Loricariidae (Armoured Catfish)
Amazon Region, in fast flowing river's
The male can be recognised by the larger and thicker bristle's around his mouth and all the way up his snout, also the male tends to be
larger than the female, it is also said that males will develop fork like bristle's, Female's have been none to also get the odd few bristle's up the snout but no were near the amount has a male
will get, the female will get bristle's but they will tend to grow alot smaller around the mouth only.
Here is a common Male Bristlenose..Note the bristle's up the snout...
Here is a Female L182 Starlight Bristlenose(no bristles up the snout).
Up to 13 Centimetres, but this can also depend on what type you have like i have the L182 Starlight Bristlenose which my male is a good 19 CM's..
But most common bn's will reach 13 cm which means they are ideal for any community large or big.
The Bristlenose does prefer a larger community, well why wouldnt they you would like a bigger house given the chance! They prefer sufficient refuges in the form
of rocks and pieces of petrified wood ie. Bog wood, Drift wood and so on, Bristlenose's are accustomed to fast flowing water in their natuarl biotope and also appreciate this in
their aquarium also you can achieve this by increasing the strength of your O2, some LFS sell equipment just for this, you can also successfully re-create the natural condition's
of their natural biotope by using a very powerful motorised filter. The Bristlenose will scrape algae from the aquarium wall's, stones and plants although they dont tend to go for the
plants that often so you should'nt worry to much if you have real plants, they will also feel much better in an aquarium which has become rather " algae-fied", than in an aquarium
that has only just come into use, to create more algae simply leave your aquarium light's on longer or position yout tank were direct sunlight will hit it.
Bristlenose pleco's do very well as solitary fish and keep themselves to themselves. they will leave even the smallest fish in the aquarium alone.
They are mainly quite by day and become most active at night time doing most of their feeding then, you could buy a red Fluro tube and this may immatate dusk and
you will see more action from your bn's. Your local fish store will help you decide which tube suits your tank.
Temperature and Water Composition...
You should be looking at keeping the water at around 23-27 D'Celcius although i tend to have my tank bang on 26 as they will breed more at this temp.
The hardness and acidity of the water are not super important, but the water MOST have plenty of oxygen i keep my PH at 6.5 and 7.0.
Nitrite should always be 0 you can buy water tester's and i always use the liquid test method as the strip's are very hard to read..if your nitrite turns a pinky colour more darker
being worse then you should do a water change instantly maybe around 1/4 say 25%, as when your nitrite increases so do the ammonia levels, bristlenose plecs are said to be very easy
to keep and are hardy fish but they also poop alot and if you do not do water change's and vac the gravel then they will be more likely to get a disease. An easy way to keep on top of this
is to do water changes once a week and and vacuum a quarter of your tank each week, this way you wont disturb your community to much.
Well you will find bn's can be very differant from other bn's when it comes to diet's but they are mainly algae eater's and can clean a very algae-fied tank
in just a couple of night's, thats no joke either, but you should also provide your bristlenose with enough vegetable food as a substitute, like Zucchini(courgette)
Cucumber, de-shelled peas are great for indigestion and should be feed at least once a week if you have no drift wood in your tank, You can also use food tablets for bottom dwellers as basic
staple (Sera Viformo/Sera Premium) and also give them BLANCHED watercress and spinach leaves occasionally, you might be thinking these eat better than us lol, but they do love there veggies and be warned when you feed cucumbers or zucchini make sure you put an equal amount in as i once feed one slice between four of my bn's and they fought like mad, the best way to feed zucc is to cut a decent size slice and push a fork through the rind at the bottom as the fork will hold the zucc down as it will float, you can also use a spoon or band it to a rock,
just make sure when using house hold cuttulery make sure its well rinsed and has no soap on it what so ever..Algae flakes can also be used, check the veggie list out on the post by jacob this will give you a good idea on what you can give you bristlenose,
You will find if the condition's are right they will breed anywere really, but the male will find himself a nice tight cave in which he just about
fits in, once he has established his home he will try and entice mrs bristlenose towards his cave, once she makes a move and enters his cave you will see the action unless you have faced your cave out of view, it will almost look like they are fighting, if you check youtube out you will see plenty of vids on this, once he has had his wicked way with her she will then lay her eggs in his cave and as soon has she has finished she then will be evicted, and he looks after the egg sack for upto 2 weeks, constantly fanning the eggs with his big tale, the female takes no part
in atol once she has laid her eggs, also be warned this is when you will see your male at his most nastiest lol as he will not let any fish atol near the cave, and will fend any fish off with his spikes no matter how big, make sure you choose the right cave there are plenty out there , slate cave's and so on,
So that's my little insight into Bristlenose plecs, and for me the best pleco out there, it may not look the best but they are unique in every way, from there habits to the odd and strange
behaviour, it is possible to keep quite a few males in one tank just aslong as provide plenty of caves and hiding places because once they
select their cave the males will become very territorial to other males, also make sure you point the caves away from each other because they do watch each other
and will wind each other up sumert rotten,
Thanks for reading................CuRbY.........