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Maximum size : 16 cm

Snowball Plecostomus L102 - Hypancistrus Inspector : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Snowball Plecos (Hypancistrus Inspector) are a fascinating and stunning addition to any freshwater aquarium. They are peaceful, undemanding and slightly smaller than their relatives, making them a great choice for hobbyists who want to enjoy the beauty of Plecos without taking up too much space. These hardy fish are quite adaptable and can thrive in a well-maintained community aquarium with other peaceful species. However, it's important to keep in mind that they are not very social and may become territorial with other bottom-dwelling fish. Keeping them alongside other Plecos may also lead to hybridisation. As nocturnal fish, Snowball Plecos are most active during the night, and you may not see them much during the day. They will typically rest in dark caves until the sun goes down when they come out to forage for food. These Plecos have a striking appearance, with dark black or grey bodies adorned with large white or pale yellow spots. Males may also have a dark brown colour with a slight tinge of red. Their splayed-out pelvic and pectoral fins, along with a large triangular dorsal fin, add to their unique and attractive appearance.

Snowball Plecostomus L102 Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

The sexual dimorphism of Snowball Plecos is readily distinguishable. The female's body is stockier, fuller, and blackish-brown in colour with white spots, while males have a more slender body with reddish tones in their colours and prominent odontodal growth. Moreover, males display white spots, which are similar to those of the females. Therefore, a careful inspection of these characteristics can assist in determining the sex of Snowball plecos.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameHypancistrus Inspector
Year Described2002
Other NamesL102
OriginsBrazil Venezuela
Max Size16 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespanup to 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH6 - 10
TDS18 - 268
72 - 86
22.2 - 30

Natural habitat

Nestled in the depths of the Amazonas state in Brazil and the winding rivers of Venezuela, you'll find the mesmerizing Snowball Plecos. These stunning fish are perfectly adapted to the soft, acidic blackwaters, where the riverbed is strewn with decaying plant matter and rocky rapids. Their natural habitat is awe-inspiring as they navigate through the swirling waters and hidden crevices, searching for their next meal. The Snowball Plecos are a true wonder of nature, showcasing their resilience and adaptability in their unique environment.
 Rio Negro - Colombia
Colombia Flag
 Orinoco - Venezuela
Venezuela Flag

How to breed the Snowball Plecostomus L102

The breeding of Snowball Plecos can be a simple process with the proper preparation. However, to ensure successful breeding, a separate breeding tank with pristine water and large caves is necessary, as these fish are known to be cave spawners. After placing a pair of Snowball Plecos in the breeding tank, it is crucial to condition them with live or frozen food to encourage spawning behaviour. Once the process is successful, the female will lay eggs after selecting a suitable cave. The male will then guard and defend the eggs by fanning them periodically until they hatch, typically taking about a week. After the eggs hatch, the newborns will initially feed off their yolk sacs. Once these have been consumed, providing baby brine shrimp and blanched vegetables will provide them with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

Diet & feeding

To maintain the optimal health of your Snowball Plecos, it is crucial to provide them with a varied diet in the aquarium. Along with sinking dried foods, offering a mix of frozen and live foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, bloodworm, prawn, and shrimp is recommended. Including fresh fruit and partially boiled potatoes can also enhance their diet. If you are looking for a more personalized approach, you can create homemade foods using natural ingredients bound with gelatin. Then, by mixing Spirulina, fresh vegetables, and meaty ingredients, you can tailor the food to the specific nutritional requirements of your Plecos.

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