Bristlenose Plecos have become increasingly popular amongst hobbyists. Initially the only
variety/species available was the common Bristlenose, usually purchased as an ace algae eater. As
their popularity increased, so did the species/varieties available. There are White Tip, Black-eyed,
Albino, Starlight and more available on the market today, with some being more difficult to find than
others. While most Bristlenose Plecos stay under 6", some of the more rarely seen species will reach
up to 12". They are, of course, aptly named for their wrack of bristles on the face of the male. The
females sometimes sport smaller and less bristles, or no bristles at all.
Bristlenoses will not bother other tankmates and are a wonderful addition to the community tank. Some
are aggressive with their own kind, but do nicely as long as there is ample space to claim as their own.
Caves should be provided and low plants, driftwood or other cover is also appreciated. Some species
can live for over 10 years. Although nocturnal in the wild, once a Bristlenose is comfortable he will often
venture out to feed during the day. This tough little Catfish is an awesome beginner fish for established
Plecos are egg spawners who require a cave to successfully spawn and raise their hatchlings. While
some breed easily, others require elaborate measures such as simulating the rainy season during
Winter. The male will guard the cave, eggs and newborn fry until he feels it is safe to let them venture
These hard-working fish are easy to care for, requiring only very clean conditions, good filtration and a
proper diet. They benefit from both protein and vegetation in their diet, but require vegetable matter
primarily. Zucchini is a favorite vegetable. High quality vegetable flake or wafers, freeze-dried, fresh and
frozen foods are all eagerly devoured and contribute to a healthy diet. They do appreciate slightly acidic
water, which is more crucial with wild-caught specimens. Captive bred Bristlenose Plecos are more
adaptable. You will find many books available, which will provide you with more detailed information
and guidelines should you require them.