Starlight Bristlenose - Ancistrus Dolichopterus
Starlight Bristlenose (Ancistrus Dolichopterus)
Native Location: South America
Size: 10 – 15cm (4 – 5.9inches)
Temperature Range: 26 – 30℃ (79 – 86℉)
Preferred pH Range: 5.0 – 7.0
Minimum Aquarium Size: 151L (40 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Tetras, Gouramis, Tiger Barbs
Care Level: Easy
Starlight Bristlenoses need large environments to be happy, and these bottom-dwelling fishes can be great additions to community tanks.
The diet of a Starlight is predominantly herbivores. As bottom-dwellers, they will not travel to higher levels in your tank to chase after food, the food must come to them, or they might not get food at all. Algae wafers or plant-based sinking pellets are a good choice for a rounded diet. The occasional treats of zucchini, cabbage, and cucumber are exciting for Starlights. As large fish, their diets will need to be high in fibre; make sure their meals are big enough. They will always want a snack of algae, so this makes them a great candidate for ‘algae control officer’; they will forage for it constantly. Starlights are awesome beginner fish and who you can keep with many other types of community fish. Keep with tankmates that will occupy the mid-top levels of your aquarium.
Male Starlights are extremely territorial when breeding, so they will need to be kept alone or with other female Bristlenoses. Starlights have a hardy nature which allows them to be comfortable in a variety of consistent water conditions. They will love spending most of their time scouring for algae. The rest of their time hiding in safe, cosy places. Rocks and driftwood make great decals. As Starlights are bottom-dwellers, use a soft and fine substrate to avoid belly injuries to your beloved fish.
Males will tend to grow faster than females, with the bristles on their noses being much larger. Starlights are one of the easiest plecos to breed at home. In a separate tank, a ratio of 1 male to 2 females will have the most success. A water change of 50% should induce spawning. A ‘cave’ will also have to be provided in the tank, as a pair will enter the cave and deposit eggs. Adult Starlights have no paternal instincts and will not hesitate to eat their young.