My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

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My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

I had been away from this hobby for more than ten years. To start over, I wanted to do something different than usual, instead of filling the tank with artificial caves, I wanted to try and create something more natural.
I wanted to put both Hemiancistrus subviridis and Rio Xingu pleco, luckily their biotopes are completely similar. Here are two examples, same type of rock.
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https://www.planetcatfish.com/common/im ... e_id=11290
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https://www.planetcatfish.com/common/im ... e_id=16465
It was important to choose the right rock, I'm not a geologist, but being a mountaineer, I've been lucky enough to see so much rock in my life. Looking at photos and videos of Rio Xingu it was not difficult to understand what kind of rock was present there. Luckily in the mountains around where I live they are made of rock of that type and so it was not a problem to go and collect some for my aquarium.

I managed to create a large number of dens by placing rocks of all sizes and shapes, but to give even more choices, lately I have also added artificial caves, well hidden with wood, as explained in this thread. viewtopic.php?t=51384
However, I have very rarely seen my plecs enter it, they certainly prefer natural rock caves.

I started the aquarium on July 21, 2022 so it is about six months old now.
The plants are not present in the biotope, but I need them to manage pollutants more easily.

66 gallons /250 litres
I change 10% of water a week to plain tap water
PH 6.5
NO2 0
NO3 25
KH 3

I have a lot of current, about 32 times the volume of water per hour (8,200 liters per hour).

I feed my fish mainly with peas, courgettes, carrots, potatoes and other vegetables, then also worms, shrimp pieces, tabs and food granules.

The main attraction is Hemiancistrus subviridis, it is 100% active during the day, while at night it goes to sleep in its cave. I am very lucky, watching it graze among the rocks is really what I dreamed of when I designed this aquarium. I can't wait to find other specimens to make a group of them.
His home :d
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Last edited by emanuel on 07 Feb 2023, 20:25, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

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I have a group of 7 Hypancistrus L236 of various varieties (Super White, Super Yellow and Basic), then L260, two small Hypancistrus zebra and 2 L168. Obviously for the moment I have no intention of dedicating myself to breeding, otherwise I would not keep different varieties of Hypancistrus together.
The only truly diurnal plec is H. subviridis, but I must say that the others also show themselves quite often with the lights on, even if not like H. subviridis and in any case their peak activity is at night
The only ones never to be seen are L260, which in fact I'm trying to remove to make room for other plecos
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

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Besides the plecos, I currently only have Corydoras sterbai and 4 Apistogramma hongsloi (1 male and 3 females)
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by Captainandy »

Very nice - Beautiful
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

David and Goliath :))
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

:-H
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

Last arrived, two days ago :d
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by sturiosoma »

emanuel wrote: 18 Mar 2023, 21:32 Last arrived, two days ago :d
Very cool

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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by bekateen »

Leporacanthicus heterodon is really high up on my list of "big plecos" ... err, big in my concept... for future tank expansion.

God luck with them.

Cheers, Eric
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

sturiosoma wrote: 18 Mar 2023, 22:24 Very cool

Jeanne
Thank you
bekateen wrote: 19 Mar 2023, 02:33 Leporacanthicus heterodon is really high up on my list of "big plecos" ... err, big in my concept... for future tank expansion.

God luck with them.

Cheers, Eric

it's a really nice fish, if I had a bigger aquarium I would buy a group, but unfortunately I don't have room in this tank and I have to settle for a single specimen. I already have a group of Hemiancistrus and one of Hypancistrus L236, there is just no room for another group.

If you decide to get him for your future aquarium I recommend using some sand, mine spends a lot of his time sifting the sand through his gills, I couldn't imagine him in a tank without sand, he wouldn't be comfortable.
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by sturiosoma »

emanuel wrote: 19 Mar 2023, 19:44
sturiosoma wrote: 18 Mar 2023, 22:24 Very cool

Jeanne
Thank you
bekateen wrote: 19 Mar 2023, 02:33 Leporacanthicus heterodon is really high up on my list of "big plecos" ... err, big in my concept... for future tank expansion.

God luck with them.

Cheers, Eric

it's a really nice fish, if I had a bigger aquarium I would buy a group, but unfortunately I don't have room in this tank and I have to settle for a single specimen. I already have a group of Hemiancistrus and one of Hypancistrus L236, there is just no room for another group.

If you decide to get him for your future aquarium I recommend using some sand, mine spends a lot of his time sifting the sand through his gills, I couldn't imagine him in a tank without sand, he wouldn't be comfortable.
There's always room for one more tank, I used to breed the L240 and I think the Leporancanthicus genera has some pretty cool species.

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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

feeding
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

The first spawning of a plecos species in this tank took place yesterday! It was Hypancistrus sp L260, and I was quite surprised, I never expected from them.

- I have only two specimens of L260, which coincidentally turned out to be male and female, it is not easy to obtain a reproduction with only two specimens, usually a group of 5 or more specimens is needed to be successful ...

- they are the only plecos in this aquarium that never show up, they don't even come out when I dose the food.

- a few months ago during a first attempt at mating, the male injured the female very seriously, the bites on her back were so deep that you could see the bones, it's a miracle she survived, this makes it incredible that she immediately spawned, the wound was completely healed just two weeks ago.

Ok, in the end the male dropped about ten eggs out of the cave today, for now he's staying inside the cave's defence, but I have no idea if he has any more eggs in there. However completely normal, it is the first breeding and the male is still inexperienced, he will surely be better next time.
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by bekateen »

Congratulations! Did you recover the eggs and put them in an egg hatchery?

