Ancistrus temminckii

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Adult size 4-5 " (10-13cm)
Tank: 36 inches
Position in tank: Bottom
PH: 6.5 to 7.5
Hardness: Soft to Medium
Temperature: 22-30°C


Common Name:




Smaller than its hypostomus cousin, this unique pleco is a delightful addition to a medium sized aquarium. Its manageable size makes it more practical for the average aquarist, and it is available in several color and fin variations.



South America.



Overall coloration is brown with light colored spots. A thin cream colored stripe appears at the tip of the dorsal and and tail fins. The belly is lighter in color, but still shows the contrasting spots against a darker body color. Albino and piebald forms exist in captivity.



Ancistrus is a nocturnal catfish, and prefers to stay hidden during the day. Caves or tunnels should be provided. They also require driftwood as part of the tank setup, as they will rasp on the wood to aid in digestion. Food should consist of vegetable matter, including zucchini, cucumber, spinach, and romaine lettuce. Algae wafers will also be eaten. They will graze on algae in the tank, but algae should not be relied on as the primary diet. Ancistrus will do well with most tankmates, but males can be territorial toward other males of the same species in a close environment. As long as partial water changes are carried out regularly, ancistrus is undemanding with concern to water conditions.



Ancistrus have been bred in the home aquarium with great success. A pair may be successfully spawned in a 30 gallon tank. Caves or tunnels should be provided and will be utilized as a spawning site. They seem to prefer a cave just large enough for the male and female to fit side by side. Once eggs are laid, the male cares for them by fanning the eggs and guarding the cave. Fry will eat algae and blanched green beans or romaine lettuce.