bristlenose pleco

Bristlenose Pleco: Care and Breeding Guide


One of the most popular species of fish that can live in captivity is definitely bristlenose pleco. This fish is native to the Amazon River, reaching a length of 13 centimeters is a very peaceful fish that can live up to 5 years.

Regarding the look of these fishmongers we can say that the bristles that covers them in the special area of the head grows with age.

The bristlenose plecos are very friendly, as a result of which they are considered to be among the most recommended fish species to be raised in the aquarium. Their food is not one of the most sophisticated because it is made almost entirely of algae. The price of four to five dollars is another argument of the statement “are considered as among the most recommended fish species to be raised in the aquarium.”

The bristlenose pleco needs large, well-filtered aquariums and the minimum length of an aquarium must be 60 cm. This fish adapts very easily to different types of water, but should be avoided introducing them into aquariums with alkaline water. Bristlenose pleco is a peaceful fish and can be introduced into aquariums with different fish species, being also very useful because it feeds on algae.

The bristlenose pleco is a very active fish in the evening and during the night, but if you put aquarium plants in the aquarium to shade the aquarium, then it will be active during the day.

Description of bristlenose pleco

They are sociable fishes that can be kept with the vast majority of aquarium fish. Preferably at least 3-4 specimens should be kept in tanks slightly longer than 80cm. Because of the bone plaques that form a real “external skeleton” (exoskeleton), they cannot be pinched by other fish and in the adult stage they are very resistant to diseases. Both plaques are missing on the ventral side. The mouth is placed ventral, being specialized for fixing and nourishing the algae that it produces from the windows, plants, decoration, etc. The swimmers are big and very powerful. The bristlenose pleco is active in the evenings and at night, but in a shaded aquarium they appear on the day. They will eat all that is known as an algae, unfortunately, even if the number of fish is large, we will never get rid of the algal from the aquarium, especially because it has certain preferences. It does not destroy the plants if they are healthy.

Arranging the aquarium

Regarding the aquarium where this fish is introduced, there should be a lot of caves in the rocks where this fish will hide. Another thing to care about when setting up an aquarium in which you want to put this species is that the gravel must be as round as possible to avoid wounding it.

Feeding of the bristlenose pleco

The main food for this fish is the algae and food remaining from the other fish. To supplement this food, you can also use homemade fish food such as salad, spinach or peas, and if you put more anchovies in the aquarium then it is almost necessary to call for these plant supplements

Growth conditions

Prefer well-planted aquariums with shady areas. Surface plants should not be missing. As a substrate will be used coarse sand have been gravely, preferably less hulking. The bottom of the basin must be planted with roots, broken pots to form hiding places.

It is a little bit prone to water quality:

  • Hardness 2-10Gh, max.20
  • pH = 5-7, but after an acclimation even 7.8
  • Temperature between 24-28 degrees C

However, fish are particularly sensitive to the use of high concentration chemicals (“drugs”), tripaflavin, malachite green, etc.

Breeding conditions and behavior of the bristlenose pleco

Reproduction of this fish can also be done by less experienced aquarists. For reproduction an aquarium of approx. 60l, without substrate and arranged with many hiding places: roots, pots with several access holes, various hole decorations, etc. In the breeding pools, there should be no dark colored plastic tubes closed at one end or placed so that one of the ends is “locked”, where the fish have the habit of depositing. Before the breeding the females should be kept separate and are especially fed with plant nutrition This is not necessarily necessary The males will be placed in the breeding pond 2-5 days before the introduction of the females To force the reproduction one-third of the water is used The temperature of the water has to be 23, max 24 degrees C. At a higher temperature the eggs hatch faster and the losses will be very high. After the introduction of the female into the pool, normally the nuptial games begin. The female’s abdomen grows literally. The male covers a fairly large bunch of eggs, guarding and ventilating them. The eggs are large, approx. 3mm diameter orange light. After filing, it is preferable for the female to be removed from the aquarium so that the male can see the spawn care. The eggs hatch after approx. 6 days depending on temperature. After another 6-7 days, chickens leave shelters. The chickens are large enough and when scattered through the aquarium they stick to the glass, the stones, and the leaves of the plants. Chickens can eat lightly with chopped and well-washed tubers, oatmeal, salad leaves. Because they are quite immobile, it is not advisable to feed nautical artemia. I used it after I frozen it for a few hours (others prefer to stop it). The breeding of the chickens is uneven and therefore it is recommended that the chickens be separated into separate pools. In the reproduction basin, filtration and aeration must work permanently.

In conclusion

The bristlenose pleco is an algivorous fish, with medium difficulty of reproduction. They are easy to maintain, being fed mainly with algae, thus having a sanitary role. Bristlenose plecos are territorial and become aggressive during the breeding season, when males attack other males. Sometimes they can injure the female if it is small. Its growth can be done in small aquariums of at least 80 liters. A male bristlenose pleco is recommended in two or more females.



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