Albino Bristlenose Pleco: Detailed Care Guide

There are a few catfish you want to keep in your aquarium but can’t due to their large. Albino Bristlenose gives you a window for that. But What is Albino Bristlenose like? So how can you take care of Bristlenose in the tank?

Albino Bristlenose is one of the smallest fish among catfish and is also known as Albino Bushynose. They are very low maintenance, friendly, and easy to care for.

If you are looking for a fish with a unique appearance as well as algae cleaning capacity, the Albino is your go-to fish.

But queries don’t end here, do they? There’s so much more to know and ask about what to do and what-not-to-do in the tank.

Here is the care guide for knowing all about Albino Bristlenose and how you can take care of them. Let’s get started.

Albino Bristlenose: An Overview

This albino bristlenose is known by various names like Albino Bushynose, Bushynose pleco, brush mouth pleco, or Common Bristlenose Catfish.

But whatever they name these, they are still Albino Bristlenose Plecos, so don’t get confused here.

The other name, or say the scientific name of Albino Bristlenose, is Ancistrus cirrhosis var, Albino. They belong to the fish order Siluriformes in the family Loricariidae.

These fish are known for their prolific appearance, small size, and tank cleaner nature. They are freshwater fish.

The questions, however, follow all these details. What do they look like? Where are they originally from? What type of care do they ask for in captivity? What are the dos and don’ts with Albino Bristlenose?

So, Let’s find out all about these catfish with wonderful features.

Distribution And Habitat Of Albino Bristlenose

Albino Bristlenose or Bushynose catfish originally belong to the Amazon Basin of South America. However, they can be found in the tributaries of the amazon river as well.

These fish are well-adjusted from fast-flowing rivers to turbid still waters in the wild. So, they ask for the same moderate flow in the tank.


Albino Bristlenose, as its name states, has bristles or tentacles-like appendages sprouting from its head. These bristles start to appear as these fish mature and are more prominent in the male species.

They have a flattened body covered with armored bony plates. Likewise, the color makes them more lavishing and desirable for the tank; they are mostly brown, grey, olive, or black with light-yellow or white spots all over the body.

And next comes their beautiful fin; they have three types of fins on the top of their body. First is a pair of pectoral fins; secondly, a pair of the abdominal fin; and lastly, a dorsal fin.

Another prominent feature they have is their round mouth, along with their elongated lips. These lips give them recognition as a suckerfish.


Albino Bristlenose is one of the smallest catfish, making themselves perfect for the home aquarium as well. Even when they attain maturity, they barely go up to 5 inches.

The average size of Albino Bushynose measures from 3 to 4 inches.


When they are well-cared and nurtured properly, they live up to 7 years minimum. The lifespan of Albino Bristlenose ranges from 3 years to 7 years in captivity.


Albino Bristlenose is one of the peaceful yet solitary fish you can have in your tank. They are quite peaceful and barely show aggression.

Bristlenose is known for staying at the bottom of the tank motionless or sucking on the side of the glass.

These fish, however, gets territorial and aggressive towards other plecos in the tank during spawning or breeding.

They are not social beings and prefer being alone most of the time. Likewise, keeping a two female to 1 male ratio in the tank is better to avoid clashes among male fish.

Water Parameters For Albino Bristlenose

The water parameters these albinos ask for are quite easy to attain. The water parameters Albinos ask for are given below:

Temperature 73 to 85 °F
pH 6.5 to 7
Hardness 2 to 12 dKH

You need to monitor the pH regularly, so you need to get a test kit in the house all the time. It is necessary to acquire ideal water conditions all the time.

Albino Bristlenose Diet

These fish are mostly herbivores and feed on the algae present in the tank. But they can occasionally feed on meaty food.

Albino Bristlenoses are omnivorous and feed on both plants and animals, with the go-to always being algae.

Albinos are the algae-eaters and devour algae wafers more than anything. They feed on the algae that grow in the tank, which clean the aquarium.

These fish need protein-enriched food with high fiber content. Protein-enriched foods like Bloodworms, blackworms, brine shrimps, daphnia, etc., can be fed to your albino.

