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I already have a BN ancistrus tank and I’ve been thinking about branching out and getting a group - 5 to 10 - of another pleco. They’d be housed in a 30 g tote I’ve set aside for my whiteclouds when I bring them in this fall. 

To my eye the brilliant pleco L184 is an attractive but different form than my current stock yet care requirements are essentially the same which is attractive.

The L236 Hypancistrus is gorgeous some are more yellow than white and you end paying a bit for the difference but either way a really attractive fish. 

L174 Hypancistrus Peruvian panther pleco is nice and small and has a great pattern. 

These 3 are close in price for groups of 6-12 so I’m seeing if the catfish folks can weigh in on their recommendations and thoughts. 

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I dont think you can go wrong with whatever you are most interested in watching and learning from of the three. 

 I am not a catfish guy in my mind but I have been working with groups of L129s and L169s for a couple of years; no fry yet just keeping and learning how to not get fry 🙂 at the moment. My spawning success with catfish has been panda corys and im getting close to the C112  Scleromystax sp. Baianinho II. Q

If I were doing one of the three species you are considering, the L184/L107 pleco would be easier to house with whiteclouds for me due to temperature preferences.  My Hypansistris seem to like it hot, like 80-84, otherwise they arent as active or interested in caving up etc.

L236 sub adults look awesome especially at the  sellable / tradeable size.  Id probably run those closer to the higher end of  76-84 to get their metabolism going and a somewhat faster growth to breeding size and conditioning. 

L174 seems smallest of the three adult sizes 3.5" and a similar temperature range to l236 and definately a cool pattern. 

 

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@Coluagree on the color pattern of the L236.

@Stacy Zonce you go down the pleco rabbit hole online you’ll drive yourself batty with trying to see if this one or that one will work in your setups. 

@mountaintoppufferkeeperagreed, some of my thoughts as well. I think it will need to be its own system with no whiteclouds as I do remember a video with Steenfott where he says the Brilliant plecos like it in the low 80s. Might be a good tank for rams since they like it hot but plecos are so messy so it might just need some Endlers/guppies for dithers and call it good. 

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@anewbieI’d be lying if I didn’t see them as a long term project to fund some not all of my hobby. In watching Eric Bodrock and some of the other experts I’m aware it could take many years perhaps 5-10 before some of these will breed. In terms of the L204 and L397 #1 they’re beautiful #2 do you keep either of them?

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On 8/2/2021 at 5:31 PM, Beardedbillygoat1975 said:

@anewbieI’d be lying if I didn’t see them as a long term project to fund some not all of my hobby. In watching Eric Bodrock and some of the other experts I’m aware it could take many years perhaps 5-10 before some of these will breed. In terms of the L204 and L397 #1 they’re beautiful #2 do you keep either of them?

I have 8 L204; when i move next year and have a larger tank i will obtain some L397. The L204 is a fish that is difficult to breed and fairly cheap; the L397 I'm unsure on breeding difficulty (planetcatfish has notes) and is fairly expensive. 

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Of your fishes there is that trade off the starlight should breed like most bn then i would think they would breed easily but they are not the same price range as zebra or even L397. So you have to take that into account with regards to your breeding project. Do not under estimate the difficulty of breeding some of the more exotic pleco. Also unless you already own adults expect to spend at least 18 months growing them out before you begin to attempt such. Last but least research the exact conditions they require for breeding (including both water condition and current level) and make sure you can reproduce it.

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For bn (and i presume this is true of starlight); they breed like rabbits just add adult male female cave and take a nap. I just figure out my young lemon blue eye bn were breeding because mini pleco started show up everywhere (bloody lazy cichlid aren't eating them). Another derivative that sells for a bit more are the green dragon bn; i'm not a fan of them but they have a bit higher price than lemons. Starlight are not that expensive if you can find them but they are slightly more than lemon. L397 is a very pretty pleco and i will invest into breeding them and my L204 (they require similar conditions); only thing is I will do it more for the challenge - not sure what i will do with the frys - probably give them away - but that is still 3ish years out so I can worry about it then. L204 as i said are pretty cheap around $30-$40 unless you find a weird out ebay seller trying to get $200 for them.

Here is a picture of one of mine:

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The first 2 pictures are the same fish and it is relatively young (it was purchased from wetspot); the third is a fish that is much older and the tail has grown out the extension - it was purchased at petco for $15 or $20.

 

Edited by anewbie
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@anewbieI have definitely been weighing the pluses and minuses of panaqolus, hypancistrus and good ol’ ancistrus. There’s no guarantees, heater could bust like @Dean’s Fishroomhas had with his Zebras!? You could have some parasites or other disease. Hell one of my BN males just died from getting stuck in the cotton thread I had my Java moss attached to. That Java moss had been there a year! really it’s all a crap shoot but it’s the fun of the hobby taking risks, trying new things, hoping you can deliver a good experience for the fish and for yourself. 
 

I’m thinking of going 40 breeder or bigger size tote, aqua clear 110, a sponge filter more for aeration then anything and loads of wood, watering spikes and slate, bare bottom. 

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On 8/3/2021 at 1:47 PM, Beardedbillygoat1975 said:

@Andy's Fish Den I’m starting to formulate a plan for a pleco only tank, might keep guppies or Endlers with them my understanding is that the pheromones from the guppies can be helpful. White clouds I was thinking a cooler water cory might be a better choice. Thinking barbatus could be fun! 

Barbatus would be good! I am wanting to get my hands on some myself, but I am out of tank space right now, although if I did come across some at a good price I could always move things around LOL

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Just be forewarned, when you're looking at five to ten years out, there's a good chance that someone somewhere will have figured out a way to churn out whatever you're thinking of breeding in huge numbers and the price will crash. Zebra plecos right now retail for around $200 each, so buying ten to create a breeding colony will cost you close to $2,000. Then you have to care for them for three, four, five years, or more before they'll breed. With them being that expensive a fish now, breeders all around the world are likely frantically trying to find the magic formula to let them churn them out in big numbers. If one succeeds (and one or more likely will) the price could crash fairly dramatically. That $2,000+ investment you made may end up with baby plecos that are selling for $10 each.

There are lots of Asian Arowana farms out there these days churning out Asian arowanas in huge numbers. Zebra pleco farms might be coming soon. Now, if you're the guy/gal who figures out how to churn them out in huge numbers you could get very rich. But there will be lots of competition with many/most fish farms trying to raise them in large numbers. 

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@gardenman I am not looking to make my fortune in plecos. This is for fun and as you said  at a minimum could take 3-5 years to see them reach maturity and as you said 9 years to be mature enough to have consistent spawns. Half the fun is the research, the setup and everything that leads up to the fish. I’m very realistic. I love beautiful fish and these species are that. I’ll always be a hobbyist and have only sought store credit from my LFS nothing really more adventurous than that. If I end up with a big haul I’ll head to PDX and The Wet Spot to sell them. Thank you for a dose of realism and concern. 

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