Isbrücker & Nijssen, 1991
here has been a lot written about this wonderful
looking fish from the Loricariidae family in the last couple
of years in the aquatic publications, and on the Internet, owing
to the drop in price of these individuals culminating in the purchase
of more of them, and the subsequent study in the home aquarium.
and L173 are the same specimens as Hypancistrus zebra L
046, but with different colour patterns.
I remember my first contact with this species
in the late 80s, early 90s and the stomach churning price of £300
each in a small outlet in the North of England, that was over a
weeks wages and definitely a road I was not about to go down if
I was planning to stay married!. The price as I write this factsheet
( Feb.2001) is around the £30 mark now and definitely more
Before it was described in 1991 by Isbrücker & Nijssen
it was assigned the L- number 46. This trait was started by the
German aquatic publication DATZ to number each of the
Loricariids which were coming into the country from South America
it seemed in droves, before they were studied and described to science.
Another magazine Das Aquarium also started the same
trend with their number systems beginning with LDA ( example LDA20).
It has not been a foolproof method with mistakes being made along
the way but it is the best as we know it today, and as we are human,
nothing indeed is perfect.
They are quite tolerant of water conditions
as long as the water is kept clean and warm and you keep the water
changes up. A good tip when first buying them is to acclimatise
them in a smaller tank before transferring them to your main aquarium,
this way you can make sure that they are feeding well and are also
happy in the water conditions. You can decorate this tank with cave
like structures akin to the home where it will eventually reside.
Update: Since December 2004 the export of H.
zebra has been forbidden.
The head markings are quite distinctive,
when viewed from above, the forehead marking resembles that of an
inverted capital 'E'. Behind this there is a broad band that is
slightly posterior of the eyes which narrows below the orbit and
transverses forward at approximately 45 degrees. Another broad band
is situated midway between the eyes and the base of the dorsal fin.
It transverses each side of the body and extends into the first
few soft rays of the pectoral fin just behind the spine and almost
reaches the outer edges. There may be a fainter stripe visible running
parallel. From this transverse stripe there are two oblique evenly
spaced stripes that run parallel to these two in the upper dorsal
and four in the anterior half of the body and caudal fin. There
is a further stripe in the ventral fin like that in the pectoral
that runs parallel and just rear of the spine. Four deeply forked
teeth per side in the lower jaw and seven to eight long, bent and
only at the ends, forked teeth in each side of the upper jaw.
Ground colour including all fins and belly
is whitish; the body markings are solid black.
Keeping the 'Zebra Pleco' in the aquarium
is not too much of a problem as long as you give them plenty of
hiding places, caves, rounded boulders, plant pots and pipework.
They also like the water to be well oxygenated owing to the higher
temperatures that is best given to them. You could also add some
wood to their tank but according to some aquarists, who have kept
this species, it isn't totally necessary.
The temperature would probably need to be
between 83°F-85°F (28°C-29°C) for a successful spawning.
To sex them the males usually have a broader head looking down upon
them and sexually mature males have prominent bristles on their
pectoral fins. To read a breeding report in ScotCat go along
to the breeding section of the ScotCat articles to find an
in-depth report on the breeding of Hypancistrus
Not a true vegetarian so more meaty type foods
would need to be fed. This includes live bloodworm, frozen foods
such as muscle, tubifex and bloodworm and the usual tablet food
Study Group (UK) Information
Referring to the
Schraml, E; Import News, 1999-2002 CD:
|Zebra Pleco, L 046, L 098,
River basin. Type locality: Brazil, Est. Pará,
anastomoses of Rio Xingú, about one hour upstream of
Altamira by speedboat (Altamira: 03º13'S 53º15'W).
|26-28ºC ( 79-83°f)
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