All assigned numbers:
L114, LDA07, LDA73
Pseudacanthicus sp. leopardus
Demini Leopard Cactus Pleco, Leopard Pleco, Cactus Pleco, L114, LDA07, LDA73
South America: middle Rio Negro drainage (Rio Demini), Amazonas, Brazil.
Just like many other pleco species relatively peaceful if it has enough room to stake out a territory, which will however be defended fiercely if intruded by other fish. Towards it's own kind or similar looking pleco's, this species can be quite aggressive, and if cramped for space also against other bottom dwellers.
Sexing and Breeding:
This beautifully patterned Loricarid belongs to the genus of carnivorous pleco's called Pseudacanthicus
or Cactus Pleco's. One glance at its mouth illustrates this well: instead of a true sucker mouth, it has a mouth than is more suitable for grasping and holding food items. Its teeth are few in number, but powerful and large: ideal for cracking open snails and small crustaceans as well as rasping meat.
All this means that its diet should primarily be made up of meaty foods, such as shrimp, krill, mussels, blood worms, mosquito larvae and fish meat (fillets). But once acclimatized, the Demini Leopard Cactus Pleco usually is an undemanding fish that will also accept pellet food (both with meaty and plant matter) and sometimes even fresh vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini, egg plant, potato, etc.
Temp 24-30c PH 5.5-7.5
A tank with dimmed lights and a good amount of hiding places (plants, drift wood, rocks, artificial caves) is ideal for this beautifully patterned catfish. This large, robust and often quite aggressive species requires a large tank: at least 48x20" (120x50cm.) for a single specimen, and at least an 60x24" (150x60cm.) tank for a small group of these pleco's. This fish requires plenty of personal space, as they can be very territorial, especially towards its own kind and similar looking bottom dwellers, and with their sharp teeth they are capable of inflicting serious injuries.
The Demini Leopard Cactus Pleco does best in soft, slightly acidic water (pH 5.5-6.5), heavy oxygenation and a lot of currents. A powerful filtration system is required, as this fish produces a lot of waste due to its high-protein diet.
The majority of specimen available to the ornamental fish market, the two different specimen shown on this page included, are captured in the area mentioned above: the Rio Demini, a river that joins the middle Rio Negro in the province of Amazonia, Brazil. These fish are known as L114, and are often sold under the name Pseudacanthicus
(it in fact is Pseudacanthicus sp.
), due to the great similarity to Pseudacanthicus leopardus
(the 'true' Leopard Cactus Pleco). Whether we are dealing with the same species is questionable however, given a number of clear distinctions (color, pattern, dentition and amount of teeth). However, scientific research is needed to clear up whether L114 is indeed the same species as Pseudacanthicus leopardus
(which is found in the Rio Essequibo, Rio Rupuni, Rio Branco and Rio Takutu rivers in the border region of Guyana and Brazil), or a related, but as of yet undescribed species.
Profile information used with permission from www.piranha-Info.com
.t 2 photos by GEM