Black Eyed Yellow Bristlenose Catfish (Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus 'Black Eyed Yellow')

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Black Eyed Yellow Bristlenose Catfish
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus 'Black Eyed Yellow'
Black Eyed Yellow Bristlenose Catfish (Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus 'Black Eyed Yellow')
Name Black Eyed Yellow Bristlenose Catfish
Name Lat. Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus 'Black Eyed Yellow'
Family Suckermouth Armoured Catfishes
Family lat. Loricariidae
Order Catfishes
Order lat. Siluriformes
Origin Breeding variety
Habitat Rivers
Diet Limnivore, soft wood
pH 5.5-8.0
Behavior Nocturnal, peaceful
Keeping Individual, pair, group
Care Level Easy
Reproduction Cave spawner
Breeding Simple
Life Span 5-8 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 10 cm
Temperature 22-27 °C
Hardness 2-20 °dH
Aquarium ~ 150 l
US Units
Size 4"
Temperature 72-81 °F
Hardness 36-356 ppm
Aquarium ~ 40 gal

Distribution and habitat

The yellow black-eyed Ancistrus are a breeding form. Due to intermixing and selection with various Ancistrus catfishes, it is not possible to determine their origin. Ancistrus wild forms are widespread in the Amazon region and stay mainly 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 medium 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 are calm, peaceful catfish that are somewhat territorial only during spawning season and are very suitable for a community tank with other calm fish. It is recommended to keep them in pairs or in a group of 3-5. Basically, only compatible fish species with similar demands on water conditions 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

Grinded dry food, Artemia, Cyclops and small cut vegetables are suitable as rearing food. In a community tank breeding is hardly possible, because the fry are easy prey.


They are crepuscular to nocturnal fish and have a powerful sucking mouth, with spoon-shaped teeth for scraping wood, and intestinal flora that allow the fish to digest cellulose.

When fishing, use the finest mesh nets possible to avoid snagging the hard rays of the pectoral fins or the skin teeth (odontodes) 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: Werner Winter; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: BMELV (1998): Tierschutzgutachten - Haltung von Zierfischen (Süßwasser); ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch; SEIDL & EVERS (2005): Wels Atlas, Mergus Verlag

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF