What to feed baby plecos

Bristlenose Pleco - The Care, Feeding and Breeding of Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Pleco Stats
Minimum Tank Size: 29 Gallons
Care Level: Easy
Water Conditions: 6.5 – 7.5 and Soft to Medium but is highly adaptable
Temperature: 70-80 F (20-27 C)
Maximum Size: 6 inches (15 cm)

The bristlenose pleco (Ancistrus cirrhosus), also known as the bushynose pleco, has a wide distribution throughout the Amazon river basin in South America. It can be found in a variety of habitats, from shallow low oxygen floodplains, to the deep, dark waters of rivers. There are several commercially available species, but Ancistrus cirrhosus is the most common.

Bristlenose plecos are commonly known as suckerfish, and make an excellent addition to most freshwater aquariums. They are arguably the best algae eaters available – both because of the large amount of algae that they consume and their hardy, easy to care for nature.

While the common pleco can grow to the size of a river monster in a tropical aquarium, bristlenose plecos stay quite a bit smaller, and usually top out at around 6 inches. Because of this, they are a far better choice than the common pleco if you are looking for an algae eating fish.


Bristlenose plecos need a spacious tank with strong filtration. The reasons for this are simple – they need space, and they tend to be prolific poopers. Much of their life seems to consist of searching for food, eating the food, and then searching for more. Because of this, they are prodigious poop producers, and if the water isn’t well filtered, the water quality will quickly plummet.

In the wild, adult bristlenose plecos tend to hide in caves and under driftwood when they aren’t foraging and should be provided with similar hiding places in the aquarium. This can be as simple as providing a clay pot on its side, or you can provide large pieces of driftwood with overhangs that a bristlenose pleco can hide under.

When choosing a filter for them, a HOB (hang-on-back) filter is the most economical choice, and in combination with a sponge filter, it will keep the water sparkling clean . However, if you have a bit more money to spend, a canister filter is usually the best choice for most tropical aquariums.

I would strongly recommend choosing an Aquaclear Power Filter for a bristlenose pleco tank. This filter combines excellent filtration with a durable design, and it will keep your tank sparkling clear for years to come. You can also read the Aquarium Tidings Aquaclear Filter Review here.


Like previously stated, bristlenose plecos love to eat and you can provide them with a wide range of food. Their main diet should be composed of a herbivore sinking pellet, since they tend to mainly eat on the bottom of the tank. An excellent choice is Hikari Algae Wafers, which I use for my plecos

This should be supplemented with vegetables, as they need a large amount of plant matter in their diet. A hungry bristlenose pleco will completely devour every last piece of blanched zucchini, cucumber medallions and shelled peas. They also appreciate broccoli and a wide range of other vegetables. Always remember to remove any uneaten vegetables after 24 hours to prevent water fouling.

If you are hoping to get a bristlenose pleco into breeding condition, they should be fed live or frozen foods. Their particular favorites are bloodworms and live blackworms, and they tend to ignore most other frozen and live foods. The key is to ensure that the food reaches the bottom of the aquarium, or they most likely won’t even notice it.

One thing to remember with bristlenose plecos, is that they require fiber in their diet- especially if they are consistently fed regular fish food. Some fiber can be provided through vegetables, but unless you are careful to consistently feed vegetables, they generally won’t have enough fiber in their diet to remain healthy.

There is a simple solution to providing enough fiber – just include a piece of driftwood in their tank. Nearly all species of plecos will rasp on any driftwood in their tanks, which provide them with more than enough fiber to help them stay healthy and active.


Bristlenose plecos are easy to breed and only usually have to be provided with a cave to spawn in – the rest they do on their own. You should always try to have more females than males, unless you have a very large tank. The males are incredibly territorial and will quickly claim a cave for breeding purposes. Any other males will then fight the male for control of the cave and given the opportunity, will indulge in quick meal of caviar (they will eat their male rival eggs).

