Photo: Haakon Haagensen
PANAQOLUS sp. L169
Panaqolus species are dwarf Panaques, to put it simple. L169 is among the more regular species of the genus in the hobby, and a common export from Brazil. In aquariums, they are fairly hardy fish once settled, and as long as they are given wood to chew on.
Name: Panaqolus sp. “L169”
Trade names: L169, Rio Negro Tiger Pleco
Origin: Rio Negro, Brazil
Maximum size: 13 cm / 5”
Panaqolus species are great aquarium fish. They need shelter in the form of wood and rocks, and if they feel safe they will venture out in search of food even during daytime. They prefer a vegetarian diet, and of course wood is essential for their digestion. Some crustaceans and insect larvae can be added to their diet, but a diet consisting of too much protein and too little vegetarian food can cause trouble. They are peaceful Plecos, but males can be quarrelsome over territories and food. Panaqolus species are slightly more challenging to breed than many other popular Plecos, but it’s usually all a matter of time and patience. When they do, they breed in typical Loricariidae manner with the male guarding the brood in his cave. Usually, male Panaqolus develop quite impressive odontodal growth on their flanks and on their fins.
There are lots of similar looking Panaqolus species being exported from both Peru and Brazil. L169 is one of the Brazilian forms, and can be confused with L2, L74, L271, L374 and L403. Compared to these, l169 usually has broader, clearer lines on the head. L309 may proove to be identical to L169.