Algae Eater / Ancistrus Albino

Albino Bristle Nose

By Joe Huisman


I was first introduced to this Bristle Nose Pleco at the ACA in Cleveland Ohio in July of 2000.  In one of the rooms, a person was selling fry.  At this time, I bought 12 fish.  This person sold out in a short time so I was glad I bought when I did.  The Plecos that I bought were 5/8 long about 2 months old.  So I had to raise them up for the next 10 months I sat and watched them grow.  When April came around, I was down to only 2 males and 3 females left.  Therefore, I had 2 pairs plus 1 female.  That was a good thing because I have heard that males may be hard to come by.  This was told to me at the ACA Convention in Cleveland.  I now do not know if that is true or not.  I have seen males sell for $15.00 at 1 long at some other shows.


So once the Plecos were just about 1 year old it was time to start getting ready to spawn these fish.  Lets go over all the things you will have to get ready and know.


Type of Spawn:  This fish is a cave spawner.  There is many ways to accomplish this type of cave.  You can use wood, clay pots, clay caves or, PVC pipe.  I used a cave setup that I made for Plecos which works quite well.  This cave is made out of PVC material and then it is covered with stone.


Tank information:  As you can see the tank is not out of the ordinary. A tank no smaller than 20 gallons should be used.  The tank I used was a 29-Gallon.  The temp of the water was 78 F. The water is clean tap water.  The filtration was a Bio Wheel 170 and a Sponge filter.  The lighting was fluorescent.  The tank has a bare bottom.


Foods they need:  You may not call this food but they will need a piece of driftwood.  Plecos will eat wood this will help them flush out their system.  Algae is one of the best foods they like but they will need a lot of it.  They also like many other foods like vegetable matter, worms and shrimp pellets.  There are some algae wafers on the market that they also like.  To give you an idea of how much algae they can eat.  My first spawn I had a 10-gallon tank that was full of algae.  I put the fry in this tank, they had it clean, and I mean clean in 2 weeks.  The tank looked as if I cleaned it out not a speck of algae left to be found anywhere.  So be ready they can really eat.


The Spawn:  Once I had everything I needed, this is what my tank looked like.


I used a 29-Gallon tank; in this tank I had about twenty-five Guppies, five Cory cats, and 1 male and female Albino Bristle Nose Pleco.  This all was about the middle of April 2000.  Then I started feeding freeze-dried Tubifex worms, vegetables and Baby Brine.  I did this till the fish spawned.  On the first week in May I started to see things happening that told me they were ready to spawn.  On the 10th of May, I did a 30% water change.  I repeated the water change on the 12th of May.  That is when things really started to happen.  At this time the male Pleco was sitting on the end of the cave, looking out, and watching the female.  The female was keeping an eye on the male also.  A cat and mouse game was being played by the both of them.  When the female would come close to the cave the male would back down into the cave.  When he did this then the female would go to the opening of the cave, look down, and wiggle her tail over the opening of the cave.  The male then went all the way into the cave and wait for her to come in.  This I sat and watch for about 2 hours.  Then the female finally went down into the cave when she got there the male tried not to let her leave but she did get out.  Then the lights went out in the fish room.  I guessed that meant it was time for me to go to bed.  When I went down in the morning to feed my fish, they were both in the cave.  That was on the morning of May 13.  I guess you could say they got a room.  When I came home the female was swimming around the tank but she was quite slim.  For the next couple days I left the cave alone not too scare the male or get him mad.  Just keep your hand off at this time.  The male is setting the eggs at this time after 5 days things start to happen again.  The eggs hatch at this time.  However, just watch; do not touch anything yet. If you need to do a water change, you can do that, but stay away from the opening of the cave.  About 15 days after the eggs hatch the fry will start to come out of the cave.  This is when I remove the cave and pour it into a net to catch the fry. Now I put them in the 10-Gallon tank full of algae. Then I place the cave back into the spawning tank and let them start all over again. They can spawn again in about 4 weeks 6 weeks.