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Zebra pleco

Zebra Pleco Species of Fish:

Also known as the Imperial Pleco, the zebra pleco is a rather timid fish that should ideally not be placed in the same tank as other bottom feeders that compete for food.

The zebra pleco is known to set up a certain area that serves as its retreat when required and, as a result, keeping a number of zebra plecos in the same fish tank will require you to set up independent retreats for each. The zebra pleco is a rather peaceful, nocturnal fish that will swim around the upper levels.

The fish gets its name primarily from the zebra stripes that color its coat. The body is usually a bright white color with an overlay of uniquely striped black lines and the patter will usually continue right across the fins as well.

The fish will usually grow to an average size of about 9 centimeters and natural habitat is known to exist around the rocky substrates of the Rio Xingu in Brazil. Around the 1990’s, this breed of fish was exported from Brazil in great numbers – leaving a huge drop in the number of fish still present in the natural habitat. As a result, the Brazilian government issued a ban on the export of the fish and has encouraged captive breeding of the exotic species. The zebra pleco has a noticeably long snout with eyes that are placed quite high on the forehead. The teeth, of which there are about seven or eight on each side in the upper jaw and four on each side on the lower jaw, are bent, long and appear to be forked at the ends.

It is important to remember that when setting up an aquarium for pet health care and breed this species of fish, you need to make it as similar to the fishes natural habitat as possible. Do your research on the Rio Xingu and its layout as well as the many natural retreats that it houses. As much as possible, the zebra pleco’s should be kept in groups of one male and two females. They get on well with other fish as long as they are peaceful. The zebra pleco’s live on a feed of insect larvae and brine shrimp while a good supply of spinach and lettuce will also be devoured. However, it is important to regularly feed the fish on time as they may starve to death if ignored for a period of time.

  Submitted on June 9, 2010