Re: Bristle nose plecostomus

Hi Stephen,

> The local Aquarium Services store has some bristle-nosed plecos in stock.

They are many species where the males have bristles; any idea which
one you have?

> Does he like to consume the ubiquitous brush algae as much as his
> reputation implies?

Do you mean the "red brush/black tuft" algae.  No.  They have a
sucker/scraper mouth and feed on larger, smooth surfaces.

> How likely is he to ravage H. poly and H. diff? 

Not very.  Watch out for swords and other broad leafed plants though.

> Will he bother these if there is a sufficient supply of algae or other
> foods?

It depends, of course :-).

> Is he fond of frozen blood worms and tubifex?

Food is food.  Our plecos will come scurrying out when food hits the
> Will zuchini, spinach and lettuce be enough to keep him happy and away
> from softer plants? Has anyone fed chinese or conventional cabbage?

There is no reason for him to recognize the difference between what you
think of as "food" and what you think of as "plants".  I suspect he
will think the plants are "fresher". 

> If there is thread algae in lilaeopsis, is he going to pull all
> this up rooting around in the gravel and will he consume thread algae?
> Are Valisneria tasty to him? 

It is probably more interested in easy to get at algae on smooth

> Ludwigia acuata? 


> Do the little barbels on his head sting? How unpleasant/painful is
> this?

Nope, just fleshy protuberances.  The mark of a male.  He waves them
to get the girls hot.  Or something like that :-)

> Any other caveats?

Make sure there is some driftwood in the tank to satisfy his need for

> [Farlowellas] Perhaps these ones are nocturnal?

Ours like to hang on the vertical stems of large Echinodorus most of
the time.  I would suspect they are nocturnal. 

> The fish guy said they are getting some royal farlies in soon. Anybody
> have any of these? What are they like?

If they are what I've seen, they become very huge (12").  Way to big
for a typical plant tank.  Karla got one once because I thought they
would be neat but she apparently didn't notice how big it was.  Can't
figure that one out.