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 Venomous Ancistrus ??

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Curby
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PostSubject: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:54 pm

Can Bristlenose plecs hold Venom in them barbs????

Ive heard this a few times and now it has been drawn to my attention again by my dad...

He has a 5ft tank full of cichlids and swears blind the F1 Starlight i gave him has killed most of his top malawi's and Mbuna's....
I laughed at first at the thought of the ancistrus species having venom but how he has explained it has got me thinking...

Week by week another malawi would be dead in the morning with no explanation?? my dad has been into fishkeeping way before i was born so no's alot more than me so he assure's me is water is spot on and ive also seen the test's......

There is nothing in the tank that could pose a threat to such a strong fish like the Mbuna but to my dads surprise he witnessed this..

He said he saw one of his larger Mbuna's having a go at the starlight i gave him it went close to pecking at its eye's but missed more times than not..
The plec is about 4.5 inches now so at a good size to strike back...
He said he has seen the cichlids having a go at it before but the plec normally brushes it off with its tale and thats normally the end of that ..

But the Mbuna pecked one time to many and the plec turned and launched itself at the Mbuna, chased it and hit it 3 times in the side with its hooks/barbs...
The Mbuna istantly went mad and started swimming upside down and lay on its side?????????????

Its so far survived a day but he say's its now lost all colour and wont make it??

There is no real damage to the Mbuna???

This seems very strange to me how the Mbuna would react this way instanly after being attacked...

Its also strange how every 3-4 days another ends up doing the exact same thing.....

I no The common Bristlenose probably wouldnt have venom due to the fact they are tank breed and will loose all wild instincts eventually...

But this Starlight i gave him is an F1 from my wild caught parents from the Amazon in brazil so in my eyes a species from the amazon could easily hold venom,

Its a true known fact that in the wild most animals/predators with barbs/spikes e.t.c hold venom so could this be possible????

Could this also explain why so many poeple loose fish to the mystery illness???

Lets see what you lot think about this and see if you can do a bit of research...

i have already found a few things on catfish with venom but i aint posting untill iam 100% certain....


Thanks all..............CuRbY,............ Cool

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77maverick
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:15 pm

i don't know about the plecos, but have read a few of the cories have venom in their spines. usually the ones with orange fins. like sterbai, haroldschultzi, gossei. i guess it's possible for the plecos to also have venom.
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:04 pm

scratch Very interesting-- I would never have thunked it.

cheers J
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:13 pm

To be honest that is the reason that I have never "held" my BN's, because I was under the assumption that they have poisonous barbs. Akin I believe to a bee sting to us, but would imagine it's a whole lot worse for a fish.

I have know BN's with attitude in the past, so maybe this one has decided he wants to be alone LOL
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:03 am

I have some experience with poison dart frogs so I'll approach this from that angle.

Most of their venom is derived from what they eat. Tank raised specimens are not nearly as poisonous. Also most venomous creatures are very brightly colored which might explain why wild plecos have the brighter colors and later generations are not quite as colorful.

Certainly something to look into further.
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:17 am

Ive heard this before mate but i cannot find anything on the ancistrus being venomous although their was a study done and its believed theirs over 1600 species of catfish believed to be venomous. this one is a strange behavior all round as Ive found mbuna tend to leave bristlenose alone. as for your dads bristlenose striking the mbuna and it then lying on its side i would say the fish as suffered from swim blader damage or some sort of internal damage rather than being poisoned. if you're dad is finding dead fish every other day and all the water is fine i would keep a very close eye on them at feeding time as this sounds like it could be the first stage of bloat the odd fish just dying for no apparent reason when feeding his fish they should all dart for the food if you watch closely if their suffering from the first stage of bloat the fish my look as though its feeding and will take in food then swim down and spit it back out or will dart for the food then not take any in and they may look OK with no sort of bloating at this point. I'm not saying this is the case and it could just be the bristlenose thats bumping them off. it's is a possibility it could be bloat and thought i would just point it out to you.
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:09 am

I will tell him to watch out for that mate.....good thinking mate... Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:30 am

I thought there was an article about a new species of pleco which was in fact venomous but I can't recall the L no they assigned to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:58 am

its a bit of strange one that im not sure of either but then again they are its only defence so they could well have it would be like the daddy long legs other wise most poision spider in the world but no teeth to release the venom im gone to have a good look in to this because other species of fish that have spikes can be posionus
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Fri May 07, 2010 12:57 pm

I could imagine a whack from a largish bristlenoses deadly switchblades would be pretty fatal to a curious cichlid (I say curious, but we all know these things just love to eat plec eyes), not doubt one good thrash with them could take one down if the plec was agitated enough. May be something for your dad to consider getting the plec his own tank, as I could see a lot of dead cichlids or even a plec with his eyes plucked out in the future Mad
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Fri May 07, 2010 4:08 pm

