Photo: Haakon Haagensen
PSEUDACANTHICUS sp. «TYPHOON»
Of all the Cactus Plecos, this is currently the most sought-after and expensive one. It entered the trade in the mid 2000’s, and never managed to establish it’s position among fishkeepers since it’s not allowed for export from Brazil. So far, no one succeeded in breeding the species in captivity either, so for the time being all specimens circulating in the trade are smuggled out of Brazil and offered at horrendous prices. Most of them end up at the Asian market. Still, there are a few enthusiasts keeping them even in Europe, so let’s hope the species will be bred and spread around in the hobby so more people can enjoy them.
Name: Pseudacanthicus sp. “Typhoon”
Trade names: LDA105, Typhoon Cactus Pleco
Origin: Rio Jamanxim, 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 600 eggs are laid in a cave, so the process happens in typical Pleco manner with the male guarding the brood.