Shane's World Right Arrow SpeciesRight Arrow The L236 Story, Part 3 • The successful raising of L236

Article © Ernst Schmidt, uploaded July 30, 2013.

After several road trips to the annual catfish meeting in Negast in Northern Germany, Robert Budrovcan and I became good friends. So, it came to pass that he gave me 12 L236 fry to rear. At that time they were nothing more than an egg with a tail. Because of my experiences with the raising of different other catfishes I placed them into a floating acrylic ring that has a bottom of a very fine net; this is what I normally use for these purposes. For circulating fresh water I prefer an air stone instead of an air lifter, because the bottom stays free of detritus and the edges to not get as slimy.

An acrylic ring with a very fine net bottom work well for raising l-number fry.
(Photo: Andreas Tanke
The ring is intially equipped with a piece of walnut leaf and an air stone (Photo: Andreas Tanke)

The first food is a piece of dried walnut tree leaf, this has repeatedly proven its worth in raising a number of different l-numbers. After six days I additionally place a leaf made of clay (Robert's wife, Uli, produces them) into the ring for refuge. Because of the walnut leaf I do not have to feed anything else. After approximately seven to ten days when the first tell-tale strings of excrement appear, I feed Sera Plankton Tabs (a hint from Wolfgang Heinrichs) for the next four weeks. When the juveniles assemble together under the clay leaf at around the eighth day, my experience is that they are "out of the woods" and I do not have any losses from this point. Alongside the young L236 I initially kept some small L046 in the same ring. However, the Hypancistrus zebra fry were so out-competed by the L236 that I had to take them out again.

After four weeks I additionally fed a small amount of a mixed, high quality flake food. By doing this I raised nine of the 12 fry that Robert gave me. Three fry unfortunately couldn't consume their yolk sac and died in the beginning. The nine L236 grew quickly compared to other Hypancistrus species, so that they were moved into a 60-litre raising tank after four weeks. This raising tank was only equippped with a piece of slate that stood on four clay balls of 2 cm diameter and two domed clay leaves on the bottom. This was to allow the current produced by the HMF (Hamburg Matten Filter) to spread the food evenly under the hiding places. Additionally, an air stone ensured that the oxygen level was high enough.

Like many other Hypancistrus, L236 juveniles are not very colourful in the beginning
(Photo: Ingo Seidel)
This juvenile has developed very nicely
(Photo: Ingo Seidel)
A young L236 that will surely become a high class specimen
(Photo: Ingo Seidel)
The pride of the author, a beautiful L236
(Photo: Andreas Tanke)

In this mixed species raising tank I kept roughly 40 to 60 catfish, mainly Hypancistrus and Ancistrus species. After the twelfth week I additionally fed frozen brine shrimps. Seven of the nine specimens developed into real dream fishes in respect of their coloration. They have reached a length of 4-5 cm after a half year. Because of the few hiding places all the fishes were on the ground and so always near the food. Every eight to 14 days I replaced 50% of the water with approximately 20 °C warm tap water (17 °dGH, pH value 7.5), so that the temperature was lowered by about 4-5 °C for a short while. The young L236 competed without any problems with other l-numbers in the raising tanks (L309, L136c, L174 and L046), although they were a little bit smaller than the others.

Problem free rearing with other l-number plecos
(Photo: Andreas Tanke)

There is further information on this species on the Cat-eLog page.

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