Ancistrus dolichopterus, Kner, 1854
Origin: Brazil, Rio Negro area.
Synonyms: Xenocara dolichoptera, Chaetostomus dolichopterus
First European import:1911?
Care: Ancistrus dolichopterus require larger, well filtered tanks, 60 cm can be considered the minimum size of a tank. The fish will adapt to various types of water, although they shouldn't be kept in alkaline water. Ancistrus dolichopterus is very suitable for the community tank, and as an algae eater also quite usefull. Some driftwood and/ or caves should be present in the tank for the fish to hide in, and the gravel in the tank should be round, to prevent injuries. The fish are peacefull, and it is possible to keep several fish in a tank, although some supplemental food like salat should be given in that case. The fish are mostly active in the evening and during the night, but if floating plants are present, or shade is provided otherwise, often the fish can also be seen grazing during the day.
Feeding:Mostly the fish just eat algae, some flake food remains, although bloodworms are also consumed if they can get to them. Some additional plant matter should be provided to the fish, salat, peas, spinach.
Size:Up to 13 cm
Breeding:Ancistrus dolichopterus is not hard to breed. Usually the fish will spawn in the community tank in holes. A bit higher temperatures and soft slightly acidic water are requiered. The male will protect the large eggs, which will hatch in 5 days. The fry will immediately leave the nest, to find spots in the tank to hang from. There they will stay until the yolksac has been depleted. At that time they should be fed large amounts of green water.
Sexual dimorphism:Males have larger and bigger "horns/antennae"
Prices: Netherlands 3-5€.
Picture references:Picture 1: E. Naus
References:Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)
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