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Ancistrus sp

Note: Due
to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image







South American rivers. Many specimens offered for
sale in the trade are tank-bred.


Sexual Dimorphism


Older males develop bushy-like growths on the


Maximum Size


12cm (4.72?)


Water Parameters


Will acclimatise to a wide range of conditions.
pH: 5.5-8.0, dH: up to 20 degrees.




23-27 deg C (73-81 deg F)








No special requirements










Many similar species of Ancistrus enter the trade and are
sold as Bristlenose plecos. The most commonly seen are usually captive-bred and
near impossible to correctly identify without the originality location.
Ancistrus sp. are great algae eaters, and growing to a maximum 12cm in length,
offer a welcome alternative to the common Pleco which attains a monstrous size
and is unsuitable for all but the largest of aquariums. Bristlenose plecos
prefer a strong water current with plenty of oxygenation. Numerous hiding
places should be provided, and should include a good amount of bogwood in order
for the fish to graze and extract lignin from it ? an essential part of their
diet. Plants may be safely kept with Bristlenose plecos, and most small-medium
community type fish kept harmoniously alongside them. If keeping more than one
specimen (or if keeping with other Loricarids), the occasional minor scuffle
for territory may occur, but no serious damage will arise if the fish are given
enough space. Bristlenose plecos must only be added to mature aquariums.
Albino, mottled ?orange? and long-finned varieties are also sometimes









Ancistrus sp. are primarily vegetarian, and although algae
is an important part of their food supply, this MUST be supplemented with other
foods. Algae wafers and tablets are ideal, with the occasional addition of some
vegetable matter such as cucumber, lettuce, or peeled steamed peas. Other,
meatier sinking and frozen foods will be taken, but it is important to ensure
that these fish receive a diet that is mainly vegetable based. As mentioned
above, do make certain to include some bogwood in the aquarium.









Bristlenose plecos can be bred in the community aquarium,
although high numbers of fry are unlikely to survive under such circumstances.
In order to ensure a good surviving brood size, set up a separate softwater
spawning aquarium for your breeding pair of Bristlenoses, and furnish will some
small cave-like structures (bogwood, rock and slate piles, clean new flowerpots
etc). Lighting should not be too bright, and filter intakes protected with
sponges in order to safeguard the fry. Bristlenose are secretive cave spawners
and up to 120 amber coloured eggs will be laid/fertilised in one of the small
caves or crevices provided. The male tirelessly guards the eggs and keeps a
good amount of oxygen flowing over them by continually fanning with his
pectoral fins. After approximately 5 days, the eggs will hatch into wrigglers
and they will attach themselves to the d?cor and tank walls. The yolk sacs are
absorbed over a 10-14 day period, after which time they will become
free-swimming. Given the right conditions, it is not unknown for compatible
pairs to spawn every 6 weeks.