Among the lesser known and not as often kept or traded Panaque species we find L418. It was first introduced by Evers in Amazonas Magazine vol2 (2006), and given its L-number in DATZ in November 2008. Since then, it has stayed a curiosity for the market, with only sporadic exports from Peru – mostly to Asia, because of the rather high price this species demands.Juvenile specimens have a beautiful, contrast-rich pattern of broad, black lines and dots. As they grow and age, they gradually turn into a duller, darker fish with thinner lines against a darker body. But, the stand-out feature of L418 is the caudal fin. In adults this fin is convex, with a nice, yellow edge. Keeping L418 is pretty easy and typical for the large Panaque types. When settled they will be active even during the day, and if their basic demands are fulfilled they can even be kept in community set ups. Keep in mind that these are very large growing creatures, and they are also very long lived.
Name: Panaque cf. titan (Lujan, Hidalgo & Stewart, 2010)
Trade names: L418, Panaque sp. “Shampupa”, P.sp. “Shamper”
Origin: Rio Napo, Ecuador. Rio Caguán, Rio Caqueta, Colombia. The L418 variety is however collected at Tingo Maria, Rio Huallaga, Peru.
Maximum size: 60 cm / 24''
All Panaque species must be provided lots of wood in their environment, as this is needed for their digestive system. They should also be fed a varied menu of vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and such. Additional dry foods like tablets should also be given. If given too much protein rich/fat food their digestive system will suffer. A very good filtration system is required to maintain a good water quality and break down the amounts of waste produced by these grazing machines. Regular water changes are of course also essential. They are very peaceful, and will not go after even the smallest fish for food. As they age, males may become more territorial and quarrelsome towards each other. Males develop extreme odontodal growth on their cheeks and pectoral fins. Breeding is very rare in captivity due to the size of the fish, but has occurred. The eggs are placed in a shelter among wood, or in cavities large enough for the adults.
Separating L418 from the Colombian variety L191 can sometimes be a challenge. Apart from the separate locations / country for export, L418 has more unbroken black lines, compared to the more mottled pattern of L191. Both can have a yellow edge to the caudal fin.