September 22

Sarah Robertson

Creative Ways to Provide Enrichment for Your L273 Pleco

L273, also known as the "Titanic Cactus Pleco," is one of the most beautiful Pseudacanthicus species. Young specimens have a stunning contrast rich pattern, and some individuals maintain this throughout their lives.

Some adult specimens, on the other hand, turn drab grey and have a little color. It's known for its bright coloration and high contrast, and the more colorful ones generally command higher prices on the market. L273 has not yet been selectively bred in captivity, therefore all those for sale are wild caught.

For this wonderfully patterned catfish, a tank with lowered lights and plenty of hiding places (plants, driftwood, rocks, and man-made caverns) is optimal. This enormous, robust, and occasionally combative species need a lot of space in its tank.

For a single individual or a small gathering of these plecos, a tank with at least 60x24" (150x60cm.) is suggested. This fish needs a lot of personal space since they can be extremely territorial, especially towards its own species and bottom dwellers with similar appearances, and with their sharp teeth, they are capable of causing significant damage.

The Titanicus pleco thrives in soft, slightly acidic water (pH 5.0-6.5), with lots of movement and oxygenation. Because of its high-protein diet, this fish generates a lot of waste. A good filtration system is required because of this.

Quick Facts about L273 Pleco 

  • Scientific Name: Pseudacanthicus sp.“L273”
  • Other names: L273, Titanic Cactus Pleco, L273 Titanicus Pleco
  • Origin: Rio Tapajos, Brazil.
  • Max Size : 30cm (300mm)
  • Aggressiveness: Semi-Aggressive
  • Reproduction: Egg-Layer
  • Captive Bred or Wild: Wild
  • Diet: Carnivore and scavenger, some vegetable matter, frozen & prepared feeds
  • Compatibility: Large plecos, catfish, large South American cichlids, large tetras
  • Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
  • Lifespan: up to 15 years
  • Aquarium Level: Bottom
  • Recommended Tank Size: 120 gallon / 480 litre
  • PH : 6.0 - 7.0
  • Temperature : 23.0-28.0°C or 73.4-82.4°F
  • Ammonia : 0ppm
  • Nitrite : 0ppm
  • Nitrate : <30ppm
  • Sexing: Males appear to display the brighter more cosmetically attractive patterning. Females are drabber even from an early age.
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

L273 Pleco Care

Cactus Plecos are among the most amazing of all Loricariidae. They become large, territorial feeding machines that will bring pleasure and amazement to those who can care for them. Because they are Carnivores and because animal flesh is essential for survival, mussels and crabs are always appreciated.

The addition of additional dry foods with a high vitamin content is recommended. Cactus Plecos require excellent water quality to thrive; thus, a good filtration system, plenty of oxygen, and frequent water changes are required. Elder males can become combative and territorial towards each other, as well as other Plecos.

This implies there should be adequate caves and territorial borders, as well as a tank size that is not too tiny. Even species of Pseudacanthicus, which are extremely skittish, can be encouraged to breed if all of the above are present.

L273 Pleco Size

L273 Pleco Size 

These are relatively large plecos, with males being able to grow up to 30cm (12 inches), and females usually stay a bit smaller. They need pristine water conditions and a good diet to reach their full potential though.

L273 Pleco Lifespan

Pseudacanthicus sp. "L273" is a long-lived fish, with a maximum lifespan of 15 years or more. To live this long, they need to be kept in a large tank with excellent water conditions.

L273 Pleco Appearance

The unreal coloration (pinkish metallic coating) displayed by some of this species, mostly males, distinguishes this Pseudacanthicus sp. Males have somewhat broader heads with slightly larger pectoral fin rays. Females, on the other hand, have larger stomachs, and some claim that males have brighter colors. Even from a young age, females are duller and have fatter bellies.

