L24 is one of the more expensive and sought-after Cactus Plecos. It's allowed for export from Brazil, and is collected in significant numbers for the trade. Still the price is high, mostly due to the extreme habitat (depth and current) where they are collected, and of course due to the market's willingness to pay a high price for them. Not so strange really, given their very appealing looks!
Name: Pseudacanthicus pitanga
Trade names: L24, Redfin Cactus Pleco
Origin: Rio Tocantins, Brazil.
Maximum TL: 40 cm / 16''
Cactus Plecos are among the most impressive of all Loricariidae. They grow into large, territorial feeding machines that will bring lots of joy and wonder to those who can house them. A diet consisting of meat-based foods is required, so mussels and shrimps are always desired. Additional dry foods with a good vitamin rich content should be added. The water quality must be prime, so a good filtration system, lots of oxygen and regular water changes is necessary for Cactus Plecos to thrive. Elder males become territorial and aggressive towards each other, and even to other Plecos. This means that suitable caves and territorial boundaries should be present, and tank size should not be too small. When all of the above is present, even Pseudacanthicus species can be lured to breed. Males have broader heads and slightly more prominent pectoral fin rays. Females of course show a fatter belly. Up to about 200 eggs are laid in a cave, so the process happens in typical Pleco manner with the male guarding the brood.
L24 is often erroneously called P.serratus. That is a different species hailing from Suriname. L24 can also be confused with L25 from Rio Xingu, but L24 has paler markings and colours.