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Retired Staff
Apr 8, 2009
All assigned numbers: L128


Common Names: Blue Phantom

Location: Venezuela: Amazonas, Puerto Ayacucho


Very similar to the Hemiancistrus subviridis (L200) but has a blueish-green colouration. Juveniles are reported to have spots on the edges of the tail and dorsal fin.

Suitable for community tanks, but can be very aggressive to other Pleco's in general. Like many species of Loricarid, the Blue Phantom Pleco can be pretty territorial: finding and defending suitable hiding places/breeding caves are usually the focus of attention and main cause for aggressive behaviour. Keeping more than one adult under cramped circumstances or in a tank lacking enough suitable hiding places can result in the death of one of the fish.

Sexing and Breeding:
Males have longer odontodes behind the gill covers and on the pectoral-fin spine

A look at the mouth of the Blue Phantom Pleco reveals that this species is an "Aufwuchs" eater. Aufwuchs is the organic layer, part plant, part animal (small crustaceans, fresh water sponges, small insects and their eggs, plankton), that over time develops on submerged surfaces. The fish uses its large diskshaped suckermouth, equipped with a large amount of tiny teeth, to graze on these surfaces.
Once acclimatized, this species of Loricarid will usually readily accept meaty foods (bloodworms, mosquito larvae, artemia, tubifex) as well as vegetable matter (vegetables, pellet food, algae and, to the dismay of many aquarists, also aquarium plants). The emphasis should be on vegetable matter, as a diet that is too proteine-rich can lead to digestive problems, ingestation and bloat.

Water parameters:
26-29c PH 5.5-7.5
This medium-sized Loricarid 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 adult specimen in the same tank, or together with other bottom dwelling fish, you need at least a 48x20" (120x50cm.) tank or larger: 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 40x16" (100x40cm.) is sufficient, although a 48" (120cm.) aquarium would be better.
The Blue Phantom requires warm and very oxygen-rich water, preferably soft and slightly acidic water (pH 6.0-6.5). Also, lots of underwater currents are appreciated. A powerful filter system is recommended, as this fish produces a lot of waste.

Max Size: around 25cms, maybe a little smaller

Bred by:

Additional Comments:

Some care requirements info used with permission from www.piranha-info.com
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