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Panaque cochliodon (Blue Eyed Pleco, Columbian Blue-Eyed Plec)
This highly sought after fish is dark grey to black and has bright turquoise coloured eyes. It is a herbivorous freshwater armored catfish endemic to Colombia. There are no known sexual differences.
The Blue Eyed Plec is so rare that if you find one in the UK you’ll be one of a small group of people to ever see these fish in the flesh. This species is rarely traded because it's natural habitat lies within regions too dangerous for most fish collectors to visit!
These gorgeous and 'hard to get hold of' fish are actually quite clumsy swimmers and are adapted to staying close the substrate, in particular using the sucker-like mouth to hold on to submerged rocks and wood
In many books they are known as Panaque suttoni or Panaque suttonorum, a completely different species. They are a peaceful, retiring catfish that combines well with most aquarium fish.
Maintenance is simple, these fish primarily eat wood, and so long as bogwood is supplied they require very little attention. Raw or blanched vegetables should be supplied once or twice a week. Courgette, cucumber, celery, lettuce, and carrots can all be used successfully. These fish do not need high protein supplements (such as prawns and mussels) and in fact too much protein will cause them harm.
When looked after properly they are hardy and long-lived, but they can be delicate immediately after import and great care should be taken when selecting specimens and during the quarantine phase at home.
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