First Time Spawning And Raising Of the Xingu-Lizard-Cat, Rineloricaria cf. tefeana

by Malcolm Bryson

was first made aware of this species by a friend last year (1998) who could not identify them. He dutifully brought them up North from the wholesalers to Scotland for me in October of the same year, of four individuals. I could not I.D. them either but I had a fair idea that they were a Rineloricaria sp. It was not until some time later when I was leafing through some back-copies of Practical Fishkeeping that I found them. For owners also of the Loricariidae Aqualog-all L-Numbers, this fish is on page 9 and is captioned as L010, and as far as I know it is still not fully identified to species.


Rineloricaria cf.tefeana


Rineloricaria cf.tefeana

I had been successful  previously with a good number of this familyincluding, Sturisoma aureum, Rineloricaria parva and latirostris, and was delighted with my acquisitions. They went into a good home in a 30" tank which was set up especially for them , and also for me to keep an eye out for any sign of disease or stress.They settled down well to life in this part of the world with a temp of 84f, a p.H. of between 6 and 6.5 and with the water well oxygenated.

I eventually moved them to a general community tank with the same water conditions. I had successfully kept and bred other Loricariidae species with these same parameters and I didn't see any reason to change that.I decided a year later in October 1999 to now have a go at breeding them. I set up a 18" x 12" x 12" tank for a pair, which incidentally out of the four received, I had one male and three females. The males of course have short bristles around the head area and pectorals when they are in good condition ( if they are in unsuitable conditions they will shed their bristles) whereas the females lack this trait.

I included a piece of bogwood which I include in all my Loricaria tanks as this helps them digest their food as they browse on the wood. I also included a 12" long clay pipe, with a 1" diameter which was twice the length of the pair which were by now 6" in growth. Filtration was by an external power filter with again good water movement and a bare bottom to the tank, as I find it so much easier to keep clean.I fed the parents with Lettuce, whiteworm and frozen bloodworm and within a few weeks the female had entered the pipe where the male had resided two days previously.  

The male started to lift its tail over the females body and was shaking up and down. The female laid around 100 eggs which were bottle green in colour. The male chased the female out of the pipe and stayed with the eggs for a total of 12 days, I took the female out and back to its original tank. When the male exited the pipe I was surprised to see him in such good condition because remember he hadn't eaten for a total of 15 days and was no worse for wear.

When the fry appeared there was about 70, a hatch rate of about 90%, they were between 4 and 5mm in size and without an eggsac. I fed them right away after removing the male with microworm and lettuce. Feeding was 3 to 4 times per day.


Rineloricaria cf.tefeana

Water changes were adhered to every day with water from another tank (3' 0"x 20"x 20") which had the same parameters as the fry tank.
I fitted a sponge over the outlet to the power filter to gather bacteria for the fry to feed on and also to slow down the maintenance on the power filter as I was feeding very heavily and the ammonia would have been high if I didn't stick to this strict regime.

Photo Credits: Sandy Milne



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