his beautiful fish was first introduced to our hobby by the German magazine Datz in July 1989. It is found in the Rio Guamá, near Ourém in Brazil. Its maximum size is 12 cm, which make it a good citizen for an average size tank. It is supposed to belong to the genus Hypancistrus because of the typical mouth and teeth of the genus ( Seidel 2000), but it is yet to be scientifically described. It is also supposed that the fish labeled in the Datz as L04, L05 and L73 are the same fish than our L28, which would make the repartition of this fish in the Rio Tocantins, Rio Pará and naturally the Rio Guamá. This would have to be confirmed scientifically as well (Seidel 2000).
The tank is filtered with a 700L/H
external pump in one side and two internal pumps in the
other side, one 700L/H and one 1400L/H. The tank is light
with two "Gro-lux Ò" tubes during 7-9
hours a day. The parameters of the tank are a pH: 7.4
dGH: 4-5° dKH: 2°, Conductivity: 140 microsiemens.
Every week 50% water changes are made and replaced with
60% water from a R/O unit and 40% tap water. The temperature
is set at 27 ° Celsius. I
usually feed them bloodworms, fresh water's shrimps, and
dry food from the hobby, usually tabs for Loricariids
and other bottom feeders. I have tried to feed them vegetables
but they don't seem to touch them. Spiruline tabs are
taken but not as avidly as the bloodworms. Still they
don't seem to be picky on what is offered to them.
After reading an article of Ingo
Seidel's about keeping and breeding Hypancistrus
sp L66 in an issue of the Datz, the idea of trying to
breed my fish started to grow in my mind. I started to
search around for any information, but could only come
with a little info from Erwin Schraml, who told me about
two spawning accounts, sadly not much was written about
it. Since these come from a big river, I thought that
I would apply what has worked for breeding Hypancistrus
zebra and L66, so I started to do 50% water change
every two days. I would make the temperature sink from
27°C to 20°C. and I would also leave the heater
unplugged over night and plug it back the next morning.
I would also feed the fish with bloodworms and spiruline
tabs. Still after a week of that treatment, no sign of
response, well except for the Corydoras present
in the tank!.
I did notice one thing about the
Loricariids during this time, breeding male develop elongated
odontodes on the lateral plates, which is not the case
with submissive males. The interoperuclar odontodes are
also different on dominant and submissive males. In submissive
males, the interopercular odontodes are barely bigger
than those on the females which can leave a doubt about
the sex, but by looking on the pectoral odontodes this
doubt should be gone as on male's they are about twice
as big than on the female. The interopercular odontodes
on dominant males are rather big achieving easily one
inch long, compared to ¼ to 1/3 an inch on females
and submissive males. About two months after that unfinished
attempt, I retried and started again with my water changes.
This time after just a week I found the male and female
trapped again in the same cave as previously used. The
only difference was that it was not with the same male.
The pair staid in that cave for the incredible time of
13 days after the female decided to lay her eggs. The
male was fanning the eggs very well and after 8 days the
young finally hatched. I left the young with the male
one day and then took them out. I usually don't like doing
so but as I was looking inside to see if the young were
doing well, I was only able to see 5-6 of them.
I had at this point started to
feed them with mostly spirulina tablets which I like to
use on them as their stomach turns dark when they have
eaten them I have also tried little bloodworms but that
only manages to scare them, so they haven't eaten any
yet. So far I have only lost one fry due to an unknown
reason, the others are doing fine and they receive about
3-4 meals a day. While I was occupied with the little
ones I did not notice that the female and the male had
been at it for a second time. Obviously the egg laying
took way less time. Despite checking inside every cave
for about every day or two, just to see if everything
was all right. Well even this way I did not notice that
the eggs had been laid, neither I did see that the male
was fanning them, he is doing this all the time. So not
long ago I did see while doing a check a yellow thing
just under the male's anal fin, I first thought that it
was a lone egg but by looking deeper inside I could see
again about 30 of them. What I did not expect was that
it was no more an egg but rather a fry that had just hatched.
It seems that the others were about to hatch as well.
I could clearly see the male sort of chewing the eggs,
probably to help the fry out. This time I left the young
with them to see how things would work out. At this point
the young in the nursery were doing good and eating well
and the other batch of young, still in the cave, were
absorbing their yolk sac.
To conclude this long article I will give you an update on them. If you are searching for a nice species of Loricariid that does not get too big and is quite easy too spawn, well this is the fish for you. They prove that if good conditions are given, spawning is not impossible. The main problem with these L-numbers is their prices, which sort of inhibit people to buy more than one. The other reason why not more species are spawned by aquarists is that often people only have an individual of several species. Hopefully, the future will bring more and more reports of successful spawnings, and eventually the price of these beauties will drop making them more affordable for others.