The beautiful Sunshine Pleco is native to the middle and lower Río Xingu. Juveniles and half-grown specimens live in water depths of 3.28–9.8 feet (1–3 m), while adults inhabit the very dark environment of deeper water. To replicate their natural environment, we keep our loricariid catfishes in a darkened room; the only light comes from one open door. Only during daily maintenance and feeding do we turn on a dim light. We are sure that this is a major element in our success, and not just with this particular catfish species. Obviously, it would be impractical for the average aquarist to keep fishes in pitch-dark rooms, but it is worth trying with species that have so far resisted attempts to get them to breed.
Recommended reading list for the article, The Endangered Cichlid Fishes of Lake Victoria, East Africa, by Paul V. Loiselle and Jay Hemdal. AMAZONAS Magazine May/June 2012.