As Loricarids go, many of the more popular species are large fishes, requiring correspondingly large aquariums. The "Tefena Loricaria", on the other hand, attains a much smaller maximum size (around 6-8" or so), and is well-suited for more modest-sized aquariums. Ours come from the Rio Meta, outside of Villavicencio, Colombia, and are carefully collected, acclimated, and feeding before Mike Tuccinardi selects yours for shipment.
The family Loricaria has 17 known species, several of which are of indeterminate taxonomic identity. The genus is distinguishable from other loricariine genera by the elongate filaments on the lips and its low number of bicuspid premaxillary teeth...easy for the ichthyologist to utilize; a bit tougher for the hobbyist working with live specimens!
Like many other Loricarids, this fish should be provided with some modest water movement (being a riverine/estuarine dweller) and a lot of sand and mixed hardscape for the fish to rest upon and forage among. It's color pattern serves to camouflage it, and lots of wood/botanicals over the sand works really well with this fish. With their easy, outgoing personality, these are well-suited for a properly-aquascaped community aquarium of peaceful fishes.
In a sufficiently-sized aquarium, more than one specimen may be kept- especially with sufficient amounts of wood and other hardscape materials. More subdued lighting is better for the overall activity and well-being of this fish. The fish is not excessively fussy with regards to water chemistry, favoring slightly acidic to alkaline pH ( 6.0-7.6) and moderately hard water. It fares well at water temperatures ranging from 73-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it produces significantly less metabolic waste than the larger Loricarids, overall good husbandry, including regular water exchanges and careful feeding, is essential for keeping this species healthy.
This fish spends a lot of time "grazing" upon wood and the biocover that accumulates on it. In the wild, gut-content analysis indicates that they feed largely on aquatic insect larvae, organic detritus, and other organisms found in the fine sand bottoms upon which they reside. However, in captivity, it will accept the usual frozen foods (like Brine Shrimp, Blood Worms, Daphnia, etc.), live foods like black worms, etc. If provided with a varied diet and proper conditions, this can be a very long-lived fish, capable of living many in captivity.
SOURCE: Net collected Rio Meta near Villavicencio, Colombia
CARE LEVEL: Intermediate
TEMPERAMENT: Peaceful and outgoing.
NATURAL DIET: Small invertebrates, detritus
COMPATIBILITY: Peaceful with most fishes; can co-exist with others of its own kind with sufficient space and hardscape.
MAXIMUM SIZE: Approx. 6"-8", perhaps slightly larger.
IDEALLY SUITED FOR: Clear water botanical habitats, but can also be kept in tannin-stained acidic to slightly alkaline environments. As with most Loricarids, stability is more important than hitting specific "target numbers" for this fish.
NOTE: This photo is for illustrative purposes only. You will be receiving a specimen which looks similar to the one shown in our photo, but should expect variations in color.
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