Hypancistrus sp. «Guaviare»

Photo: Haakon Haagensen

HYPANCISTRUS sp. «Guaviare»

This is a new type of Hypancistrus in the hobby, and it’s still surrounded by controversy and lots of questions.The few individuals we have seen are surprisingly variable in their appearance, and this makes us wonder whether they are truly the work of nature itself or not. The appearance is modest, a grey colour with slightly paler grey markings that occur as spots and short stripes cover their bodies.


Name: Hypancistrus sp. “Guaviare”

Trade names:

Origin: said to be Rio Guaviare, Colombia.

Maximum size: 10 cm / 5”

The first specimens under the name H.sp. “Guaviare” were imported from Colombia to Rare Aquatics (UK) in the spring of 2011. Only a few photos have surfaced, but a group of 5 individuals found their way to our shores thanks to Hans Mengshoel. Since then they moved further to Bergen, where they are now in the care of Lars Jamne. This has allowed us to study them in detail. The variation in their physics is puzzling, and they sure have some traits that leads us to wonder if they are actually hybrids. However, in the small group of animals brought over from the UK we found a single individual of Ancistomus, probably L127. This leads us to believe these two species may share habitat, and serves as reason to believe th H.sp. “Guaviare” may be a genuine form after all. Still, more research is required before we feel certain about their true identity.

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. Among themselves they are fairly peaceful, although males may quarrel for caves and females can sometimes be badly injured or even killed during the breeding-trapping in the male’s cave. Males develop longer odontodes on their pectoral fins and on their cheeks, and have broader heads. Hypancistrus are mostly carnivorous, so a selection of crustaceans, insect larvae and fish meat should be offered along with high quality dried foods that also contain some vegetable matter.

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