When preparing to breed bristlenose plecos, you first need to determine if you have at least one male and female. You can determine the sex of them by simply looking at the “bristles” on their heads. Males will usually have larger bristles and they will extend to the middle of its head. Females will only have bristles around their mouth, and they tend to be much smaller than the males.

When the male is ready to breed, it will begin to excavate a cave (clay pot or overhang), and will clean off the surfaces of it in preparation for eggs. Once the male is done, he will settle in to his newly claimed cave, and wait for a female. Once a female comes by, she will inspect the cave and if suitably impressed, will decide to move into the cave and deposit her eggs.

Once the eggs have been deposited on the walls of the cave and fertilized by the male, he will push the female out the cave, and begin to guard the eggs. During this time, other females may be enticed into the cave, and the male may end up fertilizing the eggs from several different females.

The eggs will then hatch after around 4-10 days and the fry will cling to the sides of the cave until they have completely absorbed the egg sacks. During this time, the male will continue to guard the fry until they are free swimming on their own.

The fry can be feed with infusoria or powdered spirulina. After a few days they can be fed baby brine shrimp and they will also eat any available algae.

Pleco or Plecostomus?

If you are new to the hobby, you will only ever rarely hear “plecos” referred to as a plecostomus. There is a simple reason for this – it’s considered bad luck to refer to plecos by their full name. There is a belief among some in the fish keeping hobby, that if you use the full name, you will soon have a dead pleco. (I will update this page if I suffer any devastating pleco losses after daring to say plecostomus in this article.)

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What Do Baby Plecos Eat?

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If you have a baby pleco in your tank, you may wonder what they eat. Baby plecos are carnivores and will eat most meaty foods. In the wild, they feed on small insects and other invertebrates. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of different foods. This blog post will discuss what do baby plecos eat. And how to care for them!

What do baby plecos eat?

Baby plecos are carnivores and will eat most meaty foods. In the wild, they feed on small insects and other invertebrates. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of different foods. Some good options for baby pleco food include:

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Krill
  • Daphnia

How often do baby plecos eat?

Baby plecos should be fed 2-3 times per day. They are small and have high metabolisms, so they must eat frequently. If you are unsure how much food to give them, it is best to avoid giving them too little rather than too much. Too much food can lead to water quality issues in the tank.

How to care for baby plecos

Baby plecos are relatively easy to care for. They should be kept in a well-oxygenated tank with plenty of hiding places. A good rule of thumb is to provide 1 hiding place for every 2 baby plecos. Plecos are nocturnal, so they may not be seen much during the day. They should be fed various meaty foods 2-3 times per day.

Will other fish eat baby plecos?

Some fish may eat baby plecos, so it is essential to research what fish are compatible with plecos before adding them to your tank. Baby plecos are also known to nibble on the fins of other fish, so it is best to keep them with larger fish that can defend themselves.

How many babies do plecos have?

Plecos can have anywhere from 2-20 babies at a time. The average litter size is 10-12.

When do baby plecos reach maturity?

Baby plecos reach maturity around 1 year of age. At this point, they should be moved to a tank with adults of their species.

Are baby plecos easy to care for?

Overall, baby plecos are easy to care for. They are relatively hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. They should be fed 2-3 times daily and given plenty of hiding places in their tank. Baby plecos can be kept with other fish, but it is best to research compatibility before adding them to your tank.

Do baby plecos eat cucumber?

Yes, baby plecos will eat cucumber. Cucumber is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It can be offered as a treat 2-3 times per week.

What do baby plecos turn into?

Baby plecos turn into adults when they reach maturity, around 1 year of age. At this point, they should be moved to a tank with adults of their species.

How long do baby plecos take to grow?

Baby plecos take around 1 year to reach maturity. They grow relatively quickly and can reach up to 6 inches in length. Plecos are popular aquarium fish, and for a good reason! They are relatively easy to care for and greatly add to most community tanks.

How many babies do plecos have?

Plecos can have anywhere from 2-20 babies at a time. The average litter size is 10-12.

