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Spawning Peckoltia sp. L134


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#1 CanadaPleco

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 03:10 AM

Leopard Frog Plecostomus or Gold Banded Peckoltia
By Eric Bodrock

Like many hobbyist, a few years ago when the Pleco craze hit the hobby, I too was hooked and started a “wish list” of all the species I would like to get and work with. Even today, I am still adding to the list, unfortunately, my space restriction has put a hold on obtaining new suckermouths. The L46, L263, L134 and “Calico” Bristlenose are the species I am currently maintaining. I have had pretty good success for many years with the L46, and just in the past year, have had success with my L134s. This is their story.
I got hold of a group of eight wild fish, about four years ago; they were approximately two inches in total length when I got them. Over time, I lost one of them but the others have grown nicely and have reached their max adult size of three and half inches (9cm). I never took the time to try to sex them, thinking that with a group of that size I should have both sexes. For the last two years, they have been housed in a thirty gallon “breeder” tank along with several groups of Corydoras catfish.
In May of 2008, I found my first spawn, or should say I seen my first fry. You don’t see the adults that much other than at feeding time, normally you will just see their tails sticking out the end of caves! I never seen any eggs or noticed any spawning activity, just found five of the little buggers sticking to the side of the tank. Knowing that they were starting to spawning, I started to pay closer attention to them. About two weeks later, I seen an adult wedged tightly in the back of a narrow ceramic cave. After several attempts of sneaking up on the cave with a flashlight, I was able to see that there were eggs in the back of the cave. I removed the entire cave and placed it into a two gallon tank. Several days later the male (who guards the eggs) in the cave “kicked out” the cluster of eggs. The eggs are rather large, measuring 3/16” (5mm) in diameter and yellow in color. I figure the male knew the eggs were bad and gave up on them. I tried artificially hatching them by placing them on a clump of Java Moss with an airstone under them with a gentle stream of bubbles rising up around them. Within several days, some of the eggs began to turn white and the cluster began to fall a part. On the tenth day, a single egg hatched, but the fry died by the following morning. I have had several spawns since I found that egg cluster and I don’t believe that the eggs normally take that long to hatch. I have found clutches of eggs that I know were only a few days old that had already hatched, I assume that when the male is guarding them, he is also mouthing and cleaning them, and that action causes the eggs hatch.
Speaking of the male guarding the eggs, the best way I have found to determine if they have spawned in your tank is to look for individuals that are “glued” to the back of a cave. If it appears they haven’t moved for a couple of days, good chance that is a male
sitting on eggs
With a flashlight and a little luck, you just might be able to see eggs if the male moves a little. Forget trying to shake them out, you would have to break the cave apart to remove him or the eggs! I normally remove the entire cave and place it into a plastic shoebox or smaller tank (as mentioned above) which contains water from the spawning tank. Add an airstone, cover it and wait. Once the eggs hatch, the fry are sized at about 13mm (TL) and it is easier to spot the tails of them wiggling inside the cave. Fry only days old, as shown in the photo, already have a developed sucker mouth and are able to hang on to the sides of the photo container for a short while! Growth of fry is very obvious for the first few weeks, and then the growth rate slows tremendously. The first batch of young I found in May of 2008, are now just two and a quarter inches long.....at about one year old! That is about the size that my breeders were when I got them. So that gives me an estimate that
my group started to spawn at about three years of age. The fact that spawns occurred in early spring for the last two years may also be an indictor that they maybe seasonal spawners.
Water parameters at the times I have found spawns do vary a little, but average the following, pH 6.7-6.9, TDS around 270 ppm and the temperature around 76°F. Weekly water changes of 40% are done with treated tap water. Tank bottom is covered with a very thin layer of natural creek sand and water is filtered with a sponge filter. Java moss and Java fern provide some overhead cover from the fluorescent light. The tank is also filled with extensive rockwork and ceramic caves of various sizes and diameter to provide hiding places and breeding sites. They can get a bit feisty with each other, especially around feeding time when they are the most active. They don’t bother with the Corydoras, or with a couple of their own young that are present.
Diet of the adults consist of live blackworms, frozen plankton, bloodworms and daphnia, freeze-dried tubifex worms and assorted sinking pellets…they go crazy for sera® Catfish Chips. The young, once their eggs sacs are absorbed, get microworms and live baby brine shrimp, in addition to the same diet as the adults as they grow out.
L134 are from Brazil, not currently listed as one of the many species of Plecostomus that are banned to export, but the legislation and development of that country is continuously changing, so who knows where they will be in the future. If you have any, hang on to them and put a little effort and time into spawning them. I hope this article gives a few pointers, best of luck in your attempts with them.
Eric Bodrock, April 2009

Attached Thumbnails

  • 134b.png
  • l34a.png
  • 134c.png
  • 134d.png
  • 134e.png
  • 134f.png

Rich

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