Bristle Nose Catfish

Bristle Nose Catfish main image Bristle Nose Catfish image

Bristle Nose Catfish

Natural Habitat

Bristle Nose Catfish can be found throughout the Amazon river and floodplains, they prefer living in areas of fast flowing water.

Maximum Size and Longevity

If well maintained Bristle Nose Catfish can live for several years and can grow up to 15cm.

Water Quality

Water quality should be soft and slightly acidic however Bristle Nose Catfish are adaptive and are tolerant of a wide range of water qualities.

· Temperature: 22°C - 26°C.

· pH: 6.5—7.5

· General Hardness: less than 200 ppm.


Bristle Nose Catfish are mainly omnivorous and require vegetable matter as a part of their diet. Their diet should include spirulina and can be in the form of wafers, pellets or sinking tablets. Bristle Nose also thrive on a variety of vegetables such as; cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin, lettuce, and squashed peas.


This species is mainly peaceful and will be an asset to any community tank, although mature males may become aggressive to other males. Bristle Nose Catfish can tolerate all kinds of fish from Neon Tetras to African Cichlids.

Colours and Varieties

Original Bristle Nose Catfish are generally a deep brown or grey colour with white spots across the body. Through selective breeding colour varieties such as albino and marble colour Bristle Nose Catfish now exist.


When sexually mature the males will develop short, branched bristles on their face. In general female will not develop the bristles, however if they do, they will be considerably smaller than their male counterparts. Another way to identify females is they will have a rounder stomach, which is easily seen when looking from above.


Bristle Nose Catfish are wonderful in a tropical tank as they can help keep the tank clean by eating all the algae. Its important to provide them with hiding places such as cave and hollow logs. Most Bristle Nose will hide during the day and become much more active at night as this is when they feed. An effective powerhead is needed in a tank with Bristle Nose as they like flowing water.




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