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Bushymouth catfish - Ancistrus dolichopterus

Bushymouth catfish - Ancistrus dolichopterus

Scientific name: Ancistrus dolichopterus

Common name: Bushymouth catfish

Family: Loricariidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 14 - 16 cm (5.51 - 6.3 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 5.5 - 7.8

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 30°N (71.43 - 535.71ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 29 °C (73.4 - 84.2°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


The Bushy Mouth Catfish is herbivorous although they will accept live bloodworms if they are provided. This species can also be conditioned to accept prepared flake foods. Bushymouth catfish has also been known to act as a scavenger, feasting on dead carcasses in the aquarium or in the wild.


It is difficult to distinguish between the males and females when they are young. It is not until they start to develop their bushy noses that you can tell the difference because only males develop the fleshy nose bristles. The females have no bristles.


The Bushy Mouth Pleco is easy to breed in captivity. The female lays her eggs in a cave that the male has provided her. Once her 50 to 200 eggs are laid, she has nothing more to do with the parenting process. The male is responsible for watching over the eggs and fry until they are able to fend for themselves.


Ancistrus dolichopterus can live for approximately 12 years.


This Bushy Mouth Catfish is native to the Amazon, Tapajos and Negro River Basins of South America.

Short Description

The Ancistrus dolichopterus species is much like the rest of the Ancistrus species with only a few subtle differences. This is the only Ancistrus species that has one hard ray and nine soft ones comprising the dorsal fin. Each individual tends to not get along well with each other or with others of similar species. If you plan to keep more than one Bushy Mouth Catfish in your aquarium, be sure to provide plenty of space and separate territories for each one to retreat to.


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