Ancistrus sp

Posted by:

Ancistrus sp
Ancistrus sp - male

Copyright © Andrzej Ostropolski 2010

Ancistrus sp is a genus of freshwater tropical fish in the family Loricariidae of order Siluriformes. Native the fish coming from the Amazon River basin, the Negro, lower Trombetas, Tefé, Madeira and Tapajós River basins. Ancistrus is one of most common fish kept by aquarists as good algae-eater, tolerant to a wide range of water conditions, and compatible with most other freshwater tropical fish. The fish are omnivore species that needs a lot of algae based food and vegetables combined with small and infrequent meat food.



Copyright © Andrzej Ostropolski 2010

Breeding this fish is quite easy and straightforward. When fish are mature and ready, males attract females to small cave or hollow where the female will lay about 50 – 200 eggs. The eggs will be attached to the inner walls of the cave. The male will stay close to the eggs to guard them and fan fresh water over the eggs using his ventral and pectoral fins. After 5-7 days when the eggs hatch, the fry will stay inside the cave and the male will continue to guard them. Eventually, the fry will leave the cave and start swimming around. In mature aquarium they should have enough food from algae. You can provide additional food by holding a piece of Romaine salad under hot water for a while before placing it in the aquarium. As fry grow a bit bigger, you can start giving flakes food and tablets. During the following weeks the fry become completely brown. Frequent water changes are imperative since the fry produces an impressive amount of waste products. In two months time they should be around ½ inch long (2.5 cm) and look like small copies of their parents. 

Latin name Ancistrus sp  
Size Up to 6 inches (15 cm) males, females usually smaller
Difficulty Easy
Water Temperature 71.6 – 82.4°F or 22 – 28°C
Water pH 6.0 – 7.5 pH
Water Hardness 5 – 15 dGH
Peaceful or Aggressive Peaceful
Number of same species in tank One pair
Community Fish Yes
Sexes Males are generally bigger with large bristles on the head
Space in aquarium Mostly bottom
Food Algae, Flake food, blood worms  
Breeding Easy to breed – require bogwood or cave to spawn
Breeding temperature 82.4°F or 28°C
Common names Bushynose pleco, Bristlenose pleco
Lifespan in aquarium Up to 12 years

About the Author: