Keeping and Spawning Albino Bristle Nose Pleco

Common Name: Albino Bristle Nose Pleco
Latin Name: Ancistrus sp.
Origin: South America.
Temp: 76-80°F, 24-27°C
PH: 6.5-7.8 but I keep mine in 8.6
Ease of keeping: Easy as long as you keep nitrates low.
Adult Size: 4 – 5 inches, 10 – 12.5cm
Aggressiveness: Peaceful but can hold its own.
Min Tank Size: 29 gallon and up for a pair.
Lighting: Dim to bright.
Feeding: Algae, algae tablets, and vegetable matter.
Spawning method: Cave Spawner.
Ease of breeding: Easy as long as all conditions are met.
Sexing: Males will have a large amount of bristles on its nose; females will have a few but not as large or as many.

The Albino Bristle Nose Pleco likes to have a lot of hiding spots. So you would want to put some caves in, along with driftwood and plenty of plants. They do not seem to eat or uproot plants in a planted tank, although they probably nibble on it here and there.

They are one of the best algae eaters I have ever kept, so much so you will want to start feeding them zucchini or some other form of vegetable matter right away. Once they get used to you feeding them at a certain time each day they will be waiting there for you on a regular basis.

If you plan on breeding them you would want to make sure you have a large enough tank and plenty of caves, this can consist of small flower pots or even PVC pipe, if you plan to use PVC make sure its large enough, so you would want it to be at least 1 ½”. Keep feeding them vegetables and take out any leftovers each day, they are very sensitive to nitrates. The babies will be even more sensitive to it. You will notice that the male will take up residence in one of the “caves”. And one day you might notice the female in the “cave” with the male. Usually they spend there time on separate ends of the tank. If you look a little later on you will notice a cluster of pinkish colored eggs. They usually lay around 20-50 at a time, depending on how old your pair is.

I move the father and the eggs after they are laid it makes it easier once the babies are born. The father does all the work here, he will stay and fan the eggs and the fry once they are hatched, he will also protect the fry from any threat. The eggs will hatch in about 3 days, and then they fry will be little wiggling masses (very large egg sack) and they will usually fasten themselves to the top of the cave. After another 3 days they will have finished absorbing there egg sack and will start to venture out and around the tank. At this point you can put the cave and the father back into the main tank.

You will want to start feeding the fry micro worms, bbs and vegetable matter. They are mainly herbivorous but they need some protein in there diet to grow correctly. You will want to do water changes 2-3 times per week. And in-between meals don’t hurt either. They are just as messy as there parents but you have a lot more to clean up after.

There are a few reasons I move the father and his eggs to a new tank. The biggest one is its so hard to catch all those little suckers and move them to a nursery tank. They are just as good at hiding and sticking to the glass as the adults are. Its a lot easier to keep the tank clean if its bare bottom (which all of my nursery tanks are) you have a lot of “stuff” to suck up. Also if you have a lot of fry in your main tank the pair seem to breed less often.

The most fascinating part of all this, is that when the male is ready to breed or is protecting a clutch, he has a bright pink spot on the top of his head and on his tail there’s a pink stripe. Shortly after he has done his father duties it goes back to the normal albino coloring.