L46 Keeping
































The keeping of this pleco is relatively uncomplicated.

I have tried to find a compromise between  a show fishtank and breeding tank. Because my fishtank stands in the livingroom and i also want to enjoy looking at my animals and the whole tank, I tried to make the tank really naturally. with a black sand ground, wood, plants, big stones and also a few other animals.

For a pure breeding tank a plane tank would be sufficient, without a ground and only with a few caves and hiding places, as well as a good filtering. Aesthetically such tanks are not very interesting.

Water equivalents:       

To the water equivalents the L46 do not have such a high requirements as some other plecos. Although, If u like to breed it, u should pay attention to sufficient water quality.

I am not one of the fanatic “Watermixers” who check all water equivalents every day and readjust them.

I measure nitrite e.g. only very rarely. Since it is very poisonous, with smaller tanks and small filters it should be checked more frequently. I have 2 big external filters and a big internal filter who run parallel. Thats why i dont worry about the water condition very much.

Nitrate I measure more frequently and try to keep it as low as possible.  Although meanwhile I do not believe anymore that high nitrate values have a  negative effect on the keeping and breeding of the plecos. I do not make a water change if  one of the plecos has laid eggs for a few days after they hatch. This summer some my plecos produced eggs so frequently that they laid them one after the other so that I could not make water changes for 6 weeks. How high the nitrate values was u can probably imagine. And nevertheless it did not seem to have disturbed the plecos.

I lower the hardness of the water by using osmose water. I measure the GH also very rarely. It is usually between  5 and 7. The KH i measure more frequently. I try to hold the value around 2. Sometimes it sinks too low, than it comes it to an acid fall and the pH value drops. Therefore I give some Natriumhydrogencarbonat (soda) in the water, when the value is too low.

The water temperature in the L46 tank has to be higher, than with many other fish types. I always hold my tank between 27,5° and 30°C. On very hot days in the summer it can also be up to 31°C in the tank, but then one must absolutely pay attention to a sufficient oxygenation. The Zebrawels prefers such temperatures. However one may not forget here that the Zebrapleco needs a lot of oxygen at high temperatures only little O2 is solved in the water. For this reason i supply my L46 with a diffusor, which is fastened to the water inlet of an external filter. Thus by the external filter is constantly blowing air in the tank of the Zebraplecos.



Here i use a black, very small, plastic-encased gravel. I looked for a very long time for such a gravel. I wanted to have a black sand, since I find on the one hand that the fish and plants look much better on a dark ground and on the other hand i  have the feeling that the plecos feel much better on a dark ground and dont get scared so fast than on bright. I wanted it fine-grained, because thereby the surface area appears larger and because then the food does not disappear so fast between gravel. It´s Plastic-encased because black ground usually consists of quartz fragments. This is very beautifull black, but has sharp edges. And since the plecos live with the belly on the ground all day long, it should be plastic encased so that it does not come to cuts.



I have plants in all of my tanks. Not just because they diminish nitrate, but also because in my opinion it belongs optically to an aquarium. With the described water equivalents and - temperatures it is however delicate with plants. Many cannot survive under such conditions. Which functioned for me:

Vesicularia dubyana, which I planted on some roots.

Anubias, likewise on roots planted.

Amazon sword plants (echinodorus bleheri), grow however very slowly. Echinodorus schlueteri, shows bad groth too.

Canadian waterweed, grows also very slowly, but this comes me actually very convenient, since the leefes are very closely together and so dont need to be re-cut often.

Vallisneria gigantea, grows very beautifull, but slowly.



And this is how my tank looks like: