L074 Panaqolus/Panaque sp

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Retired Staff
Apr 8, 2009
All assigned numbers: L074, L002


Common Names: Tiger plec

Location: South America: Rio Tocantins at Cametá, Pará, Brazil.


Peaceful and unproblematic fish, suitable for community tanks and show tanks with easy to stress fish like Discus or Angel Fish, as well as other bottom-dwelling fish. May become a bit pushy during feeding time, or if not enough hiding places are offered, but if the tank is properly aquascaped it is unaggressive, even towards its own kind.
The Tiger Panaque has been succesfully bred in captivity on a small number of occasions, but most specimen in the aquarium trade are still wild-caught.

Sexing and Breeding:
Mature, breedable males have quite a lot of odontode growth on the body and pectoral fin ray

This is a wood-eating catfish, like all species from the genus Panaque (including those known to some as Panaqolus) and Cochliodon. Therefore, a good supply of bog wood is necessary in the tank: not only does this fish extracts certain elements and nutrients from the organic layer which forms on the wood over time (also known as "Aufwuchs"), it actually eats the wood itself, possibly for digestive reasons. As wood does is not very rich in nutrients, it means the Tiger Panaque consumes vast amounts of it, and produces an almost equal amount of waste (because of which a very strong filtration system is an absolute necessity).
Besides wood, the diet can be supplemented with vegetable matter (cucumber, lettuce, egg plant/aubergine, zucchini/courgette, etc. as well as algae and catfish pellets) and meaty foods like shrimp and pieces of fish fillet.

Water parameters:
Temp 22-30c PH 5.5-7.5
This small catfish-species prefers a dimly lit tank with a good number of hiding places, either created with plants, drift wood, rocks or artificial (pleco spawning) caves. To keep more than one specimen in the same tank, or together with other bottom dwelling fish, you need at least a 40x16" (100x40cm.) tank: this fish can be quite territorial, and when suitable hiding places are lacking, it can be aggressive towards other bottom dwellers. When kept as only catfish in an aquarium, a tank size of 32x14" (80x35cm.) is sufficient.
Typical for South American catfish, this species does best in soft, slightly acidic to neutral water, good oxygenation and a good amount of currents. It can however adapt to harder, more alkaline water, but whether it will reproduce under such conditions is questionable.

Max Size:

Bred by:
Lealea, BrengunBreeding Log: See post below. For comments and questions please use original thread here L002 breeding Log

Additional Comments:

Profile information used with permission from www.piranha-Info.com


Global Moderators
Staff member
Apr 22, 2009
Burrum Heads, Queensland, Australia
Keeping and breeding L002 tiger pleco.

May 17th 2008 I bought 5 L002 fry from Lealea. They were approx 4cm and cost $60AU each at the time. I estimate they were 4 to 6 months of age.
These were some of my earliest pleco purchases and this was only my 3rd species of L's. I had L397 and L134 fry from Lealea in the month prior to getting these L002 fry.

Tank: I first set them up in a 2.5ft (750mm) tank with sand substrate, driftwood with anubias and some little caves to hide in.
Filtration: I had a small canister filter, an air sponge filter and a small powerfilter.
Temp & pH: The temperature was set on 28C (80F) since that is what Lealea had kept them at and pH of approx a neutral 7 to 7.2.
Food: The fry seemed more interested in eating wood at first but they also enjoyed Hikari algae wafers, zucchini and cucumber. I withheld more meatier foods as the fry were young and listed as wood eaters moreso than omnivores.

The picture below shows two of the fry settling in to their new home on the day I got them.

By August they had grown to almost 6cm as that is the outside width of that cave pictured.

By Jan 2009 a little past their first birthday they were mostly 7cm or a little bigger.
It appeared I had a mix of sexes and hoped I had 2m/3f.

Eventually my colony was moved to a bigger 4ft tank and I installed a larger canister of 2400Lph, and a power head.
The power head was more help as a current pushing debris to the canister intake.

Here is an edited exert from where I posted in another forum of my breeding L002. Unfortunately I lost the plecofanatics post but luckily I posted somewhere else as well.

Mon Jul 27, 2009
My tigers L002 are breeding. Two lots of fry on the go atm. One has only just hatched last night so they will be a week or more before I take them out of the log but today the first spawn got unceremoniously dumped into the fry saver.
Pretty good for a first ever L002 spawn, there are two dozen fry.

