Bristlenose

Information Bits

  • Family:

    Loricariidae

  • ScientificName:

    Ancistrus cf. Cirrhosus

  • Origin:

    South America

  • Other Names:

    Bristlenose pleco, bristlenose catfish, bushynose catfish, bushy nose

  • adult size:

    8cm to 12.5cm (3 to 5 inch)

  • Diet:

    Herbivore

  • Social:

    Placid, although males can be territorial

  • Dwells:

    Typically bottom & caves - hides

  • Space:

    30 - 40 litre tank or more (10 gallons +)

  • PH:

    5.8 to 7.2

  • Temp:

    21.5 to 26.5 degrees celcius (71 to 80 F)

  • Hardness:

    2 to 30 dGH (35.8 to 535 PPM)

  • life span:

    About 5 years

About my Bristlenose

I love these Catfish! Whilst you can easily overlook the common old Bristlenose as a comunity tank dweller it would be a shame if you do.

I have purchased 5. Two from one local store and three from another store. Why 5? acouple of reasons. The first is they were all too young to tell if they were males or females so I just wanted to mix it up. And the second reason is that I wanted to have a better chance of buying two seperate strains of fish. As I intended to breed them I wanted some genetic diversity.

When I buy fish that are too young to accurately tell the gender I buy 5 or 6 in order to increase the odds of getting at least 1 female and 1 male. As it turns out my initial 5 consisted of 4 males and one female! (Pictured here) Phew!

This common Bristlenose could be referred to as sp(3) and will grow to about 12cm. They are so interesting as part of a common tank. My 5 are part of a community tank 183cm X 45cm X 35cm that holds about 260L of water. My community tank is a bit overstocked but I do at least weekly water changes, gravel vacs, filter cleans and it is heavily planted with plenty of hiding spots for all fish regardless of the level they occupy in the tank.

I can spend hours waiting for a glimpse of the Bristlenose although I have set up caves that face the front of the tank to increase the chances.

My water sits at a GH of about 160PPM and KH of 107PPM. PH is at 7.00 and temp of about 24ยบ Celsius.

So far this female has spawned with 2 of the males that I am aware of and each time it has been very close to a massive water change. The first spawn I did not count exactly but there is at least 45 and the second spawning yeilded 24 babies.

Because I have many many hiding spaces, rocks and caves and a heavy planting of a variety of plants the males rarely bother each other although I have seen them defend their chosen hiding spot from time to time. All in all they are extremely peaceful bottom dwellers.




The babies pictured here were spawned about 10 days ago. You can still see that they have a fair portion of thier egg yolk which provides sustinence to the young fry. At this stage and from hatching they are free swimming and do also feed off the biofilm over rocks and other surfaces.

These guys were tipped from their cave into a breeding box simply because the male was not too interested in looking after them. Given that there were other fish in the aquarium I wanted to make sure they could grow to a size that gave them a fighting chance as part of a community tank.