Snowball Plecostomus L102 (Hypancistrus Inspector)
Snowball Plecos are a beautiful, peaceful freshwater fish that are docile and undemanding and slightly smaller than some of their relatives. These Plecos are quite hardy and can quickly adapt.
The Snowball pleco is a non-aggressive species that can be mixed with other peaceful fish in a well-maintained community aquarium. However, these fish are not very social, and you must not keep them alongside other bottom dwellers, or they may fight over a favourite hiding place. Not keeping them with other plecos will also help to prevent hybridisation.
Snowball Plecos are nocturnal so you will not see them much during the day. Typically they will rest in dark caves until the sun goes down.
Snowball Plecos bodies are usually black or dark grey. Males may also have a dark brown colour with a slight tinge of red. The body colour is accentuated with large white or pale yellow spots; these spots are much smaller on the head than the body. These Plecos have splayed-out pelvic and pectoral fins as well as a large triangular dorsal fin.
|Scientific Name||Hypancistrus Inspector|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||up to 10 years|
|Temperature||72 - 86 ℉ (22.2 - 30 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||6 - 10|
|TDS||18 - 268|
Snowball Plecos are native to the upper Rio Negro basin in Amazonas state, Brazil and portions of the Casiquiare drainage, which connects the Negro with the Rio Orinoco, in Venezuela in South America. They inhabit soft acidic blackwaters with rocky rapids where the riverbed is covered in decaying plant matter.
Other Plecostomus of interest
Diet & Feeding
It would be best if you offered Snowball Plecos a varied diet in the aquarium including sinking dried foods and frozen and live foods such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, bloodworm, prawn and shrimp as well as some fresh fruit and part boiled potato.
You can also provide your Plecos with Home-made foods using a mixture of natural ingredients bound with gelatin containing things like Spirulina and fresh vegetables alongside meaty ingredients.
It is relatively simple to differentiate male from female Snowball plecos. The females are blackish-brown in colour, display white spots, are stockier and fuller than males and have almost no odontodal growth whereas males have a lot more reddish tones in its colours with white spots, have a strong odontodal growth and are more slender than females.
Breeding Snowball Plecos can be relatively straightforward. They are willing to breed in captivity, but you need to put a lot of effort into providing the perfect requisite.
You should set up a separate breeding tank making sure the water in it is pristine and contains large caves as these are essential for this fish as they are cave spawners.
After placing a pair of Snowball Plecos into the breeding tank, make sure you condition them with plenty of live or frozen food as this will encourage spawning behaviour. If the process is successful, you will notice the female swelling up with eggs. She will then investigate the caves, choose one she is comfortable with and lay her eggs.
The male will guard and defend the eggs, fanning them periodically. Around a week later the eggs will hatch.
After the eggs have hatched, they will initially feed off their yolk sacs, and once these have been consumed, you can then give them baby brine shrimp and blanched vegetables. These foods will provide them with the necessary nutrients to aid in growth.