Enigmas like L79 are what makes the world of Plecos so fascinating! This is a great example of how some L-numbers are “lost” after their introduction, and don’t show up again until many years later. L79 was presented in DATZ number 3 in 1991 (together with a.o. L82), after having been imported into Germany in 1990. Despite being one of the smaller Cactus Plecos, it still never managed to gain a foothold in our hobby, and was barely present in any relevant literature published in the years to follow. Fast forward approx. 25 years, and things start to happen – L79 is beginning to show up in the trade again, especially in the Asian (of course) market. As it turns out, L79 is found near Maraba in the Tocantins system. From here, it’s exported as bycatch with P.spinosus, or deliberately by those operating in the shadows of the ornamental industry. L79 is not allowed for export from Brazil, which is, in my opinion, a huge shame. With its (fairly) modest size and awesome, flat shape, it stands out from the crowd of other Cactus Plecos. As with most Pseudacanthicus, it’s probably just a matter of time before someone succeeds in breeding even this one, and hopefully that means we will see more of it even on our side of the globe.
Name: Pseudacanthicus sp. “L79”
Trade names: L79
Origin: Rio Tocantins, Brazil.
Maximum TL: 30 cm / 12''
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 prima, 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, and some say that the males have stronger colours as well.