Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Bristlenose Plecostomus or Pleco for short, also known as the Bushynose Plecostomus, is native to rivers in South America however, the majority of our Bristlenose plecostomus are locally-raised by hobbyists right here in Wisconsin! The Super Red Bristlenose plecostomus has been line bred to exhibit a vibrant burnt orange to bold red color. The mouth area and nose are covered in whisker-like appendages, which are used for detecting food. In males, these appendages grow much larger while in females, they are very subtle. Bristlenose plecostomus are a popular algae-eating alternative to the standard Plecostomus (Hypostomus plecostomus) because of their more manageable adult size at approximately 5″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Bristlenose plecostomus are omnivores, but emphasis should be put on providing plenty of fresh and staple food options with vegetable content. A diet made up of various high quality protein based and vegetable or Spirulina based flake foods, sinking pellet foods, frozen foods (e.g., bloodworms) and algae wafers (occasional) are ideal. Offering blanched pieces of zucchini, or raw romaine lettuce, would be an appreciated treat. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 20 gallon aquarium is ideal for a single Bristlenose plecostomus. Very small specimens (< 3″) could be kept in smaller quarters, but the tank will have to be upgraded accordingly as it grows. Alternatively, an otocinclus is a great algae eater for aquariums less than 20 gallons. Bristlenose plecostomus are not very tolerant of nitrite or ammonia spikes. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters up to standard for Bristlenose plecostomus (Nitrates < 30 ppm). As they obtain size, plecostomus add quite a significant amount of bioload (or biological load, in terms of waste) in your aquarium. Do not become complacent on water changes for this very reason. Given their natural habitat, Bristlenose plecostomus prefer a very well oxygenated environment and generous water movement. The aquarium should be aquascaped with rocks and driftwood for coverage and places to hide. It is not uncommon for your Bristlenose plecostomus to spend a lot of its time hanging on driftwood during the daytime. Bristlenose plecostomus are live plant safe, but some plants (namely thin-leaved and larger-leaved) may procure accidental damage. Bristlenose plecostomus rarely conflict with other fish but can be territorial with conspecifics and other similarily-shaped fish. They are cave spawners, and the male is responsible for brood care. If such natural areas are provided in the aquarium, it is not uncommon for Bristlenose plecostomus to breed without intervention. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 6-10, pH 5.5-7.5.
Purchase Size: Small: 1” to 2”; Medium: 2” to 3”; Large: 3” to 4”; XLarge: 4” or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.