LDA63 Panaque sp 'Xingu'

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Retired Staff
Apr 8, 2009
All assigned numbers: L027, L027c, LDA63

Name: Panaque sp 'Xingu'

Common Names: L027, L027c, LDA63, Xingu Royal Pleco

Location: Rio Xingu, Para, Brazil

1_close-up.jpgL27Xingu.jpgL 27Xingu.jpg1_m_Xingu__4_.jpg

Appearance: Royals can change a great deal from juvenile to adulthood. This is a link to a thread with great photos showing the differences

Compatibility: Can be a bit territorially aggressive towards its own kind and similar looking fish, but otherwise peaceful. The Royal Pleco is suitable for community tanks, show tanks with fish that are vulnerable to stress (like Angel Fish or Discus), as well as tanks with more agressive, bold fish (cichlids, stingrays, arowana's, etc.)
This fish is usually pretty secretive, and when purchased as a juvenile not the most sociable of fish: it will be active mainly during the night, and will only rarely make a day-time appearance. Only over time, when the fish matures and becomes more comfortable in his tank, he will start to make more frequent appearances during day times. In some occasions will even start to get used to the owner to such an extent that it will emerge out of hiding, hoping for a little snack.

Sexing and Breeding:

This suckermouth catfish is a wood-eater, like the much more common Clown pleco (and all other species from the genus Panaque, including those known to some as Panaqolus, as well as the members from the genus Cochliodon). Therefore, a few pieces of drift wood are required: 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 this fish consumes vast amounts of it, and produces an almost equal amount of waste (for which reason a very strong filtration system is an absolute necessity).
Being a typical wood-eater, this large Panaque is able to survive on drift wood alone, but being a herbivore, you can feed this beautiful fish food items such as vegetables (peas, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, egg plant, carrots, sweet peppers, spinach, yam, etc.), and also algae and spirulina pellets. It will also accept more meaty foods such frozen foods, sinking wafers, shrimp and even pieces of fish fillet. Protein-rich meaty foods like the ones mentioned should be fed sparsely however, as these products can lead to digestive problems once the fish gets older (their digestive track is not designed to handle large amounts of meaty foods or a protein-rich diet!)

Water parameters:
Temp 22-30c PH 5.5-7.5
A spacious tank with dimmed lights, a large supply of drift wood (see diet), and lots of hiding places (plants, rocks) is ideal for this impressive, colorful and potentially very large catfish. A single young specimen can temporarily be kept in a relatively small tank: a 24-32" (60-80cm.) long tank is enough, if enough filtration is present. Multiple juveniles should be kept in a tank of of 32-40" (80-100cm.) or more in length, the amount depending on factors such as filtration, water change schedule and amount of available hiding places. Full-grown adult requires a much larger tank: at least 60x24" (150x60cm.) for a single specimen, and 80x24" (200x60cm.) for more than one specimen: this fish requires plenty of personal space, as they can be very territorial, especially towards its own kind, and are capable of inflicting serious injuries.
The Royal Pleco does best in soft, slightly acidic to neutral water (pH 6.0-7.0), heavy oxygenation and a lot of underwater currents. A very powerful filtration system is required, as this fish produces a lot of waste due to its size and diet.

Max Size: 60cms

Additional Comments:
This Royal Pleco forms a group of similar-looking fish found throughout tropical South America. Regional differences are caused by variations in habitat, diet and water chemistry.
The P. nigrolineatus complex consists of the following members:
• Panaque nigrolineatus (from the Rio Portuguesa, Venezuela) • L027 (found in the Rio Xingú, Rio Tapajós, Rio Jamanxim, Rio Tocantins, Rio Lageado, Rio Maranhão, Brazil) • L090 or Papa Panaque (found in the Rio Ucayali, Rio Madre Dos Dios, Peru) • L190 (from the Rio Orinoco drainage and the Llanos, Colombia, Venezuela) • L191 or Dull-eyed Royal Pleco (from the Rio Caguán, Colombia) • L203 (found in the Rio Ucayali, Peru) • L330 or Watermelon Pleco (from the Rio Guejar, Colombia)

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