Sample Environmental Studies Paper on BRISTLENOSE PLECO

This is a type of fish breed that originates from southern America. Their names derive from a fact that physically built, they have bushy appendages from their nose that sprout out higher and longest in males than in the females called brittles. The female brittles are more on the mouth area and are a little bit shorter. This fish’s biological Latin name derives from the Ancitrys Genus in the family of Loricaridae fish. Their order is that of the Siluriformes and they are freshwater fish that lives at the bottom of rocks and caves in the sea. Special features about this fish are that they feed on algae and are super protective of their young ones without eating them as the other fish do. They also have a great lifespan as from 5 years to 12 years, this makes them worth being adopted in an aquarium setting.  Their mouth is placed at the bottom of their bodies and they feed on the algae and plants from below the rocks at the aquarium.

Bristlenose is also the nocturnal type- they are most active and walk around the waters at night. During day time they stay at the bottom or at their deep dark cave. They are also unique in adjusting to water range conditions than the other fish types. Due to their camouflaging properties, you would not notice them easily plus they are so peaceful and more by themselves in the ecosystem. In an aquarium hobby, you would find them by themselves and notice that they associate well with other fish and are not aggressive at all. They come in black color, grey and brown. Their bodies are also a bit hard with a hard plate of scales that prevents them from attacks from the rather aggressive fish in their habitat. They also have spots apart from their shade of color-in white, however, a high number of them are Albino, in pink and yellow colors. However, this trait has nothing to do with the light during their growth but has more to do with their genetics. You might notice sometimes that with time, the albino bristlenose might change their color even as an adult. This might be due to the stress of feeding-related problems, unfortunately. Caution should also be taken on the spines of the pleco (otherwise known as Odontodes)-if you notice they are being attacked frequently because they might easily get trapped in sponges and materials under the aquarium that is non- natural.

Food and Feeding.

  1. Diet.

Bristlenose pleco is super easy to feed, feeding mostly on algae and algae wafers. They also appreciate protein-rich foods well like beans and peas. Other foods that they may consume include flake food, squash, Bogwood, cucumber, carrots, Zucchini, Spinach, and frozen bloodworms. Mostly if some organisms or fish have died in the water, you might find these fish-eating them just to source out the proteins in them. They however like and survive more on plant food than the latter.

  1. Eating habits.

Due to their behavior of being super close to their cave and only active in the dark, it is correct to feed this unique fish in the night. This will make them move around to their freedom and enjoy the food rather than when you introduce the food in the light where the other fish might eat the food and leave these less aggressive ones starving. Ensure that you feed your food to the bottom of the Aquarium where these fish stay the most. To younger breeds, make sure you feed them on squashed vegetables. Feed the fish up to twice times a day, taking note of the light. Get rid of the food after three hours, giving them plenty of time to feed. After every two months, notice the color of the bristlenose pleco, if they are dull it shows you are not feeding them right so alternate the food options, light quantity, and time for clearing up the food. If they come close to the water surface, it means they are too much ammonia and lack of oxygen, and they won’t feed normally, so adjust the necessary. You should also check their abdomen to check if they are sunken- for this shows lacks if enough nutrients. You may feed them more Bogwood if you notice this, to help them indigestion.

Tank Overview.

  1. Size.

One bristlenose pleco can survive on 25 gallons of water. Make sure your tank is big enough to hold the number of places you plan to have from that knowledge, making sure the base is bigger, for it is where these fish tend to stay the most. Your size tank should be a minimum of 5″ with enough hiding places and caves for this fish to stay inside and because of their nocturnal state of being. Most aquarists prefer filter tanks with canister filters like the floral FW4/ FW6. They also release lots of waste so make sure the tank is big enough for the better of the health and cleanliness.

  1. Temperature and P.H range.

The water temperatures should vary from 15°-27°c which is around 60-80F. The p.h should balance from 6.5-7.5. Despite the fish being hardy in water and quickly adjusting to water temperatures, make sure you limit these measurements to them especially if you have young bristlenose plecos in the aquarium, for they may have health problems from the p.h of the water and temperatures and die. Also, make sure that the water hardness falls from 20-25 F. These fish do well in freshwater and it is necessary to provide a so like environment.

Tank Set-up.

Your tank should have enough gravels on the bottom. This is great in creating bigger holes and spaces and ensuring that the water is well oxygenated for the better of the fish. You should also introduce plants at the bottom of the tank like the driftwood so that algae may grow and the fish might regularly feed on it. The gravels are also a great way of filtering the waste from the plecos and ensures quite a moderate water flow at the bottom. Build for them bigger caves( for they grow up to 15 cm and the younger ones are 6 cm at birth) to ensure they have a great space for swimming and standing around when there are lights on.

Community.

What type of fish community can bristlenose plecos live with?

They interact with vast species in the aquarium setting pretty well, an example of the Cichlids, Betts, Coaches, Gouramis, Mulled, Guppies, and Angelfish are the few fish that this plecos love and enjoy being in settings with.

These fish are really peaceful and not aggressive and tend to stay on their own pretty well. That said, they do not have a problem sharing their place with other fish in the aquarium. However, when they get older, they become more protective of themselves especially with the same species, and will be aggressive at the introduction of other plecos. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of communing these fish with other types or their own species.

Advantages;

They are friendly enough and would not interfere or eat other species.

They are protective of their own especially the adult to the younger ones.

They are less aggressive.

Disadvantages;

They are easy prey targets on the aggressive fish type and cannot defend themselves or attack back, so make sure you put them on one side of the aquarium. They are best put on their own setting in aquariums or with other less aggressive fish species.

The male bristlenose plecos are very aggressive with each other and it is advised that you only introduce one at a particular area or the aquarium to avoid aggressiveness and stress-related problems.

When the bristlenose plecos grow older and become aware of their surrounding, they become so protective with themselves and would not let the other fish, later on, their kind to come near them or their caves, and would be aggressive.

Breeding.

Breeding habits.

With the female bristles around their chin, and this makes in the head, sexing is super easy for this species. At the time of breeding, the male bristlenose pleco usually goes and cleans up the cave of it’s like to attract a female. After sex, and if the female will accept the cave that the male pleco has cleaned, the female lays bright orange eggs around the cave and guards the eggs for up to 8 days when the fry(small plecos) have hatched. The make cleans off the eggs with his tails and guards the cave too. During this time you should supply enough food to the fish for both of the sex.

Set-up for tanks.

It is advised that during breeding time, you set different tanks for the plecos because the other fish can eat the eggs and overpower the less aggressive bristlenose plecos. Make sure you introduce the caves for the best of the fish habitat. After they hatch, the fry feeds on the outermost part of their shell and later start eating on softer food. Introduce blended vegetables to the fry at this time.

Ideal conditions.

It is necessary to place cool waters at the tank where the bristlenose plecos breed. Place also more females and one male if you want them to more and to avoid more aggression in the aquarium. Ensure you provide the right light for the tank, enough food, and that the water is more oxygenated and the wastes are well filtered during such moments.