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This months profile was written by kcgirl81 an active contributor to the site.
Ancistrus temminckii and sp.
General Body Form:
Elongated form with a flat underside. The distinguishing characteristic
is the soft fleshy extensions on the nose which give this pleco its
name. These “bristles” appear only on the male of the species, and
are used in sexing specimens. The mouth is on the underside of the
head, and feeding is accomplished by rasping on a surface. Ancistrus
is a small pleco, being full grown at less than 6 inches. Longfin
varieties have been produced through selective breeding.
Overall coloration is brown with light colored spots. A thin cream colored stripe appears at the tip of the dorsal and and tail fins. The belly is lighter in color, but still shows the contrasting spots against a darker body color. Albino and piebald forms exist in captivity.
Ancistrus is a nocturnal catfish, and prefers to stay hidden during the day. Caves or tunnels should be provided. They also require driftwood as part of the tank setup, as they will rasp on the wood to aid in digestion. Food should consist of vegetable matter, including zucchini, cucumber, spinach, and romaine lettuce. Algae wafers will also be eaten. They will graze on algae in the tank, but algae should not be relied on as the primary diet. Ancistrus will do well with most tankmates, but males can be territorial toward other males of the same species in a close environment. As long as partial water changes are carried out regularly, ancistrus is undemanding with concern to water conditions.
Ancistrus have been bred in the home aquarium with great success. A pair may be successfully spawned in a 30 gallon tank. Caves or tunnels should be provided and will be utilized as a spawning site. They seem to prefer a cave just large enough for the male and female to fit side by side. Once eggs are laid, the male cares for them by fanning the eggs and guarding the cave. Fry will eat algae and blanched green beans or romaine lettuce.
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