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I may have fallen for my one true love.. the zebra pleco. Normally, i find plecos to be very ugly (no offense to all you pleco lovers out there, to each his own), but I was looking at some freshwater fish online and found the gem of the plecos. The only problem lies in the availability of such a beautiful fish. They are no longer being exported from SA where they are native. I have found numerous ones available in the UK, the problem there being how to get them here (to the US!). And the ones i found in the US from breeders, are 250$ a piece (if you wanna wait at the end of a many years long waiting list!) Does anyone have one of these beautiful fish so that I can live vicariously through you?
 

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I had one for many years a decade ago. Very beautiful and quite personable. He had his tunnel in a chunk of wood and at feeding time would appear at the entrance and patiently (for a fish) wait.

Hypancistrus zebra [Isbruecker & Nijssen, 1991] occur only (as far as is known) in the Rio Xingu in Para, Brazil, and unfortunately are near extinction which is why they can no longer be legally exported. Fortunately, they are quite easy to spawn, and many aquarists in the US have been successful. The fish is now available in the hobby though for a very high price, though I can get them for less than what you mention. Oliver Lucanus, an authority on SA fish, who lives in Montreal and owns "Below Water" importers has them for $170 CDN each, and Charles at Canadian Aquatics in Vancouver has had them for about the same, though his are special orders I believe.

Just to whet everyone's appetite, a photo of this true gem of a fish. Byron.
 

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Wow, that is GORGEOUS!! I was at a new LFs yesterday and saw a placo labeled "False zebra pleco" for $22. Might do some more research on it. It was pretty, but not as cool looking as the one Byron has posted!
 

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looking into buying few of these for a colony (spiecies tank)

where did u say i could inquyire?? do they have emails, or sites...?
 

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WOW is an understatement....that fish is absoluty beautiful, i havent ever seen one, but my LFS always has "zebra pleco" written on the display tank,..
 

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L046

Greetings. I just picked-up a young, proven spawning group of 7 of these. I had to sell one of my kidneys to pay for them - but worth every penny. - Frank
 

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looking into buying few of these for a colony (spiecies tank)

where did u say i could inquyire?? do they have emails, or sites...?
In my previous post I gave two Canadian sites. If you are in the US there are places, I understand several aquarist in the US breed these, but as Coryologist says they are expensive. You could try Corys-R-Us in Florida, they are reputable, there are I'm sure others, probably in California.
 

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In my previous post I gave two Canadian sites. If you are in the US there are places, I understand several aquarist in the US breed these, but as Coryologist says they are expensive. You could try Corys-R-Us in Florida, they are reputable, there are I'm sure others, probably in California.
Pet Kingdom, San Diego, Ca. Talk to Ron, who manages the Freshwater Dept.
 

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even has lovely blue eyes.
another place has them for 174 bucks, but I'm beggining to get the idea that they might be wild caught in Brazil (ILLEGAL, and i dont want any part in that confusion)
he says he has the papres for them as wild caught , but if they are only from Brazil then they'd be illegal, so....??? but he insists they arent, and they come from Peru.. is that possible???
 

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Anyone else looking for these little guys near Absolutely Fish (Clifton NJ) they have 2 more that they can order from California. Let the guy who orders the freshwaterfish (Mike D) i think, know you'd like them, he might ask for a deposit.
 

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even has lovely blue eyes.
another place has them for 174 bucks, but I'm beggining to get the idea that they might be wild caught in Brazil (ILLEGAL, and i dont want any part in that confusion)
he says he has the papres for them as wild caught , but if they are only from Brazil then they'd be illegal, so....??? but he insists they arent, and they come from Peru.. is that possible???
I was talking to my guy at the LFS and he says that they are smuggled out of Brazil to other countries (Peru, for example) and then sold from that country, instead of Brazil, where it is illegal. So it sounds to me that unless you've got a tank bred fish it's illegal.
 

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That seems likely. Since this fish is endemic to the Xingu River in Brazil, it is not going to be "caught" in Peru which is some 1400 miles due west from the area of the Rio Xingu. Course, someone in SA may be breeding the fish and selling those, I've no idea.
 

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