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Demini Leopard Cactus Plecostomus (L-114)

(Pseudacanthicus cf. leopardus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 12"
• Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-82° F, KH 8-10, pH 6.5-7.0
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: South America, Brazil   • Family: Loricariidae
• Species: Plecos   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Demini Leopard Cactus Plecostomus (L-114) native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Demini Leopard Cactus Plecostomus (L-114) is found within the aquarium trade under a few different common names including: Demini Leopard Cactus Pleco, Leopard Pleco, Cactus Pleco or simply L-114 Pleco. This species is imported from South America where it is found living in river and stream habitats. They are also bred now in captivity, with more and more of the species within the aquarium trade coming from breeders instead of wild collection.

Demini Leopard Cactus Plecos have become popular within the aquarium trade due to their interesting looking appearance and compatibility with a range of tank mates from community fish to larger aggressive Cichlids. However, just like many other larger pleco species, they are relatively peaceful when provided enough room to stake out a territory, but they will become defensive if they feel their territory is intruded upon by another Pleco or similarly shaped fish species. In general they should only be kept with others of their own kind if there is enough space within the aquarium for each of them to carve out their own territory.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Demini Leopard Cactus Plecostomus (L-114) in the home aquarium.

When aquascaping an aquarium to accommodate a larger Pleco, it is best to replicate their natural surroundings as best one can. Given that Demini Leopard Cactus Plecos come from briskly flowing rivers and tributaries of South America, hobbyists should provide them with an abundance of clean well oxygenated water flow, large amounts of submerged drift wood and root structures and fairly dense areas of vegetation.

An ideal aquarium setup would replicate all aspects of their natural river habitat, but it is only truly necessary to provide them with some key aspects of their wild habitat. It is important to provide plenty of submerged driftwood and root structures, some areas of the aquarium shaded by vegetation or rock formations and clean well filtered water with at least moderate water flow.

Large Plecostomus produce large amounts of biological waste products, which means that it is very important to have very good mechanical and biological filtration to effectively process this waste. Pleco's prefer to have areas of the aquarium where they can retreat from the bright aquarium lights; as well as, areas like rocky caves where they can hide when startled.

They do well with most any community or semi-aggressive fish species and can even tolerate some of the more aggressive Cichlid species. Their larger size makes them somewhat destructive to less hardy plants, so it is recommended to keep them with large, sturdy and hardy plant species that can handle the bulk of the Pleco hanging on it or brushing up against it.

Lastly, they attain a relatively large size and will need plenty of room to move about the aquarium, this means that a minimum of a 70 gallon aquarium should be used to keep an adult specimen. Aquariums of 120 gallons or more (24 inches from front to back) are even more suitable as they provide a better layout for the long body of the Pleco to move about.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Demini Leopard Cactus Plecostomus (L-114) and provide a healthy diet.

Being an omnivore, they should be fed a diet consisting of both meaty foods and vegetable or plant matter. They will readily consume all manner of commercial foods designed for substrate feeding carnivores and omnivores like sinking pellets or wafers. They will also aggressively feed on the leftover foods fed to other fish that make it to the aquarium substrate. Good meaty foods include: commercial pellet or frozen foods, chopped shrimp, prawns or krill. They will also need to be offered blanched or parboiled vegetables like romaine or green leaf lettuce, cucumber, zucchini or peas.

It is best to determine feeding frequency by monitoring the overall girth and health of the fish. Direct feeding can be adjusted based on the amount of scavenging opportunities the Pleco has within the aquarium. Be sure to offer vegetable matter at least once or twice a week.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Demini Leopard Cactus Plecostomus (L-114) in the aquarium environment.

This species is bred in aquaria, both at the fish farm level and hobby level aquarist. Adult specimens are easy to sex, as the male posses a considerably broader head and more extensive odontode development as compared to the female. They reach sexual maturity at around 8 inches in length, with males showing interest in females around this time.

They are cave spawners, thus they will should be provided with multiple cave spawning locations within the aquarium in order to facilitate spawning. The male will choose the cave and entice the female to the chosen location, where she will deposit her eggs. The male will then take over the responsibility of guarding the brood.

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