tube so it all sinks out and the bottom of the tank would be covered in flake and crumble, but needless to say it all got eaten! I wish I'd made a video of it, here's a couple of pics [getting sidetracked, I know...]
It is great that your bottom feeders can get the food. Do not worry about L14, they are quite hardy if they get some food. I would agree on increasing the temperature to 29-30 degree celcius. It may help increase the metabolism as well.
My 4 L14 grew quickly from around 2.5" to their current size 5-6" but growth has now slowed down in 3 of them, the 4th might be a mutant!
Even with only 4 of them in a 400l tank they are often fighting over preferred hiding places. I rarely see aggression over food but that's because when I feed them prawns or other seafood I tend to give them 1 each - It's like dealing with small children - plus they seem to prefer to eat at night...
From what i've read it's likely to take quite a few years (think 5+) to get to sexual maturity, by which time they will probably be at least 8", if not closer to 10".
Q) Why are dead fish harder to 'wind up' than live fish? A) Because dead fish never take the bait!