Spectracanthicus zuanoni L020

Photo: Haakon Haagensen


Spectracanthicus is a somewhat overlooked genus of Loricariidae, which is a bit hard to understand.Maybe they can’t show off the same striking patterns as Hypancistrus or Peckoltia species, but they are still great looking Plecos! Also, they don’t grow very large, and when well conditioned they are quite easy to maintain. One of the more regular encounters in the hobby from this genus is L20 from Rio Xingu, Brazil. The damming of the river threatens it’s existence, and captive breedings are rare so the future of this species is very uncertain.


Name: Spectracanthicus zuanoni

Trade names: Spectracanthicus zuanoni L020

Origin: Rio Xingu, Brazil

Maximum size: 13 cm / 5”

These fairly small Plecos are found in rock crevices in the rapids of Rio Xingu. They need an aquarium set up consisting of lots of hiding places in the form of rocks, wood and of course specially made caves that suit their measurements. In these the males will eventually guard their offspring. They prefer water that is fairly warm (27-30 C), soft and slightly acidic. Most of all it should be well oxygenated and clean, so a good filtration system and frequent water changes are essential. It’s a slightly timid and withdrawn species that doesn’t really compete too well for food and territories, so it shouldn’t be placed in a tank with much competition for resources. Among themselves they are fairly peaceful, although males may quarrel for caves and territories. Spectracanthicus species are omnivore, and should be fed a varied diet. They seem to prefer high quality dry foods, crustaceans and insect larvae.

Spectracanthicus zuanoni seems to vary somewhat in the pattern. Some individuals show larger spots and less spotting on the head. Another similar Spectracanthicus species is L354, which comes from Rio Iriri. L354 grows larger, has a higher, more compact body and larger, lighter spots than L20.

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