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How To Identify Pleco From Ancistrus
January 22, 2011
5:42 pm
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JazzBora150
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can someone tell or show me how to know the difference between a pleco and an ancistrus when they are young

ive got 2 small ones and need to know which they are

i dont want pleco as they will grow too big for my tank

cheers.

January 22, 2011
6:11 pm
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MatsP
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I take it you mean "Common pleco", as if I read your post literally it's like asking "How do I tell a sparrow from a bird?".

The easy way (although if they are really small, it can still be hard) is to count the number of rays in the dorsal fin - easier if you can get a good photo. If there is more than 8 rays (count at the base, as they have branches near the edge of the fin.

Most common ancistrus also have a clear pattern of light-coloured spots on a dark grey/brown body, where the common pleco is more of a mottled brown pattern. This is a bit harder tho.

You could always post a photo... /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

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January 22, 2011
8:16 pm
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JazzBora150
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photos proving hard to get but they will come

regards the 8 rays which one has more you didnt mention which

January 22, 2011
9:28 pm
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MatsP
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Doh! 8 rays is an Ancistrus [unless they are L071/L181/L249 (9) or Ancistrus dolichopterus (12)] . More than 10 [aside from A. dolichopterus] is a Pterygoplichthys.

Of course, the full story isn't as simple as that. There are lots of plecos with 8 rays in the dorsal fin. But I'm assuming you have a fish that is likely to be one or the other of common ancistrus or common pleco [or closely related].

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Mats

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