Zebra Pleco characteristics, habitat, diet, facts, behavior, breeding

Get all the information about Zebra Pleco characteristics, habitat, diet, facts, behavior, breeding etc. The zebra pleco is one of the most beautiful and unusual catfish that aquarists can find on sale. However, you can find various and quite controversial information about the fish keeping, feeding, and breeding. The distinctive feature is its unusual coloring that consists of black and white stripes due to which the fish got its name. The fish is called zebra because of the black and white stripes on their body. Scroll this page down to collect more information.

Zebra Pleco

The Zebra Pleco fish was discovered in 1970-80 which was denoted by L046 but later in 1991, the species gets its name as Hypancistrus zebra. The name of the species originates from two Greek words. The fish obtained its generic name ‘zebra’ due to the similarity of its coloring to black and white one of African zebra. The species is quite demanding in terms of tank conditions and not recommended for beginner aquarists to keep. The fish usually require large tanks to inhabit.

Scientific Name Hypancistrus zebra
Common Name L046, L098, L173
Size Up to 8 cm
Lifespan Approx 10 years
Behavior Peaceful

Zebra Pleco Characteristics

These fish grow up to 8 cm in captivity long, though the fish can grow 6.4 cm in the wild. The fish can live up to 10 years. The fish gets it due to the unusual coloring on the fish which resembles like pattern of zebra. The fish have the white color on the skin with the bluish color touch on the tail fin. It has the dark diagonal stripes go along its body and end on it caudal fin. The stripes become lateral on the fish head and vertical on the fish dorsal and pectoral fins.

The fish has bluish eyes. The head of the fish is somewhat elongated with a high set of eyes. If you look at the fish from above you’ll notice that its eyes are connected with wide white stripe and four lateral stripes of the same color go the fish mouth. The fish maxilla has seven to eight long curved teeth on each side that bifurcate closer to the edge. The fish also has two pairs of small barbells.

Zebra Pleco Habitat

The fish is native to Brazil river Xingu, Amazon river tributary. This is a quite wide river with the average temperature of about 32 degrees Celsius. The fish habitat is considered as a deepwater area in the center of the riverbed because here is the species zebra caught. There are the lot of different cracks, caves, and burrows on the river bottom. They appear due to specific rocks and water flows there. At the bottom of the river, there are no plants and flow of water is also fast which makes water oxygen-rich.

The mostly species of catfish chew wood to improve their digestion process. So, it is recommend to have a small snag in zebra pleco tank. The species is declared critically endangered by the IUCN red list of threatened species. The habitat of the fish pounding and future repercussions for the ecosystem is affect due to power plant construction.

Zebra Pleco Diet

The species is not picky about the food. The fish prefers protein food, unlike other common catfishes. Also, you can offer it both vegetable and protein food. The peoples also use peas, cucumber, boiled lettuce leaves, squash etc. as the supplements to the fish diet. The other types of dry and frozen food also do well. The species of zebra pleco is omnivorous. The catfish species eats a wide range of food but frozen or live food is preferred. The fish also can feed something artificial food available for this species.

Interesting facts of Zebra Pleco

  • The fish gets its first name L046 which was changed after a few years.
  • The fish is endemic to Amazon river, Brazil river Xingu tributary.
  • The fish species related to the catfish category.
  • The average size of the fish is up to 8 cm.
  • The fish has the lifespan of about 10 years.
  • It is considered as the peaceful fish with the other species.
  • The fish is omnivorous and eats a wide range of food.
  • These fish become mature for breeding at the age of 2-4 years old.
  • The adult female can lay up to 25 eggs.

Zebra Pleco Behavior

The fish has a peaceful temper and don’t show the aggression towards their tank mates. But still, these are not very suitable for dwelling in a community tank. The fish needs warm, strong flowing water with rich of oxygen. The fish is very timid and prefer to refuse the food rather compete for it with its more active tank mates. They have similar biotopes which usually requires for water temperature. If you want to keep a group then you have to get one male and several females.

Zebra Pleco Breeding

The species of fish become reproductive at the age of 2-4 years old. The tank water temperature should be more than 25 degrees Celsius. Several females may spawn simultaneously with the same male fish which depends on how mature and experienced the male fish is. The total numbers of eggs depending on the age and size of the female fish. The young female may lay eggs about 5-6 while the adult one can lay up to 25 eggs. The eggs are quite large. The temperature also influences the further rate of juvenile growth. Within two weeks, the juveniles may grow up to 1.5 mm in length and feed themselves.

Zebra Pleco Fish Diseases

The catfish species are very hardy fish but sometimes it also faces the health problems due to parasitic, bacterial or fungal infections. To prevent infectious disease, antibacterial or anti-fungal treatment should be done. The regularly clean the tank can prevent your fish from most of the diseases.

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