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Re: Bristling with Excitement

Jay Reeves said in response to my opining bushynose plecos small enough
for 15 gallon tanks:

> Ancistrus temminckii might be what you are looking for.  A.
> temminckii is
> listed as a syn. for A. dolichopterus in Baensch, page 486, Vol. 1. 
> Baensch
> lists the length of temminckii at 4.75".
A number of places state the max size as closer to 5.5-6 inches.  Can't
say how many of them are quoting each other or the same original

>  I have a pair that I bought
> at
> about 3/4" probably 18 months ago and they are about 3"  or slightly
> less
> today.  
The ones in my lfs look just like Ancitrus temminckii, are about 3-4
inches long and do not show the pronounced "tentacles" of a. temenckii
males, which supposedly doesn't show up in males until about a year or
so after birth.

I can easily imagine these fish getting to 5 or 6 inches.  15 gallons
seems like a small tank for fish that can swim as fast as these and is
as 6 inches long.  Also, I'd have to learn how to grow (in a controlled
way) more algae to keep one fed in a 15 gallon :-0  Maybe if I put one
in their the example would teach the otos to be more industrious.

> Now have 1 or 2 youngsters in the tank from this pair. 

They bred?

> haven't seen
> two young at the same time for a while.  Most importantly, they are
> well
> behaved in the plant environment.  Don't appear to gnaw plants, do
> not upset
> delicate plants, and tirelessly are nibbling at the glass, gravel,
> and wood.

They don't seem to bother with "ambulia".
I don't think they eat the plants, but I think they sometimes abrade
them if there is lots of algae on a leaf.

> The only plant of mine that they tend to spend time on is the
> Bolbitus.

The have been working on everything in my tanks, grasses, crypts, java
fern, anubias, rubins and amazons, etc. They even do windows -- they've
cleaned the aquarium glass in those hard to reach corners, plus the
powerhead, heaters, etc.

> My guess is that many folks would find a 15 gal. large enough for
> this fish.
> Certainly worth a try if you could start with a couple of young ones.
> Perhaps someone else will chime in here.  I am not a big pleco fan,
> but
> these little ones are winning me over.  OTH, maybe these creatures
> are like
> the you choose a name flag fish. 

Not my choice to call them that ;-)

> Some behave well, some don't?

My though was that, if they eat so well, what happens when they run out
of algae?  (What happened when Seymour had bandaged all his fingers and
needed still more blood to feed the hungry plant in "Little Shop of

In the past, I have had plecos before but never in a planted tank --
Back then, I only put in plants to feed them.  This species is a new
fish for me and I'm amazed at how well they appear to work in a planted

If I put zucchini slices in before dark, the SAEs zealously, jealously
stake them out (one fish each claims a slice), gaurding it against all
comers, and munches until nightfall.

Scott H.

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