All FishesLoricariidaeHypostominaeAncistrus

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Scientific NameAncistrus cf. cirrhosus   
Common NamesCommon Bristlenose Catfish
Abn (Internet), Albino Bristlenose Catfish, Albino Veiltail Catfish, Bn (Internet), Bushynose Catfish, Green Dragon Bristlenose, Piebald Bristlenose, Sp(3) Bristlenose, Super Red Bristlenose, Veiltail Bristlenose
Pronunciationan SISS truss
EtymologyThe name Ancistrus is derived from the Greek word agkistron, meaning hook, in reference to the interopercular odontodes that are hooked. 
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 125mm or 4.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationMature males and sometimes females have soft tentacles (bushy fleshy growths) on the snout - this is unique to the genus Ancistrus.

The common Bristlenose is commonly captive bred appears impossible to identify to species primarily due to a lack of original locality information but also because tens of undescribed congeners exist. It is not assigned to species here for that reason. It is sometimes thought to be a hybrid, however it is not easy to determine if it is so or not. Several man made variants exist: piebald, albino and long-fin (veiltail) varieties have been bred in a captivity.
SexingMales have head tentacles, females do not.
General RemarksThis species was known as Ancistrus sp(3) in the Cat-eLog from February 1997 until August 2008, it will likely still commonly be referred to under this name for some time and even its current designation is a little tentative. For these reasons we've left "sp(3)" as a common name. Several colour forms exist as well a long fin strain. The super-red form was first line-bred from the calico form of the common bristlenose in Germany. As is the way with the common bristlenose, they are pretty fertile and as soon as the pure strain got introduced into the market, it quickly spread across Europe and over the Atlantic. A long-finned variety was also line-bred from them relatively soon after that. There is some variation in the quality of the strain, a good strain produces 100% all-red offspring, less-than-optimal breeding stock (even if they are all-red) can produce a fair amount of offspring with some residual black markings.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
DistributionSouth America
pH5.8 - 7.2
Temperature21.5-26.5°C or 70.7-79.7°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersRelatively undemanding.
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingIt is thought that elements in bogwood, particularly lignin, may form an essential part of Bristlenose diet. Certainly they have the immensely long guts common to vegetarians, and although they fall avidly on the occasional meal of live food or prawns, the bulk of their diet must be composed of vegetable matter. If a high protein diet is fed constantly, then they will become prone to stomach disorders. Vegetable roughage keeps the gut in working order, and bogwood is a valuable addition to this.
Fry will feed from free-swimming on the same diet as parents. It may help to blanch vegetables when feeding young fry, as it helps them rasp off the food stuff.
FurnitureIn the aquarium they prefer a strong water current with lots of oxygen, and require plenty of hiding places. Bogwood is ideal for this, as it is not only attractive to look at and provides plenty of shelter. Although they are vegetarian, they do not feed on water plants either naturally or in the aquarium, and your treasured collection of cryptocorynes will not only remain uneaten, but the Bristlenose will carefully and gently graze each leaf, removing any covering of algae that may form.
CompatibilityThey are gentle and unassuming fish, and can be kept in community tanks with the most timid of inhabitants. Even tiny fry will be left unharmed once free-swimming.
Suggested TankmatesAll community fish, small to medium sized cichlids.
BreedingSee catfish of the month article.
Hop to next section Further Information
Registered Keepers(1) Carolan (p: 2), (2) Tamcon83 (p: 4, k: 64), (3) amacintosh (p: 2, k: 2), (4) ivopetrov, (5) MikeFishNZ, (6) HUNdani, (7) LostYeti (k: 3), (8) lightseeker5000 (p: 3, k: 7), who also notes: "Brown, regular fin. male is full adult size", "Albino regular fin", "Longfin brown. benepets got from local breeder", (9) jonhybravo2 (k: 13), (10) Catscatfish (k: 2), who also notes: "Long fins", (11) wat100 (k: 3), who also notes: "Black eyed Lemon / Golden Bristlenose kept . ( L144 ? ) .", (12) Divemaster, who also notes: "Temp: 76F, pH: 7.6", (13) Bricep95.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
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Last Update2017 Mar 13 22:41 (species record created: 2001 Apr 26 00:00)