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Starlight bristlenose pleco - Ancistrus sp. L182

Starlight bristlenose pleco - Ancistrus sp. L182

Scientific name: Ancistrus sp. L182

Common name: Starlight bristlenose pleco

Family: Loricariidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 13 - 16 cm (5.12 - 6.3 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 7.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 8 - 14°N (142.86 - 250ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 26 °C (71.6 - 78.8°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


Found in South America; where it inhabits the rivers, streams and water ways.


Expected life span of Starlight bristlenose pleco is 14 years.

Short description

The Starlight bristlenose plec gets its common name from the series of small dots that appear all over the body, looking like a series of stars in the night sky. These fish can be very skittish and hide away a lot during the daylight hours, this is not surprising as they are a nocturnal species becoming more active during the nighttime but once settled into the aquarium they should emerge when food is added to the tank. This fish will grow larger than some of the other bristlenose species so a large enough aquarium should be provided for adult specimens, they will require at least 40 gallons (181 litres, 48 US gallons) of water volume and it is best to keep these as the only bottom dweller as other plecs will be aggressive and territorial towards them.

Ancistrus sp. L182 are a peaceful but timid species. Hiding places must be provided in the tank. Bog wood is not essential in their diet, but it will provide the tannins in the water to keep these fish happy. The Starlight bristlenose plec are high waste producers so make sure that a suitable filtration system is used and back this up with regular water changes, they should also be provided with dim lighting so the addition of floating plants will help with this.

Food and feeding

Starlight bristlenose pleco does well on an algae based diet, sinking pellets or algae wafers must be provided. Vegetable matter should also be given in the form of spinach, zucchini, romaine lettuce and cucumber.


Males tend to have a fuller head of bristles, comparing fish of an equal age, the females will be slightly smaller.


Soft, acidic black water must be provided for these fish to breed. The male will be the dominant parent, caring for the eggs and fry when they hatch. They can be difficult to get to spawn but not impossible. Adding almond leaves to the tank may help.

The water must be soft and acidic and keeping the lighting at a very low level should make them more at ease and more likely to spawn. Once spawning is complete it may be wise to remove the female so as not to distract the male from guarding the nest and fanning the eggs. It may not always be obvious when the eggs have actually hatched as the male will hide the fry until they are free swimming and able to come out to feed, at the slightest sign of danger they will be rounded up and steered back to the safety of the nest.

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