The Snowball pleco was earlier know by the L-number L102, but it has now been scientifically described and given the scientific name Hypancistrus inspector .
The Snowball pleco can reach a length of 16 cm (6.3 inches) and can be distinguished from the other members of the genus Hypancistrus by its special dentition. The body is black, dark grey or reddish brown and decorated with white or yellow "snowballs" on the sides. Along the margin of the caudal and dorsal fins, you can see a distinctive black ribbon or seam. The adult fish has cheek plates with 20-40 hypertrophied odontodes.
Geographical distribution, habitat and care
The Snowball pleco lives in Rio Negro in Venezuela . Rio Negro is the largest left tributary of the Rio Amazon and flows into Rio Amazon near Manaus in Brazil , after joining Rio Solimões. Negro means black in Spanish and Rio Negro is the largest blackwater river in the world. The water is not coal black; it is more similar to strong black tea. The tea colour is caused by tannins from leaves and other plant material that ends up in the river. Rio Negro is a soft and acidic and you should therefore ideally provide your Snowball pleco with such conditions in the aquarium. This fish can however tolerate a pH-value from 5.8 to 7.6. Snowball plecos have been collected from rapids and it is therefore reasonable to guess that they like strong currents and high levels of oxygen in the aquarium. Keep the water temperature in the 22-30 degrees C (72-86 degrees F) range.
The Snowball pleco is an omnivore species that feeds on animals, algae, detritus and seeds in the wild. Provide your Snowball pleco with a combination of meaty foods and algae based foods in the aquarium. The Snowball pleco is not a very good algae eater.
Aquarium set up and tank mates
Snowball Pleco - Copyright fishaliciousfish.blogspot.com
Try to resemble the natural environment of Rio Negro when you set up the aquarium and use caves and roots to form hiding spots for your Snowball pleco. As mentioned above, a strong current is probably appreciated, but it is not mandatory. The Snowball pleco is a non-aggressive species that can be combined with other peaceful fishes.
Breeding Snowball pleco
Sexing Snowball plecos is not very difficult, because the male has more reddish tones in his colouration than the female. The female is normally black or brown and her body is plumper. The male fish develops distinct odontodal growth.
If you want your Snowball plecos to breed, you must provide them with favourable conditions in the aquarium and a nutritious and varied diet. The Snowball pleco is a cave spawner and should therefore be given a suitable cave in the aquarium. The male will guard and fan the eggs. The eggs will hatch after 5-7 days. When the yolk sacs has been fully consume, start feeding with blanches lettuce newly hatched Artemia.
Don't lose heart if the first spawning does not result in any fry, it is quite common and the next spawning will probably be more successful.
What's in a name?
The word inspector means observer in Latin. Hypancistrus inspector was given this name because of its large eyes.
Albino Bristlenose Pleco- Information on how to keep and care for albino plecos.
Alligator Pleco - A guide to keeping and caring for Bushy Nose Plecos.
Blue phantom pleco- Information on how to keep and care for Blue Phantom Plecos.
Breeding Bristlenose Catfish - Ancistrus species- How to breed Ancistrus
Breeding Whiptails- Information on hot to breed whiptail catfish species.
Bushy Nose Pleco- Information on how to keep and care for bushy nose plecos.
Butterfly Pleco- Information on how to keep and care for Butterfly plecos.
Candy Striped Pleco - A guide to keeping and caring for candy striped plecos.
Clown Pleco- Information on how to keep and care for Clown plecos in aquariums.
Common Pleco- A guide to keeping and caring for common plecos.
Golden Nugget Pleco - Information on how to keep and care for Golden nugget plecos in aquariums.
Iquitos Tiger Pleco - A guide to caring for Iquitos tiger plecos.
King Tiger Pleco- How to keep and care for King tiger plecos.
Leopard Sailfin Pleco - Information on how to keep and care for Leopard Sailfin plecos.
Peppermint Pleco- A guide to keeping and caring for Peppermint plecos.
Pleco Care - Learn how to care for plecos.
Royal Pleco- A guide to caring for Royal plecos.
Rhino Pleco- Information on how to keep and care for Rhino plecos.
Rubber Lipped Pleco- How to care for this species.
Rubber Nose Pleco- How to keep and care for rubber nose plecos.
Sting Ray Pleco- Information on how to keep and care for sting ray Plecos aka hillstream loaches.
Spawning Bristlenose Plecostamus (Ancistrus dolichopterus)- A guide to spawning Bristlenose plecos.
Vampire Pleco- Information on how to keep and care for Vampire Plecos.
Zebra Pleco- Information on how to keep and breed Zebra plecos.
Central American Cichlids
Frogs and Turtles
Lake Victoria Cichlids
Marine Aquarium Fish
Responsible Fish Keeping
South American Cichlids
Tropical Fish Food