Firstly i'll introduce myself as I am a long time lurker and have never posted before. My name is Ruben and i am fishaholic from the Bronx. Right now i am keeping 18 tanks ranging from 10 to 80 gallons. 90 percent of my tanks are dedicated to plecos. Found this site a long time ago when i was looking for some plants for a shrimp tank i was starting, and i visit the NY forum often just to see whats going on locally. The title of your post caught my interest as 183's are one of my favorite plecos and are on my wishlist. The following is all just my humble opinion from what i have absorbed from conversations with other pleco keepers about the 183's.These plecos are not your typical ancistrus and can be a bit tricky especially wildcaught ones. They are a blackwater fish and w/c fish need soft acidic conditions to thrive. Most of the imported fish also are infected with internal parasites and need to be treated for these during quarantine. If you ask me, they are worth the extra effort and are a beautiful fish although a challenge to keep. On the other hand some breeders have acclimated their captive bred fry to live in neutral and even slightly alkaline ph and they thrive. I have yet to hear of anyone being able to breed these in anything but soft acidic conditions, but maybe with some captive bred adults it can be done. Captive bred fish are a bit more money, but you dont have to deal with parasites if they are from a reputable source and the fish are usually kept in water conditions where RO water and peat are not necessary. Good luck in your search for them. I dont know of anyone locally that is breeding them but if shipping is not a problem I can tell you of a couple of breeders where you can get them from. When you get them, if you get them to breed please let me know as I will definitely be interested in some fry. Cheers.
Well, well, another Bronxite. Nice. We should compare notes.
I was aware that these fish were on the particular side, but my tap water is on the soft side, so I wasn't too concerned; I have peat and almond leaves.
The parasite thing is a little more alarming. If possible I'll buy some post-quarantine and deworming wild caught or captive bred fish. If that isn't possible (and I haven't seen anyone selling captive bred ones presently) do you know the course of treatment? I know that Levamisole is used with some success by loach enthusiasts, is that the preferred treatment? I'm gonna start looking into it myself now (thanks for the heads up on that) but if you happen to know already that'd be a start.
And... welcome to the forum. I rather like it here.