Bushy Nose Pleco
Ancistrus sp. "Domesticus"

Basic Information
Maximum Size: 3-4"

Recommended Aquarium Size: 10-G Minimum

pH: 5.0 - 8.0

Hardness: 4-18°

Temperature: 74 - 78 °

Temperment: Unaggressive; males may spar

Bristle Nose Pleco

The genus Ancistrus and several closely related genera contain the so-called Bushy Nose or Bristlenose Plecos. These fish have rapidly become a hobby favourite, replacing the traditional "Plecostomus" or "Pleco" in its role of aquarium algae eater. The genus Ancistrus contains some 60-70 valid, described species, and when expanded to include the entire tribe (most of the genera which have the word "Ancistrus" in their name), there are over 200 species.
Many of the members of the Ancistrus genus look remarkably superfically similar, and regrettably, when they were first imported into the hobby, very little effort in correctly identifying them was made, nor was any care given to location. As such, many species of Ancistrus entered the hobby under the moniker of "Bristle Nose Pleco." These fish quickly became of interest to hobbyists because of how readily they spawned in the home aquarium, which later brought them to the attention of Florida fish farmers (and beyond). While it is often assigned an L-nuumber, and sometimes even a scientific name ( Ancistrus dolichopterus being the most common), none of these correctly apply to this fish. . The fish we today call the "Bushy Nose Pleco" is undoubtedly a hybrid species, and its actual origins are unlikely to ever emerge.

I have therefore proposed and adopted the name Ancistrus sp. "Domestic", sometimes puckishly "Domesticus", as a substitute scientific name for the hybrid fish present in the hobby, as it is incorrect to refer to it by any valid scientific name.

Perhaps as a result of hybridisation, or of the limited source population, a number of domestic varieties of this fish have arising. These include Albino and Longfins, as well as a red body form, a yellow-green body form, veiltails, "dragons", calicos, and more. All of these fish listed on the Batfish Page as "Domestic Ancistrus" are of the same species, and can be maintained exactly the same.

Males of the bushy nose pleco have far more bristles on their face than the females, although some females will sport a rather full beard as well. They are very easily bred in the aquarium, but require a small cave to spawn (check out our friends at South Central Cichlids for caves.) In a pinch, they'll often spawn under rocks.

Males often spar and fight with one another, though only in the smallest of tanks are these fights likely to come to anything other than hurt feelings.

Bushy nose plecos mix well with virtually any other fish, though care should be taken to avoid placing them with fish large enough to eat them, or with similar and more aggressive plecos. Most of our fish are sold at about 1-2"; please ask if you need a larger size.