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by Nishal Siwakoti 24 Feb 2023 0 Comments

Pleco – SUPER RED Bristlenose

Super Red Bristlenose plecos are a type of catfish. They are bottom/surface dwellers. They get their name “Bristle nose” for having bristles on and around their head. Males have very dominant bristles however, only some females develop tiny bristles around their lips, some will be almost clear.

They have a suction cup like mouth that they use to stick against many surfaces and scrape the algae.


Aquarium Setup and Water Parameter requirements:

In the nature, bristlenose pleco catfish or even most of the plecos are found in high flowing rivers and streams with a lot of rocks and submerged wood structures. They like to eat the algae and decaying matter from the wood and bottom of the water bodies. Ideally, they would need an aquarium that has all these features to be happy and they may also breed if the aquarium is kept healthy enough. We will mention about breeding bristlenose plecos further up in this article.

The following are the basic water parameters that is required for bristlenose plecos, they are adaptive to any environment and very hardy fish.

  • Tropical water with preferably good-high flow.
  • pH between 6-8.
  • Temperature Range 20C – 28C.



Bristlenose Plecos are omnivores, but their diet needs to be made of 90% vegetarian food where about majority should be algae. A normal fish aquarium does not have that much of algae content to feed a Super Red bristlenose pleco, hence they will require supplements like Algae Wafers, Spirulina Tablets etc. They can also be fed frozen – thawed vegetables like Broccoli, Zucchini, Carrots, Cucumber, etc. occasionally. Frozen Bloodworms can also serve as a good treat, but too much may result in many issues like improper digestion, constipation, and bloating. 1 tablet of algae wafer can feed 2 adults common bristle noses.


Breeding Bristlenose Catfish

Bristlenose Catfish are a relatively easy fish to breed in any home aquariums. All you need is a male and a female and a healthy aquarium setup for them to start trapping and laying eggs.

To encourage them to breed, you can do slow cold-water changes of up to 50%. You’ll also need to feed heavily for maximum success, however, do not overfeed and remove any uneaten food after 3-4 hours. Keep up with the water changes.

Yes, they trap and lay eggs and the males take care of the eggs.

You would ideally need a cave like structure in their aquarium which the male will claim as his territory and traps the female. The cave needs to have one end closed. You can also buy these caves here:                          And they come in various shapes and sizes, Fishut Aqua’s successful cave sizes for super red bristlenose are O1, D1 and L1 Caves. The tighter they are, the better they are. However, the caves need to be able to fit the male and female.

The male will trap the female, sometimes for hours and the female comes out after laying eggs. The male will then start guarding and caring for the eggs till they hatch. They continuously fan the eggs to prevent them from getting fungus or going bad. The eggs may take anywhere from 3-7 days to hatch (each batch may be different). Once the eggs have hatched, the babies are called wrigglers, the male will still be guarding the babies and will become more aggressive as they grow. The babies will eat their egg yolk for around 3 days, and they will need to be fed.

Fishut Aqua’s best and healthy choices for a Bristlenose Pleco baby’s first food are listed below:

  • Thin Zucchini Slices, boiled for approximately 5 minutes until sinking.
  • Indian Almond Leaf (placed in tank from day 1 when eggs are laid so they have micro-organisms in them for the babies.
  • Driftwood – also for microorganisms.


So that is about breeding them, feeding them, and taking care of the fry. The bristlenose fry are best moved only after they reach approx. 3cm size. Below that can be very weak and they may not survive the stress of habitat change. Other than that, they are beautiful fish, that also help in controlling algae also foraging uneaten food from the bottom of their tanks.

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