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Peckoltia brevis (La Monte, 1935) 

his is an ideal community catfish as it is quite a hardy character living quite happily in different water conditions as long as they are not too extreme and they are aclimatised slowly to them. They are not too happy when the nitrates rise to an unacceptable level, so keep the water changes up if you experience high levels, or plant heavily as they don't seem to harm plants.

Peckoltia brevis

The fish in question in the above photograph is a male as you can just see the short odontodes (spines) covering the front edge of the pectoral fins and parts of the main body just behind the gill plates, these spines run the full length of the body, they also produce them on the hard rays of the caudal fin. The females are devoid of this character and I find that they are not quite as colourful as the males, being that bit darker.

There are over 50 species (2015) in this genera, described and non described (L-numbers), and most of them are very difficult to put a name to unless you have a location specified. Work is still being done on the Peckoltia genus, plus the genus Hemiancistrus is also very much alike. The colour pattern tends to go from a spotted head to brown bands on a lighter coloured background.


Peckoltia brevis

To sum up, Peckoltia brevis is an ideal loricariid catfish as they are quite peaceful with their own kind, easier to keep, and usually cheaper to buy than some of their L- number companions that are around at the present time. The only problem is finding them in the aquatic outlets as all the new L-numbers seem to be more popular (and costlier), so the best bet would be to pick them up, if you are lucky, in one of the fish auctions that abound throughout the U.K.

This species was featured in the DATZ magazine of Feb. 1996, pages 74-75 as L205. similar form also to L008.

Elongated, evertible cheek odontodes.Three predorsal plates. Abdomen entirely covered in small plates. Five rows of plates on the caudal peduncle. The teeth are not specialized.

Colour pattern typically consists of a spotted head and fins and dark saddles or bars on a tan body (the bars may be somewhat broken giving a more mottled appearance)

They like their own territory in the aquarium as males will sometimes spar with other males, but usually nothing comes of this confrontation as long as they have their own caves, be it PVC pipes, ceramic pots or even under flat stones that have been built up on the substrate.

Not easy. Good water quality and water changing at the right time. They lay their eggs in caves (pipes) and the male guards them for about 10 days. The feeding of courgette (zucchini) and peas taken out of their shell seems to be a precondition for the successful spawning of the Peckoltia genus. For further reading, check out the Tropical Fish Hobbyist, August 1998 for an article by Larry Vires named, Advanced Plecology.

As mentioned above, they love courgette (zucchini), half cook them, sliced, in a pot of water and then frozen for future use. They are also partial to peas now and again. I find they are not a great algae eater like their Chatasoma cousins. I feed also algae wafers and tablet food, they are also keen on frozen bloodworm. Not a hard species to feed as again they are not too fussy.

Vires, Larry. Advanced Plecology, TFH August 1998.
Jon Armbrusters Loricariid Home Page

Photo Credits
Allan James @ ScotCat

Factsheet 022

Hemiancistrus brevis
Common Name:
LDA78, Spotted Peckoltia
Brazil Brazil, in the Rio Purus and the Rio Jurua.
12cm. (4¾ins)
25-26°c (77-85°f.)
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                                                                                                                                        Factsheet 022 = updated October 20, 2004, © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top