If you want to add an original-looking freshwater fish to your tank, consider the Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish. It’s great for both inexperienced and experienced aquarists.
These fish can survive pretty much anything and can adapt to different tank water conditions. They’re also pretty peaceful if you don’t add them to a tank with other male fish, as otherwise, they can get territorial and aggressive.
So if you’re interested in this unique and beautiful fish species, keep on reading. In this post, you can find all the information you need to know before you get your own Albino Bristlenose Pleconose fish and an extensive care guide.
Overall, Albino Bristlenose are a great fish species for both beginners and experienced fishkeepers. That’s because they’re very resistant and hardy. These fish can adapt to pretty much any tank conditions.
These fish are also generally peaceful and easy to care for. So let’s dive in and find out more about this unique species with a general overview:
- Family Background
Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish, aka Albino Bushynose catfish or Albino Bristlenose catfish, is a freshwater fish that comes from the Loricariidae family, which is from the Siluriformes fish order.
Its scientific name is Ancistrus cirrhosis var Albino, which, let’s be honest, is quite a mouthful.
Also, the Albino Bristlenose catfish is an albino variant (hence its name) of Bristlenose Pleco fish of the Plecostomus fish species.
- Natural Habitat
The natural habitat of the Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish is South America, specifically
in the Amazon river and its surroundings.
As for what natural water conditions this fish species is used to, it’s both fast-flowing waters and still waters. So you can see, it can adapt to drastically different conditions.
- Color And Shape
As you can guess from its name, the Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish species is albino, so it is completely white. But what made it this way?
It’s probably genetics. It has nothing to do with light exposure during the fish’s development. Some animals and humans are just born as albinos.
As for the shape of this Albino Bristlenose Pleco variant, it’s very different from the normal Bristlenose Pleco fish variety. The albino variant has a wider head and a more robust body shape, with its flattened body.
An albino Bristlenose Pleco fish also has bony armor, which protects them from predators such as semi-aggressive or aggressive fish species. So avoid these potential predators in the fish tank if you don’t want any problems.
It also has a pair of abdominal fins, pectoral fins, and a dorsal fin on the top of its body.
As this fish species reaches its full maturity, you can notice bristles or tentacle appendages on its head. These are more common for males. Females tend to have bristles around their mouth and are less pronounced than those of the males.
This Bristlenose Pleco variety is also the most popular one and is easily recognizable because of its red eyes and also the light pink or yellow marbled pattern on its body.
Since this albino variety is also a suckerfish, it has a very recognizable round mouth with long prominent lips, which allows it to suck leftover food, clean up algae or plant matter, or just to stick itself to the tank’s glass.
Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish can grow up to 6 inches long, at the maximum, which is approximately 15 centimeters.
They’re not large fish, and most of them don’t grow more than 5 inches (around 12 centimeters). An average adult Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish will be around 3 to 4 inches, which is approximately about 7 to 10 centimeters.
So as you can see, this Bristlenose Pleco variant is relatively small. In fact, it’s one of the smallest catfish you can find in an aquarium.
Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish are bottom-dwellers that are herbivores, so they mostly eat vegetables. They still should eat a small amount of protein. Basically, their diet should consist of 85% vegetables and 15% protein.
These fish also need fiber, which can be found in driftwood. So keep that around.
They can also eat a lot of plant matter or algae that’s in the fish tank, which is great to clean up the tank, but that doesn’t provide them with enough nutrients or a balanced diet.
So you should feed them herbivore tablets that are designed for bottom-dweller herbivore fish, like wafers or algae pellets. Blanched vegetables are also good for Albino Bristlenose Plecos.
Here are a few blanched vegetable examples that you can give your Pleco fish: carrots, cucumbers, cabbage leaves, parboiled lettuce, or even peas.
Keep in mind to throw any leftover food away after they’re done eating. Otherwise, the veg or protein can deteriorate and affect the tank’s water conditions.
When your albino Pleco fish are breeding, their diet changes, and you should give them live bloodworms and black worms regularly.
In general, make sure you don’t overfeed them. Only feed them twice a day. Otherwise, it’s toxic for them.
