Showing posts with label Plecostomus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Plecostomus. Show all posts


What is a PLECO?

Plecostomus - Photo: Flickr
The suckermouth catfish was named Acipenser plecostomus in 1758.
A pleco fish is a bottom-feeding/algae-eating fish typically acquired for freshwater aquariums originally from South America.

They are those "sucker fish".
Plecos prefer warmer water and are pretty self-sufficient.
They eat the green algae in the tank and excess food off the bottom that the other fish can't or don't.
They clean when you don't want to.

One of the girls at the pet store loved them, one hated them.

Well, the girl that loved them loved them for all the reasons I mentioned above plus they are laid back fish...They'll find a small crevice or spot to hide during daylight and chill out. Then, they'll come out at night and clean/eat but keep to themselves.

The girl that hated them found that they grow very quickly and "when they poop, the pieces are long and stringy that float around the tank".

The first girl never felt she had this problem with her plecos at home.
Personally, I went home to ponder these dilemmas, as I was preparing for a trip away from home for 1.5 weeks.

What Did I Do?
I got 1 very small pleco, the smallest one I could find, to assist with the cleaning of the tank while I was away.

Apparently, my mother says the tank looks immaculate...although I only have 1 goldfish in the 10-gallon tank with it.

* By The Way: The pleco did a wonderful algae in site 1.5 weeks later! We named him Mr Klean - Yes, another "K" name...LOL!

Loaches, also bottom feeders, are an option but seem to bother the other fish in the tank, from my observations...They never stop moving around. They are "Old World" freshwater fish coming from riverine environments throughout Morocco and Eurasia.



Ancistrus sp.
Photo  by mrpotet 
The Bristlenose Pleco is one of the most popular aquarium fish around the world today but there is some confusion about certain aspects of its naming and exactly what is being referred to when certain names are used. Therefore if you feel you'd like to get to the bottom of how it all fits together and how best to look after these extraordinary fish them please read on.

Bristlenose Pleco is the common name given to the genus Ancistrus which is made up of over 140 species of catfish which come from rivers and streams in South America. Interestingly the name Bristlenose Pleco is not the only common name that they are known as. In Australia, they are predominantly known as Bristlenose Catfish but in other parts of the world including Canada, the USA, and the UK they are known as Bristlenose Plecos or simply Plecos or Plecs.

Therefore if you are new to the world of Bristlenose then be careful as the name Pleco can also be applied to many other genera of Catfish outside the genus Ancistrus, as well. So what you may find in some instances is, when Pleco is used, it may not necessarily be in reference to Bristlenose.
The next important point to understand is that the most common species within the genus is A. cirrhosis or simply the Common Bristlenose. The Common Bristlenose is normally identified by it's a brown color with lighter colored spots but it's also important to know that there is also an albino color variation as well. Both of these color variations also come in what is known as shortfin and longfin varieties, so all up there are 4 different variations of the Common Bristlenose.

A. cirrhosus was also once known as A. dolichopterus. As a consequence when you see the name A dolichopterus it may be incorrectly referring to A. cirrhosus or it could be referring to the real A. dolichopterus which is also known as the Starlight Bristlenose or simply L183. Therefore look for clarification when you do see this name.

This then leads into what is known as the L Number System. Many members of the Catfish family, Loricariidae of which Ancistrus species are a member are allocated what is called an L Number. This is applied to species that have not yet been scientifically classified as a means of identifying them. You may also find that some species have more than one L Number due to being named in different locations which can also lead to some confusion.

Therefore you will find that most Bristlenose Plecos are referred to by their species name or their common name or an L Number or even a combination of any of these.

So as you can see the naming of the Bristlenose Pleco can be a little confusing but luckily for the enthusiast their ease of care is much simpler. Simply ensure the water is heated to between 20 to 27 deg C, it is fairly well oxygenated, there is some sort of current and the pH is slightly acidic. These conditions replicate those of much other fish as well and as such the Bristlenose is well suited to be kept with many different types of freshwater fish.

This is of course just one of the reasons why they are so often called upon as the number one choice for an algae eater in so many community tanks. Therefore you would think that feeding would be pretty straightforward as well and in many respects it is.

Firstly, don't assume that they will survive on just foraging for algae. They do like some added vegetables as well. Blanched zucchini, carrots, and broccoli are all favorites. Also, add the occasional algae wafer and meat-based food and they will be extremely happy. The most important factor though is that plant-based foods should make up the majority of their diet as too much protein can lead to constipation and bloat, which can be fatal.

So now hopefully you'll understand what is being referred to when the many different terminologies are used to describe the Bristle-nose Pleco. They are fairly easy to care for as well but just make sure you get the essentials right and your Bristlenose Pleco will live a long, happy and healthy life.

    The Bristlenose Pleco is just such a useful and likable freshwater aquarium fish. They are easy to look after and breed but just like the most thing it does pay to do some quality research if want to keep and breed the Bristlenose Pleco successfully. Find out more at my Bristlenose Pleco blog.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Suckermouth Catfish - Pleco - Hypostomus PLECOSTOMUS



The Top Seven Ways To CONTROL ALGAE In A Freshwater Aquarium

Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus (Syn. Liposarcu...
Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus (Syn. Liposarcus multiradiatus)
(Photo credit: 
A beautiful aquarium can quickly change into an unsightly mess when green algae take over. Algae is sneaky; it creeps throughout your tanks while slowly, innocently, covering everything inside your aquarium. Then, your friends stop by for a visit and they accuse you of neglecting your poor little fish. Let's look at the best ways to control this!
  1. Change the Water - Regular water changes are necessary to keep fish healthy. During water changes use a gravel vacuum to remove some of the water while you suck out fish waste and excess food from the gravel. Since excess waste is converted by bacteria into Nitrates and Nitrates are a food for alga, vacuuming the gravel removes one of its sources of food. Also, vacuuming the gravel will physically remove some the unsightly mess by turning the gravel under. This vacuum action buries algae-covered gravel so it no longer can receive light. Without light, it will die.

  2. Physical removal - Algae can be physically removed from the glass by wiping it with an aquarium sponge, algae magnet or scraper (razor blade scrapers work well.) Large rocks, driftwood, artificial plants, etc., can be treated outside the aquarium in a bucket containing a 10% bleach solution. It is important to rinse and dry them thoroughly before putting them back into the tank.

  3. Natural Algae Control - Light is a key factor for algae growth. Fish only aquariums (aquariums without live plants) do not require lot of light compared to the intense light needed in order for live aquarium plants to flourish. For fish only aquariums, make sure there is enough light to see your fish; if you add bright light you will spend much time cleaning the glass and equipment.

  4. Reduce Light Time - How long your light is turned on is another factor for algae growth. Generally, run lights 6 to 10 hours a day for fish only aquariums. Live planted aquariums require light from 8 to 12 hours each day. To control excess algae growth in a fish only aquarium simply shorten the number of hours the lights remain on.

  5. Appliance Timers - An appliance timer is great for turning aquarium lights on and off at specified times. A timer removes human error so that the lights are not left on when you are out all night partying or fall asleep on the couch!

  6. Live Controllers - There are several varieties of fish that eat algae. A few of the best choices are Otocincluss, Siamensis, and Plecostomus. Otocincluss are great for small aquariums as they grow to only to 2 inches in length. The Siamensis is another great choice -, especially for live planted tanks. One of the most popular algae eaters is the plecostomus (pleco for short.) The plecos seen most often for sale in pet and aquarium stores can grow over a foot long. A better choice for most is a clown or albino Bushy Nose Plecostomus as these fish grow to a mere four and four and a half inches long, respectively.

  7. Chemical Treatment - There are several commercial algaecides which are safe for fish. If you keep live plants, read algaecide labels and follow directions carefully. Some algaecides can be harmful to live plants.

A final tip is to not to overfeed your fish. Excess food is not only bad for the health of your fish, it is also broken down by good bacteria, becoming a source of food for algae.

    By Laurren Schmoyer
    Following these tips will keep your aquarium looking beautiful for longer times between cleanings.
    For more expert tips and advice on setting up, keeping and maintaining a freshwater aquarium, and much more, click here
    Laurren Schmoyer owned one of the largest aquarium stores on the East Coast for over 25 years. He also owned an aquarium service company for over 28 years. He has spent many years teaching and training customers the experts' way to keep all types of aquariums healthy and thriving for years.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


GUPPY Companions

By now, your guppies have settled into their tank and you have enjoyed getting to know and enjoy them. I imagine your confidence has soared and you have the urge to have some different inhabitants. This is where the term community tank takes its meaning. Not all fish make good companions for other fish.

Photo by Frank Boston (bostonsphotos) (cc)
The guppies are a peaceful fish and get along with other livebearers like mollies and swordtails. These small fish are covered with the big name of Cyprinodonts because they have teeth. These groups are named tooth-carps and cover both the livebearers that have live fry and the fish that lay eggs. So if you hear different names for the same fish this is the reason. Most community tanks will have the addition of catfish or suckermouth fish to help in algae control.

