Probably the most popular Panaqolus species in the trade since it's introduction in 1995, L204 may also be the most beautiful. Pitch black with thin white lines makes for a striking appearance, and thankfully L204 is a commonly available fish from Peruvian exporters.
Name: Panaqolus sp. “L204”
Trade names: L204, Flash Pleco
Origin: Rio San Alejandro, Peru.
Maximum size: 13 cm / 5''
Panaqolus species are great aquarium fish. They need shelter in the form of wood and rocks, and if they feel safe they will venture out in search of food even during daytime. They prefer a vegetarian diet, and of course wood is essential for their digestion. Some crustaceans and insect larvae can be added to their diet, but a diet consisting of too much protein and too little vegetarian food can cause trouble. They are peaceful Plecos, but males can be quarrelsome over territories and food. Panaqolus species are slightly more challenging to breed than many other popular Plecos, but it's usually all a matter of time and patience. When they do, they breed in typical Loricariidae manner with the male guarding the brood in his cave. Usually, male Panaqolus develop quite impressive odontodal growth on their flanks and on their fins.
L204 is rather easy to identify, and can only really be confused with P.sp.“Cruzeiro” which has a more spotted pattern.