Candy Striped Pleco
The scientific name for the Candy striped pleco is Peckoltia vittata . Earlier, the name Chaetostomus vittatus was used. The L-number for Candy striped pleco was L015. Since the Candy striped pleco belongs to the genus Peckolita, it is often sold under the name Candy striped Peckoltia. Within the hobby, Peckoltia vittata is often confused with the Clown pleco Panaque maccus.
The Candy striped pleco can reach a length of 10 cm (almost 4 inches). It changes colouration depending on its current mood.
Geographical distribution, habitat and care
The Candy striped pleco lives in the middle and lower parts of the Amazonas Basin down to Argentina in South America . These waters are acidic and the pH-value in the aquarium should therefore be kept between 5.6 and 7.0. The recommended water temperature is 23-26 degrees C (73-79 degrees F) and the dH range is 2-20.
The Candy striped pleco is an omnivore and is not the best choice if you want an efficient algae eater for your aquarium. It does eat algae, but a significant portion of its natural diet consists of animals. Provide it with an omnivore diet in the aquarium, ideally a combination of both prepared food, boiled peas and frozen or live meaty food. The Candy striped pleco is a nocturnal species and it is not really natural for it to eat during the day.
Aquarium set up and tank mates
Try to mimic the middle and lower parts of the Rio Amazon when you set up the aquarium for your Candy stripe pleco and include plenty of rocks and wood. Live plants are not mandatory, but this is a pleco that normally leaves aquarium plants alone, provided of course that you keep it well fed. Always include wood in the setup.
Candy Striped Pleco
The Candy striped pleco is a peaceful fish but territorial clashes can occur in an aquarium with too many bottom dwellers. The easiest way of avoiding aggression is to combine the Candy striped pleco with species that will spend most of their time in mid-water or close to surface. If you want to keep many bottom dwellers it becomes important to break up the bottom area into several territories with the help of aquarium decorations, e.g stone piles and roots.
Breeding Candy striped pleco
The Candy striped pleco has been bred in aquariums. They are cave spawners. The male guards the eggs which are light yellow and roughly 2-3 mm in size. The eggs normally hatch within a week and after another week the yolk sac will usually have been consumed. You can feed the fry newly hatched artemia.
Sexing Candy striped plecos is not very tricky because the male fish develops small odontodes on the leading pectoral fin rays and the back half of his body. The odontodes look almost like tiny teeth. The male is also slimmer than the female, especially behind his pectoral fins.
What's in a name?
The genus Peckoltia is named after Gustavo Peckolt.
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