- Scientific name: Leporacanthicus triactis
- Synonyms: L-091 Catfish
- Common name: Three Beacon Pleco
- Group: Catfishes
- Habitat: South America; Colombia and Venezuela; in upper Orinoco River basin.
- Size: 25 cm
- Biotope: Inhabits the fast-flowing waters and rapids, among rocks or driftwood.
- Social behavior: They can be kept with peaceful cichlids and characins in a community tank. Males can be territorial with conspecifics, so a large aquarium and many hiding places are required when housing a small group.
- Diet: Omnivorous; They prefer meaty live and frozen foods, such as tubifex, mosquito larvae, shrimps and mussels. It also requires some vegetable matter or algae, and will usually accept dried foods too.
- Breeding: Very rare in aquarium.
- Tank: Minimum 240 litres
- Population: 2-3 fish for 500 litres
- Decoration: Use a spacious aquarium with preferably dark, sandy substrate. and build many hiding places of driftwoods and roots. Lighting should be dimmed. They need highly oxygenated water with proper water-flow, and they also produce large amounts of waste, so frequent water changes are needed.
- Temperature: 24-27 °C
- pH: 6-7.6
- Hardness: 2-15 NK°
- Lifespan: 10 years
Description: There are a few color variants of this catfish, each of which possess varying amounts of orange patterning in the fins. Their base color can vary from brown or grey to charcoal black, depending on their age, sex, mood, and surroundings and their whole body is covered with darker black spots. Unlike many of their relatives the colors of Leporacanthicus triactis don’t fade with age, rather intensify, making for a striking fish when fully grown. The first ray of the dorsal fin, the adipose fin, and the tail’s upper and lower lobes have bright orange coloration, which used by males to attract the attention of females from their caves, as it has been observed in the wild. The males keep their tail or entire back end of the body out of their hiding place, and in the dark, murky water these beacons can be easily spotted, however this does not explain why females also have this feature. On some rare color variants the whole dorsal and tail fins are orange colored with dark markings.
Leporacanthicus species are commonly referred to as „vampire plecs”, because they have two large teeth in the upper jaw that resemble to vampire teeth, and they’re probably utilised to grip prey items such as snails and invertebrates. In addition all Leproacanthicus have a small, horn-like protrusion on the top of their heads. When buying these catfishes, be sure to check the fish has a rounded belly and that its eyes aren’t sunken, as these are classic signs of emaciation in newly imported specimens.
Mature males have longer and broader head when viewed from above, and also have bigger dorsal fin, and more odontodes on the sides of head, on pectoral fin spines, and on the whole body than females. Breeding is very rere in aquarium conditions, but in the wild they spawn during the rainy season in deep holes in the clay riverbank. It is unclear whether they make their own burrows in the clay mud vertical walls of riverbanks or inhabit those that birds have deserted at the onslaught of the rising river in the rainy season. During spawning hundreds of holes can be occupied by males, and imagine the extraordinary view when hundreds of catfishes fan with the orange tails in the murky water. Unfortunately it would be hard to create these conditions in the aquarium, and for a successful breeding a larger group of fish should be kept, so it would require a spacious tank.
(Betta, Siamese fighting fish)
(Bentos Tetra, White Tip Tetra)
(Bleeding heart tetra)
(Flame tetra, Red tetra)
(Lesser bleeding heart tetra)
(Black phantom tetra)
(Siamese algae eaters)
(Red tailed black shark)
(Clown botia, Clown loach)
(Giant Whiptail, Golden Whiptail)
(Striped Anostomus, Striped Headstander)
(African butterfly cichlid)
(Cockatoo dwarf cichlid)
(Three-stripe dwarf cichlid)
(L155 catfish, Polka Dot Lyre Tail Pleco)
(African fern, Congo fern)
(Yellow cabomba, Giant cabomba)
(Black ghost knifefish)
(Patrizi's Notho, Red-tailed Torquoise Notho)
(Coolie Loach, Kuhli Loach)
(Butterfly Pleco, L-168 Catfish)
(Banded Dwarf Cichlid)
(Needle Catfish, Farlowella cat)
(Brichard's slender cichlid)
(Glass Knife Fish, Green Knifefish)
(Spanner barb, T Barb)
(Julii Cory, Leopard Cory)
(Harald Schultz's Cory)
(Hovering Zebra Loach)
(Knobnose Whiptail Catfish)
(Regan's pike cichlid)
(Brown Spike-Tailed Paradise Fish)
(Fahaka Puffer, Nile Puffer)
(Red Eye Puffer)
(Blood-Red Jewel Cichlid)
(Half-banded Spiny Eel)