Bristlenose plecostomus are a very popular cleaner fish, known far and wide to eat anything and everything. They are not, however, meant to clean other fish’s waste, and must be fed a balanced diet of greens, algae, and protein in order to thrive. Algae wafers and frozen foods, as well as fresh produce, are great options for feeding these medium size fish, and they do have a seemingly bottomless appetite. Variety always helps, since bristlenose plecos are grazing most hours of the day.
These fish are from the amazon river, with some different species hailing from different regions of that enormous body of water. In the Amazon, the water is seldom over 5.5ph, and usually with undetectable hardness, even in the areas that have clearer water. That being said, these fish are usually hardy and will thrive just fine in a ph that goes even higher, up to 8 or so, and with medium hard water up to about 300ppm. These ancistrus, being tropical, do like a warmer aquarium that is above 75 degrees, having no problem even all the way up into the nineties at times! A high water flow is also helpful; these fish are commonly found in the rapids of the rivers hanging onto rocks and eating whatever morsels come off. In your tank, make sure to give them ample space, as even if they don’t move very much or very quickly, they do make an ample amount of waste, and they do cap out around 5 inches or so.
Cover is important to have when keeping bristlenose plecos, as they really like to hide in crevices between rocks and wood, and tend to stay out of sight when given the option. Without decorations in the tank, bristlenose plecos can tend to be very shy and skittish, becoming much more secure when they have options to hide in. Caves will help them be comfortable as well, and are almost a requirement if you are even considering breeding them.
We have some incredibly beautiful specimens on hand and they love to eat green beans and zucchini. 'Lemon Blue Eyes' is a bright and colorful variant of the bristlenose pleco, showing off a bright golden color with steel-blue eyes; these ones currently range from 3 to 3.5 inches long. They’ll breed readily if you set them up in a healthy tank with plenty of food and hiding spots, especially purpose-made pleco breeding caves. These fish ship individually bagged.
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