The scientific name for this species is Leporacanthicus galaxias . Earlier, the Vampire pleco was referred to with the L-number L029. In addition to the common name Vampire pleco it is also known as Galaxy pleco and Tusken pleco.
The Vampire pleco can reach a length of 25 cm (almost 10 inches). Leporacanthicus galaxias can be distinguished from Leporacanthicus cf. galaxias (L007) by looking at the dorsal fin, the snout and the body colour. In Leporacanthicus cf. galaxias , the dorsal fin is higher, the snout is shorter and the spots on the body are bigger.
Geographical distribution, habitat and care
Vampire plecos are found in Rio Tocantins in the Brazilian state of Pará. Since Vampire plecos live in rapids in the wild, it is beneficial to provide them with strong current and high levels of oxygen in the aquarium. Keep the water acidic or at least neutral, from pH 5.6 to 7.0. The temperature should be kept in the 22-26 degrees C (72-79 degrees F) range. The Vampire pleco is a carnivore species that needs a meaty diet. It will accept most types of meaty live and frozen food, and can also be trained to eat dry prepared foods. A combination of several different animals and food types is recommended since it decreases the risk of malnutrition in captivity.
Aquarium set up and tank mates
Vampire Pleco - Copyright fishaliciousfish.blogspot.com
Try to resemble the environment in the rapid parts of the lower Amazon when you set up the aquarium for your Vampire pleco. Create plenty of hiding spots and include bogwood in the set up.
Vampire plecos are generally friendly, but if the bottom of the aquarium becomes too crowded it can result in territorial clashes. It is therefore best to combine Vampire pleco with friendly community species that spend their time in mid-water or near the surface.
Breeding Vampire pleco
The Vampire pleco has been successfully bred in the aquarium, but there are unfortunately no articles to be found on the subject yet. Sexing Vampire plecos is not very difficult, since the adult male develop at longer and broader head than the female. The male fish will also display small odontodes on the sides of his head and a higher number of odontodes on his body and pectoral fin spine. In most cases, the females look duller than the males when it comes to colouration and their dorsal fins are smaller.
What's in a name?
The genus name Leporacanthicus is derived from two Greek words: lepus/leporis and akantha. Lepus/leporis means rabbit and akantha means thorn.
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