The zebra pleco lat. However, you can find various and quite controversial information about the fish keeping, feeding and breeding. Even the history of how the fish was discovered is full of questions, despite the fact that it happened somewhere between Earlier, to denote the fish they used L-number — L, but in the species got its scientific description. Zebra pleco is endemic of Brazil river Xingu, Amazon river tributary. The river bed has lots of stones and pebbles of various size with small grained sand between them.

It is considered that catfish habitat is a deepwater area in the center of the river bed, because this is where Hypancistrus is caught. At that there are a lot of different cracks, caves and burrows on the river bottom, they appear due to specific rocks and water flows there. There are very few snags and almost no plants on the bottom and the water flow is fast, which makes the water oxygen-rich. Still there are debates among aquarists whether this species require snags in a tank or not.

Since many species need wood to chew and to improve their digestion processes, it is recommend to put a small snag in a tank. Nowadays fish is critically endangered. Due to power plant construction the habitat of the fish is pounding and future repercussions for the ecosystem are difficult to foresee. Since pounding effects river flow rate, level of water saturation with oxygen will decrease, as a result survival of the fish species will be really endangered.

Since fishing and exporting of zebra pleco and other numbered catfishes from Brazil was completely prohibited by the government and the fish was added to the list of endangered species.

At attempt of smuggling the breaker is penalized and it can be even imprisoned. All these measures contribute to the high price of this species. In captivity these fish grow up to 8 cm 3,15 in long, though in the wild is about 6.

The lifespan is about 10 years. Hypancistrus zebra distinctive feature is its unusual coloring, that consists of black and white stripes due to which the fish got its name. The coloring is snow-white with bluish tint on its tale.

Tar dark diagonal stripes go along its body and end on its caudal fin. The stripes become lateral on the head and vertical on the dorsal and pectoral fins.

You may encounter species with undulated and dashed black stripes on their body.Forums New posts Trending Search forums. What's new New posts Latest activity. Log in. Search Everywhere Threads This forum This thread. Search titles only. Search Advanced search…. Everywhere Threads This forum This thread.

Search Advanced…. New posts. Search forums. Zebra L food. Thread starter ajm Start date Sep 29, Forums Pleco Forums Feeding your Pleco. JavaScript is disabled.

zebra pleco food

For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Aug 24, 62 0 6 South Australia. Hi, I'm about to get in my new zebra juvenilles and wanted opinions on best food people have tried?

Thanks in advance Brengun Global Moderators Staff member. Apr 22, 5, 1 38 58 Burrum Heads, Queensland, Australia. Little bit of veg flake for the picky ones not quite ready to eat properly yet. Hikari algae wafer remember they only have little bellies halved or quarter, Sera viformo which they love but even so I break it up in to a half or third for only a few zebs.

zebra pleco food

They didn't seem that keen on veg so a couple of little soft New Era cichlid green pellets are added instead. Others may feed Hikari carnivore but mine got weevils in mine and I never bothered buying more. NLS grow for a treat but I am only talking about a couple of grains of it amongst a few. Its very high protein. Irene UK Support Team. May 14, 4, 0 36 Norfolk, UK.

Thanks Thanks for advice so far. I had read that blood worms are an issue for juvenilles but that adults love them? What would you advise in this regard?

Nat's Fish Member. Nov 14, 0 What size would you start feeding bloodworms? Thanks Irene Yeah that is what I have heard and would hate them to choke :cry: I would also like to know what age or size you recommend they can cope with them or is it better to just leave them out altogether?

You could try live black worms. Zebra Pleco Retired Staff.Zebra pleco is a freshwater fish that belong to the loricariidae family, the largest catfish group that consists of species possessing armored bony plates and suckermouth.

Zebra pleco is so named for its black-and-white coloration which runs all over the body a bit in different orientations. It goes by the biological name, Hypancistruszebra, and is known by common names like zebra plecostomusand imperial pleco.

Zebra plecos are native to Brazilian waters; you will see them in abundance inRiver Rio Xingu to be precise — this river is reported to have sandy riverbed with a considerable amount of pebbles and stones and also contains a high level of oxygen.

The population of this particular species is however endangered in the wild as pollution increases. The body of zebra pleco is elongated while their belly is flat and their bluish eyes are relatively big. Their suckermouth is flanked by a pair of barbelson each side. They are a ray-finned type of fish with the dorsal fin having one coarse and seven soft rays, and the anal fin possessing one coarse and four soft rays.

They can grow up to a length of 10 cm weighing about 4g over a 10 — 15 lifespan.

Zebra Pleco 101: Care, Size, Breeding & More!

One distinctively observable behavioral trait zebra plecos are noted for is their timidity. Owing to this, they will readily go into hiding [in caves] especially during the day, and will usually make a foray to the outside during the night hence they can be categorically called nocturnal animals. Coupled with this, they are bottom-dwelling species the rarely venture to the top and middle levels of the tank. They are quite peaceful and should not have any problem inhabiting the same tank with other species.

