Chris Ralph is back this month with an update to his
2006 factsheet for the U.K. fishkeeping magazine,
Practical Fishkeeping with
another look at, to many, may be the northern population
of an earlier factsheet on the species L200, Hemiancistrus
We now hand you over to Chris for his insight
into the L128.
The L128 Hemiancistrus
sp. is documented as being similar to L200 and could
possibly be the northern population of this species.
This catfish has the name Chaestostoma species
in Aqualog All L-Numbers but it is not, which is why
it had been placed into the sub-family Ancistrinae
then lateraly to the Loricariinae subfamily where
it has been placed into the Hemiancistrus
genera, the same as its sister species Hemiancistrus
subviridis, until it can be been described to
This catfish as
with many other species is best described as being
a substrate dweller, with its typical suckermouth
adapted to feeding upon different food types found
on the substrate. L128 is documented as not being
as hardy as L200 but will however acclimatise with
a little more care and husbandry from the aquarist.
L128 will adapt to aquarium conditions with calmer
flows than it is used to in its natural habitat. I
have seen a number of these striking catfish available
for sale over the years and I would suggest that you
would expect to pay anything from £30 for a
juvenile specimen to £75 for an adult fish (2006
sp. (L128)- head
sp. (L128) prefers to be kept in water which has a
pH in the range of 6.5-7.2. This catfish is ideally
suited to temperatures in the range of 23-26ºC.
It fares best in well aerated, clean water conditions
with a preference for a good water flow.
Below is the very
similar patterened L200 which may turn out to be the
Now (Hemiancistrus subviridis Werneke,
D. C., M. H. Sabaj, N K. Lujan, and J W. Armbruster.
I would suggest
a minimum tank size of 48” x 24” X 24”,
although a larger aquarium would be preferred for
one of these fascinating catfish. I would suggest
good quality aquarium sand such as BD Aquarium Sand,
or very smooth rounded gravel as the preferred substrate
when keeping these catfish. The aquarium should provide
some shelter in the form of rocks or bogwood along
with a small covering of aquatic plants, although
this is not essential. An ideal set-up would include
some vertical rocks and some larger rounded boulders
and a fairly strong current, as these catfish live
naturally in the cracks and crevices in the rocks.
As with all other species of fish, water quality and
general husbandry is very important, and I would recommend
that a minimum of 25% water is changed on a weekly
Amazonas, Puerto Ayacucho (Rio Orinoco).
The body shape is described
as being elongate and flattened. The body is completely
covered with small spines. The mouth is described
as being inferior with lips forming a disc-like shape.
The teeth are arranged in rows. The adipose fin consists
of a spiny projection which supports a membrane. This
catfish has distinctive nasal flutes.
The base colour of the body
and head is inky black with variable bluish white
spots, although the spotting does also appear cream
in certain conditions. The spots are more concentrated
around the anterior part of the body and head, thinning
out towards the posterior of the fish. The spots
extend into the fins and can be seen on the pectoral,
adipose, dorsal, caudal and pelvic fin spines.
Care & Compatibility
L128 is an ideal addition
to an aquarium containing such fish as South American
cichlids, tetras and angelfish, just as long as the
other occupants are not too aggressive.
As far as I am
aware there are no documented records of L128 having
been spawned in aquaria to date, which is most likely
due to the cost of purchasing the breeding stock.
It is generally thought although not proven that this
catfish, like a number of other species of Loricariid
catfish, is a cave spawner.
The males tend to be more slender
and larger than the females. The males tend to develop
bristles around the cheeks and head, with larger spines
or odontodes being present along the leading edge of
the pectoral fin ray. It is thought that in mature males
the dorsal fin is more developed giving it an almost
shark like appearance. In addition it is generally thought
that the spots around the head region in mature males
L128 readily accepts a mixed
and varied diet which includes sinking foods such
as catfish pellets, algae wafers, courgette, cucumber,
frozen bloodworm and any other good quality foods
which sink to the substrate. These catfish benefit
from the addition of some meatier foods in their diet
such as prawns and mussels.
is defined as a second dorsal fin which consists of
fatty tissue with a single spine supporting a thin
membrane. Caudal fin is defined as the tail
Dorsal fin is defined as the medial fin on
top of back.
Inferior is defined as visible only from
beneath the head in reference to the mouth. Nasal is defined as being in relation
to the nostrils. Pectoral fins are defined as paired
lateral fins. Pelvic fins are defined as paired
ventral fins between the pectoral and anal fins.