Photo: Enrico Richter
PSEUDACANTHICUS sp. L065
For a long time, L65 was almost a phantom in the hobby, only known from a couple of pics that showed a very nicely patterned young individual. Nowadays L65 is still rarely available, but is at least in the hobby partially due to captive breedings in Germany. It’s not allowed for export from Brazil. We have also learned that the pattern is highly variable, and fades with age. As one of the smaller species of the genus, and also among the less aggressive ones, L65 is a very suitable aquarium fish.
Name: Pseudacanthicus sp. “L65”
Trade names: L65, Blizzard Cactus Pleco
Origin: Rio Manacapuru, Brazil.
Maximum TL: 20 cm / 8”
Cactus Plecos are among the most impressive of all Loricariidae. They grow into large, territorial feeding machines that will bring lots of joy and wonder to those who can house them. A diet consisting of meat-based foods is required, so mussels and shrimps are always desired. Additional dry foods with a good vitamin rich content should be added. The water quality must be prime, so a good filtration system, lots of oxygen and regular water changes is necessary for Cactus Plecos to thrive. Suitable caves and territorial boundaries should be present, and tank size should not be too small. When all of the above is present, even Pseudacanthicus species can be lured to breed. Males have broader heads and slightly more prominent pectoral fin rays. Females of course show a fatter belly. Up to about 200 eggs are laid in a cave, so the process happens in typical Pleco manner with the male guarding the brood.
L65 is a species with a very variable pattern. It can show lots of white dots and lines of various sizes, and then again some are more or less without any light pattern. Especially elder individuals loose most of their pattern. Juveniles can very easily be confused with L97 and P.sp.“Alenquer”. These usually have more round, typical spots, but exceptions occur, which makes place of origin the best indicator of what species it is. Young L65 often has more white in their caudal fins than the other similar forms.