Bristlenose plecostomus are one of the most well known catfish to be a part of the hobby, especially since most people getting into the hobby now know that the “common pleco” reaches sizes of 20 inches or so, and are immediately interested in a smaller fish that is almost the same thing. These fish are originally collected from the Amazon, and are most likely not the same as the ones that were originally collected as L144, but a selectively bred color form of Ancistrus cirrhosus, as with most of the bristlenose plecos in the hobby currently. This color form is a very beautiful white, sometimes cream, and is probably something similar to a “platinum” gene, since their eyes are blue rather than the typical albino red.
While they do eat most anything and everything with gusto, they need to be supplemented with other matter in their diet, both higher protein things like bloodworms, and with roughage like algae wafers and fresh vegetables. While in the wild these fish would be in acidic water that has little to no hardness, but since these are tank bred in the United States, our L144 plecos are readily adapted to your water conditions, compared to their wild counterparts. They are able to thrive and even breed in water that is acidic to fairly alkaline, and up to 300 or so ppm hardness. The most important thing is to keep clean water for these fish, because not only are they fairly large, they tend to stir up the substrate and push particles into the water. They also really appreciate having cover in the form of caves and decorations, and like plants as well, but they do tend to chew up broader leafed plants, especially ones that have leaves large enough for them to sit on.
When considering tankmates for these fish, most things will be just fine with these plecos, since they are small enough to not eat more of the diminutive species of fish, and yet large enough to hold their own against larger or more aggressive tankmates, so you are largely unrestricted when throwing them into an aquarium. No matter where you place these fish, they will add a nice pop of stark white into the aquarium, although they are surprisingly capable of hiding from you when they so desire. These fish ship individually bagged.
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