Spreebok wrote:
I could imagine a whack from a largish bristlenoses deadly switchblades would be pretty fatal to a curious cichlid (I say curious, but we all know these things just love to eat plec eyes), not doubt one good thrash with them could take one down if the plec was agitated enough. May be something for your dad to consider getting the plec his own tank, as I could see a lot of dead cichlids or even a plec with his eyes plucked out in the future Mad

i think it was just a case of that aswell spree....
i told him cichlids would have no match for a bn defending itself but parents always no best.. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Fri May 07, 2010 9:03 pm

Quote :
i think it was just a case of that aswell spree....
i told him cichlids would have no match for a bn defending itself but parents always no best..Laughing

Lol, typical! xD Hopefully he'll realize that at the cost of potentially having to replace his cichlids every week for potentially manymany years will be enough to justify giving thr bn his own home Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Tue May 11, 2010 5:47 am

I spent an hour or so trawling the literature on bristlenose in the scientific journals and can't find any reference to a poison or venom, but that said it wasnt explicitly denied either. just by the by..who know that male salifin mollys (wild type) are poisonous!!!!! they can spit the venom like a cobra!!!
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Tue May 11, 2010 6:42 pm

i also spent hours looking with no luck...and it just goes to show with the molly's that not everything is as it seems.... Shocked

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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Tue May 11, 2010 6:45 pm

is youre dad still having the problem with the bristlenose???
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Curby
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Tue May 11, 2010 6:51 pm

well we dont no if the problem is completely related to the bristlenose, he only saw that one inncident,,,although the problem of his fish dying still remains...ive checked everything for him and the only thing that seems a miss is his O2 levels...they seem a little low...

Other than that the BN ,may still be attacking them.....

I gave him 3 F1 L182's and only one has survived (the nasty one)...

It is also un-sexable at the moment...

It came from my only spawn from my wild L182's...

Seems very strange still....... Question scratch

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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Tue May 11, 2010 7:13 pm

yes it does seem strange mate
if all looks good with the water then it could be an internal parasite thats lurking.
its defo not bloat after all this time as you would know by now.
does he keep peacocks and mbuna together??? and what seems to be dying off the most.
also whats the ph gh kh reading????
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Thu May 13, 2010 7:29 pm

The more I look at this the more I believe that they could contain poison glands near the barbs.

Jeremy Wright seems to be the authority looking into venomous catfish.

He states that it is used for defense.

"In his paper, Wright describes how catfish venoms poison nerves and break down red blood cells, producing such effects as severe pain, reduced blood flow, muscle spasms and respiratory distress. However, because none of the species he examined produces more than three distinct toxins in its venom, each species probably displays only a subset of the whole repertoire of effects."

Probably not very dangerous to humans but to other fish could be deadly.

Think about how your bristlenose acts if you reach in the water and grab him. He goes rigid throwing out fins and barbs. In the mouth of another fish this would likely pierce the skin. Alone this probably wouldn't do much damage but with the added effect of the venom it could certainly be a deterrent that would keep them from getting eaten. Or at least let others know that our plecos arn't fun to eat.
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Fri May 14, 2010 11:38 am

funny you should say that because he said when the bristlenose hit the cichlid the cichlid then instantly went into a spasm swimming around on it side....then after a week there wasnt much left of it and it died....strange considering it only took a knock or 2... scratch

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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Fri May 14, 2010 11:39 am

Well I like to eat fried chicken.

Otherwise I am completely glib on the subject. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Fri May 14, 2010 11:49 am

Could the BN have gotten in a lucky strike? Maybe hit the cichlid on a nerve that caused more damage than you would think? Kinda like a kung-fu BN. There are many spots on the human body that you can hit or pinch just right and cause a lot of damage.
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PostSubject: Picture of spines   Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:55 pm

My bristlenose pleco died last night, and he gracefully decided to stick out his side spines so I could take a picture. I was surprised to see how sharp and nasty they were and instantly wondered if they were venomous. Then I found this article and was surprised by the story of the attack on the cichlid. These are definitely forward facing weapons!



The spines are on some kind of seperate flaps on the sides of his head that he can extend (he did this once before when I had to catch him in a fish net). They are forward/independent from his pectoral fins.

The longest spine, on his right side, is approx 3mm. Notice the white color and the sharpness.
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:04 am

Hi,just saw this thread as it has been resurrected and was just wondering why your dad didn't take out the plec and see if the deaths carried on?


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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:12 am

Bristlenoses wrote:
Hi,just saw this thread as it has been resurrected and was just wondering why your dad didn't take out the plec and see if the deaths carried on?


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Some (most) dads just are this way. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Venomous Ancistrus ??   Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:15 am

Curby wrote:

I gave him 3 F1 L182's and only one has survived (the nasty one)...
Avenger? Vigilante commando? Wink
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