Panaque cochliodon

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Retired Staff
Apr 8, 2009
Name: Panaque cochliodon

Common Names: Blue-eyed Panaque, Blue-eyed pleco

Location: Orinoco, the Magdalena, and Amazon river systems, Colombia

Panaque cochliodon3.jpgPanaque cochliodon1.jpgcochliodon.jpgcochliodon1.jpg

Dark grey to black body with blue or bluish eyes. Juveniles up to approx 145mm have an opaque caudal fin

Can be territorial to conspecifics and similar sized plecos, therefore plenty of space and hiding spots would be needed to house more than one

Sexing and Breeding:
As they age, males have a noticeably longer and broader head region. Odontodes behind the gill cover may not be a reliable way to sex these Panaques as it has been reported that females may have these too

This suckermouth catfish is a wood-eater, 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:
PH 6-8 Temp 22-28c
A spacious tank(minimum 5x2x2) with dimmed lights, a large supply of drift wood (see diet), and lots of hiding places (plants, rocks) is ideal for this impressive and potentially large catfish. A very powerful filtration system is required, as this fish produces a lot of waste due to its size and diet.

Max Size:
283 mm(SL)

Bred by:
There is a report of breeding in the aquarium. A 200 litre aquarium was used and the eggs were laid in a depression in a piece of wood. Of 230 larvae, 2 were successfully reared and fed on zuchinni. The parent fish were approx 18 cms so a larger tank would be required for full grown fish.

Additional Comments:

The Panaque cochliodon is very similar to the Panaque suttonorum and has in the past been misidentified. It has been suggested that these Panaques, even though from different locations are likely to be sister species. There are however some differences that could be difficult to see even with a trained eye and are as follows

Supraoccipital hump
Panaque cochliodon - present
Panaque suttonorum - absent

Maxillary barbel
Panaque cochliodon - short
Panaque suttonorum - long

Adult caudal fin shape
Panaque cochliodon - lunate
Panaque suttonorum - lunate or forked

Posterior fin reach of pelvic fin spine
Panaque cochliodon - beyond posterior insertion of anal fin
Panaque suttonorum - between anterior and posterior insertion of anal fin

Revision of Panaque (Panaque), with Descriptions of Three New Species from the Amazon Basin (Siluriformes, Loricariidae)Nathan K. Lujan1, Max Hidalgo2, and Donald J. Stewart3

Back to Nature L-Catfishes book
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