Blue Eyed Pleco
The blue-eyed plec, Panaque cochliodon, is a herbivorous freshwater armored catfish endemic to Colombia where it occurs in the Cauca and Magdalena River basins. This species grows to 16 inches. It is closely related to the popular plecostomus catfish kept in many aquaria as an algae eater, but is immediately distinguished by being dark grey to black and having bright, turquoise coloured eyes. Like other species of the Panaque genus, P. cochliodon feeds primarily on submerged wood. Blue-eyed plecs grow to about 30 cm in length, and like other Panaque spp., they are clumsy swimmers adapted to staying close the substrate, in particular using the sucker-like mouth to hold on to submerged rocks and wood.
Blue-eyed plecs have been kept as aquarium fish, and were fairly popular during the 1980s and early 1990s. However, they are now very rarely traded because wild fish can only be obtained from rivers in Colombia considered to be outside the control of the Colombian government. As with other Panaque, these fish are generally hardy and easy to keep, although parasitic, Rickettsia-like bacteria can be a problem, particularly when newly imported. These fish enjoy a mixed diet of algae, raw vegetables such as courgette, and wood, much like the more widely kept Panaque nigrolineatus. A protein-rich diet should be avoided, as it will result in damages to their internal organs, especially the liver.
Many aquarium books list this fish as Panaque suttoni, most likely due to misidentification with Panaque suttonorum.