They are species that have variously colored markings. The finest examples may be quite stunningly adorned. Others may not appear as stunning, but all can be recognized by the unusual almost metallic gleam on the back half of the fish's body. However, as the fish grows larger, its beautiful patterns become mottled and chaotic.

Unlike a true sucker mouth, it has a more appropriate oral structure for grasping and carrying food. Its teeth are few in number, but it has a powerful and huge maw: great for cracking open snails and tiny crustaceans as well as rasping meat.

There are different types of L273, but the most common ones kept in aquariums are the Yellow Titanic Pleco and Red Titanic Pleco. They are both very beautiful fish that can reach a length of up to 12 inches. The Yellow Titanic Pleco is mostly yellow with black spots on its body and fins. The Red Titanic Pleco is red with black spots.

Diet & Feeding

Titanic Plecos are Carnivores that require a meat-based diet like prawns and chopped mussels, which are viewed as a favorite and encourage desirable development. However, once they've been introduced to your aquarium, supplement their diet with vitamin-rich dried foods such as wafers, pellets, and sticks as well as veggies like cucumber, zucchini, eggplant, and potato.

The majority of their diet should include meaty foods such as shrimp, krill, mussels, blood worms, mosquito larvae, and fish flesh (fillets).

L273 Pleco Behavior

Pleco is typically peaceful, but territorial from a young age. Some extremely large specimens are vengeful and may create difficulties if kept with other big nocturnal fish.

L273 Pleco Tank Mates

L273 Pleco should not be kept with other strong fish, such as the Oscars, because they might harm each other. Despite their defensive protection, fast moving fish of comparable size can intimidate Pseudacanthicus. They're carnivores that only consume vegetation when alternative sources of meat are inaccessible.

The amount of feces produced is determined by their diet, but it is far less than that of a Panaque or Pterygoplichthys. While keeping them with other fish, make sure that the tank is well-oxygenated and has a strong filter. Adequate hiding places are also necessary.

Though they are peaceful by nature, Pseudacanthicus can be territorial with their own species. If you want to keep more than one, it is recommended to have a larger tank. It's best to introduce them to the tank at the same time so that they can establish their own territories.

Some important factors to consider while choosing L273 Pleco tank mates are:

  • Size of the fish
  • The temperament of the fish
  • What the fish eat

When it comes to size, it is best to choose tank mates that are smaller than the L273 Pleco. As for temperament, it is best to choose tank mates that are peaceful in nature. This is because the L273 Pleco is a peaceful fish and does not do well with aggressive fish. As for what the fish eat, it is important to choose tank mates that have a similar diet to the L273 Pleco. This will ensure that there is enough food for everyone in the tank.

The bottom line is that the best tank mates for the L273 Pleco are peaceful fish that are smaller in size and have a similar diet.

Best Tank Mate Options available for L273 Pleco are:

  • Red Shoulder Severum
  • Striped Silver Dollar
  • Azul Peacock Bass
L273 Pleco Tank Setup

L273 Pleco Tank Setup

The tank setup is also critical for L273 Pleco. When it comes to the L273 Pleco tank setup, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration. These include the size of the tank, the type of filter, the type of substrate, and the water conditions. Pleco caves, driftwood hiding places, and stones with large holes all aid in the pleco's comfort level. They don't require plants. There is no additional oxygen being produced if there are no plants, so make sure that the tank is well-aerated with the help of a filter. It's best to have a canister filter or an airstone in the tank. You may also want to add a second pump or an air pump to boost the amount of oxygen in the water. The water should be clean and of good quality. Otherwise, it can lead to health problems for the fish.

As for the substrate, you can use gravel or sand. However, it is important to note that the L273 Pleco prefers a sandy substrate. This is because they like to sift through the sand to look for food. They also prefer a darker substrate, so you may want to use dark-colored gravel or sand.

The temperature of the water should be between 73-82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5. The L273 pleco is a tropical fish, so it needs warm water to thrive.

