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Three Beacon Plecostomus (Leporacanthicus triactis) L-91

Three Beacon Plecostomus (Leporacanthicus triactis) L-91

The Three Beacon Plecostomus (Leporacanthicus triactis) originates from South America, specifically the upper Orinoco River basin in Colombia and Venezuela.    It is also known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts by the names 3 Beacon Pleco, Three Beacon Pleco, Redfin Blackspot, Tiger Fin Pleco, and Dragon Fin Pleco.

Three Beacon Plecostomus  (Leporacanthicus triactis) L-91

Three Beacon Plecostomus (Leporacanthicus triactis) L-91

The Three Beacon Plecostomus like all plecos, has a small backwards facing thorn like plate on top of its head.  The upper teeth in their sucker mouths are long with fleshy like tentacles on the lip.  Their lower lip is round and they have a narrow, pointed head.

Depending on their age, sex, mood, and surroundings; they can be colored brown on gray to a charcoal black.   They all have three vivid orange to yellow bloches on their non paired fins; hence their common name.

The males generally have more pronounced colors,  a broader and longer head with small odontodes on the sides, and additional odontodes over their body and on their pectoral fin spine.  Adult males also have larger dorsal fins than the females.

Although Leporacanthicus triactis can be somewhat aggressive with other plecos, they are generally very peaceful in a community tank environment as long as they are not housed with too many other bottom dwellers.

Because of their size, the Three Beacon Plecostomus should be housed in a large, (at least 125 gallons for adults) densely planted tank with a fine gravel or sandy substrate, some rockwork, a few large pieces of driftwood or bogwood, and plenty of areas for them to hide among.   They need a powerful filter system that can deliver a high oxygen content and should be provided with regular water changes to keep them healthy.

The Three Beacon Plecostomus does well with most small to medium community fish like Tetras and South American cichlids, smaller loaches and catfish, but in order to minimize territorial disputes, should not be housed with larger plecos or catfish species.

Three Beacon Plecos are cave spawners, but it is unclear whether they dig their own burrows in the vertical clay mud walls of riverbanks or just take up residence in already fashioned holes. 

Three Beacon Plecostomus  (Leporacanthicus triactis) L-91

Three Beacon Plecostomus (Leporacanthicus triactis) L-91

In their natural river habitat, during the rainy breeding season, hundreds of these holes can be seen occupied by males waving their brightly colored fins competing for females to mate with.  

With other similar plecostomus species, two or more females will visit the cave of the male and lay their eggs for the male to guard.   Although this is probably true with Leporacanthicus triactis, it has not yet been absolutely confirmed.  

Unfortunately, as of this date spawning has not been accomplished in an aquarium environment.

The Three Beacon Plecostomus is an omnivore that will accept a wide variety of foods, including
algae wafers
, cucumber, zucchini, live, frozen or freeze dried bloodworms, prawns, shrimp as well as omnivore sinking tablets.  The seem to prefer shelled crustaceans or mollusks but these foods should be used given sparingly and mainly for conditioning.

The Three Beacon Plecostomus is not common with tropical fish keeping enthusiasts, probably because of their availability.  When available online or in specialty tropical fish shops, they can be juveniles from 1 1/2″ to 2 1/2″ in length or adults and demand relatively high prices.

Three Beacon Plecostomus  (Leporacanthicus triactis) L-91

Three Beacon Plecostomus (Leporacanthicus triactis) L-91







Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 71-79° F, KH 4-8, pH 6.4-7.6
Max. Size: 9.7″
Color Form: Black, Orange
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: OK community tank fish
Origin: Venezuela, Colombia
Family: Loricariidae
Live Span: 8-10 years
Aquarist Experience Lever: Intermediate

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