Photo: Haakon Haagensen
In Peru, L.heteracanthus is quite wide-spread and common, and it’s a regular encounter in our hobby. It has no L-number, which may be why it’s not as well-known as it could have been. With it’s beautiful red caudal fin and red eyes, it’s a very nice fish. It’s also a good algae eater. It grows a little too big for the smallest tanks, but it’s a good choice for tanks of 150 litres and upwards. They do prefer slightly warm water (26-30 C) to thrive.
Name: Lasiancistrus heteracanthus (Günther, 1869)
Origin: Rio Ucayali, Rio San Alejandro, Rio Napo, Peru.
Maximum TL: 17 cm / 7”
It’s safe to say that Lasiancistrus is not the most popular genus of Loricariidae among fishkeepers. However, this is probably more a result of “competition” from other Plecos with more striking colours and patterns than what the somewhat modest species of Lasiancistrus show off. On the other hand, Lasiancistrus species are excellent beginner-Plecos, as they are easy to keep, eat most of what is on offer (including algae!), are usually quite affordable compared to many other l-numbers, and they are even quite easy to breed. One could perhaps say that they are pretty much like (many, not all) Ancistrus species, but without the head tentacles Instead, Lasiancistrus males develop an interesting “pin cushion” look of very numerous, thin odontodes on the head. They breed like most Loricariidae species, in a cave where the male guards the offspring.