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L173 Pleco

Aquarium Bred and Raised

Hypancistrus sp. L173

Stock Level: 0

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Details -

Natural Range: Xingu River, Brazil

Source: Tank bred and raised

Estimated Size at Shipping: 1.25-3"

Max Size: 5"

Overview: The word "rare" is vastly overused in the aquarium hobby/industry, but, in this case, "rare" is not hyperbole. This is one of the hardest fish to find. L173s can wear a wide variety of patterns. In general, they might be described as a slightly larger/bulkier version of the L046 Zebra Pleco with waiver lines.

There is another line, designated L173B by Aquarium Glaser, which is much more widely available. The origins of the L173B fish are questionable, so that line is kept separate in order to avoid muddying the L173 genetics. The Glaser line is quite different from the L173's we are offering here.

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: Hypancistrus plecos 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 are reputed to like warm water from the low to mid 80's F. However, we know several aquarists, including ourselves, who are keeping several thriving Hypancistrus species long term in the upper 70's F with simple sponge filters and box filters. When kept in warmer 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: All Hypancistrus species we are aware of 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 frozen 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.

Ratings & Reviews:

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.

  • UPS Next Day Giant: Fits 40 for $69.99
  • UPS Next Day Large: Fits 20 for $49.99
  • UPS Next Day Medium: Fits 9 for $45.99
  • UPS Next Day Small: Fits 5 for $39.99

Find details about our shipping process in our FAQ. For example, we ship most orders on the following Monday or Wednesday.