It is however not unlikely to see zebra pleco exhibiting aggressive behavior towards its kind in a show of territoriality.

In essence, it could be said that they are not really a schooling type of fish. Zebra plecos have an omnivorous feeding inclination although they so much cherish eating foods that are rich in protein — like bloodworms, mussels, lobster eggs, tubifex,daphnia, brine shrimp, and so on; it is for this reason, they are often erroneously categorized as carnivores.

That said,you can supplement their diet with algae wafers, pellets and veggies such as cucumber, squash boiled lettuce leaves, zucchini, skinned peas, etc.

Zebra Pleco Food - What I Feed My Hypancistrus Zebras 🦓 Subscribe!

Furthermore, they also show some scavenging tendencies by opting to feed on decaying plant matter Zebra plecos may also snack on bogwood or snags. They have a proclivity to be a bit ravenous in terms of feeding. For the feeding frequency; they should be provided with food twice or three times daily. But you should be careful not to overstock the aquarium with feed as you have to keep the concentration of ammonia in check. B: There are some key points to take note of when feeding zebra plecos.I got my first Hypancistrus zebra years ago.

To me, they are real gems of nature. Alongside a great number of other hobbyists I have heard that this fish is super sensitive, difficult to keep and difficult to spawn.

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My experience has been different. Below I describe how I have kept and bred my fish. Along the line I point out where my experience differs from what is widely accepted.


This fish is not considered to be a competitive feeder so the hobbyist has to be careful when it comes to selecting tankmates for it. Further, the tank has to be equipped with plenty of rocks, caves and wood for the fish to hide in or under. I was after Hypancistrus zebra for a while but even before the ban in January the fish were not found in abundance in LFSs.

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He was given his own 40 lit tank. I spent hours over hours adjusting my tap water to suit his alleged requirements and ended up putting more time in taking care of him than enjoying him. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. I was fussing too much in his tank, making sure the gravel was spotless, the water was sparkling clean and so on.

The fish was living in an artificial environment where it got disturbed way too often. As it happened I needed to use his tank to isolate one of my other fish so at some stage Caesar ended up joining my lit tank with other plecos.

The marked differences between this tank and his previous one were:. Caesar adjusted fine. Next time I saw him I could not believe my eyes: he had doubled in size and was strolling confidently, in plain light, pushing the Ls to get to the food! Based on this experience, repeated over time with other Hypancistrus zebras, I would suggest hobbyists wishing to keep, or keeping, these fish consider to what extent. I have indicated that in my experience Hypancistrus zebra have never had any issues when sharing their tank with larger Loricariids.

On this subject the interaction between Sassy, a young F0 female Hypancistrus zebra and Rudy, a young F0 L25 male, is quite interesting. While she was eating Rudy would stand on top of her, resting on his fins, protecting her from other fish while she would freely move below him picking pieces of food.

When she finished eating Rudy would escort her back to her space.

zebra pleco food

On the odd occasions I had to dismantle the tank to clean it or slightly change the layout Sassy would always run to Rudy and hide under him. When my dedicated zebra tank was ready I considered leaving Sassy with Rudy.

For a variety of reasons I finally decided to move her in with the zebra colony. Since she joined the zebra tank Sassy hid in a piece of wood and I have never seen her out, even when I had to take the wood out of the tank to collect fry. Each fish is an individual and needs to be treated as such. Generalisations about different genera and species are valuable in that they give us an indication of what has or has not worked, as the case may be, with a fish species in the past.

In this sense such generalisations are not exclusive of other possibilities. I prefer to observe carefully the behaviour of my own fish in a given environment and provide them with what suits them best, as individuals. Thus, when kept in a species tank, it is necessary to provide plenty of rocks, wood and caves for them to hide in.Zebra Pleco is one of the most fascinating freshwater species that you can host in your aquarium, but for it to grow healthily in a captive environment, you need to be aware of its living conditions and tank requirements, among other things.

And this is what we are going to discuss today in our all-inclusive care guide for the same. Take a look at the following details so that you get some clarity about the living conditions of a Zebra Pleco before we discuss each of them in detail later in the article.

However, in recent years, they have become an endangered species owing to the detrimental effects of various man-made dams on their natural habitat.

To help bring their population back to normal, the Brazilian government has decided to ban the export of these species. This is why almost all Zebra Plecos that you see in an aquarium are bred in captivity. Another interesting aspect of Zebra Plecos is that they are pretty new to the aquarium world since they were first discovered in the early s. They thrive in water that has a strong current, which explains why the creation of dams affects their lives in a negative way.

This was seen more apparently with the construction of Belo Monte Dam in Xingu. It also requires a handful of hiding spots in its vicinity as it replicates its natural habitat. In the wild, they prefer low-lights and gravel, pebbles, and smooth sand for their substrate.

