August 2

Sarah Robertson

The Fish of Your Dreams – Maze Zebra Pleco (L333 Pleco)

Plecos are catfish with sucker-shaped mouths, bony plates, and spines over their bodies rather than scales to protect them. There are many different types of plecos, but the most popular in the aquarium hobby is probably the Maze Zebra Pleco, otherwise called the L333 Pleco.

The Maze Zebra Pleco, also known as the L333 Pleco, is a stunning and rare pleco that is native to the Rio Xingu in Brazil. It gets its name from the unique maze-like pattern and black stripes that cover its entire body. If you are looking for a beautiful and unique pleco for your aquarium, the Maze Zebra Pleco may be the perfect fish for you! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about caring this amazing fish.

A Quick L333 Pleco Care Table 

  • Scientific Name : Hypancistrus sp
  • Diet : Omnivorous
  • Care Level : Easy-Moderate
  • Compatibility : Peaceful
  • Ph : 6.4 - 7.2
  • Temperature : 78.8-87.8°F (26.0-31.0°C )
  • Water hardness : Soft water
  • Minimum Tank Size : 30 gallons
  • Tankmates : peaceful fish
  • Breeding : Egg Layer
  • Size : 5-6 inches
  • Life expectancy : 10-15 years

L333 Pleco Origin 

These amazing fish species are native to Rio Xingu, Brazil. The construction of dams has endangered this species in the wild due to their habitat being affected. However, they may be cultivated safely in captivity and are made available in almost all fish stores.

Therefore, buying captive-bred Maze Zebra Plecos is the best way to ensure that you are not contributing to the decline of wild populations. Infact these are attractive fish that can be an excellent addition to aquarium fish collection.

L333 Pleco Size

Maze Zebra Plecos are beautiful fish species that only grow to be about 5-6 inches long. The size of a pleco fish is often determined by various factors such as the quality of care, diet, and genetics.

L333 Pleco Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Maze Zebra Pleco is around 10-15 years. However, if you want your pleco to live a long and healthy life, it is important to provide them with the proper care and diet.

L333 Pleco Behavior

Maze Zebra Plecos are not aggressive fish. Rather they are very peaceful fish that get along well with other tank mates. They are nocturnal fish and will often hide during the day. You will often see Maze Zebra Plecos hiding in crevices and caves during the day. They are shy fish and will sometimes hide if they feel threatened. It is important to provide them with plenty of hiding spots in their aquarium.

At night, they will come out to scavenge for food. These plecos are also known to be good jumpers, so it is important to have a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium.

L333 Pleco

L333 Pleco Appearance 

Maze Zebra Plecos have a beautiful maze-like pattern and beautiful black and white stripes that cover their bodies. They have large fins and suckermouths that help them attach to rocks and surfaces. These plecos also have small barbels on their mouths that they use to find food. L333 is stouter from head to tail than most other congeners.

This fish has a dark brown to black body with white lines when kept in optimum water conditions. They resemble L066, however, L066 has a whiter body base coloration and black lines on top!

Gender Differences 

Maze Zebra Plecos are one of the few pleco species that can be sexed by their appearance.

  • Around the head and pectoral fins, adult males have teeth-like odontodes.
  • The female appears to be far larger than the male when viewed from above.
  • Providing enough caves is the most straightforward technique to sex even half-grown fish. If you see a fish entering the cave and staying there, you can be almost certain it's a male.

L333 Pleco Tank Setup 

Setting up a tank for your Maze Zebra Pleco is relatively easy. These plecos are not too picky when it comes to water conditions. They can live in a wide range of pH levels and temperatures. However, it is still important to provide them with the proper care and set up to ensure that they thrive.

Here are some guidelines for setting up a tank for your Maze Zebra Pleco:

Tank Size 

The minimum suitable tank size for an L333 Pleco is 30 gallons. However, a larger tank is always better. These plecos can grow to be about 5-6 inches long, so you will need to provide them with plenty of space to swim and hide. Also, remember that these plecos are jumpers, so you will need to have a tight-fitting lid on your aquarium.

Tank Water Conditions 

The Maze Zebra Pleco does not have a distinct preference for water conditions. They can survive in a wide range of pH levels and temperatures. However, to ensure their safety, it is still critical to give them the correct attention and setup. The ideal water temperature for Maze Zebra Plecos is between 78-87.8°F degrees and the ideal pH level is between 6.4 - 7.2.

They prefer very soft water and will do best in an aquarium with a water hardness of 2-4 dGH. Always make sure that there is no nitrate or ammonia in the water. These chemicals can be toxic to plecos and other aquarium inhabitants. While filling your aquarium with water, it is also critical to use a water conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals from tap water.

Tank Decor 

Maze Zebra Plecos are bottom-dwelling fish that prefer an aquarium with plenty of hiding spaces like caves and crevices. It is important to provide them with plenty of hiding spots in their aquarium. You can use rocks, driftwood, or plants to create hiding spots for your pleco. Just make sure that the rocks and wood you use are aquarium-safe.

