L104 Panaque Maccus or clown pleco


Global Moderators
Staff member
Apr 22, 2009
Burrum Heads, Queensland, Australia
Keeping and breeding L104

I bought my L104 pair as adults a year and one week ago.

Mature Male showing a hairy tail.

Female (girls can fade their colors according to what mood they are in)

Since I have mostly all 4ft long tanks, I added the pair to the established Royal Whiptail tank.
It has a mix of Coffs gravel, calcium carb and a small amount of crushed coral.

A few months ago I decided to put in an under gravel filter on the 4ft x 1ft x 18" tank and it has 4 air risers.
On the one corner instead of using a riser I connected a canister intake.
My idea is, it takes surface debris from the top of the gravel and also pulls out bulk mulm from under the UGF.
I do still gravel vac parts of the tank, just not quite as often.

The canister is a Jebo, nothing special but it does 1000Lph (219 UK or 264 gal).
The spray bar is only small but quite powerful.
There is also an Otto internal power filter blowing current up to the further end and pulling debris back toward the canister intake.
I like the Otto style as I can see thru the filter cups and know when to give them a rinse in the old water change water.
The cups are interchangeable; if I want to seed a new tank I steal one of the seasoned cups off the filter and give it to the new tank filter.

My water is rainwater with a ph of about 6 to 6.4.
The calc carb can pull it up to about 7 but not much higher as the driftwood (an important part of the L104’s diet) does pull ph down a little.
I do about 20% water changes once a week.

Temperature is set on 24C for a winter level but its not really working at the moment as sometimes in summer its getting up near 30C (86F).
I have put in an evaporative cooler to blow on the tank and it tends to keep the water around 26 to 28C (79F-82F).
I have replaced the glass lids during summer with some light weight egg crate mesh so the fan can cool the water surface.

I don't know if it’s significant or not but the tank is in my laundry which I seldom visit unless washing or tending fish, so largely they are undisturbed.
I keep the tank light off during the day in summer so as not to heat the water with the lights.
I only put the light on for a few hours at night to tend tanks and let the plants (anubias on driftwood, java fern and a few crypts) get a bit of light.

Food is continental cucumber every second day, couple of Hikari algae wafers to feed 10 royal whips and the pair of L104's.
I also add a good sprinkling of Sera flora flake daily.
Not often but sometimes a bit of New Life Spectrum or shrimp pellets might be added and maybe even a tab of Sera Vilforma.
I do know royal whips and I imagine the L104’s love live black worm but its hard to get here.
I always worry I might bloat something so they don't get it.

The preferred caves are those round terracotta log looking ones with an opening of about 2.5cm or about an inch.
The L104’s did used to have a D shaped cave and I thought once they had actually spawned some eggs.
It turned out to be a false alarm and a piece of coral had been kicked in the cave.

Today’s caves. Sometimes they can be a little sharp so I smoothed off the insides and front openings with a rat tailed file.

Prior to now, they have trapped together in the log for over a week sometimes but nothing ever came of it.
I gave up looking, but just noted that the female went in the log from time to time.

Recently the royal whiptails had a double spawn so I am not sure if that maybe put something in the water to trigger off the L104's to breed.
I have a large fry saver up one end now full of whiptail fry and some peppermint fry which I hatched in an egg tumbler in that tank.
Full tank photo: (the lovely big leaved plant in the middle is a fake one)

There has been very little rain or storm activity lately.
The barometer did drop a bit about a week ago so perhaps that together with their usual rainwater change also got the L104 in a breeding mood.

It was only when I noticed one fry kicked out the other night that I decided to empty the log to find 8 more fry. It was a fantastic surprise.

Baby L104 photos:

A few days old and the egg sacs are starting to disappear.

The fry are kept in the frysaver with royal whiptail fry, red lizard L10a fry, and peppermint fry.
Fortunately at this age they all seem to eat similar foods.
The plant in the fry saver is a little Windelov java fern tied to a little bit of driftwood.
Don’t throw out the little driftwood ‘bits’; they come in handy for fry savers.

I feed a spirulina power and agar agar mix, cucumber, Sera Flora flake and Sera Vilforma tabs.
I am not sure how the L104 fry will go when they start eating the Vilforma.
If bloating occurs I will substitute it with crumbled Hikari algae wafers.
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you look like you know ur stuff

how big are they when they get to be mature i have a 45L and 63L hopfully in next month or so getting 125L


Global Moderators
Staff member
Apr 22, 2009
Burrum Heads, Queensland, Australia
No, I sold the L104's and the L002's in the panaques and just kept the L397's which never seem to stop breeding.

I bought peckoltia L278 and their fry looked too similar to the L104's and I didn't want to be mixing up those and the L104 fry in the fry grow out tank.
L278 and L397 are different enough looking as fry that they can share the same grow out tank.

I have introduced a couple of new foods to the L397 fry which would also be fed to L104 if I still had them.
Sera Flora flake was getting very expensive here so I switched to Ocean Nutrition cichlid veg flakes which I can buy in 5kg bulk very easily.

I still use Hikari algae tabs and have added New Era green cichlid logs which everyone including carnivore fish seem to like. No bloating on the L397 fry with the New Era and saves me having to feed vegetables so often as the New Era has vegetable matter in it.