Tag Archives: L-number

Baryancistrus xanthellus L18, L81, L81n, L177

14. October 2020

About from the end of May to the end of September the season of the beautiful Golden Nuggets of the genus Baryancistrus lasts. Although the fish are considered to be extremely common in nature, are also found in shallow water and have been used as food fish since time immemorial, they were only scientifically described as Baryancistrus xanthellus in 2011. 

Although L18, L81, L81n and L177 are all considered to belong to the same species from a scientific point of view, in the ornamental fish trade they have been assigned different L-numbers because they are differently colored. All Baryancistrus xanthellus come from the Rio Xingu and its tributaries. One can distinguish four color forms: L18, “the” Golden Nugget, has relatively large spots, it comes from the main river. L81, on the other hand, has much smaller dots, and apparently occurs together with L18 in the main river. The largest points of all are found in L177, which comes from a tributary of the Xingu, the Rio Iriri. Recently, a variety has appeared on the market that resembles L81 in terms of the dot size, but has a much broader dorsal fin seam and a stronger yellow coloration. Since there is no L-number available for this form yet, it is called L81n “New Stardust” (the “n” stands for “new”). Nothing is known about the exact origin of these animals, only that they too are said to come from the Xingu.

In all four of them the dot sizes, the width of the fin seams and the yellow portion in the coloration vary considerably, so that sometimes it is difficult to assign them to an L-number in single animals. When they are fully grown – all four can reach a length of 25-30 cm – they all look relatively the same and the spots are much smaller than in the young animals. 

The breeding of the animals can also succeed in the aquarium. They are typical cave breeders. However, the special requirements of these animals mean that breeding successes are very rare.

First of all you have to know that the Xingu has relatively warm water all year round. The catfish are sensitive to temperatures below 28°C. Then they are extremely needy animals, which are adapted in nature to constantly take up a relatively nutrient-poor food. With one or two feedings per day these catfish do not get along. Finally, they are territorial and quarrelsome animals, which need space once they have exceeded the 20-cm mark.

In summary one can say that the Baryancistrus L18, L81, L81n and L177 are very beautiful and desirable fish, but the care and breeding in the aquarium can only be successful if their very special requirements are met intensively.

At the moment we have especially beautiful L81 and L81n in stock, of which we present you here current pictures.

Text and photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypancistrus sp. L500

7. August 2020

In northern tributaries of the Amazon, namely the Rio Nhamunda (L475), the Rio Padauari (L499) and the Rio Uatumá (L500), there are very similar Hypancistrus, which have a relatively stocky body in common. In colour they resemble very much the Hypancistrus furunculus (L199) from the upper Orinoco. All four Hypancistrus are extremely variable in colour, there are many animals with nice contrasting black and white markings, but also many that – especially when they are old – are quite dark in colour.

Since L500 is currently only available as offspring, breeders naturally try to breed these attractive animals with a high white content in the basic colouring preferentially.

All four mentioned Hypancistrus are peaceful fishes, which reach sizes of 12-15 cm and can be kept like the other Hypancistrus.

For our customers: L500 has code 26480-L 500X-1 (3-4 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypancistrus sp L471 “dwarf, big spots”

16. March 2020

From the Rio Ventuari in Venezuela we have received this extraordinarily beautiful Hypancistrus, which is very similar to H. inspector, H. contradens and L201, but has considerably larger spots, which also appear slightly yellowish. At least wild collected L471 seem to remain much smaller than the other mentioned Hypancistrus and hardly grow beyond 6 cm. Of course this makes them especially attractive for owners of smaller aquariums. However, offspring – the species is, like all Hypancistrus, a cave-breeder – can grow slightly larger (by 8 cm). 

Important for the successful care of these otherwise undemanding animals are comparatively high water temperatures, which should be in the range of 26-30°C, and good filtration. Hypancistrus are not algae eaters, but prefer to eat frozen and dry food. A piece of raw potato, carrot or zucchini is also gnawed, but one should use these foods sparingly, as they pollute the water considerably when they start to rot.

For our customers: the animals have code 26480-L 471-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L128 Blue Phantom

3. February 2020

There is no „official“ paper that states in which genus this popular species from Venezuela should be placed in, but the catfish community agrees that it most probably is a member of the genus Hemiancistrus. Currently we have very nice youngsters of 3-4 cm length in stock, and some smaller as well as some larger specimens, too. The species attains a length over 25 cm. The fish have an individually differing pattern.

Keeping L128 is not difficult at all. However, one should use not too small tanks, as the fish attains a respecatble length. It is important to keep these suckers at comparatively high temperatures. The Orinoco river always has 28-33°C where they are collected. So water temperature should not fall below 25°C for longer periods.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 128-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Hypostomus rhantos L242

13. March 2019

With almost 150 accepted species, the genus Hypostomus (in the broadest sense) is the most species-rich group of loricariid catfish. Unfortunately, there is no current revision of all species and so the determination of Hypostomus is usually a laborious affair, in the end often only a questionable result.

