Tag Archives: plecostomus

Oscars and Classical Music. Or, How to lower your blood pressure.

25 Jan

I have two big Oscars in a 75 gallon tank. What surprises me is how graceful they are. They just float through the water, moving effortlessly, in total command of their world.


I play the radio while working on my fish tanks.I don’t know anything about classical music but it fits so well with fish-watching. Try it!

Especially with the Oscars. I think mine are a pair. They always stay in close contact, barely twitching a fin to feel the others presence.



There are 2 Jack Dempsey’s, a Red Devil, and a large Plecostomus in the Oscar tank.


You’ll find Oscars sleeping on their sides in the morning.

As serene and graceful as the Oscar’s appear, I make sure to keep them well-fed so they don’t turn into murdering maniacs.


The Red Devil. Do not adjust your eyes, this fish is yellow.


The beautiful Madagascar Lace Plant

16 Jan

Here’s a  picture of my beautiful Madagascar Lace Plant. Here’s what I know. The Madagascar Lace Plant is probably from Madagascar.

Before I write about the beautiful Madagascar Lace Plant that I have, I should Google “Madagascar Lace Plant”.

Okay, I have Googled Madagascar Lace plant and it appears I have made a grave error. I do not own a Madagascar Lace plant.

What I have is an Amazon Sword Plant that is being eaten by Bristlenose Plecostomus. I think I might call it an Amazon Lace Plant.


Bristlenose Plecostomus love to eat Amazon Swordplant leaves. If your Amazon Swordplant is healthy and fast-growing, the plecos will not kill the plant. They’ll just nibble a few leaves here and there and everyone will be happy.

One Bristlenose Pleco lives in the tank with this Swordplant and you can see it’s doing fine.


Baby Bristlies

1 May

I’m happy to report that my pair of albino Bristle-nosed Plecostomus has made babies. Not very many, I counted only four, but I am thrilled to see the cute little ones scurrying around the tank. The four babies are all the typical brown-colored Pleco and I have seen no albinos.


The male is a short-fin and the female is a long-fin. I wonder what the babies will be.

I can’t say much about how to breed the Bristle-nosed Pleco. I put the pair in a ten-gallon tank, provided a nice rocky cave,  and made some regular water changes. They get the standard flake foods plus occasional peas, and I do have a small piece of driftwood for them to scrape.

The male Bristle -nose has the bristly nose.

The male Bristle -nose has the bristly nose.

I forgot about them for awhile and discontinued the water changes. I looked in the tank one day and there were the babies, already 3/8 of an inch long. (close to one centimeter)

I fear that I may have siphoned away baby Plecos when I changed water. Since the tank has a bare bottom I always siphoned the detritus (do they call it “mulm” anymore?) off the bottom. I dearly hope that didn’t happen.

Now THAT’S a fish show!!

31 Mar

I joined our local fish club a few months ago and today I went to their annual aquarium show.

I was impressed. The tanks were beautiful, the fish bigger and prettier than any I have ever had.

This Altum Angelfish is about twice as big as my Scalare Angels.

This Altum Angelfish is about twice as big as my Scalare Angels.

I think people who see these aquariums will say to themselves, “That is so pretty, maybe we should get a fish tank!”


What do people say when they enter a pet store? “Look at all the fish.”


Typical petstore aquarium. Nice fish, but not something to put in the living room.

Display tanks, both large and small, may not be a waste of space in a retail store if it motivates customers to get an aquarium. To anyone who thinks that aquariums take up too much room, you should have seen some of the little tanks at the fish show.


This tank is only a few gallons. Maybe 10 liters or so.


Another little one.


One of my favorite fish, the Harlequin Rasbora.

One of my favorite fish, the Harlequin Rasbora.

Big Sterbai Corydoras.

Big Sterbai Corydoras.



I’ve never seen this fish species before. I need to get Googling.


Platies are great for beginners and experienced aquarists. Maybe the perfect fish.
Hardy, many color variations, easy to breed.


See the big Pleco tail sticking out of the cave? There are tons of juvenile Plecos in this tank, too.



This Plecostomus must be nearly 2 feet long.


