The bristlenose catfish, also known as Ancistrus or Pleco, is a popular and peaceful aquarium fish, although it can become a bit aggressive to its own kind when reaching adulthood, especially males. But this is not just a unique fish, it also helps cleaning your aquarium!
Keeping bristlenose catfish
Plecos prefer substrate bottoms, wood and high flow of water in the aquarium. The males and females both get the catlike bristles on their snout, but in males they are longer and grow higher on the head. The female bristles are smaller and more located around the mouth area. When the males reach 5 cm in length they start to develop the bristles. Even though this is a fish that likes to rest a lot, provide them with a spacious aquarium, we would recommend at least 80 liters. Catfish are nocturnal species, becoming more active as soon as the sun sets looking for spot of algae to graze on, so don’t be surprised to see them do their thing while you are getting ready for bed.
In the wild the catfish eat any plant-based materials. They love to attach to wood and take cellulose from the it, which helps them digest food more easily. It is also a great tank cleaner, as they love to graze for algae. If your tank is clean of algae you can provide them with algae grazer tablets. You could also give them cucumbers once in a while, it is always fun to watch them cling on and eat them.
Breeding of this species is quite easy. Take a piece of wood, rock or stones with crevices, so the female can put her eggs inside. The male will protect the nest of eggs. After a week the eggs already hatch and the tiny fish will swim in close proximity to the nest. One week later you will see them swim freely throughout the tank, but they will still prefer to hide in between driftwood. They reach adulthood rather quickly, at about 6 months.
|Ancistrus sp.||Up to 15 cm, but generally they stay around 10 to 12 cm.|
|South America||Temperature: 20 – 28 °C (24 °C is preferred)|
pH: 6,5 – 7,5
GH: 6 – 10
They like high flow of water current
|The males have bigger, longer bristles on their nose, looking like a cat. The body is covered in bony plates for protection against aggressive fish in the wild.||5 years on average, but some can live up to 10 years.|