My favorite addition to a community tank is catfish, the very shy algae eaters that scoot from dark corner to an even darker hiding place. The catfish live primarily on the bottom of the tank but you will see them moving all-around the tank attached to the glass with the sucker mouths they possess or moving in a flash through the water. While the catfish I have are pleco‘s, they are just one of over 2000 species. The common plecostomus can live a long time, and you have to be aware that these fish can grow quite large.

They do like the vegetable matter to form the greater proportion of their diet. They will eat sliced courgette or peas with gusto! Pseudo fights for ownership of peas dropped into the tank will happen between the guppies and catfish. They will also clean up dropped food after the guppies. There are also specific foods just for the pleco and they feel very special getting these treats. These fish have wonderful personalities if they qualify as having one! I have always had bogwood in the tanks; the pleco does like these and during the day will hide or spend time on or around the bogwood. The male has more whiskers that are prominent on his snout, where the female has a more reduced number just around her nose.

glyptoperichthys gibbiceps

The breeding habits of the bristle nose pleco are interesting to see. If you have provided a cave or tube like structure for them to hide in or under, you may notice the male “sweeping” or tidying the house. The female appears to attach the eggs to the walls of what ever the adults have elected to use. The egg sacs are noticeable in that they are an orange color. This color makes them very noticeable to the fry “eating” guppies. The male will spend time causing water movement into the cave for the young.The parents seem to watch the small pleco’s but you will only know they are in your tank when you see the little fish amongst the pebbles and plants in the bottom of the tank. Guppies will eat anything they find so you will need good hiding places to read any real number of the little pleco. These are excellent fish to have in a community tank.

By Maman Wilson - Article Source: EzineArticles


Tips on Caring For Your PLECOSTOMUS Algae Eater

Plecostomus or Hypostomus plecostomus belong to the family Loricariidae. Loricariidae means armored catfish named so because of the armor-like longitudinal rows of scutes that covers the upper parts of their bodies. They are endemic to both Central and South America. They are more commonly known as algae eaters or sucker mouth because of their suction cup like mouth.

Hypostomus Plecostomus
Hypostomus Plecostomus - Photo by Kasia/flickr 

Their dietary habits make the Plecostomus extremely popular among freshwater aquarists. In addition to the benefit of reducing algae growth, they are a solitary and peaceful creature making them a great addition to any community tank. They will actively seek out and eat algae at the microscopic level before it has a chance to develop into a cleaning and maintenance problem.

Before you buy one, you should be aware that these are not small fish. The ones you see in fish stores are young. In their natural habitat they can reach up to 24 inches. In captivity they will often grow to a foot long.

If you have a smaller tank you can still enjoy the benefits of an algae eater. The variety commonly marketed as the clown plecostomus only grow to 3-4 inches. The king tiger plecostomus will top out at about 6 inches. There is a rather unusual trait found among plecos species. Their foreheads enlarge as they mature. It is not uncommon for a plecostomus to live in excess of 10 years. Plecos are primarily herbivores. But they also eat the food scraps on the substrate missed by the other fish. These bottom dwellers will use their suction cup like mouths to attach themselves to the sides of aquariums where algae is beginning to develop.

Unlike many fish that have become a nuisance after aquarium trade related releases have introduced them to previously uninhabited ecosystems, the plecostomus has proved to be beneficial. They have been introduced to the freshwater ecosystems of Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.

Plecos are nocturnal creatures. It is a good idea to have hollow aquarium d├ęcor in your tank to give them a place to hide during the day should thy wish to do so. Plecos thrive in neutral water with a temperature range between 70-79°F.

Plecostomus Breeding
Plecos are not known to spawn in captivity. In the wild they dig pits in river beds to deposit their eggs into. Both parents guard the eggs until they hatch. Young fry feed off mucus on their parents' bodies until the have matured enough to fend for themselves.