Cheers, Eric
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

bekateen wrote: 18 Apr 2023, 23:04 Congratulations! Did you recover the eggs and put them in an egg hatchery?

Cheers, Eric
Unfortunately not. I wasn't expecting spawning so I wasn't prepared, as soon as I saw the eggs I ran to the shop to buy a hatchery, but when I got home, obviously the other fish had already eaten them. I'm sorry for that, but I'll be ready for next time. I am also hopeful that I will have a new spawn soon, normally when a pair starts then spawns regularly.
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

The male has left the cave, he had no other eggs in there.
Too bad, but I'm equipped for next time
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

Green phantom on the rock :d
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by Hyhy »

Looking sick :) Wish I had such a tank.
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by bekateen »

Really nice colors on that fish!
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

Hyhy wrote: 23 Apr 2023, 01:46 Looking sick :) Wish I had such a tank.
:ymblushing:
bekateen wrote: 23 Apr 2023, 11:20 Really nice colors on that fish!
Yes indeed, that's why it's my favorite plecos :d This one in the photo has been with me for about a month and a half and its color has become bright green as happened with the other specimen (you can see the photos at the beginning of the topic). In the shop the green leaned much more towards brown and was not bright. Also the third specimen of L200 that I have in the aquarium, was almost yellow (very beautiful), now after a month and a half in my aquarium, it too has turned bright green. I don't know what it's about, diet or something else


Instead here are my two Blue Phantoms (on the rock :)) b-) ). For now I keep them together with the L200, but sooner or later I will have to separate them to avoid hybridization. I have another tank ready for them, for now I'm making a selection, I want to be able to sex them with certainty.
At 99% right now I have 2 males of L128 and also 1 male of L200. The sex of two specimens of L200 is in doubt only because they are still too small to distinguish males from females. Unfortunately it is very difficult to find females on the market, so I fear they are also males in the end ~X(
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

Leporacanthicus heterodon, Golden Vampire :d It is he who decides the layout at the bottom of the aquarium :))
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

-
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by Hyhy »

Looking awesome, do you feel like the plecos are okay in a tank of that size or are there territorial disputes? I just got 4 L200a and plan to house them in a 70~ gal for a start but feel like I might need to upgrade later on. Not keeping track but you seem to have a fair number in there?

I also have corydoras Sterbai in mine, actually think I might prefer them over the plecs.
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

In my opinion you shouldn't have a problem accommodating 4 L200s in 70 gal.
I have 5 between L200 and L128, for the moment I have no problems, they fought a bit (but nothing extreme, no one was hurt) the first weeks, now they have a hierarchy, each established their own den and they don't fight anymore . The interactions are interesting, a large male of L128 has taken the largest den, does not allow any L200 and L128 even to approach the entrance, but shares peacefully with Leporacanthicus heterodon and also the Hypancistrus have free access. He's really totally peaceful with them. In short, I always observe the interactions of the fish I have in the tank and I'm ready to intervene if I see problems. For now it seems that with the right mix of different species coexistence is possible without problems. In my opinion it is essential to have many more hiding places than fish, believe me that in my aquarium I really have a lot of caves.
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by Hyhy »

I see, well my tank is not nearly as well thought and not as many hides, might redo it at a later point. Have you attached the stacked rocks somehow?
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

Hyhy, Yes, I attached the rocks very well with aquarium silicone, obviously when I hadn't yet filled the tank with water.
In your case it would be enough to add some clay caves, they must be of various sizes and in greater numbers than the plecos, you can always add new ones without problems. I do it myself, but since I don't like them aesthetically, I "hide" them in this way: https://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/vie ... hp?t=51384
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by Hyhy »

emanuel wrote: 08 May 2023, 15:06 Hyhy, Yes, I attached the rocks very well with aquarium silicone, obviously when I hadn't yet filled the tank with water.
In your case it would be enough to add some clay caves, they must be of various sizes and in greater numbers than the plecos, you can always add new ones without problems. I do it myself, but since I don't like them aesthetically, I "hide" them in this way: https://www.planetcatfish.com/forum/vie ... hp?t=51384
I actually traded some fry for a bunch of 3d printed ones, have not added them to the tank yet but might follow your idea and glue some wood pieces on top of them(granted they actually) look pretty good regardless, decently sized aswell like 22x5cm.

Otherwise my tank is just some skattered round boulders and some stemplants. Might post e a pic if you wan't to give some input once the caves are in!

Thanks for the ideas/input. Will continue to follow this thread as it's inspiring.
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by emanuel »

Hyhy, If you have 4 L200, you should have at least 4 caves for them, better if more, my advice is to add them asap, the fish will be happy with it :)

Yesterday I just prepared a new clay cave lined with wood, now I wait a few days for the silicone to dry, when I put it in the aquarium, I take pictures.

Photos of today
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Re: My pleco tank, inspired by a biotope

Post by Hyhy »

Just wanted to share and you are the unknowing(and unwilling? haha) recipient ;) Don't have many in my life that really cares.

Pics of one of the small ones and one of the larger ones, I have them separated till I see the small ones are eating and gaining some size, will also try to do a total refurbishing of the tank and follow your lead somewhat. The small ones seem happy in there so far but only had them for a week, suspect the larger ones would feel abit exposed as is.

Maybe ill just replace the caves with larger ones and add piece of driftwood, not sure if I wan't to rip it all out. Also considering ordering a larger tank for them and make it right from scratch.

Bonus in pic: Some of my, l397??, fry that are in same holding tank as the larger L200s.
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