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Tips on breeding bristlenose?

Acara19

CCA Members
I'm planning on jumping into that pretty soon, ATM I have an empty 20 long, and an empty 10 gallon, along with another two 10 gallons I'm about to free up. I plan on either getting bristlenose plecos or shelldwellers for the 20 long, but that just depends on what I find first, since I'm still buying another 20 long for whichever one I don't find first.
but as for the plecos, I have a general idea of their care and breeding, but I just had some questions.
-should I move the fry to a different tank to grow out? does it matter if I do or not? I know leaving them in the main tank would have some problems with the parameters.
-if I do end up moving fry to another tank, what size do I go with? can I raise fry in a 10 gallon or should I just get another 20 gallon for the fry? how often should I be cleaning these growouts, and how many fry can fit in either?
-how fast do bristlenose pleco fry grow?
-should I have substrate or not? I heard bristlenose pleco fry don't grow as well on bare bottoms (for some reason) but in my experience with breeding bare bottoms just make it easier to clean waste, then again I don't know if anything's different in that regard with plecos.
-what exactly do I feed fry? I know BN pleco fry need more protein, I'm just not sure how to get that to them, and I know they're probably not gonna eat baby brine shrimp.
also, anyone on here selling blue eye lemons or super reds?
 

jonclark96

Past CCA President
Staff member
If you are trying to save the fry and grow them out, I would pull them to their own tank. It is easier to observe them and make sure they are getting fed. I would think a 10 gallon is fine until they reach a certain size. I used a 10 gallon for my BN. If you just want to see if you can breed them, you can leave the fry with the parents. Eventually the tank may become overstocked, but I don't think that would be immediately.

Growth rates on most fry, in my opinion, are dependent on 2 main variables - how much they eat and how clean is the environment. If you want to grow fry fast, change water every day. I'm not a proponent of over feeding. Just feed normally and change lots of water.
 

chriscoli

Board of Directors
Staff member
I also give the fry something that they can chew on all day long. You can find banana leaves in the frozen food section of most international grocery stores. I tear them into strips, rinse them off and leave them in with the fry. They seem to like them best after they start to break down a bit. If you get banana leaves, you'll have A LOT so you can either dry the rest or re-freeze them for use later on. Alternatively, you can also leave a piece of wood in with the fry and they'll rasp at that between feedings as well.
 

Becca

Chairpersons
Staff member
I've found adults are most likely to spawn right after a water change. They really like caves made of bamboo, but standard BNPs will spawn in pretty much any cave you offer. PVC pipe with a cap on one end seems to work very well, too.
 

Pat Kelly

CCA Member
Staff member
I've found adults are most likely to spawn right after a water change. They really like caves made of bamboo, but standard BNPs will spawn in pretty much any cave you offer. PVC pipe with a cap on one end seems to work very well, too.
I agree with almost anywhere. I put a ceramic cave in a bare 20 and they bred in no time. That was with 4 adult male peacocks in the tank with them.
No fear. LOL
 

CSnyder00

Bearded Wonder
Staff member
Mine have spawned in a number of different caves over the years, but the males tend to prefer a cave that is just big enough for them to fit into with a little headroom. That way they can successfully trap the female inside until she lays her eggs and so that he can protect the fry properly until they are big enough to swim out on their own. Most commercially available pleco breeding caves work well. I have several spares I’d be willing to part with on the cheap.
 

Freakgecko

CCA Members
Mine have spawned in Cichlid caves just fine. I usually let the fry try and survive in the main tank, but if I want to raise up a batch, I let he male get them mostly ready, then move them to a 20L to grow them out.

If you’re interested in a pair all ready, I have a pair of regulars het albino for $20, albino pair for $30, or can do a male/female juvie “pair” for $10 (these still need to grow and pair off, although these guys pair and breed in anything). Pm me if you’re interested
 

Acara19

CCA Members
Well now I've got my groups of bristlenose growing out
got some from the BFD
I got blue eye lemons in a 29 long, and a small group of albino longfins I'm waiting to grow out and sex so I can just keep a trio or a pair.
I also got guppies to breed in the same tanks (inspired from one of the auctioneers at the rare fish auction who said 20 gallon tanks of bristlenose and guppies breeding kept their store afloat)
How long's it gonna take for the bristlenose to get to breeding size? the albino longfins are about an inch and a half (including tail) and the blue eye lemons are about 2.5 inches.
I plan on doing 10% waterchanges daily, and I've been feeding algae wafers and zucchini which they've been eating.
29 gallon also has a piece of driftwood if that helps
 

Wet Sleeves

CCA Members
Staff member
I was leaving my fry in the tank. I stopped because they were disappearing, probably because there wasn't enough tank space.
 

Acara19

CCA Members
How many adults should I be able to keep in the 20 long? I have 4 tiny ones growing in there right now
The 29 should be fine with 4 adults right
Also once the male lets the fry out of the cave are they big enough to not be eaten by the guppies?
 

Freakgecko

CCA Members
I wouldn’t put more than a pair in a 20 long personally. They poop A LOT lol. The fry, once allowed out by the male, should be large enough to not be eaten by guppies in my experience
 
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