Most of the fish that do not spawn in captivity are caught to support the thriving aquarium industry. This is very often not the case when it comes to the plecos. There are natives of South and Central America that have turned the harvesting of plecos eggs into an industry all its own. Eggs are collected from riverbeds are are then transported to fish farms where they are hatched and raised for eventual resale. Most of the commercially available plecos for sale fish stores in were harvested just this way.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Freshwater fish are the most popular aquarium fish worldwide because of their inexpensive price and ease of care. Many aquarium owners don't realize that there is a rather exotic alternative to freshwater fish in the realms of affordability and upkeep. Jellyfish aquariums are the hottest new trend in the aquarium industry. Jellyfish do require a special Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank in order to survive but they are far easier to keep alive and healthy than saltwater fish. If you find the idea of raising pet jellyfish intriguing, find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


ZEBRA PLECO - Hypancistrus zebra

Zebra Pleco - Hypancistrus zebra


Breeding CATFISH - The Bristlenose

Many aquarists tend to think of catfish simply as the "cleanup crew" and have them solely to keep the tank free of algae and to consume the bits of food that slip past the fish that feed higher in the tank. However this species is fascinating in its own right and breeding catfish is relatively easy in the home aquaria.

English: a Bristlenose Catfish (ancistrus doli...
A Bristlenose Catfish (ancistrus dolichopterus) (male) is sitting on a coconut shell
(Photo credit: 

The bristlenose catfish are popular because of their novel looks and their hard work! Within days of adding a bristlenose to a tank, every trace of algae will be gone. They are easy to breed in a community tank. The mature male has much longer bristles than the female and tends to be larger. They are not overly critical about water conditions but do prefer slightly acidic water, with a pH between 6.5 and 7 and a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees F.

As the bristelnose is a cave spawner you need to make sure that there are plenty of suitable hiding places in the tank. PVC pipe, flowerpots tipped on their sides, coconut shells and bogwood which the bristelnose likes not only for hiding under but for eating as well, are all good choices. They will also welcome thick plants around the perimeter of the tank Keep the water well oxygenated with good filtration, an airstone and pump.

To condition your bristelnose for breeding feed them with shrimp pellets, and some semi- boiled vegetables such as zucchini and cucumber. Quite often a large water change or slight increase in temperature can trigger spawning. Courting behavior varies, some pairs will spend days in preparation while others get straight "down to business". The male chooses a nest site in the PCV pipe or flowerpot and the female will then join him to lay a clutch of around fifty adhesive orange colored eggs. The male then fertilizes them and begins fanning them with his fins to aerate them.

The male is on duty guarding the eggs until they hatch in about three to five days. In another week they will become free swimming and will then need to be fed. Suitable foods are finely crushed vegetables like blanched lettuce, peas, zucchini as well as baby brine shrimp and minced bloodworms. Remember that bristelnose are bottom feeders and make sure that the foods make it to the bottom for them and are not snatched up by the other fish. Another source of food can be created by putting some rocks in jars of tankwater and leaving them on a sunny windowsill where they will grow a good coating of algae. Then place the rocks in the tank for the fry to feed on. Regular water changes together with a varied diet will ensure the healthy growth of the fry.


Vegetable List For Feeding PLECOS

This is a list of a lot of Vegetables and some fruit that can be fed to your plecs. Also included are some suggestions for weighing the veg down in the tank.

1. Make sure you have an ID of your plec to ensure the correct dietary needs are met.
2. A varied diet of veg+fruit is needed so that nutritional needs are fulfilled.
3. Don't forget to include algae wafers, meat, and wood depending on species of plec.
4. If you put in anything that contains the skin or rind be sure to scrub it first to get rid of any pesticides.

English: A Baby Plecostomus
A Baby Plecostomus
(Photo credit: 

This is a list of vegetables and fruit that are popular with most plecs. Zucchini/Courgette Cucumber Peas (deshelled) Sweet Potato Green Beans Melon/Melon rind

Apple (doesn't seem to be too popular) Asparagus Aubergine/Egg plant Avocado Broccoli/Stalk Butternut Squash+ other squash Capsicum/Bell pepper (not the hot ones) Cauliflower/Stalk Carrot Coconut Grapes Kale/Collard Greens Kiwi Fruit Lettuce Lima Beans Mango Mushroom (common plecs and goldspots love mushroom) let it float,they will reach it. Good exercise. Papaya Potato Pumpkin Spinach Sprouts Swede Tomato Yam

Most veg can be given raw but if you find no-one is interested then try blanching. Don't leave veggies and esp fruit in for too long otherwise you can end up with water quality problems. The easiest approach is to add them in the evening and remove in the morning.

Stainless Steel spoon (push the spoon through the veg) Stainless Steel fork (there have been suggestions that plecs have hurt themselves on the prongs of forks, use at your own risk) A rubber band/rock Suction capped Veggie clip (fish shops usually sell these) Screwcumber.