Water Temperature And Requirements
It’s very important you keep the right water temperature in the tank, so your Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish can live a healthy, long and happy life.
You should keep it between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see, that’s quite a big margin, which makes these fish easy to care for.
As for the pH level of the tank’s water, it should be between 6.5 to 7.5, as albino Plecos are freshwater fish. The tank should contain at least 29 gallons of water, and you also need a good filtration system, as these fish defecate a lot.
You should change the water twice a week and make sure that the nitrate level doesn’t get too high, as that could prevent them from eating or swimming. Also, check the phosphate level and remove any organic matter to keep your fish healthy and your tank clean.
Every other week, you should change 25% of the tank’s water.
So it’s very easy to meet the water requirements of these fish, as you can see. They’re really adaptable to any condition.
As for the lifespan of Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish, it can be anywhere from 3 to 7 years. They won’t live longer than 7 years, and most of them live up to only 5 years.
Of course, this time frame can change according to the care level you give them. Some diseases and bacteria can also creep up in the tank and shorten your fish’s lifespan. That’s just life.
It’s pretty easy to breed Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish, even if they’re lonely fish. They usually breed during the winter season.
If you want to prepare your albino fish for spawning, here’s what you need to do:
- Pair two female Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish for every male albino fish.
- Set up hiding spaces. That’s where your fish will breed. In general, when you set up their tank, you should have these spaces to keep them entertained.
- You should place your albino fish in a 30-gallon tank, at the minimum, if you want them to breed. As for the water temperature, it should be between 73 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The water pH should be around 7.
- Change 50% of the water in the fish tank for your fish to breed.
- Feed your fish live food to have a positive effect on them when they breed.
- Since female Bristlenose Pleco fish are egg-layers, you need to make sure the breeding fish tank has driftwood so that they can lay their eggs on top of it. The male Pleco fish will guard the eggs, so you’ll see it hanging around the driftwood.
- The egg hatches within ten days after being laid, and then a fry comes out. Once that’s the case, make sure you remove the adult mating pair from the fish tank, as they can get aggressive with their offspring or even eat them.
So place the adult fish in another fish tank, and leave the fry in the breeding tank until it reaches full maturity and can defend itself. As for the food you can feed the fry, you can offer fresh or mashed vegetables.
As long as you keep the fish tank clean, have the right water conditions and give your albino Plecos enough food, there won’t be any diseases.
Make sure that the nitrate levels are not too high. They should be below 20 ppm. Otherwise, your fish won’t be able to navigate or eat. Also, don’t overfeed your fish.
But if you follow all the care requirements of the Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish, they can live a long, healthy, and happy life in your aquarium! Make sure you keep your fish entertained by adding some hiding spaces in your fish tank. They love that.
Also, clean every new object you insert in the tank to ensure you don’t introduce bacteria.
Usually, Bristlenose Pleco fish like to spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank, so they’re bottom-dwellers. These fish can also spend a lot of time sucking the side of the tank’s glass.
Bristlenose Pleco fish blend really well in their environment. These fish can camouflage everywhere in their natural environment, but that’s less the case for the albino variety.
They can also lie motionless for multiple hours straight. So don’t worry if your fish don’t move, it’s completely normal!
If you want to entertain your Bristlenose Pleco fish, provide them with lots of hiding spaces, they just love it! Placing some caves is great, for example.
In general, it’s good to have a big tank to keep these fish, even if they’re small. Since they’re bottom-dwellers, they like to nap and hang out at the bottom of your tank, so a lot of space is good for them.
These fish also like to hide and play, move around, search for food and eat. Just like any fish breed, really. You don’t need much to keep them happy and healthy, but you must create a good tank set-up first before you add them in.
Albino Bristlenose Pleco are a peaceful fish species, so they’ll get on with pretty much any other peaceful fish.It’s really not hard to find them well-suited aquarium mates.
Also, you don’t need to give your Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish any tank mates if you don’t want to. Since they spend a lot of their time napping, relaxing, or hiding at the bottom of the tank, they’re completely fine on their own.