When do baby plecos reach maturity?

Baby plecos reach maturity around 1 year of age. At this point, they should be moved to a tank with adults of their species.

What to do with baby plecos?

Baby plecos can be kept in a community tank with other fish. They should be fed 2-3 times daily and given plenty of hiding places. When they reach maturity, around 1 year, they should be moved to a tank with adults of their species.

How many plecos can a tank have?

Ideally, a tank should have 1 pleco per 20 gallons of water. However, this may need to be adjusted depending on the size of the tank and the other fish present.

Do baby plecos eat algae?

Yes, baby plecos do eat algae. Algae is a good source of vitamins and minerals for them. They may also nibble on the odd piece of wood or plant.

What size tank do baby plecos need?

Baby plecos can be kept in a tank as small as 10 gallons. However, they will eventually outgrow this size tank and will need to be moved to a larger one. It is best to research what size tank a full-grown pleco will need before purchasing one.

Do baby plecos have teeth?

Yes, baby plecos have teeth. They use their teeth to scrape algae off rocks and other tank surfaces. They may also nibble on the odd piece of wood or plant.

When do baby plecos start breeding?

Baby plecos start breeding around 1 year of age. At this point, they should be moved to a tank with adults of their species.

What do baby plecos need to survive?

Baby plecos need a few things to survive: a good quality aquarium, clean water, hiding places, and food. A good rule of thumb is to have 1 pleco per 20 gallons of water. Baby plecos should be fed 2-3 times daily and given plenty of hiding places in their tank. When they reach maturity, around 1 year, they should be moved to a tank with adults of their species.

How can you tell if a pelco is male or female?

The easiest way to tell if a pleco is male or female is by looking at the shape of their body. Males tend to be more slender, while females are typically broader. Another way to tell is by looking at their genital papilla. The male’s papilla is longer and curved, while the female’s papilla is shorter and more straight. Finally, males tend to have larger fins than females.

Will plecos eat baby mollies?

It is unlikely that plecos will eat baby mollies. However, it is best to research compatibility before adding them to your tank. Other fish may eat baby mollies in the tank, so keeping a close eye on them is vital.

Do baby plecos need a heater?

Yes, baby plecos need a heater. They should be kept in an aquarium between 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can a pleco live alone?

No, plecos cannot live alone. They are social fish and need to be kept in groups. A good rule of thumb is to have 1 pleco per 20 gallons of water.

Do baby plecos eat brine shrimp?

Yes, baby plecos will eat brine shrimp. Brine shrimp are a good source of protein for them.

How do you hatch pleco eggs?

Pleco eggs can be hatched by adding them to a hatching tank. The hatching tank should have a temperature between 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit and be well-aerated. It is also essential to keep the eggs clean, so they will not have fungus.

To do this, you can add an airstone to the hatching tank or change the water daily. Once the eggs hatch, the baby plecos must be fed frequently and given plenty of hiding places.

Are plecos hard to breed?

No, plecos are not hard to breed. However, it is crucial to have a separate tank for them. The breeding tank should be at least 20 gallons and have a temperature of between 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit. Having plenty of hiding places and a good quality filter is also essential.

Once the female pleco is ready to lay her eggs, she will do so on a smooth surface. The male pleco will then fertilize the eggs. Once the eggs are fertilized, they will hatch in 7–10 days. The baby plecos must be fed frequently and given plenty of hiding places.

Interesting facts about baby plecos:

  • Baby plecos are born with teeth.
  • They use their teeth to scrape algae off rocks and other surfaces in their tank.
  • Baby plecos start breeding around 1 year of age.
  • A good rule of thumb is to have 1 pleco per 20 gallons of water.
  • Baby plecos should be fed 2-3 times daily.
  • When they reach maturity, around 1 year, they should be moved to a tank with adults of their species.
  • Males tend to be more slender than females.
  • Females are typically broader than males.
  • Males tend to have larger fins than females.
  • Baby plecos need a heater. People keep them in an aquarium between 74-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Baby plecos will eat brine shrimp. Brine shrimp are a good source of protein for them.
  • Once the eggs hatch, the baby plecos must be fed frequently and given plenty of hiding places.


