New Bristlenose - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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New Bristlenose

My 20 gallon long well-planted tank is getting some algae growth, so I went to my LFS intending to buy 3 Otos (which they were sold out of) and instead ended up getting a bristlenose pleco. I am loving the bristlenose.

My question is: do I have room for one more bristlenose? I see in their profile that they can be alone, but would it be better to have a pair?

I do have a small piece of bog wood in another tank which I intend to move into the 20 gallon.

Also, I'd like to leave enough space to add 3 or 4 Otos in the future and maybe another 2 or 3 neon tetras or 3 Peppered Corys.

As a relative newbie I want to error on the side of being understocked for the time being.

my current stock:

6 neon tetras
5 Corydoras habrosus
4 male guppy fry (maybe 3 months old: just starting to show color on their tails and about 1 inch long).

Thank you.
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 02:22 PM
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I have 2 BN plecs in my 20, but I probably wouldn't add a second to your tank. BN males can be very territiorial when full matured and you already have the 5 Corys also sharing the lower levels of the tank. If you end up with two males you could have some serious territory issues in the future.
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks lorax84. I hadn't even considered them being territorial. I'll probably stick to the one bristlenose for now.

If I added 3 Otos later am I getting too many bottom dwellers perhaps?
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 03:21 PM
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I would wait a while and see how your BN settles in. As long as things stay placid for a while I don't see a problem. Maybe someone else has an opinion.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 07:32 PM
I have a 24gal long, and had 2 ancistrus in it. They both died from lack of food. They ran out of algae, and even with my constant blanched zuccini additions, they passed away. Make sure you have some driftwood, though. mine did spend alot of time on it.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry to hear about your 2 fish coolcucumber.

One of my concerns is whether he will get enough to eat. I realize now that what I have is mostly green hair type algae which I don't think he'll eat. The tank has been up and running for about 5 months. There is some other green algae on the surface of some smooth decorations, but not a lot. I noticed he was eating that some already. He is sure going all over the glass cleaning up.

I understand I can supplement with some veggies like cucumber and zucchini. Should I also buy some algae wafers? I don't want him to get so full that he quits cleaning though. Is there any way to tell if he is getting enough to eat?

Thanks for all the sound advice.
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 08:22 PM
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well for my big pleco I can tell if she's getting enough to eat by the look of her feces, it will become clear and have bubbles in it if she doesn't get enough to eat. Right now she's about 5 inches and eats two algae pellets a day, there isn't a lot of algae in my tank either because she keeps it so clean but she seems to be ok with just the algae pellets, though she does get whatever floats to the bottom too, which includes some of my crab pellets and stuff so don't forget that, I also give her cucumbers every now and then

How big is your guy?
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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He's pretty tiny, no more than 2 inches including tail. I keep calling him "he", but there are no bristles currently. I'm guessing he is pretty young though. My daughter already named him Mr. Monk (after the TV show) because of his obsessive cleaning. May need to change that to Miss if the bristles don't show.

I think I'll pick up some algae wafers at my LFS tomorrow.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 08:35 PM
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I feed my BNs cucumber and zucchini and they still eat algae. If they stop I pull the veggies for a few days and they start going after the algae again. The best way IMO to tell if your BNs are eating enough is to look at their bodies when they are stuck to the glass, sunken bellies are definitely bad, the head of a pleco is mostly bone so it can be difficult to tell how well they are doing when looking at them from above.

Also, don't forget that even BN plecs require some type of protein in their diet. Algae wafers have protein, I also occasionally give mine NLS 3mm pellets (once a week at most). If you talk to people who breed them they will tell you how important protein is to getting your plecs in breeding condition.

@coolcucumber did you have any other fish in the tank? Is it possible that they had parasites? I have never heard of BNs starving when they are being fed veggies regularly, did they have any source of protein in their diet?
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-24-2011, 09:08 PM
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I assume he'll probably only need one algae wafer a day right now but I'd cut it in half and feed it one half in the morning and one half at night, then after doing that for a couple days see if there is any floating feces and if there is up it to one and a half, thats my rule of thumb and yes protein is important!
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