It is also important to provide your pleco with plenty of places to graze. These plecos are known to nibble on aquarium plants. So, if you do not want your pleco eating your plants, you can use plastic or artificial plants. However, it won't provide the benefits that a live plant can give.

Live plants can also help to keep your pleco's tank clean by absorbing nitrates and other toxins from the water. Some good plant choices for a pleco tank include Java fern, Java moss, and hornwort.

L333 Pleco Fish Tankmates

Maze Zebra Plecos are relatively peaceful fish. They can be kept with other peaceful fish that do not bother them. Some good tankmate choices for Maze Zebra Plecos include

  • Tetras
  • Danios
  • Rasboras
  • Armored catfish 
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Barbs
  • Dwarf Shrimp
  • Ornamental snails

It is critical to keep them away from massive size fishes that may mistake them for a meal. Also, keep them away from fin-nipping fish and any other tankmates who are known to harass others, too.

Some fish that should not be kept with Maze Zebra Plecos include:

  • Betta fish
  • Gouramis
  • Angelfish
  • Oscars

In case you are planning to add them to any community tank, observe the fish for a few days. This will let you know their behavior and if they might pose a threat to your new fishes.

L333 Pleco Diet

L333 Pleco Diet

Maze Zebra Plecos are Omnivores. This means that they will eat both plants and meaty foods. In the wild, these plecos are known to eat a variety of food items including algae, small crustaceans, and insects.

To keep your Maze Zebra Pleco healthy and happy, you should provide them with a varied diet that includes both plant and meaty foods. You can give them sinking pellets or flakes as their main food source. These are rich in the nutrients that your pleco needs.

You can also supplement their diet with live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods. Some good food choices for Maze Zebra Plecos include Bloodworms, Brine shrimp, Krill, Mysis shrimp, Crickets, Wax worms, and Grasshoppers. However, make sure you don't feed them live food on a regular basis as it can lead to health problems.

Plant matters should also be given to them regularly. You can give them blanched vegetables such as zucchini, cucumber, and squash. You can also give them algae wafers and sheets. These plecos are known to nibble on aquarium plants. So, if you have live plants in your aquarium, they will most likely graze on them.

There are some rules to follow while feeding your L333 Pleco.

  • First, you should only feed them as much as they can eat in 2-3 minutes.
  • Second, you should not overfeed them as it can lead to health problems and dirty the water.
  • Finally, you should always remove any uneaten fish food from the tank after feeding time is over.

L333 Pleco Diseases

The L333 Pleco or Maze Zebra Plecos are relatively hardy fish. However, like all other animals, they are susceptible to diseases. The most common diseases that affect Maze Zebra Plecos include:

  • Hole in the Head Disease: This disease is caused by a parasite called Hexamita. It leads to the formation of sores and holes on the pleco's head. If left untreated, it can be fatal. The best way to prevent this disease is to maintain good tank conditions. This includes regular water changes and keeping the tank clean. You should also quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank.
  • White Spot Disease: This disease is caused by a parasite called Ich. It leads to the formation of white spots on the pleco's body. If left untreated, it can be fatal. You can perform regular water changes and keep the tank clean. Using antibiotics can also help treat this disease.
  • Swimbladder Disease: Swimbladder disease is a condition that affects fish and may be caused by a variety of factors, including incorrect food, infections, or genes. Buoyancy difficulties, bloating, and difficulty swimming are some of the signs of swimbladder illness. It can be treated with medicine if caught early enough, but if left untreated it might be deadly.
  • Fin Rot: Fish fin rot is a condition caused by bacteria that affects the fins and tail of fish. This disease causes widening or crumbling fins. Fin rot can be treated with a variety of antibiotics, including one that combats the infection.
  • Dropsy: Dropsy is a disorder that causes the abdominal cavity of fish to expand and scales to protrude from their bodies. Dropsy can be deadly if not treated promptly. A variety of prescription drugs may be used to treat dropsy, including antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Columnaris: L333 Pleco is susceptible to columnaris, a bacterial infection that can cause white or gray patches on the fish's body. This ailment may cause white or gray patches on the fish's body. Columnaris may be treated with a variety of medications, including antibiotics.

Symptoms 

You can identify if your pleco is sick by looking for the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Clamped fins
  • White spots on the body
  • Gray or white patches on the body
  • Lethargy
  • Holes on the head
  • Lethargy
  • Sores on the head
  • Bloating
  • Trouble swimming

If you notice any of these symptoms, immediately quarantine the fish before the disease spreads to the other fish in the tank.

