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Bristlenose Catfish Community Tankmates

bristlenose community catfishBristlenose Catfish looks exactly the same as a normal pleco except for the presence of tiny tentacles near the front head region. In fact, both of them are closely related and even share the same characteristic with having the suckermouth and similarly, in terms of behavior they are also an efficient algae eater with that territorial instinct. Perhaps other than the presence of bristles, different features which can set them apart from normal pleco is that in comparison, their bony plate body is more flatter and their head is also much wider.

Bristlenose catfish can make a good community fish provided that there is only presence of one of this catfish in the whole tank. If you have another species which are also bottom dwellers like pleco, corydoras catfish or otocinclus, which a type of dwarf suckermouth, then I would suggest choosing only either one of these fish since mixing them will cause problems related to aggression. It all depends on what your preferences are, if you prefer towards schooling behavior, then go for corydoras and if size of catfish is your main consideration then go for otocinclus.

In a typical community aquarium full of different species of smaller-sized tetras, danios and hatchets, presence of young bristlenose will not harm the other fish but problems may arise once they grow up to very large because this catfish can easily reach maturity length of more than 1 feet. In other community tank setup, combining bristlenose with other semi-aggressive mid-sized fish should be alright and they should get along well with certain species of cichlids (firemouth, bolivian ram), angelfish, kissing gourami, tiger barb and even discus. Fish that should definitely avoid include highly territorial species like convict cichlid, oscar and red-tailed black shark.

Caring for your bristlenose catfish should not pose much challenge to your fish keeping skills since they will pretty much survive on their own. Furthermore, they will not require any specialized food and in fact, they will gladly accept anything that you provide to your main community pet fish. With regards to water quality, they are considered hardy fish and will adapt and tolerate moderate changes very well without showing complications. Therefore your main focus should be on your other fish rather than this one, which you can just leave it to roam about and cleaning the aquarium.

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