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Zebra Pleco
Alternative Name(s): L46, L046, L098 Imperial Pleco
Scientific Name(s): Hypancistrus zebra
Category: Tropical
Difficulty:
Maximum Size: 7cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 60 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 24 x 12 x 12
Water Temperature Range: 26-30°C
Water pH Range: 6.0-7.0
Water Hardness Range: 2-12 dGH

General Information: Striking small Loraciid with black and white stripes that give it its name. L098 has wavy lines. Extremely shy fish originating from the Rio Xingu basin in Brazil. There is currently an export ban on this species which has caused the price to be very high. Their natural environment is at risk from damming projects.
Tank Requirements: Tank should mimic their natural environment with a substrate of sand, small smooth gravel and pebbles and plenty of smooth boulders, cobbles and rocks forming caves and crevices. Very powerful filtration and high oxygen content essential. Plants optional - few can cope with the flow and temperature.
Diet Requirements: Zebra Plecs are largely carnivorous. Feed live/frozen brineshrimp, lobster eggs, bloodworm, mussel, prawn, sinking pellets and occasional veg.
Compatibility: Peaceful; territorial and aggressive with similar species. Can be kept with small characins, but best in a species tank.
Recommendations: Keep in species set up in groups of 4 or more with at least one cave per fish, or with small characins, Otocinclus or peaceful dwarf cichlids.
Common Problems: Starvation due to being outcompeted for food by tank mates. Intolerant of poor water quality. Needs good flow and high oxygen levels with temp around 28C to thrive.
Similar Species: Other Hypancistrus species.
Sexing: Impossible to sex until mature at 2-3 years. Very few differences even then - males more streamlined and have long odontodes on pectoral fins, with a thickened first ray. Females have narrower heads.
Breeding: Cave spawners, with the male taking on care of eggs and fry. Not easy to spawn, but once started they usually produce 7-14 eggs per spawn. Do not breed from snub-nose specimens.
Author(s): Fishlady | Photo: | Views: 19001
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