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L014 Scobinancistrus aureatus
by Doodles 08-15-09

All assigned numbers: L014

Scobinancistrus aureatus

Common Names: L014, Sunshine pleco, Goldie pleco

Location: South America: Rio Iriri, Rio Xingú (Altamira, Ilha da Fazenda), Pará, Brazil.

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As long as enough hiding places are offered, the Sunshine Pleco is a fairly peaceful and unproblematic fish that can be kept with a wide variety of fish. At first this species tends to stay hidden during the daytime, to become active and start fouraging for food once dusk sets in. But once acclimatized however, they often emerge during day time too.

Sunshine Pleco's can be kept solitary as well as with its own kind or other robust bottom dwelling fish. If a small group of these fish are kept together, it's very important to assure that all fish have enough room to set up territories of their own, and that enough hiding places (plants, rocks, wood) are present. If not, this generally peaceful fish can become stressed and develop a rather nasty, aggressive disposition towards its own kind as well as other bottom dwellers - and because of its impressive set of teeth it can inflict serious, sometimes even fatal injuries!

Sexing and Breeding:

Like all members of the genus Scobinancistrus, the Sunshine Pleco is predominantly carnivorous: a quick glance at the impressive set of teeth will remove any last trace of doubt.
A vast array of different meaty foods are readily accepted: carnivore pellets, insect larvae (blood worms, mosquito larvae), tubifex, krill, fresh shrimp, mussel and fish meat. Once conditioned this fish usually takes algae tablets with equal enthousiasm, and often even knibbles on vegetable matter.
Other than that, this fish sporadically feeds on 'Aufwuchs', the organic matter that forms on submerged surfaces (plants, rocks, wood, aquarium walls), and often it will also take food remains left behind by tank mates, as well as soft wood.

Water parameters:
This large, brightly coloured (what's in a name) catfish-species 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 specimen in the same tank, or together with other bottom dwelling fish, you need at least a 60x20" (150x50cm.) tank: this fish can become very 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 48x18" (120x45cm.) is sufficient for an adult specimen. Juveniles can be raised in smaller tanks, the minimum tank size being 23x12" (80x30cm.)
The Sunshine Pleco does best in soft, slightly acidic to neutral water (pH 5.0-7,5), heavy oxygenation and a lot of underwater currents, but can adapt to somewhat less favourable conditions if acclimatized slowly and with care. A powerful filter system is required to cope with large amounts of waste this fish produces due to its high-protein diet.

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Care requirements information has been used with kind permission from
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