Plecos are a great addition to any aquarium. They are easy to care for and can help keep your tank clean. Baby plecos are especially cute and fun to watch as they grow up. If you are considering getting a pleco, be sure to do your research to provide the best care for your new pet.

You may also read:

  • Hector Dolphins: What Do They Eat?
  • What Do Dusky Dolphins Eat? A Comprehensive Guide!
  • What Do Banjo Catfish Eat?

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Plecostomus (Hypostomus plecostomus) photo, maintenance aquarium care, description, feeding, biology, habitat, photo, cultivation, lifespan, abstract, breeding, reproduction, spawning, disease and treatment, water hardness, salinity, behavior, compatibility, plants, fry, aquarium fish catfish, Suckermouth catfish, Plecostomus, Pleco

Plecostomus, or clingy catfish, or algae catfish is one of the most popular aquarium catfish. Juveniles are excellent cleaners and will clear algae from your tank. Growing up, the fish become more lazy and quarrelsome. Youth can be kept in small groups, and adults - only one by one. Since plecos grow to fairly large sizes, they also need appropriate aquariums - from 150 liters or more. Unpretentious to water parameters, quite hardy, omnivorous. They do not breed in aquariums.

Range: South America - Brazil, Guyana, La Plata, Venezuela, Trinidad (Amazon basin).
Habitat: clear, bright, oxygen-rich flowing waters; brackish waters of river mouths.
Description: the body is elongated, except for the lower part of the head and abdomen is covered with bone plates. The dorsal fin is high and long, shaped like a sail when raised. The head is large with small eyes. Plecostomus is distinguished by a special mechanism of the mouth apparatus - a suction cup, with the help of which it can collect food and various waste from the bottom, as well as securely fix in place, sticking to the surface. One pair of mustaches. There is intestinal respiration. According to some reports, these fish can survive out of water for up to 30 hours.

Related article Arnold's Otocinclus (Otocinclus arnoldi)

Color: beige body, which is covered with dark brown or black spots.
Size: in nature plecostomus grows up to 60 cm, in aquariums up to 20-25 cm.

Aquarium: general, oblong, tightly closed from above with a lid or coverslip. There should be at least 5-7 cm between the lid and water.
Dimensions: 100-400 liters per adult catfish.
Water: pH 6.5-8, dH 5-25°, active aeration, good filtration, low flow. Weekly changes up to 20-40% of water.
Temperature: 18-27°C.
Lighting: moderate, diffused.
Soil: fine pebbles or coarse sand.
Plants: thickets of strong plants (anubias, Thai ferns, cryptocorynes) with strong roots, including several floating bushes. Plants do not spoil.
Design: natural driftwood, branches, roots, stones, caves, pipes and other shelters.

Feeding: In nature, plecostomus feeds on algae, bottom aquatic invertebrates, periphyton, detritus and small fish. In aquariums, he takes live (bloodworm, tubifex, worms, insect larvae, small crustaceans, fish fillets - 40% of the total diet), vegetable (algae, zucchini, lettuce, peas, cabbage, cucumbers, spinach - 60% of the total diet) and dry food (granules, tablets for catfish, algae wafers). Eats any algae except blue. Food is given once a day before turning off the lights in the aquarium.

Behavior: is predominantly nocturnal, resting in shelters during the day. In case of danger, the plecostomus burrows into the ground or hides in thickets of plants. Juveniles are excellent cleaners. In the wild, catfish can move on land using their pectoral fins. Thus, they can travel considerable distances. Plecos like to eat the scales on the sides of other fish (discus, angelfish and goldfish) while they sleep.
Character: juvenile plecostomuses are quite peaceful and can live together in small flocks. Adult males become territorial, so solitary keeping is recommended.
Water zone: bottom layer of water.
May be kept with: large fish (gourami, American cichlids, large tetras and characins, barbs).
Do not keep with: bottom fish and small fish (likely to be eaten).

