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This profile was written by Mary an active contributor to the site.  

South America


Acanthicus Adonis

Acanthicus Adonis


    Acanthicus Adonis is a genus of the catfish of the family of Loricariidae. It includes two species but we will discuss the A.Adonis only. Fish of this genus are known as Lyre tail plecos and may also be known as the L-155 by the L-number system.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Average adult size: 24 inches (60.6cm) in the aquariun, in the wild up to 40 inches (60.6cm)
    Tank: Min. Tank requirements: 125 gallon (500 litre). Public aquarium is best.
    Strata: Bottom feeder and bottom dweller
    PH: PH recommendation 7.5 to 9.0
    Hardness: Hardness: 5-14 dH
    Temperature: 75°F to 80°F (24°-27° C)


    Order: Siluriformes
    Family: Loricariidae
    Sub family: Hypostominae
    Genera: Ancistrini
    Species: acanthicus


Common name:

    Adonis - L155

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    South America: Brazil- native to Tocantins River

General Body Form:

    These fish are relatively slender,spiny loricarriids that lack anadipose fin. The caudal fin possesses long filamentous lobes on the upper and lower margins and is forked. The pectoral fin spines are extremely long, the entire dorsal surface of the head is covered in stout ,sharp odontodes. The ondontodes form a sharp keel on the lateral plates and in juveniles, there are few to no odontodes on the plates above and below the keel rows. Males Have more and longer cheek odontodes and greatly elongated odontodes on the pectoral fin spine.

    Acanthicus Adonis


    The color of these fish is typically Black, sometimes gray. With abdomen the same color as the rest of the body. Adonis show white spots on a black background in juveniles, the adult lacks these white spots, but become jet black with maturity.


    Acanthicus Adonis


    Bottom opportunistic feeder. Dominating territorial species of plec. Best not kept with other plecs at all, they could easily be attacked.due to their size should be kept in big roomy tank.larger but not aggressive mid to top swimming fish tank mates should be fine... water should be kept pristine with water changes, large driftwood, bogwood and rocks, no plantings as they will be uprooted. Sand is the best substrate for them. Good filtration. Like fast moving water if possible. Need 125gal tank min. Not a fussy eater--fruit, vegetables, pellets and bits of fish, algae wafers and live foods. Feed 2x's a daily.

    Sand and large bogwood, driftwood and rocks


    Although it has been reported to have bred in the home aquarium details are not available. When it has been confirmed I will list it here.


    These fish are very interesting to keep. A bigger tank is always advised. Plecos are beautiful with their forked tail and brilliant white spots on black, as adults they are shiny jet black. Most active at night. Pretty peaceful but will be territorial so other catfish and plecos are not advised. This fish is a bit challenging to keep in cycled tank, they are hard to find and expensive to buy. Good fish for the experienced fish keeper. They live about 16 years... great addition to that big tank with large middle to top of tank fish. Attractive and eye catching pleco.

Acanthicus Adonis


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: JCG
I owned this fish for 4 months. Bought it from my LFS as a 1" juvenile for $35. In my 30 gal tank, it was fun to watch, not shy at all. It loves cucumbers (cut in half) and was actually active day & night. After 4 months (it grew to about 3") it became much more aggressive and territorial. So much so that it killed 2 of my RCS and 2 Kuhli loaches. I ended up returning it to my LFS, swapping for a more peaceful albino bushynose. A beautiful and fun fish to watch with the caveat that it needs bigger tanks and can grow up to a few feet eventually.
From: Paul Spencer
I have one adonis pleco in a tank size of 125lts. i have had this fish for a year now and its been great. very shy during the day but at night is all over. it has never bothered any of my other fish which include corys, clown loach, gourami ( blue spotted) cardinal neon barbs and a few other friendly species. its now about 4-5 inches from nose to tail tip.





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