You can feed them blanched vegetables like beans, peas, zucchini, lettuce, and carrots. They will get enough fiber from these vegetables.

Likewise, put driftwood in the tank if you can’t provide vegetables daily. It will act as substrates for algal growth and fibrous food for the fish.

The vegetable to protein diet ratio these fish need is 80:20. So, make sure you provide them enough of both.

You can hide the food on the substrate once a week so that your fish can scavenge and eat it. They can recognize food even in the dim-lit tank and camouflage in that environment.

Albino Bristlenose Care

These Albino Bristlenose fish are hardy fish that ask for very little care and attention. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a thing to do for them.

You need to look at a few things and provide them to keep them healthy and happy in the tank. Everything needs to be precise: water quality to tank mates, lighting to a quarantine tank.

The tank needs to be in ideal conditions all the time. An adult will adjust to the slight fluctuation, but younger ones will have difficulty getting over the water quality change.

Tank Size

You need to have a tank space enough for this fish to swim around when it feels like it. However, narrow space, crowd, and inadequate water stress the fish and can even be fatal sometimes.

They may be small, but they want a tank big enough to swim around. As they are bottom dwellers, a longer tank will be an ideal choice.

The ideal tank size for these fish is 20-gallons when kept alone, but you need a larger tank when you are keeping them with other fish.

You might like How To Setup A 20-Gallon Fish Tank.

If you have the plan to keep more than one species of fish, go for a 25 to 30-gallons tank. It will be spacious, and your fish can roam freely.


Both overfeeding and underfeeding bring issues to the fish and the tank. Overfeeding and obesity in aquarium fish like Albino Bristlenose can lead to more waste excretion and serious health issues. You need to make sure you only feed fish what they need, not more, not less.

It is very necessary to know how to feed your fish in the aquarium, or else you will mess up things for both of you.

They will bloat and bring other complications when they eat a lot. So, make sure you only feed them in small quantities what they can eat within minutes.

It is necessary to look carefully at their feeding frequency. Feed them once a day, twice at most, and give them food before turning off the light.

They are nocturnal and would prefer that. Therefore, never overfeed them and remove excess food leftover from other tankmates.

If you underfeed them, they will start eating other plants in the tank. Proper feeding helps you to make your fish healthy and colorful.


There are different types of aquarium substrate available for you to choose from. But you have to find a specific one for your Albino Bristlenose to make sure they don’t get hurt or stressed.

It is fine to use clay-based substrate for your Albino Bristlenose and avert cloudiness with the help of gravel.

But never use coarse gravel in the tank with these albinos, as these bottom-dwellers can get hurt from the sharp edges.


They need plants to mimic their natural habitat and for safe space. In addition, these fish prefer hiding around the plants as they are nocturnal.

This fish can help you get rid of algae naturally, and you won’t even have to worry about their diet if your tank has moderate algae growth.

Above all, algae are one of the foods they devour the most. These algae-eaters prefer a tank with vegetation, or they will be stressed and get sick.


The most important aspect of the aquarium is the warmth it provides. If you have a fish that prefers warm water, you can risk their health with cold water.

The simple solution to temperature problems is getting an aquarium heater. It helps you to maintain the ideal temperature in the tank all the time.

It will also decrease your stress about water temperature during your absence as the heater, once set, works even in your absence.

A submersible heater is the best option for your fish tank with Albino Bristlenose.

Water Quality

Water quality plays a vital role in keeping your fish happy and healthy in the tank. The dead fish, plants, fish waste, and uneaten and rotting food act as the pollutants in the tank.

You need to clean all those impurities or have a toxic tank and very unhealthy sick. These pollutants can stress your fish, and the ammonia increment in the tank.

You have to clean and maintain the aquarium in ideal conditions for your fish to thrive and stay healthy.

The fish tank tends to get dirty fast, which can be a real headache. Hence, the Aquarium filter, especially the canister filter, helps you to clean all the pollutants from the tank. It is must-have equipment as these albinos are known for their huge waste production.

Ammonia poisoning in the aquarium can be a real disaster and be the death of your dear fish. So, beneficial bacteria in the aquarium and filter media help perform the aquarium nitrogen cycle and convert the toxic ammonia into essential nitrates for plants.

