Albino Starlight Bristlenose (Ancistrus dolichopterus 'Albino')

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Albino Starlight Bristlenose
Ancistrus dolichopterus 'Albino'
Albino Starlight Bristlenose (Ancistrus dolichopterus 'Albino')
Name Albino Starlight Bristlenose
Name Lat. Ancistrus dolichopterus 'Albino'
Synonym L183
Family Suckermouth Armoured Catfishes
Family lat. Loricariidae
Order Catfishes
Order lat. Siluriformes
Origin Brazil
Habitat Rivers
Diet Limnivore, soft wood
pH 6.0-7.0
Behavior Nocturnal, peaceful
Keeping Individual, pair, group
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Cave spawner
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 10 cm
Temperature 23-28 °C
Hardness 2-10 °dH
Aquarium ~ 150 l
US Units
Size 4"
Temperature 73-82 °F
Hardness 36-178 ppm
Aquarium ~ 40 gal

Distribution and habitat

The crepuscular to nocturnal Blue Albino Antenna Catfish is a breeding form. The distribution area of the Blue Antenna Catfish wild form is the catchment area of the middle Rio Negro and Amazon in Brazil. They mainly stay in shallow water with stones and dead wood.


The aquarium should have a robust border planting with stones, caves (catfish burrows) and roots, which provide hiding places and at the same time are part of the food. A substrate of sand and round-grained gravel, subdued light (floating plant cover) and a weak current is ideal.

No ammonia, ammonium and nitrite should be detectable, the nitrate value should not exceed 100 mg/l. To ensure the water quality and oxygen content, a filter and heater adapted to the aquarium size is required, as well as lighting for the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals.


They eat the vegetable cover (growth) of stones, wood, plants, etc. and the microorganisms contained therein. For a balanced diet, feed once a day with a high-quality dry food for loricariid catfish (granules, pellets, chips, tablets), supplemented with algae leaves, soft wood and fresh vegetables, such as zucchini, broccoli, bruised peas or scalded spinach, plus occasional small amounts of zooplankton, cyclops, daphnia, artemia, mosquito larvae, etc. (live or frozen). Feed only as much as will be eaten within a few minutes, excluding plant foods. Regular and varied feeding promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They sometimes behave intra-species territorial, therefore several animals should be maintained only in large and richly structured tanks. Towards other fish they are very peaceful and well suited for a community tank.

Basically, only compatible fish species with similar demands on water quality and water temperature should be socialized.

Sex dimorphism

Males have more tentacles on the head and more odontodes on the first pectoral fin ray than females.

Reproduction and breeding

The female spawns in caves or under roots. The clutch is cared for by the male. After about 11 days the fry swim free and must be fed several times a day with special rearing food

In a community tank breeding is hardly possible, because the fry are easy prey.


They have a strong sucking mouth, with spoon-shaped teeth for scraping wood, and intestinal flora that allows the fish to digest the cellulose.

When fishing, use the finest mesh nets possible to prevent the hard rays of the pectoral fins or the skin teeth (odontodes) from getting caught on the bone plates, which can cause painful puncture wounds when touched.

The well-being of the fish should be checked regularly. Temperature should be checked daily, pH, hardness and nitrate levels at least every 14 days. Regular partial water changes are recommended, even when contaminant levels have not yet reached the upper limit. Sudden changes in water quality should be avoided. Newly introduced fish must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: BMELV (1998): Tierschutzgutachten - Haltung von Zierfischen (Süßwasser); RIEHL & BAENSCH (2006): Aquarien Atlas Bd. 1, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF