Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus Temmincki)
Native Location: South America
Size: 12cm (5 inches)
Temperature Range: 23 – 27℃ (73 – 81℉)
Preferred pH Range: 5.8 – 7.8
Minimum Aquarium Size: 94L (25 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Neon Tetras, Platys, Guppies
Care Level: Beginners – Intermediate
Get to know the Bristlenosed Pleco as the "vacuum" of your aquarium. With a diet of vegetation, Bristlenoses will eat up the algae that grows in the tank.
If your tank is well maintained, there may be an unsteady supply of algae. Try feeding Bristlenoses algae wafers once or twice a day. Granules, flakes or bloodworms are good choices. And, try treating them with zucchini slices and blanched romaine lettuce or spinach. Keep them with other algae eaters like snails and grazing fish. Peaceful fish of a similar size to Bristlenoses will make good tankmates. Bristlenoses can be housed with aggressive species, like African Cichlids and goldfish. But once a Bristlenose reaches maturity, do not keep with other Plecos, as they will become territorial.
As nocturnal bottom-dwellers, Bristlenoses will need plenty of driftwood, roots and plants to hide under during the day to escape the light. All these surfaces you provide will also mean algae can grow more consistently and be readily available for Bristlenoses to consume. They will feed at night. Although they are herbivores, they are unlikely to harm your live plants. They also enjoy the water with some current to it.
Determining the genders is easy for Bristlenoses. Males are larger, have whiskers, and bigger bristles and even some on their head. Females bristles are on their snout. Bristlenoses are easy to breed. Set up a breeding tank with plenty of caves and driftwood. They will also prefer cooler temperatures. Males will claim a cave and prepare it by cleaning surfaces for the eggs. A female will then inspect the cave, and if it impresses her, she will deposit her adhesive eggs. The male will fertilise them and
push the female out to guard the eggs. More than one female can lay eggs in the males' cave.