Fish breeding: pair spawning, seasonal - from March to September. In the wild, plecostomuses dig deep, branched burrows (up to 0.9-1.5 m long) in soft ground, where they lay their eggs. For commercial sale, these catfish are bred in large ponds with muddy banks. When offspring are born, these ponds are drained. Adult fish are transferred to other water bodies for subsequent breeding, and juveniles are collected for sale.
Spawning aquarium with a volume of at least 800 liters with a ceramic pipe (in which a current is created) and a large number of various shelters. The male guards the clutch and fry.
Sex differences: the male is brighter, slimmer than the female, his pectoral fins are thickened; adult females appear fatter when viewed from above.
Puberty: occurs at the age of 3-4 years (with a length of 30 cm).
Number of eggs: 300-700 yellowish eggs, 3-4 mm in diameter.

Related article Ancistrus (Ancistrus dolichopterus)

Incubation period: 3-8 days.
Offspring: fry swim for 6-10 days. Juveniles stay in the shade.
Growth rate: The first half a year fry grow slowly.
Feeding of juveniles: the fry feed on the mucus that appears on the body of the parents. Then - "live dust", rotifers, artemia, cyclops nauplii, algal paste.
Deposition from parents: after spawning, the female is removed, the male - after the fry begin to feed on their own.

Comments: plecostomus tolerates water salinity up to 3 g/l, but does not tolerate the presence of copper in water.
On sale there is an albino form (partially or completely absent spotting).
It is considered one of the most hardy and persistent catfish.

Stock Images from Depositphotos

fish, bony fish, catfish, fish of South America, spawning fish, freshwater fish, fish with the letter n, peaceful aquarium fish, animals with the letter n

What to feed your child on vacation: advice from a pediatrician

Summer is in full swing and the long-awaited vacation is just around the corner. Ahead of the sea, the sun, a variety of delicious food and unforgettable days full of new experiences. Many parents are no longer afraid to travel with children and go on vacation even with babies, because now almost all hotels provide excellent conditions for relaxing with a child of any age, and young travelers can be found at almost every step. But to feed a child on a trip so that it is tasty, healthy, varied, and most importantly, safe is not an easy task. Any, even the best and most desired vacation, can be overshadowed by poor health, digestive problems and even food poisoning. To avoid this, it is important to properly organize the food of a small traveler on vacation. And it's not as difficult as it might seem at first glance.

Today we will talk about how to feed your baby so that your vacation is not spoiled by health troubles. What to take with you on the road? Is everyone's favorite buffet dangerous for kids? What to feed the youngest adventurers? The pediatrician, gastroenterologist of the SMITRA Clinic, Maria Nikolaevna Karasenko, will tell us about all this and not only.

Let's hit the road

It doesn't matter what you travel on - by plane, car or train - you need to think about the nutrition of the child in advance. If the baby is breastfed, of course, there is no need to worry, because food is always with you. The only thing that a nursing mother should not forget about is that any changes in her diet can affect the well-being of the baby. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the usual diet, not to use unfamiliar and allergenic foods.

If your baby is bottle-fed, remember to bring baby water that does not need to be boiled, sterile bottles and regular formula. You can heat water to the desired temperature in a cup of hot water both on the plane and on the train.

If your baby is already receiving complementary foods, take well-tested jars of vegetable, fruit and meat purees, preferably in soft packs, and don't forget enough baby water.

Do not introduce the first complementary foods or new foods into your baby's diet before or right on vacation. Also, formula-fed babies do not need to introduce new formulas during or before a trip.

For a snack, older children can take fruits, nuts (for kids over 4 years old), vegetable sticks, bread or crackers, a boiled egg, dryers, dry cookies (like a biscuit), sweets - candy without sugar. If there is a cooler bag in the car (the conductors also have it on trains), then take boiled meat (not sausage!), Boiled buckwheat or pasta for the first time.

