Pitbull Pleco aka Parotocinclus jumbo - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-25-2010, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Pitbull Pleco aka Parotocinclus jumbo

Ok, so I'm on a hunt for a Pitbull Pleco aka Parotocinclus jumbo. I keep reading that they need to be kept in groups, of how many noone says. My space is very limited if you remember, I have a 29g.
Seeing how these little fellas are fairly rare, I would like to try and accomodate them a little better. I currently do not have any driftwood in the tank, except maybe a small piece that one of my plants are growing over. There aren't really any hiding places, and being nocturnal fish I'm guessing they need some.
The temp in my tank is ~80, for my angels, recommended for the pits is 78-79... Would they be fine or should I just lower my temp 1-2 degees?
Maybe I should just forget getting them? It's probably going to be impossible to find them also.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-25-2010, 04:49 PM
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Parotocinclus, Otocinclus, Corydoras, Aspidoras and Brochis are, although in two distinct families (Loricariidae and Callichthyidae), very similar with respect to water parameters, behaviours, spawning methods and maintenance. Social by nature, they are more comfortable and thus less stressed in groups. As P. jumbo, in spite of its name, is small (up to 2 inches) a group of 3 would be fine in your 29g. As you note the upper temperature is given usually as 79F, and warmer temperatures mean less oxygen, but as this species comes from the slower streams this might not be significant with one degree.

It likes to bury itself in the substrate if alarmed, and remains more on the substrate that related species, so sand may be a better substrate. They are vegetarians, so edible algae (the common green or brown) in the tank when they are introduced would, as for all species of otos, be highly recommended, else they many starve. Once settled, vetable foods and spirulina/algae tablets will be eaten. At least, so the authors say; I've not kept this particular species. Apparently some authorities believe this species should be moved to a different genus, so a name change may occur if this is done.

I have tried a couple of other rare Parotocinclus species--easily recognized from the near-identical Otocinclus by the presence of an adipose fin in Parotocinclus, no Otocinclus has an adipose fin--without success. They are not easily acclimated to aquaria that are not well established [similar to the Otocinclus species]. Acquiring them as a group might lessen this, rather than single specimens. I may have been unfortunate enough to have acquired poor fish; all of these species are not the strongest during capture and transport and frequently arrive almost starved.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-26-2010, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Byron, I will be on the lookout for these guys, I have quiet a few stores around here so I hope to find some eventually. I am also now interested in the Zebra otocinclus (otocinclus cocama?). There aren't many corydoras that fit the criteria that I am looking for, but if I happen to run across some interesting ones then who knows... I figured I should broaden my options considering the rarity of them.
Let the search begin!
Oh, and you're not the only one that had difficulties keeping them, after some more reading and searching it shows just how fragile these little ones are, almost everyone has experienced a terrible survival to loss ratio. Naturally I hope to be lucky enough and careful enough to not experience the same (if I even find any).
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-26-2010, 12:53 AM
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Zebra otos are certainly cool looking little guys. I've only ever seen them for sale at a LFS once and I didn't have anywhere to put them, so I had to pass on them.

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post #5 of 6 Old 01-26-2010, 02:54 AM
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I have a little Bulldog, or Pitbull pleco that I spied in a tank with otocinclus some months ago. It has fast become one of my favorite fish. Does in my view need sand substrate ,and it is humorous to watch them flip the pebbles of sand over in search of food.
Believe these fish are much more likely to accept vegetable matter,spirulina pellets,wafers, etc than the otocinclus from my observations thus far.
Sadly,, mine is a loner at present but I am trying to get a group of them for planted tank I will be trying once again this spring.
The little creature does benefit from sponge filter coated with biofilm that I keep in the tank ,in addition to foods mentioned.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-26-2010, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, four stores and not a single pitbull. One store tried to sell me the oto affinis as a zebra oto... Either they didn't expect me to know the difference, or don't know the difference themselves. One of the stores has leopard and panda corydoras, they seem to be too active for what I want. I only visited one of the Petlands here, they don't name the species of fish, I have a few more petlands that I will check out but I need a way to identify these pitbulls at a young age. The zebras are easy enough.
One of the stores offered to order the pits for me, I''m going to leave that option for later since they will probably order the wrong fish anyway. The search continues :)
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