Longfin Bristlenose are your typical brown patterned plecos. Shipping size is 1.5 – 2 inches. These Bristlenose reach a max size of 6 inches, although females tend to be smaller, around 4 inches. Recommended for a 30 gallon tank minimum. If keeping just one in a tank can go a little smaller, but need to closely monitor water parameters as these are huge waste machines and can quickly pollute a small tank. If keeping multiples need an even larger tank to help distribute the waste buildup between water parameters.
Once they are close to maturity, around 3-4 months, they will start to develop their bristles. Males are well known for their bristles, but females can sprout a few as well.
There is bad info that claims these fish need a dirty tank to breed. This is inaccurate information. While they can tolerate a polluted tank, it can lead to disease and other health issues. In order to breed they will need caves as their eggs are light sensitive and fed an appropriate diet.
These guys need to be fed a mostly veggie diet with lots of fresh veggies. They must be fed as they cannot survive on just algae. I have seen many starved to death because they are dropped in a tank and expected to fend for themselves with no added foods. It is also a good idea to have wood available to ensure they are getting enough fiber in their diet. They need plenty of food and can starve if not fed foods daily.
Recommended foods include:
- Algae Wafers
- Very Veggie Sticks
- Repashy Morning Wood
- Plenty of fresh veggies – Just peal, if necessary, cut off a slice, stab with a fork and drop it into your tank. After 24 hours, if not eaten, remove before it pollutes the tank.