The Zebra Pleco Tank (L046)

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Si4geckos
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The Zebra Pleco Tank (L046)

Post by Si4geckos »

As many of you will know from my main thread, earlier this year I managed to find and acquire 4 young zebra plecs.

They've been in the quarantine tank (60/70L), which has become their home ever since. They currently share the tank with x2 rams and intermittently a bunch of ram fry for 3/4 days before they all disappear.

I'm looking to be swap the zebras upstairs with the shrimp tank downstairs. This means rather than a 60cm tank with inadequate filtration they'll have a 90 or 100cm (I forget the length) 100L tank with sponge filters and a fluval 306 external filter, to call home. I managed to score about 8 caves off facebook this week, but will probably only use 6 as 2 are massive! I have another 3/4 in the current tank anyway.

My current thoughts are around substrate. I was going to used some fine(ish) black gravel originally. Then I got told this was rough and sand would be better, but as they like fast flowing water I think sand may get washed into the filter. Most people seem to have bare bottom tanks. I'm tempted to try this, but as it's a 'display tank' in the lounge, I don't want it looking like a pet shop. It's still got to be pretty. Any one have any thoughts? Tempted to just bare-bottom it and see how things go.

I'm going to 'borrow' the dimmer off the main tank to put out dim lighting so hopefully they'll come out more.

Anyone have any other thoughts or things I need to consider? Never had a fast-flowing tank before.
Last edited by Si4geckos on Wed Oct 21, 2020 15:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by Stephen »

Hi Si
Why not have sand with rocks to emulate the Rio Xingú ?
The Rio Xingú has water worn rounded rocks of different sizes with sand in between them.
Have the water current just above the rocks to emulate a river, the sand should stay still (as long as it's not play sand).
Add the caves to give the plecos hiding places & spawning sites.

All the best
6 foot (550L) - Rio Ucayali themed
9 x juvenile Biotodoma Cupido, 54 x Paracheirodon innesi, 23 x Thayeria boehlkei, 30 x Gold Laser Cory (CW010), 2 x Flash pleco (L204) named George & Mildred

2 foot (120L) - Breeding tank (temporary stocked)
15 x Paracheirodon innesi, 9 x Three-lined Cory (Corydoras trilineatus)

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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by Martinspuddle »

Once saw a South American catfish aquarium, think it might of been David Sands and this tank just had bogwood plus sand substrate but lighting he had cut by using black polythene leaf shapes laid on top of the condensation trays, causing the light not only to be low but dappled.

Fish were always out and about. :]
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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by Si4geckos »

Martinspuddle wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 20:35 pm Once saw a South American catfish aquarium, think it might of been David Sands and this tank just had bogwood plus sand substrate but lighting he had cut by using black polythene leaf shapes laid on top of the condensation trays, causing the light not only to be low but dappled.

Fish were always out and about. :]
That's an interesting idea. I was considering getting a light that only covered part of the tank so there'd be light and dark parts. May just cover a few bulbs and see how t looks.

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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by Si4geckos »

Stephen wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 16:15 pm Hi Si
Why not have sand with rocks to emulate the Rio Xingú ?
The Rio Xingú has water worn rounded rocks of different sizes with sand in between them.
Have the water current just above the rocks to emulate a river, the sand should stay still (as long as it's not play sand).
Add the caves to give the plecos hiding places & spawning sites.

All the best
Still bothered the faster flow will blow it into the filter. Might put a bit in and have a test run. See if it all just ends up in a heap at one end. Thanks for the input.

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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by plankton »

Can you not baffle the flow across the sand with stones and caves?

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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by Tycho »

What are you thinking of keeping with the zeebra's? As the like it hot and with a decent current it can be tricky to house them with other fish.

Also, how much of a current have you got going on?

I've recently bought some L066's and the breeder I bought them from also breeds L046's and he uses hmf filters in all his tanks and he said that that gives the tank enough current for the to stay healthy and to breed.

As for the substrate, how about something like this... maybe without the brown

Image

You'll also want some larger smooth rocks and some bogwood.

Have you joined any pleco forum or facebook group? Might be useful to see what other people are doing.

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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by Si4geckos »

plankton wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:57 am Can you not baffle the flow across the sand with stones and caves?
Would that not mean all the waste just gets stopped too?

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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by Si4geckos »

Tycho wrote: Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:28 am What are you thinking of keeping with the zeebra's? As the like it hot and with a decent current it can be tricky to house them with other fish.

Also, how much of a current have you got going on?

I've recently bought some L066's and the breeder I bought them from also breeds L046's and he uses hmf filters in all his tanks and he said that that gives the tank enough current for the to stay healthy and to breed.

As for the substrate, how about something like this... maybe without the brown

Image

You'll also want some larger smooth rocks and some bogwood.

Have you joined any pleco forum or facebook group? Might be useful to see what other people are doing.
I was tempted to go zebra only (maybe rams for breeding, but depends on flow). Flow would be with a fluval 306 with 6" spray bar pushing water the length of the tank and maybe a small pump/ powerhead if needed. Haven't set it up yet/ transferred them. The 306 cureently has a spray bar x3 times as long so very gentle flow. I don't want black and white substrate as it'll mas the fish not make them pop.

Guess I'm betting setting it up and seeing how the flow is and going from there.

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Re: Zebra Pleco (L046) Tank

Post by Stephen »

I tend to read about the natural environment of fish which is why I suggested rounded rocks with sand in between (or rocks embedded in a sand substrate).

pH = pH6.0-pH7.5
temp = 26C-30C
Feeding = Hypancistrus zebra (L046) is more of a carnivore than an algae eater. 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.
Décor = The Rio Xingú is full of rocks of many sizes with some fine sand between them. H. zebra is collected in deeper mid-water channels where it hides in crevices. The ideal H. zebra 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.

The above is taken from Planet Catfish https://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=168

Hope it helps
6 foot (550L) - Rio Ucayali themed
9 x juvenile Biotodoma Cupido, 54 x Paracheirodon innesi, 23 x Thayeria boehlkei, 30 x Gold Laser Cory (CW010), 2 x Flash pleco (L204) named George & Mildred

2 foot (120L) - Breeding tank (temporary stocked)
15 x Paracheirodon innesi, 9 x Three-lined Cory (Corydoras trilineatus)

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