But remember to use a sponge with a canister filter as small Bristlenose can be sucked up into the filter with other impurities.

AQUANEAT 4 and AQUANEAT are the two best sponge filters you can get without worrying about small fish getting sucked up.

You also need to adjust the pH of the aquarium and maintain it to the ideal level all the time. The slightest fluctuation might not cause issues, but consistent fluctuation can.


These algae eaters might come off as the high-powered light needing fish, but they are not. Instead, they need moderate lighting and will do just fine.

And this lighting will help the algae grow in the tank decorations and driftwood. Although high lighting will promote algal growth, it is a bizarre thing to do.

Your fish will feed on the algae growing in the tank, but they can’t consume all of the extra growth. High algal growth will only make the tank crowded and dirty.

They are nocturnal; these fish won’t ask for lighting other than algal growth. And try to keep it as moderate as possible and turn it off at night.

NICREW Classic LED Aquarium Light will be an ideal choice for light for the tank with an Albino Bristlenose.

Air Pump

These albinos thrive in highly oxygenated water. They tend to gasp when the water is short of oxygen. That’s why it comes down to you to maintain the oxygen level in the aquarium.

You need an instant solution for this problem never to occur, and that is an air pump. The air pump helps increase the tank’s oxygenation and increase surface agitation.

Tetra Whisper is one of the best and most recommended air pumps you can get for your Albino Tank.


Albino Bristlenose is one of the easiest fish to keep, but you need to make sure what decorations to use in an aquarium and what not to use to save them from any harm and accidents.

As plants, decorations like driftwood, PVC pipes, etc., provide hiding spots for these fish and mimic their natural habitat.

They also need caves in their breeding tank where they can keep their eggs. Ornaments also give algae the space to grow and serve these algae-eaters.

Water Changes

Good water quality also means changing the tank’s water from time to time. You need to change 25% of the water every other week to maintain the water quality in the tank. Overdoing the aquarium water change can harm the fish, so keep that in mind.

Poor quality of water stresses your fish and brings chaos to the tank. Diseases and other issues tend to follow the poor water quality.


You must not put them directly into your main tank whenever you get a new fish. This is because they might be carrying various parasites, bacteria, or pre-existing illnesses.

So, please keep them in the quarantine tank for a few days to look for symptoms and signs of microorganisms. Then, you can transfer the new fish once you are sure that they won’t harm your other fish.

Best Tank Mates For Albino Bristlenose

Albino Bushynose is known for its friendly, bottom-dwelling, and peaceful nature. They are even an ideal choice for the community tanks.

The fish with a similar temperament and tank requirements can live with these albinos with no issues whatsoever.

You can have peaceful, non-aggressive fish and keep other algae eaters with them. Neon tetras, guppies, platies, Corydoras, Endlers, swordtails, cherry barbs, etc., can be ideal tank mates for Bristlenose.

Albino Bristlenose also does well with scavenging freshwater snails. They scavenge food materials, algae, and plant matter together from the bottom of the tank.

Worst Tank Mates For Albino Bristlenose

First thing first, you can’t house the same plecos with these territorial fish, and the male to female ratio should always be 1:2.

Although these fish can adjust with semi-aggressive or aggressive fish as they have bony armor to protect themselves, keeping them with one is not good.

It would help if you did not pair these albinos with fish like Goldfish, Angelfish, African Cichlids, etc. And try to avoid keeping dwarf shrimp with these fish; they are omnivores and will probably devour shrimp.

Likewise, you can’t add crabs or crayfish in the same tank with bristlenose as these will harm your fish every chance they get.

Albino Bristlenose Diseases

Most of the diseases are welcomed by poor water quality and carelessness. Once you fix your tank to ideal, you’ll have a disease-free fish.


Ich is a nightmare that follows almost every fish in the aquarium. This white spot disease in the fish is the courtesy of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.

You need to watch your fish closely to see the symptoms of this disease. This ich only occurs when the tank is not in ideal condition for your fish.

As long as you maintain an optimum environment for your fish, they will do just fine. And if they show any white spot symptoms, go with the simple solution Ich X.