- Non-Adapted Tank Mates
You shouldn’t keep two male fish together in a fish tank, as Bristlenose fish can get really territorial and competitive, and therefore display aggressive behavior, especially with similar-shaped fish species.
Also, don’t keep two male Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish together. They can be aggressive with their own kind and even eat their eggs.
Another thing you need to watch for is the bony armor of Bristlenose Pleco fish. It’s there to protect them from semi-aggressive and smaller aggressive fish species. A bad tank mate would be a Pleco fish, for example.
So ideally, don’t put any of these species in the tank with your Bristlenose fish. If you do decide to keep these more aggressive fish species in the aquarium, make sure you monitor your fish very carefully, so no accidents happen.
You should also not keep any crabs or crayfish near your Bristlenose Pleco fish. Otherwise, they can harm them whenever they want to. So do yourself and other creatures a favor and don’t keep these around your fish.
The same goes for shrimp, especially dwarf shrimp. You shouldn’t keep them in your aquarium with Albino Bristlenose fish around. Your fish might not be hunters, but they can still eat anything, and the risk is too great for you to keep shrimp around.
That might not happen really often, and a lot of fish keepers keep dwarf shrimp and Bristlenose fish together. But if you want to breed shrimp, this is certainly not the way to do it.
Unless you intend for these shrimps to be a snack for your fish, keep them in another tank! The risk is just too great.
- Adapted Tank Mates
So which tank mates are suited for this fish type? Well, here are some tankmate suggestions for your Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish. Just so you know, pretty much any type of peaceful fish will do, but that’s not all.
Firstly, you can keep any type of freshwater snails in your tank with your Bristlenose Pleco fish.
Not only are they good and peaceful tankmates, but they also form a great cleaning team. Yes, freshwater snails, you read that right.
Together, they can clean the bottom of the fish tank by scavenging for leftover food particles, eating invasive algae, and plant matter. So if you struggle to keep your tank clean and algae-free, consider getting this great cleaning duo!
As for which other fish are adapted tank mates, pretty much any peaceful freshwater fish breed will do. You can also add your Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish to community tanks. They usually do great in them.
You can pair your Bristlenose Pleco fish with Platys, Guppies, Endlers, Cherry Barbs, Swordtails, Pygmy Cories, and so many more peaceful fish species.
Here’s a quick FAQ section where you can find all the extra information you’re wondering about Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish.
Are Albino Plecos Rare?
Yes, Albino Plecos are pretty rare. The same goes for other Bristlenose Pleco fish. That’s because their geographical distribution is very rare.
Unfortunately, Albino Pleco fish have a lot of predators, and it’s hard for them to avoid these threats. So it’s very difficult to find them in the wild or in specialist fish stores, which makes them even more unique!
Can A Pleco Live In A 20-Gallon Tank?
Yes, any type of small Pleco fish can live in a 20-gallon tank, but ideally, it should be more. This is the minimum tank space they should have. It’s always good to give them more space.
If you have larger Pleco fish, you will need a larger tank.
How Big Do White Plecos Grow?
As said earlier, white Plecos, aka albino Plecos ,can grow up to 7 inches, but the maximum will usually be 6 inches.
How Big Do Albino Bristlenose Plecos Get?
Usually, Albino Bristlenose Plecos can only get as big as 4 to 5 inches, which isn’t much.
Fully-developed Albino Plecos are usually between 3 to 4 inches, so they’re really small.
The more you recreate their natural conditions and take good care of them, the bigger they can get.
As you can see, Albino Bristlenose Pleco fish are a very unique variety of Pleco fish. They’re beautiful, rare, and great to clean up your tank.
These fish are also easy to care for, as long as you reproduce their natural habitat as much as possible.
Hopefully, now you want to purchase this variety too!
Ian Sterling, founder of Fishlab.com, began his aquarium journey over 30 years ago, driven by a deep fascination for fish and their diverse personalities. His website, Fishlab.com, is dedicated to making fishkeeping accessible and enjoyable, offering beginner-friendly guidance, expert insights, and a community for aquarists to connect and share experiences.