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L173 ZEBRA PLECO (Hypancistrus zebra)

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Just when you think the L46 is the holy grail, along comes L173!


Size 80mm or 3.1" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification L173 is different to H. zebra, although some documentation (including DATZ) sees them as the same species. They are most likely NOT the same species. H. zebra has more straight lines that go laterally along the body, L173's stripes are more irregular and "vertical". Aside form that, as L173 matures, it has a stockier build and a higher body.
Sexing The first pectoral fin ray of the male is somewhat thicker than that of the female. Males in breeding condition further develop their spine-like ''odontodes'' on this ray. The male has a slightly broader head than the female, best observed from above.
General Remarks The original L number was issued to what was thought to be a uniquely marked specimen of H. zebra.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Rio Xingu
Amazon, Lower Amazon, Xingu (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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pH 6.0 - 7.5
Temperature 26.0-30.0°C or 78.8-86°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters The water chemistry of the Rio Xingú is well documented, but it is not that important as H. zebra seems to do well in just about any water provided it is high in oxygen content and warm. pH and DH do not seem to matter since the fish has been spawned in all types of water, even water that was hard and alkaline. To best replicate their natural habitat the water would be neutral to slightly acidic and soft.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Unlike the popular opinion of many other loricariids, Hypancistrus species are more of carnivores than an algae eaters. This is backed up by a small and lightly toothed mouth that indicates it is a poor algae eater. Provide mainly meaty foods such as bloodworm and even brineshrimp.
Furniture The Rio Xingú is full of rocks of many sizes with some fine sand between them. The ideal Rio Xingu tank would be set up much differently than what we picture as a typical ''South American'' biotope. The tank should resemble a rocky riffle area in a stream with jumbles of rounded rocks and good water movement. Provide lots of small caves as the fish normally live and spawn in the caves and cracks of rocks. The rocks should be assembled in a haphazard fashion to create lots of crevices and shelves in which the fish can cram themselves. Sand is preferable, but large rounded gravel or bare-bottomed tanks are also accepted. Prefers dark rock to bogwood but I would provide some wood (many people claim that their zebras never touch the stuff) - better safe than sorry in my opinion.
Compatibility Peaceful but choose tankmates wisely as this species does not compete well for food with particularly fast or aggressive tankmates.
Suggested Tankmates An ideal (although expensive) addition to any community tank especially one stocked with active, but not boisterous, current loving fish. Can be kept with discus or loaches, but you are unlikely to get the best out of this fish in such company. Best kept in groups of 1 male and 2-3 females.
Breeding Similar to other smaller Hypancistrus species.