Bushymouth catfish

Aquarium fish: Bushymouth catfish (Ancistrus dolichopterus)
Size: 10 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 23-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 54 l

Bushymouth catfish (Ancistrus dolichopterus ) – a popular species of the Ancistrus genus, but only by name . Confused with the common armor Ancistrus sp. , Which in fact is a hybrid of many species. The true blue armor is marked as L183 .


South America.

Bushymouth catfishs are found in the middle and upper Amazon basin. Found in the rivers Rio Negro, Trombetas, Tefé, Madeira, Tapajós. They live in fast flowing, rocky rivers and streams.

Characteristics and disposition

These small reinforcements are approx. 10 cm long.

Compared to other armors of the genus Ancistrus , they are black in color, decorated with small bright spots, and their dorsal and anal fins are edged with a contrasting white color. In the case of similarly colored armours, eg L181 (Peppermint Pleco), the white edge of the fins disappears or is barely visible with age. Other features are common to the Ancistrus genus . A fairly large head, the mouth in the down position, wide pectoral and pelvic fins, high dorsal fin. Adult males are slightly larger than females, and have numerous appendages on the face, which are short and not very visible in females.

Adult females are more rounded in the abdomen when viewed from the side or above. Behind the gill covers, they have quite large spikes which they use to fight other armors. Bushymouth catfishs are active after dark, and during the day they hide behind roots or in rock shelters. They spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank, sometimes sticking to the walls of the tank, scraping off the algae. They are not very aggressive towards other fish, but may show aggression towards rivals .

Nutrition and feeding

The basic component of the diet of blue armor should be food of plant origin . Good-quality dry flakes and tablets falling to the bottom with the addition of spirulina will be suitable, as well as vegetables such as: cucumber, squash, zucchini, peas, lettuce. From time to time, the diet should be supplemented with live or frozen foods, e.g. bloodworm falling to the bottom. In the aquarium , they require access to soft wood as a ballast, the scraped off debris of which helps the fish to digest.


A pair of blue armorers will require at least a 54 liter aquarium. They will feel best in a reservoir designed like an Amazon jungle stream with a sandy base and decorations made of roots, branches and dry leaves arranged on the bottom. The lighting should not be too bright, unless you want to grow plants as well. The more durable ones, those growing on decorations and floating ones, which will add some shaded places in the aquarium, will work best. Like many fish from virgin natural habitats, they do not tolerate the accumulation of pollutants, efficient filtration and regular water changes.

For this reason, they should only be introduced into mature, biologically stable tanks. They should be kept in acidic or slightly acidic water (5.0 – 6.5 pH) at 23 – 28 ° C. Mature males choose territories that are not, however, extensive and can be kept in larger groups in a relatively small aquarium with numerous hiding places. It can be kept with many other species of small and mild aquarium fish with similar environmental requirements.


Place a pair or 1 male and 2-3 females in the spawning aquarium.

Spawning takes place in hiding places (coconuts, roots or special ceramic caves) where the eggs are laid – usually in the amount of about 50 eggs. The roe is in the form of a spherical lump, and the individual grains are 2.5-3 mm in diameter. Yellowish at first, with time glassy, ​​orange. The roe and fry are looked after by the male who chases the female away. The young hatch after about 4-7 days.

After the next few days they start to swim and the male should be caught. We feed the fry with crushed algae, scalded and crushed oatmeal, scalded lettuce and dry foods.


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