Evident by their name, the most distinct aspect of Zebra Plecos is the fact that their appearance resembles Zebras. They are also identified by their flat bottom and sucker mouth. It should be noted that their mouth is much smaller than other species of Catfish. Much like most Catfish, they also have notable four whiskers, which they use to explore their ambiance. Furthermore, you would also notice their big, bulgy eyes which help separate them from your average freshwater aquarium species.

Their dorsal fin is in the shape of a triangle and stands up tall, however they can lay it down as per their wish. They also have two sets of pectoral fins on the sides of their bodies and a set of large rayed fins.

If you are looking towards distinguishing the males from the females, then you would have to look minutely. The females have a smaller and narrower head compared to their male counterparts. Males also have more hair on their pectoral fins. As we stated above, the colours of Zebra Pleco are what makes them so much in demand. They have black and white lateral pattern stripes on their bodies. Under proper lighting, these stripes really pop out and shine.

Naturally, this is great for the aesthetic element of your aquarium. Please remember that these stripe patterns are more prominent in younger Zebra Plecos. Zebra Plecos are pretty docile and are generally regarded as one of the more introverted species.

This explains why they need so many hiding spots in their vicinity. They are nocturnal species and stay most active at night. If you stay up at night, you may get the pleasure of watching them scavenging for food at night. Since they are extremely shy, they are also very territorial. The male Zebra Plecos tend to be more territorial than their female counterparts and can often get into fighting over territorial claims. So, if you are hosting more than one male Zebra Pleco in your home, make sure that you have a large aquarium.

However, this fighting nature of the male comes in handy as it helps in protecting the eggs and fries. If you are planning to host them, you will be there for the long haul.

They have a long lifespan and can live up to years. This means a lot of commitment from your end.Last Updated: May 25, References Approved. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 94, times. Learn more Plecos are a great addition to your aquarium to help keep it algae-free. The pleco, or plecostomus, is a type of catfish often housed in aquariums.

Plecos are omnivores, so you can also feed them meat, like shrimp and bloodworms, as well as vegetables including zucchini and kale. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever.

Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. To feed a pleco, put several pieces of driftwood in its tank, which your fish can suck and scrape to get the fiber it needs.

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Additionally, put at least 1 pleco algae wafer in its tank every day to supplement its algae intake. In order to satisfy its desire for meat, try feeding it a few small cut-up shrimp or 1 cut-up earthworm once or twice a week. You should also give it a silver-dollar size portion of a fruit or vegetable, like cantaloupe or broccoli, once or twice a week to round out its diet. To learn how to establish the best feeding schedule for your pleco, keep reading!

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An Inclusive Care Guide of Zebra Pleco Care Guide

Related Articles. Article Summary. Method 1 of Keep driftwood in the tank at all times. Your pleco needs lots of fiber in their diet, and they can get it from driftwood.Zebra Plecos are a beautiful and easy to care for freshwater fish that we recommend all the time. So we made this guide to set the record straight. This bottom-dwelling fish is a real head-turner! The Zebra Pleco scientific name: Hypancistrus zebra is a relatively rare freshwater species that is highly sought after by aquarists.

Often known as the Imperial Pleco, these fish are not as widespread as other types of plecos. Thus, they usually come with a higher price tag.

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In the wild, these fish are found Rio Xingu in Brazil. Unfortunately, this fish is classified as endangered in the wild due to the construction of dams in their natural habitat. Luckily, they are bred in captivity. The average Zebra Pleco size is between 3 and 4 inches when fully grown.

Caring for a Zebra Pleco is a long commitment. In a well-maintained tank, the lifespan of these fish is between 10 and 15 years. That said, there is no guarantee when it comes to life expectancy. Like any other freshwater fish, this species is susceptible to illness and premature death. Proper care is a must if you want your Zebra Pleco to live as long as possible. These fish are aptly named after the iconic coloration that covers their bodies. They have alternating stripes of white and black.

These stripes run laterally and can get very vibrant under the right lighting conditions.

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Like other plecos, this species has a flat bottom and under-turned sucker mouth. The Zebra Pleco has a set of large rayed fins. The triangular dorsal fin stands tall. Though, the fish can also lay it down flat for a more streamlined profile. Two sets of pectoral fins can be found on the sides of the body. The set closest to the head may feature short hairs as well. Author Note: Speaking of gender differences, it can be difficult to distinguish between males and females.

They look very similar! Aside from those tiny hair-line rays, the only major difference comes down to head size. Males tend to have wider heads than females. Many of their needs are similar to other species that come from South America. You should prioritize their health when planning their habitat and diet, and always do your best to maintain their ideal water parameters.

However, we recommend going a bit larger if possible.

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A gallon tank provides more room to swim. Plus, you can keep them in a small group without territory issues.