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Natural Range: Santarem Rio Tapajos, Brazil
Source: Tank bred and raised
Estimated Size at Shipping: 1.5-2.5" give or take a bit.
Max Size: Some sources say they grow to 7", others to 10"
Overview: Cactus plecos are beautiful and their multitude of spines make them interesting to observe...cactus indeed! Cactus plecos are hardy and easy to keep if given adequate space, lots of food, and clean water. This is a great looking species with lots of bright whitish spots against a dark background. While peaceful towards community fish, they can be ornery towards each other when mature, especially the males. However, if plenty of hiding places and food is available, they can be kept in numbers.
Setup Considerations: These fish's natural environments are full of rocks with lots of crevices and caves. These fish each claim a cave and retire to it to rest and escape threats. When threatened, they squeeze in tight, expand their bodies, and spread their fins to avoid being dislodged. They also use these caves as spawning sites. In our aquariums, providing lots of cave options for our plecos helps them feel secure. The caves should be small enough to be a somewhat snug fit. If appropriate caves are not provided, the plecos are likely to experience prolonged stress which will compromise their health. If insufficient caves are provided, these plecos will continuously battle for the best homes and can do serious damage to each other. So, for happy plecos, provide several cave options so each individual fish can find a satisfactory home to claim as their own.
Specific Care Requirements: Like the Hypancistrus plecos, these generally come from swiftly flowing waters that are clean and rich in oxygen. In our aquariums, they appreciate high flow and require clean, well oxygenated water in order to thrive. They also like warm water preferring the low to mid 80's F. In this warm water, oxygen saturation is compromised, so water movement and clean water become especially important in order to keep enough oxygen available for these plecos.
Diet: Peaceful Carnivore: Cactus plecos are carnivores. These fish will only eat sinking foods, which they rasp from the floor of the tank. They appreciate meaty frozen foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. They also enjoy rasping on large sinking pellets and wafers. Even though they are carnivores, they do need some veggies in their diet to balance things out. Ours readily consume algae wafers as well as zucchini cut into 1/4" coins and stuck on a fork so it sinks.
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Location: Wyoming, United States
Shipping: Please review checkout for final shipping options based on items selected, quantity, and groupings. Heat or cold packs will be included as needed at no extra cost.
Find details about our shipping process in our FAQ. For example, we ship most orders on the following Monday or Wednesday.