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There are quite a few Ancistrus species that are available. Unfortunately
it is difficult for all but the most dedicated (that does not include me!)
hobbyist to identify specific species. Most LFSs are also of little help.
For MY purposes over the years I make an assumption that bristle noses are
one of two species A. dolichopterus , or A. temminckii. My generalizations
are that A. dolichopterus is usually more brown with dark spots, grows
slightly larger than A. temminckii, and may be slightly rougher with sword
plants. They also seem to be a little tougher to feed which is a concern
because natural algae in a medium size tank, say 30 gallons, is not enough
to support a single adult.
I characterize A. temminckii as dark blue/black body with small light spots.
This is the preferable fish that is less prone to damage plants.
Before the flames start please understand that these are oversimplified
generalizations that have worked for ME over time. In reality I have no
idea what true species are in my tanks. Also, maturity and stress are
factors in coloration
For more information you should check
In general I would recommend Ottocinclus for algae control. I like to use
both and usually end up feeding a lot of "greens"
I have heard of hatcheries that specialize in Ancistrus but I have not been
able to find any details. If anyone has a good source for tank raised A.
temminckii I would be interested.