PLECOS and Plants - Which Catfish to Keep With Plants

They're both popular in aquariums and they can often live together in harmony. Plecos are a kind of catfish which belong to the Loricariidae family, but many will inflict serious damage on a planted aquarium, become extremely demanding or require high levels of algae to consume.

Plecostomus on the Glass
Photo by Michael Bentley
There are several different groups of catfish and it is recommendable for beginners and those keeping a fragile planted aquarium to stick with Hypoptopomatinaes. This group contains members of Otocinclus, Parotocinclus, Hypoptopoma and Microlepidogaster and the advantage of these species is that all of these fish stay small, normally within two or three inches. Although they love to eat algae, the bane of many an aquarium, they will largely leave your plants alone. However, this is not the case with all Plecos and additionally, some species will not only cause havoc in the aquarium but have extremely demanding needs to be kept successfully.

Worker catfish in the Ancistrinae, members of the genus Ancistrus are possible the best worker catfish you could keep, more commonly known as bushynose plecos. However, it is important to know that some species of Ancistrus will do a lot of damage to plants and this Plecos will require a lot of your time to keep successfully. This is due to the fact they generally need a strong current, very specific water temperatures and a high level of oxygen from the main body of the aquarium water. If you are planning a Dutch aquascape, it is advisable to keep to any of the species above.

Unless you are an advanced hobbyist, it is a good idea to attempt to stay clear of Farlowella, which are extremely efficient algae eaters. This may seem ideal to begin with, but they are so efficient at consuming algae it is possible for them to clean an aquarium in a few days and subsequently starve to death afterwards. In addition to these nearly all Hypostomus and Glytopterichthys, more commonly known as sailfin Plecos, will grow to extremely large sizes and love to eat plants.

Some Plecos are much easier on plants and are, by comparison, relatively simple to keep successfully. Research into the individual species should give a firm idea of what can be successfully kept with plants and what may need more attention from you to keep life in the aquarium harmonious. When choosing algae eaters, it is a good idea to wait for some algae to be present in the tank first, to ensure that they will always have enough to eat and do not become ill as the aquarium becomes clear.

With live aquarium plants you can overcome all the problems of a non-planted aquarium. You can improve the quality of your aeration, filtration, food and algae control. You can improve the lives of your fish. Find out how live aquarium plants can help you, help them.

    By Sean Norman
    Sean Norman is an environmental science student and freelance writer with a deep love of ecology.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


BUSHYNOSE PLECOS Are Easy To Keep And Breed

Breeding Bushynose Plecos can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. This is a great beginners catfish and there are also a lot of different strains, colors and fin varieties to choose from.

There are a couple of things you need to do to set yourself up for successfully breeding Bushynose Plecos.

Photo by Alex Sorokine

1) Set-up a bare bottom tank for your colony of fish. A 40 gallon tank works well with this. Use only bubble filters, or any other filter that cannot suck up the young fry.

2) You can either purchase adult fish or juveniles to start your colony. If you purchase adults, then a ratio of 1 male to 4-5 females is ideal. If you purchase juveniles, the purchase 6-8 fish and let them grow up into adults. Pick the best adults from the group for your breeding colony. Sexing Bushynose is easy and can be done when the fish are around 3" or larger. Adult males have an intensely bushy nose, while females do not. Females also have a wider body than males when viewed from above.

3) Males will need a cave of some sort to entice a female to join him in. When the female is ready to breed she will join the male in the cave, lay her eggs and then leave. The male will take care of the eggs and young fry from there. He is a good parent.

4) Providing the proper food for both the adults and the fry is very important. Bushynose have large appetites and require a diverse diet. Make sure to stay away from proteins. In large quantity protein can bind up and kill your fish. Foods like zucchini, romaine lettuce, spirulina flakes, and algae wafers are perfect foods for both adult and fry.

5) Water changes are essential. Since you will be feeding your growing fish a lot of food, daily water changes of 25-50% are recommended. Water changes are one of the most important parts of keeping tropical fish so do not skip this part. Monitor your water quality for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
You can raise Bushynose fry in the same tank as the adults, but you may want to separate them to prevent over stocking of the tank. Bushynose fry grow quickly and you should have fish that you can sell or trade within 3 months.

    At Tropical Fish Resource we have over 20 years of experience keeping and studying tropical fish. We travel all over the world researching and documenting different species in the wild. Our goal is to educate people about the sustainability of the tropical fish hobby and how keeping tropical fish can impact the environment. []
    Article Source: EzineArticles