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How do you care for a snowball pleco?

A:

Quick Answer

The snowball pleco is a type of tropical fish that flourishes in tanks that resemble the environment of the Rio Negro. Snowball plecos enjoy caves and roots as hiding spots inside aquariums and prefer a strong simulated current.

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Full Answer

The snowball pleco is native to the Rio Negro, a blackwater river in Venezuela. The Rio Negro is an acidic river, meaning that snowball plecos prefer higher pH levels, such as 5.8 to 7.6, in the water of their tanks. The water should be between 72 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a non-aggressive species, the snowball pleco can be placed in an aquarium with other breeds of fish, though the snowball plecos may act territorially toward other bottom feeders competing for hiding places.

Snowball plecos are omnivores and need a mixed diet of wafers, pellets, frozen meaty foods and flakes. They do not eat algae in the wild.

Male snowball plecos are generally more red-toned than the females, which are typically a dark black or brown. Conditions in the tank should be favorable if the owner wants to breed snowball plecos, and he should provide suitable caves in which the females can lay their eggs. The eggs hatch in about one week, and the babies feed on greens such as blanched lettuce and spinach, as well as meatier items such as baby brine shrimp.

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