All assigned numbers:
Leporacanthicus cf. galaxias
L007, vampire plec, Galaxy plec
Brazil: Rio Guamá (Ourém)
Can be territorial, this species can be unfriendly towards its own kind and similar looking fish. Bottom dwellers of different color and pattern are usually left alone, although things may heaten up during feeding time.
Sexing and breeding:
A close look at the teeth of this pleco reveals we're dealing with a carnivore. Meaty foods like shrimp, krill, mussels, pieces of fish, blood worms, mosquito larvae, sinking carnivore wafers etc. are readily accepted. Once acclimatized, this species will also eat algae/bottom dwellers tablets and possibly even fresh vegetables.
Besides being a carnivore, the Galaxy Pleco also appears to be a 'substrat filter feeder': I've often observed my specimen shuffling through the gravel in a forward dashing motion, after which it moves forwards over the 'trench' it just created. During this, it seems it use its huge sucker mouth as a net, sucking up small particles that were just whirled up: food is swallowed, inedible material such as wood particles and gravel are expelled through the gill slits.
Temp 22-30c 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 medium-sized catfish. A young specimen can temporarily be kept in a relatively small tank: when it's the only catfish in the tank, a 32x14" (80x35cm.) tank is enough, when kept with more bottom dwellers you need at least a 40x16" (100x40cm.) tank. Mature adults require a larger tank: at least 40x16" (100x40cm.) for a single specimen, and at least an 48x20" (120x50cm.) 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 Galaxy Pleco does best in soft, slightly acidic to neutral water (pH 6.0-7.0), 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 Galaxy Pleco is hard to tell apart from similar-looking species from the genus Leporacanthicus
, such as L029 (Leporacanthicus
, L240 and L241.
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L007 has a higher dorsal fin, larger spots and a shorter snout than L029
L007 has yellowish spots whereas the L029 are more white