The tank size should be at least 120 gallons. The larger the tank, the better. This is because the L273 Pleco can grow up to 12 inches in length.

L273 Pleco Breeding

These plecos have been kept in captivity for quite a long time, but unfortunately, there are no records or data on the breeding of these fish. However, they are almost certainly cave spawners. The majority of individuals kept only one specimen, which is one of the reasons behind it.

Some people even collected these fish like stamps. Their interest in breeding cactus plecos was low, and they were mainly regarded as status symbols for their keepers. Additionally, it was claimed that large plecos such as Pseudacanthicus were difficult to breed in captivity, so no one had tried.

When the first successful breeding attempts took place, everything changed. More and more keepers focused on the genus, attempting to build congregations in order to find an eligible pair that might reproduce. Several species have been bred as a result of this effort and some amount of luck.

Requirements for Successful Breeding

To successfully breed the L273 Pleco, you need to consider the following:

Aquarium Setup

If the conditions are right and you have a sexed pair, they may very quickly begin to breed. You may either keep them in a group or move the pair to a prepared aquarium without any additional fish.

This is one of the most convenient aquariums to maintain. It has several advantages, including First, they don't have to waste their energy defending their territory from other fish.; second, They'll be able to eat in peace, and they'll get enough to eat.; third, The water characteristics can be entirely altered to provide them a distinct advantage.; and fourth, If they breed and the youngsters leave the cave, they will not be devoured by predator fish.


When it comes to breeding, the most significant factor is nutrition, since, without excellent protein-rich food, the female will not be able to develop eggs. Feed them frozen or meaty tablets. Don't just feed them veggies and algae wafers; they could consume these things, but it won't get them into breeding conditions.

When the female is full of eggs, you may see a significant difference between her belly and the male's. It will be considerably wider, and the male will seem considerably more slender.

Water Changes

The ideal moment to get started with some dynamic water changes is now. Soft and slightly acidic water has been shown to elicit a response from Pseudacanthicus. If you have access to clean rainwater, you should try and collect it and use it in the breeding tank.

When you add this water to the plecos' tank, they'll hopefully become interested in each other. The temperature of the water should be warm (about 27° to 32°C [80° to 90°F]), soft, and somewhat neutral to slightly acidic.


Most people are perplexed by the color, shape, and material of a cave that is ideal for plecos. The fact is that color isn't important, but the inside of the cave's interior should be rough to give a good grip for the clutch. It should be about 5 cm (2 inches) longer than the male's total length and wide enough for the male to fit his two pectoral fins half-extended.

While the male is inside, the female attempts to enter as well. The outcome of the case ultimately depends on the characters of both specimens. It might take a few hours for the female to enter the cave, but sometimes she may not enter even after several days. The Female must be in front of the male to deposit her eggs along the cave's ceiling, and he will fertilize them as they are released.

Some females remain in the cave for a few days before laying eggs. Not every spawning attempt is successful; both specimens may spend days in the cave with no results. After the female departs, the male begins fanning with his fins. He does this in order to oxygenate the cave and keep the eggs alive.

Once the tank is set up with all of the necessary conditions, you should see the fry in about two weeks. The male will not eat them, but the female might, so it's best to remove her from the cave after she has released the eggs. If everything goes according to plan, you'll see hundreds of very small fry hiding among the plants and decorations in the aquarium.

L273 Pleco Fry

Females can produce 500 eggs, which is a tremendous number of eggs—and potential youngsters. Raising so many young fish may be difficult if the tank does not have enough room.

Depending on the temperature, they may take anywhere from six to seven days to hatch. The yolk sac is used up after about five days by the larvae. During this span, the male protects them and keeps them in the cave. After that, the youngsters migrate throughout the tank and mature fast.

Another alternative is to shake the cave outside of the water to remove the eggs or larvae and then place them in a separate aquarium. They require more nutritious food and may be fed a few times a day in this particular tank. During the first months, L273 Pleco grows very quickly and becomes more stable.