The fish show is held at a greenhouse. Here is a banana tree. In Iowa, we don’t see banana trees very often. I was impressed.

Bristlenose Plecos move in together

2 Jan

After selling the baby Angels I have a little tank space again!

I put my two Bristlenose Plecos together yesterday. The male is a short-fin albino and the female is a long-fin albino.

The main feature of the tank is a very fake-looking plastic stump. It has four openings. I have read that Plecos like fairly narrow confines for spawning so I put some stones inside the stump to make it more cave-like.

The male has been spending all of his time in the stump or at the entrance. He has been waving his fins, much like an Angelfish fanning their eggs. The female has not done this at all so I believe the male is trying to impress the female with his fatherly abilities.

The female does not look full of eggs so if nothing happens I won’t be surprised. I’ll be feeding them especially well (today they got frozen peas and brine shrimp) and making water changes.


The male is laying on the bottom and you can see the females flowing fins hanging above him.

If Bristlenoses were big they would be terrifying!

If Bristlenoses were big they would be terrifying!

Here's a little Bristlenose that I bought last month. They a a dollar apiece at Petsmart. I guess I won't get rich raising these guys either.

Here’s a little Bristlenose that I bought last month. They were a dollar apiece at Petsmart.  I guess I won’t get rich raising these guys either.

“I can’t find my Pleco!”

26 Aug

Here are some pictures of young Bristle-nosed Plecostomus, or Plecostomussseses, or Plecostomi, oh hell with it, Plecos, that have found some interesting places to survive.
First, at a friend’s house, there is a tank with an undergravel filter. He didn’t connect lift tubes to every place on the plastic plate, and the gravel didn’t cover one opening so a little Pleco went into the hole and has been living there ever since. He could find his way out if he tried, and maybe he does on occasion, but during the day he can be seen only by crawling UNDER the tank and peering up through the glass bottom!

In my 55-gallon community tank I have a male albino Bristle-nosed, or Bristlie as I have heard them called! Last night I watched him swim up to the outflow on the filter. It’s the type of filter that draws water in and then it overflows like a mini-waterfall. This outflow gets coated in algae but, now that I think about it, it seems very clean lately.
I removed the cover of the filter and….

Look at that eyeball staring back at me.

With the flash on the camera.

This little fish actually “climbed” with his sucker mouth about 2 inches above the water level of the fish tank, against the current and into his little haven!

Plecostomus is a fun word

31 Dec

Albino Long-fin Bristle-Nose Plecostomus

The most well-known algae-eating, glass-cleaning aquarium fish is the Plecostomus. The point  I want to make is this:  If you have a 55 gallon tank go ahead and get the common Plecostomus species that gets over a foot long. You will see these Plecostomus for sale at a Petsmart or Petco for 3 or 4 dollars. But if your tank is 30 gallons or smaller DO NOT get a Common Pleco, find a Bushy-nosed Pleco.

By the way, Bushy-nosed Plecos are also called Bristle-nosed Plecostomus, so call them whatever you prefer, they are the same thing.  Bushy-nosed Plecostomus are PERFECT for a tank of almost any size.  They get about 4 or 5 inches long. There are Albino Bushy-noses, Long-finned Bushy-noses, and I have heard of Calico Bushy-noses, but I haven’t seen one yet.

Bushy-noses are peaceful, useful and beautiful. My Long-fin albino looks like a fish from another planet.  An alien life-form in my fish tank. (By the way, this is a female. The males have the bristles on their nose!)

Local Pet Shops are more likely to have Bushy-nosed Plecos than the big chain stores.  Or try a search on Craigslist or contact your local Aquarium Society. They are commonly bred and should sell for 3 or 4 dollars each from a breeder, maybe 6 bucks at the Petshop.

For all species of Plecostomus, keep a piece of wood in the tank so they can graze on it. The Pleco actually scrapes the wood and ingests it.  They don’t devour the wood in your tank, they just scrape a little bit at a time.

Last fall, my 29 gallon tank had algae all over the glass, and little clumps of algae were growing on the bottom. I added one Pleco and a few weeks later, all gone!