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Maximum size : 12 cm

Golden Bristlenose Plecostomus - Ancistrus sp : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The captivating Golden Bristlenose plecos, (Ancistrus sp) are remarkably low-maintenance and undemanding creatures, provided they have well-oxygenated water and ample cover decor. These peaceful community fish get along well with most other species, except for those of similar size and shape, as territorial behaviour may arise. Moreover, avoiding housing these Plecos with slow-moving, high-sided fish is advisable, as they may develop a taste for their slime coats. Golden Bristlenose plecos thrive both individually and in groups, with younger Plecos often visible during the day, while the mature ones become more active at night. These Plecos are excellent aquarium cleaners, tirelessly scouring the glass and substrate of your tank daily. Easily identifiable by their stunning gold colouration and whitish-cream stomachs, Golden Bristlenose Plecos possess broader heads and striking red eyes. Compared to common Plecos, these species are shorter, fatter, and flatter, with a round mouth and elongated lips, making them exceptional suckers. In addition to the standard species, the aquarium hobby also features a long-finned variation of these creatures, frequently sold as the butterfly or veiltail catfish. Overall, the Golden Bristlenose plecos are an exceptional addition to any aquarium, offering beauty, low-maintenance, and unmatched cleaning abilities to their aquatic habitats.

Golden Bristlenose Plecostomus Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Male and female Golden Bristlenose Plecos can be differentiated with relative ease. Mature males exhibit prominent odontodes on their pectoral fins and possess numerous long and thicker tentacles on their opercles covering the nose. On the other hand, females feature shorter, thinner, and pointed tentacles on their snouts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameAncistrus sp
Other NamesAlbino Gold Ancistrus
OriginsPanama Suriname
Max Size12 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespanup to 12 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.5 - 7.5
GH6 - 10
TDS18 – 268
69 - 79
20.6 - 26.1

Natural Habitat

The Bristlenose Pleco is an intriguing fish that has captured the attention of aquarium enthusiasts around the world. Native to the Amazon Basin in South America and Panama in Central America, this fish is often found in fast-flowing, clear streams and rivers with plenty of driftwood for hiding. Although many species of Bristlenose Plecos have been commercially bred, their exact origins remain a mystery.


Golden Bristlenose Plecos's breeding process involves using caves, hollows, or mud holes. Males prepare the cavity by cleaning it with their suckermouth before presenting it to the female for inspection. During courtship, males extend their dorsal and caudal fins and guide the female to the nest while maintaining close contact. The female may lay up to 200 adhesive eggs on the ceiling of the cave, and the male assumes full responsibility for parental care. Males carefully tend to the clutch by cleaning the eggs and cavity with their fins and mouth, removing any diseased or infertile eggs and aerating the clutch by fanning them with their pectoral and pelvic fins. Males remain vigilant and rarely leave the cavity, only doing so to feed and quickly return. Within 4 to 10 days, the eggs hatch over 2 to 6 hours, and the male continues to guard the eggs for another 7 to 10 days. Finally, the fry attaches to the cave's walls and ceiling with their mouths, absorbing their yolk sac within 2 to 4 days before becoming free-swimming. Golden Bristlenose Pleco males exhibit territorial and competitive behaviour. Male-to-male displays involve placing themselves parallel to each other, head to tail, with their dorsal and caudal fins, as well as their odontoid cheek spines, everted. Aggression may occur, leading to circling and head-directed attacks. If an intruding male succeeds in evicting another male from the nest, it may consume the other male's young. A male may guard several clutches of eggs at once, and females prefer males that are already protecting eggs or larvae. Therefore, it is possible to find multiple clutches in various stages of development, from eggs to free-swimming larvae, in one nest.

Diet & feeding

To ensure optimal health, Golden Bristlenose Plecos require a varied diet that includes high-quality dried foods like algae wafers and sinking pellets, as well as live and frozen foods such as daphnia, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, prawns, and shrimp. Additionally, incorporating fresh fruits or blanched vegetables into their diet on occasion is beneficial. A balanced and diverse diet will help maintain these fish's overall health and well-being.

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