View Full Version : New Pleco... need help identifying species?

12-03-2010, 11:18 PM
I was in petsmart today and was looking at the "rubber lipped" plecos (Chaetostoma genus), which were in horrible condition when I saw one that was quite obviously a different species, and was the only one that wasn't completely emaciated. I brought him/her home, and would like some help trying to identify the species, however I probably won't be seeing it come out of the corner for quite some time.

Not 100% sure how the firemouth is going to take to a new tank mate either. The firemouth already has two large caves and a log to claim as her own, just made another cave too small for the firemouth to utilize hoping the pleco will eventually find it. Right now the firemouth has it at bay in the corner of the tank behind a plant, hopefully by tomorrow he won't be quite so aggressive.

I'll take pictures of it as soon as I see it in a position that allows it. But heres a brief description of it:

-black lines across armor plates like most rubber lips/bulldogs
-white spots, mostly on its face, and also distributed to a lesser extent on the rest of its body including its dorsal fin
-caudal fin and possibly dorsal fin (I don't remember at the moment) has a discoloration, going from a darker brownish color to a lighter shade abruptly (I'm color blind so whether or not it's brown Im not entirely sure)
-almost looked like it may have had stripes across the body near it's caudal fin, this may have just been the result of it being stressed out because it was in the bag from the pet store when I noticed this

That's all I've got so far, I'll update the thread next time I can stare at it close up and get a picture. Thanks for any help.

12-04-2010, 01:06 AM
After you post a good picture, if no one here knows it, you'll want to try www.PlecoWorld.org or try looking it up on www.PlanetCatfish.com.

12-04-2010, 05:37 AM
How big is it? It sounds like some kind of young BN maybe? Or maybe it's not a pleco. Maybe it's just some kind of catfish? Without a pic, it's hard to tell.

12-04-2010, 05:26 PM
It's definately in the Chaetostoma genus, or a bulldog/rubber lip pleco. It's definately not a Chaetostoma milesi or thomsoni. That's about all I have furnished so far. He still hasn't come out of the corner, so getting a picture to everyone may take a little while. I'll see what I can do later, maybe I can position the camera in a way that the angle doesn't distort the picture too much.

12-04-2010, 05:37 PM
Maybe a chaetostoma sp. L444 ?

Some photos here: http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/species.php?species_id=318

Take a look at 2nd row, 3rd picture down and see if that one is like what you picked up.

Its another type of bulldog/rubbernose pleco. So when they use the general names... its the same general name. That's like the one I have.

12-04-2010, 07:20 PM
Was able to snap a couple pictures him/her huddled in the corner, unfortunatly can't get a pic of the tail or dorsal fin, just the head. Didn't want to resize them to post them directly on the page so here are some links to them:


12-04-2010, 07:24 PM
By the way, in the first and second link does anyone see that "buldge" in the head, between the eyes, it looks like his right nostril? Is this ok? it almost looks inflamed. Could it be an infection, or is it just an illusion from the glass?

12-04-2010, 10:14 PM
I'd say its a chaetostma genus. Here's a decent overview of the varieties:

perhaps the pearsi... which has light dots on dark.

(I'm not an expert just going by photo)

12-05-2010, 01:35 AM
Yeah, I think Trillianne got it.

12-05-2010, 04:08 PM
Thanks a lot, I think that may be the one, there are 2-3 more that also look similar to him. I'll have to narrow it down now. I have one more question for everyone. My firemouth is not letting up on him, and I'm starting to worry about him taking too much of a beating. Does anyone have recommendations as far as how to remedy this situation? I'm thinking about rearranging the entire tank. I've created small caves for the pleco, but he dosn't use them, instead he sits out in the open during the day where the firemouth can takes shots at him every couple minutes. Can he harm an armor plated fish? For some reason the pleco doesn't move when the firemouth attacks him, what is he thinking?

12-13-2010, 11:34 PM
Sometimes moving around the caves/decorations u have will split up the territory enough that all the fish have to find a new home, so there is not as much aggression with the fish that is used to having all the space.
I've also used a divider for a few weeks, that worked, but it was with goldfish so im not sure it will work with a firemouth & pleco :)

moving stuff around has worked for me a few times!

good luck!

12-17-2010, 09:46 PM
If the pleco is not seeking shelter he might not be that bothered. When they are stressed they hide. They also tend to get almost a saddle like lightish patch on their backs. If its ignoring the firemouth, its really probably not all that upset by him.

Aside from plucking out the eyes or swallowing them whole there is not much he can do to a pleco.

Are there any other fish, or just the FM and pleco?

Pleco's can hold there own pretty well against bullies.