Photo: Ingo Seidel
HYPANCISTRUS sp. L450
Many l-numbers are unfortunately without much useful information about their origin. L450 is said to come from the area around the city of Santarém, Brazil, near the mouth of the Tapajós river. Just on the opposite bank of the Amazon lies the river Curuá, home of the extremely similar L401. L450 was imported around 2006/7, and has since been bred to establishment in Germany. It’s not allowed for export from Brazil, and is as of such a very rare form in the trade.
Name: Hypancistrus sp. “L450”
Trade names: L450
Origin: unknown, but said to come from the area near Santarém, Brazil.
Maximum size: 14 cm / 6”
The original picture of L450 shows a very striking individual with black lines against a white body. This is not very representative for the form, which to me is identical to L401. L450 may have a slightly more pale body than what is common for L401, but apart from that they are identical. Keep in mind that L401 is found quite near Santarém, albeit on the northern side of the Amazon. Given the blurry info about the origin of L450, it’s yet to be proven that it truly lives near Santarém. It’s much more likely that L450 is simply L401 with a slightly more white body, and that the original information saying that they came from Santarém was simply a marketing trick, as with so many other striking l-numbers.
In young fish, the pattern of L450 can be very striking, with just a few, broad, black lines aginst a very light, golden body. Some individuals show a mutated pattern of just a few black lines. Adult specimens, males in particular, can become very grey and dull coloured with their body almost covered in odontodes.
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.