Columbian Zebra Pleco L-129
All assigned numbers: L129
Name: Hypancistrus debilittera
Common Names: L129, chocolate zebra pleco, Colombian Zebra Pleco
Location: South America: Rio Bito, tributary of the Rio Orinoco, upstream of Puerto Careño, Colombia
Appearance: Together with h. furunculus and L-270, this fish makes a up a group of similar looking animals that one might easily mistaken for one another. Most strikingly similar are debiliterra and L-270. A rather yellowish-hued fish, the former is a medium sized hypancistrus with a generic body structure. It has a larger head and stouter body compared to the king tiger hypancistrus, but otherwise very similar body proportions to L-270. 270 often has thicker lines in it's body patterning, but morphologically, the main differences between the two are eye size and location (the larger eyes of debiliterra are found facing somewhat more anteriorly on the face), and the length of the caudal fin (more classically elongated in debiliterra).
Compatibility: When cramped for space and without enough hiding places, hostilities can break out, resulting in - sometimes severe - injuries. Despite that, the L129 is best kept in a small group, as it will show more natural behaviour and is more comfortable in when accompanied by a number of others of its own kind.
Sexing and Breeding: Because of its small maximum size, a relatively small tank is sufficient for a (breeding) group: a tank width a surface area of 80x40cm. (32x16") is enough to house a (breeding) group of 5-6 individuals: the division of sexes is ideal with one male for every 2-3 females. To get these fish to breed, you need a heavily oxygenated tank with a number of spawning caves, a powerhead that runs water along the cave entrances, and a temperature that is raised to 82-86 degrees Fahrenheit (28-30 degrees Celsius).
Diet: An Omnivore that leans towards a meatier diet, sothe main diet should consist of meaty foods: frozen foods (tubifex, mosquito larvae, blood worms, artemia), dry foods (freeze-dried foods, flakes, granules), carnivore sinking pellets, and occasionally some small pieces of shrimp, mussels or fish fillet are usually readily accepted. Once acclimatized, it will often also accept vegetable matter such as algae/spirulina disks and fresh vegetables (lettuce, zucchini/courgette, eggplant/aubergine, capsicum, carrot, peas, preboiled spinach).
This species usually does not eat algae (it lacks suitable teeth for that task), so it's not a suitable fish to keep your tank free of algae.
Water parameters: 22-30c PH 5.5-7.5
This small catfish-species prefers a dimly lit tank with a good number of hiding places, either created with plants, drift wood, rocks or artificial (pleco spawning) caves. To keep more than one specimen in the same tank, or together with other bottom dwelling fish, you need at least a 40x16" (100x40cm.) tank: this fish can be quite territorial, and when suitable hiding places are lacking, it can be aggressive towards other bottom dwellers. When kept as only catfish in an aquarium, a tank size of 32x14" (80x35cm.) is sufficient, but it is recommended to keep this species in a group in a species tank.
The Pleco does best in warm, soft, slightly acidic to neutral water (pH 6.0-7,0), oxygen-rich water and a lot of currents. A powerful filter system is recommended, as this fish produces a lot of waste.
Max Size: 10-11cm. (3.9 - 4.3")
Bred by: cup, Jozebs, thegeeman
Breeding Log: See post below. For questions and comments please use original thread hereL129 Log
Hypancistrus youngsters may require a more vegetable based diet according to Back to Nature Lnumbers book.