On vacation

Before the trip, we advise you to prepare and study the infrastructure of the place where you plan to relax. This can be done using applications of popular mapping services. Open the maps and see which stores are located near your intended place of stay. Then go to the website of these stores and study the assortment: which of the usual products you can buy on the spot, and which you will have to bring with you. After all, in some countries in stores there may not be not only the usual, but also more or less suitable products for feeding your child.

If the baby is bottle-fed, it is better to take the usual formula with you in an amount greater than necessary for the days of the trip. The same goes for complementary foods. It is better to take proven jars of vegetable, fruit and meat puree with you. Of course, the luggage will become heavier, but the health of the baby will certainly be safe.

Further recommendations depend on whether you are staying in a private apartment with a kitchen or in an all-inclusive hotel.

If you prefer to cook on your own on vacation, then be as careful as possible when buying products - vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat. Buy products in the market only from sellers who have a quality certificate. The smallest travelers may need a mini blender to prepare their meals. With older kids it's easier - chicken, potatoes and carrots are sold in any country in the world. To prepare healthy steamed dishes, you can take a steamer insert into the pot with you. This very inexpensive and compact gadget will help you prepare the most healthy and delicious dishes at no extra cost. For example, fresh fish bought on the seashore, in just 20 minutes of steaming, will turn into a full-fledged, healthy and very tasty lunch or dinner.

Everyone's favorite buffet is, of course, convenient and very tasty, but not always suitable for children's food. Firstly, an unlimited amount of food threatens with overeating and, accordingly, problems with digestion. Secondly, buffet tables, as a rule, have a lot of tasty, so loved by children, but unhealthy food - fast food, sweets, carbonated drinks. Therefore, it is necessary to agree with older kids that french fries are not a permanent dish on your table, but a rare treat, the same goes for soda and confectionery. Often there are dietary products on the buffet - omelettes, cereals, steam dishes, bread, cheese, boiled eggs, freshly squeezed juices, etc. For a young traveler, this is the best food option. Such a diet will help the baby to be full, active and not experience digestive problems.

After a hearty meal, do not eat watermelon and melon “on top”, this threatens with serious indigestion. It is better to leave these products for a snack as a separate dish, and then they will only benefit.

If you eat in restaurants, order dishes for children in the most gentle processing - steamed, boiled, baked, but not fried. Don't forget about allergies! If the child has a reaction to some foods, ask them not to add them to the dish.

Give any new foods (exotic fruits or seafood) even to older children gradually, "little by little" and carefully monitor the reaction.

The main thing in any trip and in any country is hygiene. Wash your hands often, do not drink tap water, use only bottled water for drinking and eating!

Visiting grandma

What if your grown-up child went to rest not to the sea coast, but to his beloved grandmother in the village? Is it necessary to take care of his nutrition in this case? Of course you do. Grandmothers are so fond of pampering their long-awaited, beloved grandchildren, so they can not limit their use of sweets, fast food or the same soda. Such food can hardly be called healthy, so it is necessary to agree on the amount and frequency of eating junk food. Ask your grandmother not to feed the child with sweets from the store, but to offer more berries, fruits, or homemade cakes, where the amount of sugar can be adjusted independently.

Also, in order to avoid problems with digestion, ask your grandmother not to fry fatty pancakes and pancakes too often, especially in combination with fatty homemade sour cream (it can be consumed in the same way as butter).

If you plan to eat homemade milk, ask your grandmother to boil it (minimum 2 minutes). Homemade unboiled milk can cause serious infectious diseases, up to tick-borne encephalitis, if a cow or goat has been bitten by an infected tick.

Self-grown berries, fruits and herbs are a storehouse of vitamins and microelements. But do not forget about hygienic treatment - before eating, we wash all fruits and berries well with running water (especially strawberries, which are often heavily soiled and can cause a serious infection).

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