The Bristlenose Pleco or Ancistrus Cirrhosus originates in South America, mainly in the fast-flowing waters of the Amazon River Basin. They can also be found in some other parts of South and Central America including Panama.
The Bristlenose Pleco is one of the smallest catfish, growing to only 3 to 5 inches. They are brown, green, or gray with white or yellow spots; some have uneven coloring, with lighter and darker splotches on various parts of their bodies. Most have lighter abdomens and darker backs (with the exception of the albino Bristlenose, which is mostly white). This species has an unusual appearance, featuring bony plates, a flat, fat body, and a wide head with an “underbite” to the set of the lower mandible.
This species is relatively easy to breed, and it’s quite easy, as well, to determine gender. Both males and females have fleshy tentacles, thus earning the name Bristlenose, but males are usually larger, have whiskers, and have larger bristles. Males’ bristles are on their heads, while females are on the snout. Males also have spikes on their fins.