Biotopes of Brasil | Rio Xingu, home of the Zebra Pleco

C.E. Fish Essentials Biotope, Biotopes of South America, Uncategorised Leave a Comment

The Zebra pleco Hypancistrus zebra is endemic to the middle of Brazil’s Rio Xingu (pronounced shin goo) and is among the list of catfish species at risk from the Belo Monte dam. It lives at a depth where the surroundings are, at best, pretty gloomy, if not completely dark. It lives in the cracks, gaps and natural caves found in the very specific type of rock found in the river. This is dark brown to black hard igneous rock that, in shallower water, is set in tan-coloured sand. There is very little submerged wood, there are virtually no plants and the water belts through the area at a rate of knots. Many of these areas are rapids and the water is highly oxygenated. (Practical Fishkeeping)

This is the habitat, rocks and sand seems to dominate the area. But a few roots were caught between some of the rocks. – Peter Petersen ©
The future of this amazing fish is questionable. The habitat is getting smaller. The construction of a large dam (Belo Monte) have changed the current of the river and the visibility of the water. Silt makes the water look cloudy like this – Peter Petersen ©
In the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, an epic battle to stop the world’s third-largest hydroelectric dam on the Xingu River lasted for decades. Ignoring widespread protests and warnings from scientists, while riding roughshod over the rule of law, the Brazilian government insisted on pushing ahead with Belo Monte, no matter what the cost.
An old beer turned out to be an excellent pleco cave. I found a small Hypancistrus zebra in this can. – Peter Petersen ©
Leandro Sousa ©
Sympatric species Brycon pesu, Tometes kranponhah and Hypomasticus julii | P. Petersen ©
Scenic view of the Rio Xingu | M. S. Perez ©
Mark Sabaj Perez ©
Natural habitat and biotope aquarium of Hypancistrus zebra (l46) – Landro Souza


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