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Pseudacanthicus pirarara (Scarlet Plec, L025)

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A robust catfish with a mid-brown body covered in small dark patches and with vivid orange to red markings on the edges of the fins, particularly the dorsal and tail fins. L024 and L025 are similar, but L024 is smaller and has less contrasty colours. Both share the solid build and very spiny body, and for this reason are sometimes called "cactus plecs".

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Requires well-filtered, vigorously oxygenated water with minimal nitrates. A very nocturnal fish, hiding places are important if you want it to settle in and become more outgoing during the day. Although it eats some algae, this species is primarily an omnivore and needs a mix of vegetables such as courgette together with meaty foods such as bloodworms, prawns, and mussels. Very territorial, it is best kept apart from other plecs (including its own species) and shouldn't be forced to squabble with other benthic fish such as territorial catfish or cichlids. Mixes well with midwater cichlids, barbs, tetras, etc.

Family Group: L Numbers
Distribution Brazil, Rio Xingu
Temperature 24-28C
Size Around 45cm
Water Parameters Adaptable, but avoid extremes
Water PH 6.5-7.2
Diet Adaptable
Sociability Aggressive
Care Level Easy
Schooling Fish No

Useful sources of information:

DATZ are the original source of L number information.
Other information on L numbers can be found from the book All L Numbers published by Aqualog.
On the web, a comprehensive source of information on L Numbers and catfish can be found at and also