Max Size: 12.5

Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus Cirrhosus)

Catfish species such as the Bristlenose Pleco, Ancistrus Cirrhosus, are among the smallest. Friendly, peaceful, and hardy, they can easily adapt to various water conditions. Also, they are excellent tank cleaners; they will clean your tank's substrate daily. A community tank would benefit significantly from the addition of these.

Some have irregular colouring, with darker and lighter splotches on various parts of their bodies; some are green, brown, or grey with yellow or white spots. Except for the Albino Bristlenose, most have lighter abdomens and darker backs.

In maturity, this species sprouts tentacle-like growths from its head, as well as bony plates and a fat, flat body. In addition, the male's bristles are much longer and more evident than the female's.

These Plecos have a pair of pectoral and abdominal fins, a circular mouth with elongated lips, which make them excellent suckerfish, and a broad head with an underbite to the lower jaw set.


Bristlenose pleco
Bristlenose pleco
Bristlenose pleco
Bristlenose pleco
Bristlenose Pleco
Quick Facts
Scientific NameAncistrus Cirrhosus
Other NamesBushynose Catfish, Common Bristlenose Catfish, Brushmouth Pleco
OriginsPanama, Suriname
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asLoners
Lifespanup to 5 year
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.8 - 7.8
GH2 - 30
73 - 81℉
22.8 - 27.2℃

Natural Habitat

Suriname River
Maroni River
Saramacca River


In the home aquarium, the Bristlenose Pleco will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Bristlenose Pleco could include:

Mascara Barb(Dawkinsia Assimilis)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively easy to determine gender in this species.

Both females and males have fleshy tentacles. However, males are usually larger, have larger bristles and have whiskers. Also, the male's bristles are on their heads, while females bristles are on the snout.

Males will also have spikes on their fins.

Other Plecostomus of interest

Butterfly Plecostomus L168(Dekeyseria Brachyura)
Flash Plecostomus(Panaqolus albivermis)
Galaxy Plecostomus L029(Leporacanthicus galaxias)
Gold Nugget Plecostomus(Baryancistrus xanthellus)
Gold Stripe Tiger Panaque(Panaqolus sp)
Golden Bristlenose Plecostomus(Ancistrus sp)
View all Plecostomus
Date Added: 30/08/2020 - Updated: 06/09/2022 14:20:17