Photo: Wilfred Chan
PSEUDACANTHICUS sp. L096
L96 is a Cactus Pleco from Rio do Pará, Brazil. It has a light orange tinge in it’s fins, particularly in the first rays. The body is more grey/brown, covered in black spots. It’s often labelled as P.spinosus. It’s allowed for export from Brazil, but it’s apparently a less desirable species in the trade than some of the more colourful representatives of the genus.
Name: Pseudacanthicus sp. “L96”
Trade names: L96, Coffee & Cream Cactus Pleco.
Origin: Rio do Pará, Brazil.
Maximum TL: 40 cm / 16”
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. Elder males become territorial and aggressive towards each other, and even to other Plecos. This means that 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.
L96 can be confused with L79, L160 and the true P.spinosus. L96 can be told apart from these by it’s orange fins. L96 is erroneously identified as P.spinosus by many sources, but P.spinosus has a slightly higher body/head and no orange in the fins.