Details: took 12 days to hatch and the fry are now 7 days old including hatch day.
The log was one of those small round terracotta logs for bristlenoses. Tank size is 4ft x 1ft x 1.5ft. Water amount would be around 120Ltrs. Filtration is a Fluval internal power filter and an Otto450 (2400Lph) canister filter with added purigen bag. Substrate is gravel and there are numerous driftwood with anubias and java and some thin val. Temp around 26C (78F).

I must have triggered them when the canister kept playing up and not filtering properly. I opened it on average weekly for a month till I finally got it going properly. The little extra added water changes as well as their standard weekly water change must have done the trick.
*Something I did forget to mention is I gradually changed from using town water of pH7.2 to rainwater of pH6 which also may have contributed to a breeding trigger.

I was surprised they spawned so young as I only bought these tigers as 5cm juveniles in May last year. Perhaps they were already 6 months or so old when I got them but that still only makes the adults 21 month old or so and they usually breed at 2yrs of age. Must be my good care and feeding regime.

I have fed the fry with powdered Sera Flora flake and a spirulina plus agar agar mix.

Oh you want photos? I was just a bit too excited to focus very well but I got a few photos. Fry are 1.5cm already.

Tue Sep 08, 2009
I temporarily took all their driftwood away, turned the lights on an took a couple of quick piccies before I over stressed them but gee they are lookin good.

Mon Oct 05, 2009
I've been keeping my L002 fry in a little floating guppy saver for a couple of weeks because the standard fishcave saver wouldn't fit in the limited space between the top of the tank and the stands tier.
I have a couple of each of the two first spawns and a few more from the second two spawns. The second spawns seem much hardier than the first ones and I've had much less losses.
I have two breeding males and three females.

Its been getting pretty crowded in the saver so I ordered a custom made fry saver from thefishcave which is narrower than normal to fit under the tier space and has a wider lip as my lid supports are very wide where the saver is hang on.

I went to install the saver and guess what? The new saver was still 1mm too wide to fit. Grrrrrrrrrr.
Then I noticed I had a 20mm piece of pine board under the tank as a support. It really doesn't have to be there as the 4ft long and 1ft wide tank can sit on the stand with support around the outer edges and it did have a full sheet of white foam lining under the tank to level and support.

The fry got put in a container with a bit of dw and an airstone and I dropped the water level of the tank right down to 10cm and it was still too heavy to lift so I could pull the pine board out. Grrrrrrr.

Nothing for it but to take out the 5 rainbow fish, and the adult L002's and empty the tank. Uh-oh, both males have newly hatched fry in their caves.
I set up a nice container with the tank water and an airstone and very carefully took the breeding logs out of the tank and transferred them to the container.
The 3 females and the rainbowfish got put in buckets along with some plants and driftwood for cover and I got to work emptying the tank.

The filtration has been a canister (Otto 2400Lph) and an 800Lph Otto internal power filter as well as a small sponge filter.
I had changed the Fluval internal filter a few weeks ago for an Otto after the Fluval stopped its air output and reduced its water flow because of the smallest amount of debris in the sponge parts of the filter.
I had lost 24 fry and several cherry shrimp from the malfunction.

I am in the process of putting undergravel filters in all my tanks and they are run from a big 100LP airpump. My idea is that as well as the gravel acting as a filter medium the air output will help the tanks a lot during the hot summer months when the tank temperature rises.
Another bonus is that during the electricity loss as a result of summer storms, I can hook up a converter and a car battery to keep the airpump working for several hours.

I had a 4ft ugf ready and since I was already emptying the tank to pull that board out I might as well wash up some extra gravel to go with the sparce existing gravel and set it all up together.
The ugf has 4 air risers but I only set up 3 of them for air and popped the canister inlet in the 4th riser cradle.
My canister, as well as having all the good bacteria also has a Purigen bag to keep the water clean and polished so I like to retain it.

Emptied the tank, removed the board, set up ugf, and put everything and everyone back in the tank without too much trouble.
The males had stayed in their logs and hopefully in the new setup (with the old water put back) they won't get too upset and kick the wrigglers with egg sacks out.
The new saver fits like a dream and the fry have much more room to get around now.

Thu Oct 08, 2009
I took 9 fry out of one of the logs today and out popped 5 eggs.

Thu Oct 08, 2009
Woohoo, second log had 22 tiger fry. :D

The eggs were hatched in an eggtumbler which is basically just a specimen container with an airstone at the top to draw fresh water through and past the eggs to keep them clean and aerated.

Fry with egg sac still attached. It can take over a week for the fry to absorb the sac. During this time, there is no need to feed the fry but make sure the saver stays quite clean.

Adult male photo.

Even the tigers belly is quite pretty.
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