Breeding L239 Baryancistrus beggini


Aug 7, 2010
New Zealand
Breeding L239 Baryancistrus beggini
The breeding of any "fancy pleco" is not quite the same as breeding the common Ancistrus, and while the breeders of fancy plecos may be able to list the water parameters that they have been monitoring, the real question remains "is that all the information that is required?"
I know of people in Europe that successfully breed all their fish on the phase of the moon.
Others wait for atmospheric pressure changes.
So this account of breeding whilst not scientific by any means will hopefully be able to assist others with breeding in general.

With the internet, and the less closely guarded secrets about breeding fancy plecos, the first place to start in any breeding project is research.

Where do the fish come from?
What type of water is in that location?
What are the basic parameters of that water?
Do the parameters of the water change at different seasons?

After that, in no particular order:
Sexing your fish. (It helps to have both males and females)
Observe your fish. (It is unlikely that a breeding project will be a short term exercise)
Conditioning your fish.
Spawning your fish.

In addition to all this you may have a personal philosophy about fish keeping.
Mine is simple.......
As a fish keeper it is my responsibility to create an environment which enables my fish to thrive and be healthy.

On to the Blue Fin Panaque......

I purchased a couple of these fish, primarily as show fish for my community tank. How cool is it to have a blue fish!
There were some other fancy plecs in the tank so everything should be all right.
The tank is in a place where I could observe them every day, and they seemed to be like plecs, nowhere to be seen during the day, and out and about a bit at night, but generally very shy.
They never seemed to have any aggression with any of the other fish.
They seemed to have more interest in the rocks than the wood, which was odd for a "panaque" (if only in name)
One day I noticed that the female seemed to be rather large.... Gravid perhaps I thought, so time to do a bit more research.

After some more research I found that these fish had been reclassified as Baryancistrus. Interesting I thought, this could be why they seem to prefer the rocks?

Perhaps I can breed them? If the female is indeed gravid then I must be close to getting them to spawn.

So off to their own tank they went, and another specimen was added.
The new tank was 90% rocks and about 10% wood.

That move was a lesson in how to make a "happy" fish "unhappy"!

And with that another tank was born.

This one 100cm x 60cm x 45cm
pH = 6.5
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 5-10
Ammonia = 0
Temp = 29C-30C

It was about 80% rock and 20% wood.
Filtration = Fluval 305
Circulation = Tunzee 6025
Regular maintenance was a 20% water change weekly.
The fish seemed to spend most of their time on the wood, so over the next few months I added more wood, and removed rocks, until the total was about 80% wood, and 20% rock.

They also do not seem fond of light, so I placed cardboard on top of the tank to reduce the light by about 60%
An interesting observation now is that the "happier" the fish seem to be the bluer the edge of the dorsal and tail fin get!

Towards the end of January I noticed that there were a lot of blue fins, and one of the females looked rather gravid!

The next water change would "be the one" I thought. I did a couple of things differently.
I moved the power head so that it now went diagonally across the tank and across the face of the alpha cave.
I took out 25% of the water but only added 20% back in, so the filter outlet was at the same level of the water.
The temp came down by a couple of degrees, the TDS was 103 and the pH had crept down to 5.7

The next night there was a female in the cave and a week later there was a batch of eggs with tails in the tank.

They continued to spawn every 28 days or so from February to June, but never managed to keep any eggs in the cave to the point of hatching!
Each spawn was about 10-15 eggs, and there are about 30-40 surviving babies.

The babies take about 7 days to hatch at 28.5C, and once I was lucky enough to see the head and tail emerge from the egg, which only took a matter of seconds.
It takes another7 days for them to consume their yolk sac. About 14 days after that they will eat the same food as the parents.
The fry get to about 3cm (TL) after about 3 months and then the growth rate slows down. After 7 months they are only about 4 cm.



Aug 7, 2010
New Zealand
Pictures - Tank
The redish one is without a flash, and the other one is with a flash. This tank is one of the two that it is really hard to get a shot of......
The cave is in the bottom right of the tank and is an Easter Island Head resin ornament.
The other possible breeding location is a natural caved in the lump of wool "behind" the cave.

Well they are a bit hard to take a picture of, as I don't really like to catch them out, so the first one is the alpha male when he was in the community tank, and the second picture is the same fish, I think, but he is showing me what he thinks of the camera <3