L201 Breeding Log

Written by Kakamac

  • Tank Size – 3 foot long x 20 inches wide x 18 inches high

L201 Tank

  • Substrate – Very fine mixed gravel purchased from the LFS
  • Tank Furnishings – Plenty of Driftwood and caves
  • Additives – Indian Almond Leaves
  • Caves – 1 Bristlenose log 14 cm’s long (entrance 2.5cm’s wide), 6 Bamboo logs. The Bamboo logs are 14 to 15cm’s long (entrance’s from 2 to 2.5cm’s long). Bamboo was recommended to me and is in my opinion the best material I’ve used for caves so far. The bamboo logs were boiled then aloud to dry and cool before use.

Log used for L201's

  • Filtration – One Otto 2000L Hr internal filter with venturi which provides a strong current.
  • Heating – Jager 300W
  • Temperature - 30 to 32 degrees Celsius
  • Cleaning – Filter cleaned weekly, 50% water change and gravel vac completed weekly with 25% water change daily when fry are present.
  • Tank Mates – A colony of Cherry Shrimp (and a heap of pest snails).

Female Cherry Shrimp

Breeding Diet For L201’s

  • Sera Viformo
  • Frozen Bloodworm
  • Frozen Brine Shrimp
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Wardley’s Tropical Flake Food

Present Diet for all my pleco’s

  • Sera Viformo
  • Frozen Bloodworm (removed from the diet when fry are present)
  • Frozen Brine Shrimp
  • JBL Novo Plec Chips
  • NLS H20 Wafers
  • Wardley’s Tropical Flake Food
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini

(Adding Sera Catfish Chips Soon)

Secondary Diet
The secondary diet was prior to and after breeding and includes two items (see below).

  • Indian Almond Leaves - I’ve observed the fish eating IAL them often so include them as part of the diet
  • Cherry Shrimp - eaten but not often

Use of Almond Leaves - Initially I’d read a lot about Almond Leaves and was keen to experiment with them. After a fruitless search I eventually found a FS that sold them an hour or so away. I purchased some and the results were great. I simply washed them and let them float around the tank before they became caught on driftwood or sank after becoming waterlogged.

The PH fell from 7.5 to 6.5 and the fish used the Almond Leaves to hide under if spooked and not near the caves. Added to this they were eaten by the fish and the shrimp and helped stain the water (which the driftwood also did) which gave a great effect. I never go a day now without adding them to any of my L number tanks now and have observed my L134’s enjoying them.

Origins of Colony
The colony came to me as six 3-4cm fish from a friend. I was pretty pleased with them as all were in good health. Immediately they were placed in a 2 foot long x 1 foot wide x 1 foot high where they were maintained for a number of months with a colony of Cherry Shrimp before being moved to the 3 foot.

Two of the colony members

Sex Ratio & Size – Unsure of sexes at present as I leave the colony to their own devices. Sizes of colony members range from approximately 5 - 7.5cm's.

Spawning and Observations – Spawning the L201’s was unintentional. Whilst I had been hopeful they would breed at some stage I had been told that it could take a while and be prepared to wait. Added to this I believed the fish to be too small. The predominant diet fed at the time was Sera Viformo and Frozen bloodworms. Unfortunately the Viformo ran out so the fish lived predominately on Bloodworm and the other foods listed in the breeding diet till I could get more Viformo which was approximately 3 weeks. The Bloodworms I believe along with the regular water changes triggered breeding which took place in a bamboo log situated under a piece of driftwood.

Whilst removing the cave for cleaning and getting the cave close to the surface the male shot out. I had not realised he was in there so curiously I shone the torch inside to see four fry. I quickly placed it back in the tank in the same position I found it and thankfully the male returned.

Two days later the four fry left the bamboo cave and were placed in a cheap fry saver from the LFS. One of the fry died in the early stages (as to why I am unsure) and the other three survived. The fry were fed a diet of lettuce (which was ignored), Wardley’s Tropical flake food and viformo.

A small piece of NLS H20 wafer was offered every few feeds and was not eaten initially however they are now feeding in the main tank on NLS H20. JBL Novo plec is still being fed and relished however whilst the fry are in the main tank with the rest of the colony I will refrain from feeding Bloodworm.

At 33 days measuring 1cm in length the three fry were released from the fry trap back into the main tank with the colony of L201’s and Cherry Shrimp. Of the three fish one had unusually light colouring and is still rather light. The other two had similar patterning to the rest of the colony. All three fry are thriving although growth is slow.

Cheap Fry Saver

"Normal fry"

Unusual "White fry"

Photo of "White" fry taken on the 30/06/09

Side photo taken of "White" L201 on 30/06/09