Preventions

Prevention is always better than cure. So, it is best to take some preventive measures to keep your Maze Zebra Pleco healthy and disease-free. Some of the things you can do are:

  • Regular water changes
  • Keep the tank clean
  • Quarantine new fish before adding them to the tank
  • Use a UV sterilizer
  • Feed a balanced diet
  • Do not overfeed
  • Do not overcrowd the tank
  • Always quarantine the new fish before adding it to the fish tank
  • Regularly monitoring the water parameters
  • Observing the fish for any changes in behavior or appearance

Treatment 

If your Maze Zebra Pleco is sick, you should immediately quarantine the fish and treat it with medication. Some of the common medications used to treat Maze Zebra Pleco diseases include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-parasitic drugs
  • Anti-fungal drugs
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs

You should always consult a veterinarian before using any medication.

L333 Pleco

L333 Pleco Breeding 

Breeding the Maze Zebra Pleco is not an easy task for a novice fish keeper. However, it is not impossible. It requires a lot of patience and dedication. If you are up for the challenge, here is what you need to do:

  • Choose a healthy pair of Maze Zebra Plecos

    It is best to choose a male and a female that are of similar size. In order to increase the chances of spawning, it is always recommended to select a group of healthy males and females. Make sure that they are all of the same age as well. This will ensure that they are compatible and will not harm each other during spawning.

  • Prepare the breeding tank

    The breeding tank should be at least 20 gallons in size. It should have a sandy bottom and plenty of hiding places. You can use live plants, rocks, and driftwood to create hiding places. The water temperature should be between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH should be between 6.5. The breeding tank should have a sponge filter or canister filter.

  • Condition the breeding pair

    The male and female Maze Zebra Plecos should be conditioned for breeding by feeding them a nutritious diet including live foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. The water in the breeding tank should be well-oxygenated. You can achieve this by adding an air stone or powerhead to the tank. In order to trigger spawning, you can first decrease the water temperature and then increase it again. This will simulate the changing seasons and encourage the Maze Zebra Plecos to breed.

  • Spawning

    When the male and female Maze Zebra Plecos are ready to spawn, the male will chase the female fish around the tank and nudge her belly with his snout. The female will then lay her eggs on a smooth surface such as a rock or piece of driftwood. The female Maze Zebra Pleco can lay up to 50-80 eggs which the male will then fertilize. The female must be removed from the breeding tank after spawning.

  • Hatching and Raising the L333 Pleco Fry

    The eggs will hatch in 5-7 days. The fry will be free-swimming after another week. They can be fed live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. As they grow older, you can start feeding them pellets and flakes. It is best to raise the fry in a separate tank. This will give them enough space to grow and reduce the risk of them being eaten by their parents or other fish in the tank.

Frequent Questions 

What is a l333 pleco albino?

The albino l333 pleco is a white-colored fish with red eyes. It is a rare color morph of the Maze Zebra Pleco.

How to breed l333 pleco? 

Breeding the Maze Zebra Pleco is not an easy task for a novice fish keeper. However, it is not impossible. It requires a lot of patience and dedication. If you are up for the challenge, here is what you need to do: First it is very important to choose a healthy pair of Maze Zebra Plecos.

The next step is to prepare the breeding tank which should be at least 20 gallons in size. After that, you need to condition the breeding pair by feeding them a nutritious diet including live foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms. The last step is to spawn, when the male and female Maze Zebra Plecos are ready, the male will chase the female and nudge her belly with his snout. The female will then lay her eggs on a smooth surface such as a rock or piece of driftwood.

Can I keep l333 pleco with other fish? 

Yes, the Maze Zebra Pleco can be kept with other fish provided that they are not aggressive and are of very small size. It is best to avoid keeping them with larger fish as they may become aggressive and bully the Maze Zebra Pleco.

How fast do L333 plecos grow? 

The Maze Zebra Pleco grows relatively fast. They can grow up to 5-6 inches in length within the first year of their life.

Do l333 plecos have teeth?

Yes, like all other plecos, the Maze Zebra Pleco has teeth. However, their teeth are not as sharp as those of other plecos.

How big do L333 plecos get? 

The Maze Zebra Pleco can grow up to 5-6 inches in length.

Are L066 and L333 the same? 

No, they are both different species. Both these fish have a beautiful black and white coloration. However, the L066 Xingu King Tiger Pleco has more pointed tail fins than the L333 Maze Zebra Pleco.

Summing Up

The Maze Zebra Pleco, otherwise called the L333 Pleco is a beautiful fish that is native to the Rio Xingu in Brazil. It is a peaceful fish that can be kept with other aquarium fishes provided that they are not aggressive and of small size.

They are hardy fish that can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. However, it is best to maintain stable water quality in the tank. They prefer to live in tanks with plenty of hiding places. Feeding them good quality pellets and flakes along with living foods will help them stay healthy and thrive in captivity. If you are looking for a beautiful and peaceful fish to add to your aquarium, the Maze Zebra Pleco is a good choice.

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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