The Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco: An In-Depth Guide To Keeping And Breeding

The Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco: An In-depth Guide to Keeping and Breeding

12/10/2023 Off By aquadiradmin

Origin and Identification

The Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco, known scientifically as Ancistrus sp. Cúcuta, originates from Norte de Santander, Colombia. A distinctive feature of this species, especially in mature males and occasionally females, is the presence of soft tentacles or bushy fleshy growths on the snout, a trait unique to the Ancistrus genus.

This particular Ancistrus, recognised by its networked body colouration and an absence of light spots, has frequently been exported under various identifications from the Cucuta region. The exact classification is complicated by Cucuta’s geography, with streams flowing towards Maracaibo in the north and the Orinoco in the east. It’s unlikely to be Ancistrus martini, a darker species with light spots. Instead, it might be a variant of A. triradiatus, known for its broad distribution and diverse colouration. The precise identity, whether a local colour variation of A. triradiatus or a new species, remains under investigation.

Sexual Characteristics

Males are known to develop pronounced tentacles on their heads. While females might occasionally exhibit this trait, it’s never as extensive as in their male counterparts.

Dietary Requirements

The Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco predominantly thrives on a vegetarian diet. Staple foods should include algae wafers and spirulina-based sinking food. Fresh vegetables like courgette, cucumber, and occasional meaty foods should also be incorporated. It’s essential to ensure a diet rich in vegetable content.


These Plecos are a harmonious addition to most aquariums, displaying no aggression towards other species. However, in confined spaces, males might engage in territorial disputes.

See also  Mastering Pleco Fish Care: Essential Tips and Tricks

Suggested Tankmates

They coexist well with most community fish, provided they aren’t overly large or aggressive.

Breeding Practices

All Ancistrus species, including the Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco, are cave-breeders. The male plays a pivotal role, diligently guarding the eggs and nurturing the fry.

Tank Requirements

  • Aquarium Size: Suitable for fish growing up to 10 cm.
  • Temperature: Maintain a consistent range of 23°C to 27°C.
  • Water Quality: pH levels should be between 5.5 and 8.0, with hardness (dH) up to 20 degrees.
  • Lighting: Standard aquarium lighting suffices.
  • Feeding: A balanced diet of algae wafers, catfish pellets, granules, flake, and frozen foods is recommended.

General Description

The Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco is renowned for its algae-eating capabilities. With a maximum growth of 10 cm, it presents a preferable alternative to the common Pleco, which can grow significantly larger. They prefer strong water currents and high oxygenation. The tank should be furnished with numerous hiding spots, including a generous amount of bogwood, essential for their diet. They can coexist harmoniously with aquatic plants and most small to medium-sized community fish. It’s advisable to introduce the Bristlenose Catfish only to mature aquariums. Varieties available include albino, mottled, orange, snow white, and long-finned.

Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco

The Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco, scientifically known as Ancistrus hoplogenys, is a fascinating freshwater fish belonging to the Loricariidae family. It is characterized by its distinct bristle-like structures on its snout, which are more pronounced in males.

Breeding in Detail

While the Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco can breed in community aquariums, a higher fry survival rate is achieved in a separate softwater spawning tank. This should be equipped with cave-like structures and dim lighting. The male guards the eggs, ensuring a steady oxygen supply by fanning them with his pectoral fins. Post hatching, the fry attach themselves to the tank’s décor. After about 10-14 days, they become free-swimming.

See also  Complete Corydoras Catfish Care Guide

Purchase Information

For enthusiasts interested in acquiring the Cúcuta Bristlenose Pleco, they are available at Diapteron.