Ich X is an antibacterial and antifungal medication that helps you treat your fish from Ich and a few others.


Feeding, as already said, plays a vital role in determining the well-being of your fish. Of course, over-feeding or under-feeding brings issues, but feeding food meant for other fish also causes disease in fish.

The food meant for their tankmates can stay at the bottom of the tank. Albino bristlenose, as bottom dwellers, scavenge that high protein, frozen or live foods and feed on them.

This feeding can cause the blockage of the intestines in this fish, making them bloat. So, it is necessary to closely monitor what your fish eats and bring them back to their proper diet.

They will be fine with their diet, but it might be fatal if they continue to feed on their tankmates’ food.

Fin Rot

Another issue you listen to with most of the fish that also affects these albinos is Fin Rot. The bacterial or fungal infection can cause the fish’s fin to rot.

There are simple treatments and home remedies to cure fin rot disease. Ich X, as stated above, can help you with this issue as well. This medication is a must-have for your fish, so you better keep it in the house all the time.

Gender Determination

It is very easy to distinguish male species from female species of these Albino Bristlenose. All you have to do is look closely at the bristle they have.

The bristle, whiskers, location of bristle in the body, and the fins help differentiate male and female.

As their name suggests, both species have tentacles; there is no question about that. However, the length of the whiskers and bristles bring the difference here.

The male species have larger whiskers and larger bristles, and females usually have smaller ones. Likewise, the location, the bristles are on the head of the male, whereas females have theirs in the snout.

Moreover, the next comes the fins of these fish. Again, male species have spikes on their fins while females don’t.

Breeding Of Albino Bristlenose

These Albinos are easier to handle even when breeding and don’t ask for much. You need to take care of a few things, which will be good to go.

Albino Bristlenose is one of the easiest fish to breed in a home aquarium; you just need to follow the instructions given below:

Breeding Tank

Albino Bristlenose, like any other factor, has a simple breeding process. They can even breed in the normal tank with the same conditions, but it is wise to transfer them to the breeding tank.

You need to make sure more females are in the tank than males for a better success rate. Likewise, add caves or driftwood as the male member search for a safe space to keep the eggs.

That’s your responsibility to provide them with those spaces to encourage mating. Then, once all the ideal condition for mating is acquired, add both male and female to the tank.

These Albinos generally mate during Amazon’s rainy season in the wild, so you should change 50 to 70% of water to give them that feel and promote mating.

Changing slightly cooler water is appropriate for triggering mating and spawning instincts.

Breeding And Hatching

Once this is done, the male will search for a safe spot to keep the eggs. After he determines an ideal space, he makes it ready and clean for keeping eggs.

Well, then enters the female instincts, the female albino will examine the cave closely, and if she likes it, she will lay 20 to 50 eggs there.

The eggs, once laid, attach to the surface of the cave or driftwood or surface of anything it is in. the male will guard the eggs or the area where the eggs are till they hatch.

The eggs have a bright orange hue and are adhesive. Hence, these eggs are hatched after 5 to 10 days of spawning.

But they are not still ready to come outside of the cave. So after hatching, these fries will stay in the cave for a few more days and absorb their yolk sac.

You have to ensure you have maintained and set up an ideal tank for your fish fry to grow properly. Water quality to temperature can make it hard for newly born fish to survive and adjust in

When they are ready to swim around, their instincts directly lead them to algae. So you can feed these free-swimming juveniles a supplementary diet in the form of blanched vegetables.

Although they are not mature, they grow very fast and attain adult size within 8 to 10 months of hatching.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Albino Bristlenose Plecos Rare?

The albino version of Bristlenose pleco is often naturally occurring but is fed by predators early. As a result, they are more or less rare.

How Long Do Albino Bristlenose Plecos Live?

Albino Bristlenose Pleco, if taken good care of and provide in ideal conditions, can live for 10 to 15 years. But the average lifespan for these is around five years.


In conclusion, Albino Bristlenose is one of the best additions to the community tank and is very easy to care for. When you are careful enough and provide them enough attention, they are likely to make your tank more beautiful. These bottom dwellers do not ask for much once you maintain all the ideal water conditions.