Do Loricariidae feed off parents?

All posts regarding the care and breeding of these catfishes from South America.
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Mol_PMB
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Do Loricariidae feed off parents?

Post by Mol_PMB » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:37 pm

My twig cats Farlowella vittata have been breeding again recently, and I decided to save some of the youngsters in a nursery. Two batches of them are growing well.

I just noticed one of the smaller twiglets has escaped back into the main tank (or perhaps missed getting collected up in the first place). I spotted it sucking the back of one of its parents, and it stayed attached for several minutes, even while the parent changed position. There's plenty of food options available (you can see some of them in the photos) but I wondered if Loricariidae are known to deliberately feed off their parents at all? I know Symphysodon discus fry do this in the early stages of development, but cichlids tend to provide parental care to their young whereas I think most Loricariidae only care for the eggs.

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Paul
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Young Farlowella vittata on adult
Young Farlowella vittata on adult
Young Farlowella vittata on adult
Young Farlowella vittata on adult

Bas Pels
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Re: Do Loricariidae feed off parents?

Post by Bas Pels » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:35 pm

The picture does remind me of my Sturiosomas, but I never ever, saw any one of the fry attached to one of the adults.

As far as I know, Farlowella are mostly vegetarian, but not stricktly. That is, juveniles could do worse than eating someting rich in proteins, but it wuld surprise me if the parents would adapt to that.

If the juvenile would indeed be eating skin from the parent, I would rather tink of parasitism than parental care.
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Re: Do Loricariidae feed off parents?

Post by MarcW » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:12 pm

This reminds me of my Sturisomatichthys festivus, I bought them as youngsters, and after a few weeks noticed them chewing at the backs of my Pseudohemiodon apithanos.

I scared them off and thought nothing more of it. A few days after it happened again, after scaring them off they'd go straight back for more. At this point one of the Pseudohemiodon apithanos had lost a patch of skin about the size of a postage stamp. Unfortunately even after separating it and treating for the following infection it didn't make it.

My remaining Pseudohemiodon apithanos are now in a different tank!

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Re: Do Loricariidae feed off parents?

Post by Mol_PMB » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:34 am

Thanks - some interesting insights and experiences!
I’ve caught the little one and put it back in the nursery, so hopefully will avoid any problems with the adults. I can provide higher food density in the nursery and they grow pretty well in there.

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