Photo: Ole Paulsen
PSEUDACANTHICUS sp. L185
L185 is a very rarely kept species of Cactus Pleco. This is surely due to a combination of large adult size and a very modest appearance. It occurs around the rapids of Belo Monte, Rio Xingu, Brazil. It’s allowed for export from Brazil, but the lack of demands from the ornamental trade leaves L185 as a very unusual encounter in the hobby.
Name: Pseudacanthicus sp.“L185”
Trade names: L185, Belo Monte Cactus Pleco
Origin: Rio Xingu, 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.
When young, L185 may show some pattern of black spots against a dark grey body. As they age, they gradually turn darker and the spots fade away.