Bushynose Pleco

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Ancistrus dolichopterus - Kner, 1854
Bushynose Pleco

Ancistrus dolichopterus.jpg

This bewhiskered member of the plecostomus clan is always a conversation starter. Aaron Norman


Bushynose Plecos are definite eyecatchers in the aquarium and are showy members of the family Loricariidae, armored catfishes with mouths adapted for sucking algae loose from leaves and other substrates. Males have big bushes on their noses, while females have only a few small growths around the rims of their heads.

There are many species and color variations, with a considerable number of still-undescribed species waiting to be recognized and named.

Family: Loricariidae

Other common name(s):

  • Starlight Bristlenose Catfish
  • Bushynose or Bushymouth Catfish

Native range:

Habitat: Will not generally bother plants in the aquarium. Provide a tank with a fine-grade or rounded gravel substrate for the fish to root in, as well as driftwood and smooth stones for hiding and grazing.

Maximum length: 10 cm (4 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom.


Omnivore. These are prodigious algae eaters in the wild but also eat small invertebrates. Will accept a variety of commercial fare designed for catfishes, including flakes and sinking algae wafers, as well as vegetable matter.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Bushynose Pleco is a peaceful species that can be included in a community setting with a variety of peaceful midwater and top swimmers.


Deposits large clusters of eggs in crevices or hollows of roots. Males guard and fan eggs. Easily raised fry hatch in around five days with attached yolk sac and stay in male’s care.


Strong filtration and frequent partial water changes are a must, as this species produces lots of waste.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW