Queen Arabesque Plecostomus L260 (Hypancistrus sp)
Queen Arabesque Plecos are generally hardy and peaceful catfish. However, males can be territorial when it comes to guarding their territory, especially against other males of the same species. It would be best if you did not keep these fish with the very aggressive bottom dwellers or other large fish as it may result in them getting left out at feeding time.
The Queen Arabesque Plecos prefer a fast water current. So now and then you may see them in the current of the filter output. A powerhead or two depending on the tank size can easily see to that requirement; however, they can survive without them.
This species is not all that fussy in terms of care, although managing appropriate care in overall tank maintenance will go a long way in keeping these fish happy and healthy.
The Queen Arabesque Plecos have a black and white squiggly pattern over their entire body. They also have small spots scatted about over the body as well as on the dorsal fin. The juveniles tend to have their stripes more spaced out, and as they age, they become more fine striped in appearance.
|Scientific Name||Hypancistrus sp|
|Other Names||L260, Scribble pleco|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||up to 10 years|
|Temperature||75 - 86 ℉ (23.9 - 30 ℃)|
|PH||5.5 - 7.5|
|GH||2 - 15|
|TDS||18 - 269|
Queen Arabesque Plecos are endemic to the lower Rio Tapajos in Para state, from Santarem at its mouth to the village of Pimental as well as south of Itaituba in Northern Brazil in South America. They inhabit Rocky or pebble-strewn fast-flowing rivers with a sandy substrate where they usually remain in caves or rock crevices throughout the day.
Other Plecostomus of interest
Diet & Feeding
In the aquarium, Queen Arabesque Plecos do best when offered a varied diet comprising of sinking dried foods such as algae wafers and pellets as well as frozen fare such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, bloodworm, prawns and shrimp. They may also accept raw potato and other vegetables such as cucumber, lettuce and zucchini.
It is somewhat simple to differentiate the Queen Arabesque Plecos. Males, when fully mature, develop odontodal growths when breeding. Males will also have a higher contrast of colouring as well as thicker primary pectoral rays, and their belly will be patterned. In contrast, females are shorter as well as being wider across the ventral area and have entirely white bellies.
Breeding Queen Arabesque Plecos in the home aquarium is possible but can be tricky and not easily achieved.
It would be best to provide a cave for every pair in the aquarium; rectangular brick, slate or tile caves tend to yield the best results. You will also need to place a powerhead in such a manner that a water current can run across the cave entrances. The water must be heavily oxygenated with a slightly higher temperature and ph than usual.
Two females to every male are recommended, and it would help if you conditioned the fish with a protein-rich diet as well as making sure the water quality is near perfect before spawning. The reason this is essential is not for the survival of the fish itself, but to induce spawning. Adequate coldwater changes also help to trigger spawning.
Spawning will take place in the cave, and the eggs will take roughly a week to hatch. The male will then guard the fry, protecting them from other fish in the aquarium.
You can feed the fry with newly hatched brine shrimp and some crushed shrimp pellets. The babies are slow growers.