At 3 cm (1 inch), many breeders have had difficulties. At this age, juvenile often dies. The majority of aquariums are already overcrowded, and the young plecos don't have enough room to hide from one another. That is the main reason for their untimely death. They're easily stressed, and it looks like they're highly sensitive to stress at this period.

Another aspect that must be considered is the bacteria concentration, which is exceptionally high in tiny tanks with a lot of fish. So, make sure the aquarium has enough space for so many fish, that the water quality is ideal, and they are fed several times a day. It might be difficult to house these youngsters initially, but once you've done so, it will be simple to raise them and your cactus plecos will develop rapidly.

L273 Pleco Diseases

Plecos are pretty resilient fish and don't get sick often. However, when they do, the most common diseases are White Spot Disease (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis), Velvet Disease (Piscinoodinium pillulare), and Hole in the Head Disease ( Hexamita sp.).

White Spot Disease is caused by a parasite that attacks the fish's skin and fins, causing small white spots to appear. If left untreated, the parasite can bore into the fish's flesh and cause serious damage.

Velvet Disease is a parasitic infection that causes the fish's skin to turn a golden or brown color and feel velvety to the touch. If left untreated, the parasite can damage the fish's gills and fins, and eventually kill the fish.

Hole in the Head Disease is a bacterial infection that causes small holes to form in the fish's head. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the fish's body and cause serious damage.

Fortunately, all of these diseases are treatable with the proper medication. If you think your pleco has one of these diseases, take it to your local fish store or vet for treatment.

How Big Do L273 Plecos Get


How Big Do L273 Plecos Get? 

L273 plecos can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) in length.

How Often Should I Feed My L273 Pleco? 

You should feed your L273 pleco 2-3 times per week.

What Do L273 Plecos Eat? 

They are carnivores and primarily eat meaty foods, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and krill. They can be fed pellets or flakes, but should also be given a variety of live, frozen, and dried foods.

My L273 Pleco Is Hiding All The Time. Is This Normal?

Yes, it is normal for L273 plecos to hide a lot. They are shy fish and need plenty of places to hide in their tank.

How Long Does a L273 Pleco Live?

L273 plecos can live for 10-15 years with proper care.

Do L273 Plecos Need a Filter?

Yes, L273 plecos need a filter in their tank. A canister or hang-on-back filter is ideal.

Do L273 Plecos Need Wood?

Yes, L273 plecos need wood in their tank for hiding and grazing. It is not necessary, but it is recommended.

How Many L273 Pleco Should Be Kept Together?

You can keep 2-3 L273 plecos together in the same tank. But, if you are keeping them with other fish, it is best to keep only one L273 pleco per tank. While housing them with their own species, you should make sure that there is plenty of hiding places and that the tank is big enough for all of the fish.

Final Thoughts

The L273 pleco is a great addition to any aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for and can live for 10-15 years with proper care. They are shy fish, so it is important to provide them with plenty of places to hide. Be sure to give them a varied diet of meaty foods, pellets, flakes, and live, frozen, or dried foods. Their appearance , size, and lifespan make them a popular choice for many aquarium hobbyists.

They are peaceful generally, but may become territorial with their own species if not given enough space. L273 plecos are a great choice for beginner and experienced aquarium hobbyists alike. They are difficult to breed in captivity, so most L273 plecos you see for sale are wild-caught.

Just like other plecos, they are susceptible to diseases, such as White Spot Disease, Velvet Disease, and Hole in the Head Disease. But, all of these diseases are treatable with proper medication. If you have any questions or concerns about the care of your L273 pleco, be sure to talk to your local fish store or vet.

When buying a L273 pleco, be sure to inspect it for any signs of disease or injury. Do not buy a fish that looks sick or has missing fins or skin. Be sure to do your research before adding one to your tank. With proper care, they will thrive in your aquarium and provide you with years of enjoyment. Thanks for reading!

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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