Hypostomus rhantos is pleasingly easy to recognize. The L-number 242 was applied on it before its scientific description. The fine dot pattern and the orange tending coloration make the species almost unmistakable; only Hypostomus micromaculatus from Surinam has similarly small dots.

Hypostomus rhantos is quite attractive in color and certainly one of the most beautiful Hypostomus species. It comes from the upper Orinoco in Venezuela, becomes about 20 cm long and is a typical Aufwuchs eater. As by-catch we received some Hypostomus sp. L192 and a Hypostomus species from the Cochliodon group, which is almost identical in color to L192, but has a completely different dentition; it is probably Hypostomus (Cochliodon) sculpodon or an undescribed species.

For our customers: Hypostomus rhantos has code 26480-L 242-2 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L137 Hypostomus soniae / Cochliodon soniae

27. August 2018

The pretty, blue-eyed L137 from the Rio Tapajós is only rarely offered. It is a medium-sized species of Hypostomus that can reach a maximum length of about 20 cm. The colour of the fish is quite variable. Specimens exist that have rather brown fins, others have spotted fins and again others have bright orange-red fins. The latter might be confused with the similar “Bruno” from Paraguay (code 27510), but L137 can be always identified by the blue eyes, which are unique within the genus Hypostomus.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 137-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Lexicon: Hypostomus: from ancient Greek, means “with inferior mouth”. Cochliodon: menas “with mussel-shaped tooth”. soniae: dedication name for Sonia Fisch-Muller, curator for fishes at the Muesum of Geneva.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Pseudacanthicus cf. leopardus: L 114 big and small

18. May 2018

The L-catfish L 114 is a close relative of Pseudacanthicus leopardus (please see our entrance on LDA 7 for that); currently we have different sizes of the beautiful L 114 in stock, among them (very rarely offered) 25-30 cm long specimens which are almost fully grown and in any case mature and one of the smallest sizes we usually stock, 4-5 cm long specimens. Observing the animals the idea took place to photograph them together to document the astonishing change of coloration that appears in this species during individual grow. We had to be pretty patient until the small fish was in a good position compared with the large one, but finally we succeeded and could make some nice shots.

However, we do not recommend to keep fish of so different sizes together in a long time sight. Despite the large fish was absolutely peaceful even when the small one used the big one´s head as a hiding place one cannot exclude the possibility that big L 114 will feed on very small ones by chance…

For our customers: L 114 have code 26480-L 114 on our stocklist. Currently we have different sizes in stock. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Micracanthicus vandragti L280

20. April 2018

One could think that this unusual suckermouth catfish – it originates from the Rio Ventuari in Venezuela – represents the juvenile form of a Leporacanthicus, for example L240 or L241. But in fact L280 is a dwarf species that hardly ever becomes bigger than 5 cm. Until now only single specimens appeared in the trade, but our current importation contained a good number of fish; so we hope that a breeder will be able now to breed this charming species and that an aquarium population of Micracanthicus vandragti can be established. There are more than a thousand species of suckermouth catfish, but this one seems to be the best suited one for owners of small and medium sized tanks due to the small size in combination with the attractive coloration.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 280-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

Guyanancistrus guahiborum L106

11. April 2018

Currently we have extremely nice youngsters of L106 in stock. They originate from Venezuela. There is a second, very similar L-number, L122. L106 has a deeper body. Maximum size reported for L106 is about 15 cm, recently our fish are 4-6 cm long.

The species has been described scientifically in 2005 under the name of Hemiancistrus guahiborum by Werneke, Armbruster, Lujan & Taphorn. The species occurs in the Orinoco drainage, type locality is the Rio Ventuari at raudales Tencua. The authors diagnose their species as differing from all remaining already described species of the Hemiancistrus/Peckoltia group by the broad orange seams of the dorsal and the caudal fins. There is consensus among l-catfish hobbyists that the fish are placed best in the genus Guyanancistrus.

L106 feeds mainly on Aufwuchs and is a very peaceful species. One should keep them – like all l-numbers from the Orinoko drainage – at comparatively high temperatures, eg 28-30°C. Otherwise the fish are undemanding.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 106-1 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer

L 128 Hemiancistrus sp. or Ancistrinae gen. sp.

23. July 2017

Many L-numbers have received correct scientific names in the meantime; not so the „Blue Phantom“, which ist stil undescribed. Currently most keepers tend to place the species in the genus Hemiancistrus, but this is not confirmed. It is also possible that the fish will have to be placed in a new genus (Ancistrinae gen.sp.).

We obtained very nice, 14-16 cm long wild collected specimens from Venezuela. The species can grow still a bit larger, at least to 25 cm. In the aquarium it requires large sandy open spaces as well as many caves and hiding places. The species has been bred already in captivity. It has the typical breeding behaviour, eg is a cave brooder. The fish prefer to spawn in caves that are open only on one side.

For our customers: the fish have code 26480-L 128-6 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer