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Bushy Nose Pleco

(Ancistrus sp.)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 4"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-82° F, KH 6-10, pH 6.0-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: South America, Amazon   • Family: Loricariidae
• Species: Plecos   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Bushy Nose Pleco native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Bushy Nose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.) originate from the smaller river tributaries and backwaters of the Amazon and northern portions of South America. Their mottled color pattern helps them blend in with the leaf littered substrate of the jungle waters which they inhabit. The shallow blackwater streams in which they live typically contain leaf covered substrates and plenty of submerged tree root.

The water is stained a darker color from the leaves, which combined with only filtered sunlight making it through the dense jungle canopy makes for low light conditions. It is in these lower light conditions that the Bushy Nose Pleco thrives as it uses it whisker like appendages to detect food in the dense river leaf litter. Their ability to detect food in low visibility conditions combined with their ability to blend into their environment has made the Bushy Nose Pleco a very successful and abundant species.

The flexibility and adaptability of the Bushy Nose Pleco has caused them to spread over a large portion of South America. This in turn has led to a variety of color variants ranging from tan / orange to brown or black, depending on the exact region from which they are collected.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Bushy Nose Pleco in the home aquarium.

The wide distribution and often shallow water ways in which the Bushy Nose Pleco live have allowed it to thrive in a wide variety of water conditions. This is beneficial in the aquarium hobby, as they should be able to adapt to a fairly wide range of aquarium conditions once properly acclimated. Bushy Nose Pleco will appreciate aquarium conditions which are similar to their natural habitat.

These conditions include: well oxygenated water, areas of filtered lighting, some vegetation, tree root or driftwood and some large smooth rocks. They are well suited for both planted and tropical community aquarium environments of at least 30 gallons or more.

They can be kept with other Pleco species in larger aquariums that will allow for each conspecific to have their own territory within the aquarium. It is recommended that hobbyists utilize a drip acclimation process for this species and allow them to acclimate for about 30 minutes. It is also best to shut off the aquarium lights when adding the Bushy Nose Pleco to the aquarium and leaving the lights off for about 30 minutes after.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Bushy Nose Pleco and provide a healthy diet.

In their natural stream habitat the Bushy Nose Pleco feeds on a variety of small crustaceans, worms and decaying plant matter. They will readily adapt to commercial aquarium foods like sinking pellets and wafers that are designed for bottom feeders. They will also consume leftovers foods that make it to the aquarium substrate along with any decaying plant material.

Bushy Nose Plecos will especially enjoy meaty foods like bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp; as well as, blanched vegetables like spinach and other greens. Hobbyists should provide direct feeding in the form of sinking bottom feeder foods 2 to 3 times per week, which combined with leftover foods that the Pleco will scavenge from the substrate should be sufficient.

However, it is always recommended to monitor the overall girth and appearance of your fish and make decisions on feeding frequency based on visual cues like stomach girth and overall fish health.

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