Hypostomus cochliodon

Rusty pl*co

Hypostomus cochliodon is one of the more interesting plecos that I have kept as it is a diurnal wood eater. My fish is currently around 128 mm SL (170 mm TL) as measured today. I’ve been meaning to measure it for a while as it would be interesting to know if it ever reaches the 230 mm as reported by Webber (2003)[1], or remains at the 7 inch mark, as the original paratypes mentioned by Kner[2]. The fish feeds well on courgette and wood, but takes no interest in dry pellets.

I was quite surprised that the fish had no Wikipedia article… it has one now!

[1] Webber, C. (2003). R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. ed. “Loricariidae – Hypostominae (Armored catfishes)”. Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America (Editora Universitária da PUCRS): 351-372

[2] Kner, Rudolf (1854). “Die Hypostomiden. Zweite Hauptgruppe der Familie der Panzerfische. (Loricata vel Goniodontes)“. Denkschriften der Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien 7: 265-267 (15-17). Retrieved 6 November 2011.

Layout update and tidy

420 litre: Hygrophila spreading

As the other two pairs of rams are still looking to spawn, I have tidied the plants, probably disrupting the process, while I was at it.

The tank is still on a 4-5% daily water change. I have not been using dechlorinator because anything in the tap water would instantly be diluted by 20 times.

I have also added some Indian almond leaves to add a black water effect and a couple new pieces of oak. The plecos have made a good job of munching through it, especially the rusty pleco (Hypostomus cochliodon), who are one of the “true” wood eaters.

The Amazon sword (Echinodorus bleheri) has moved forward, so it is now more visible. I am also trying to grow a few cuttings, towards the front of the tank.

The layout:

420 litre: Hygrophila spreading

The post-holiday aftermath

420 litre: after the holiday

The fish were still doing well after the holiday, and looking healthy. My friend Bev did water changes three times in three weeks, averaging out once per week or so.

Before leaving, I made up one pack of food per day. Going by how many packs were left when I came back, the fish were fed every 2 days out of 3.

A head count showed that there had been no deaths and the general health of the fish was great. The bristlenose plecos had spawned and there are young all over the tank, the majority on the filter outlet or the glass near it. The new Hagen pump was quite clearly not strong enough to suck them in.

Water readings are fine, except a 25 ppm increase in nitrates. I am slowly resuming the water changes on a daily basis.

There was some hair algae in the plants which floated to the surface, which is a pain, but nothing can be done about it.

Equipment was functioning well, same as when I left it.

Fighting plecos

Plecos are not often known for their aggression, but the fact is, males will sometimes fight and not just for show. Today, I came home to find the beta male with his tail and a large number of scales missing.

The two males really do have more than enough territory space, with a 150 cm of bottom space to chose from, so I imagine they decided to go for the same cave, out of the three which are available. No sign of infection, but treating with eSHa 2000, just in case.