View Full Version : Tank size for bristlenose

11-24-2011, 06:39 PM
People say the minimum tank size for bristlenose's are either 10 gallons 20 gallons or 30 gallons. I think you can keep a Bristlenose in a 10 gallon if you are an experienced fish owner. And if you keep up with maintence. I was wondering what is everyone elses stance's on tank size for a bristlenose, any stories for them?

11-24-2011, 06:42 PM
My opinion is that we really need to think more about the comfort level of the fish in the tank vs. simply looking at water parameters. For example, I could keep 50 neon tetras in a 10 gallon tank and keep up with the water parameters but the fish would be crowded. BN plecos, in my experience, like a bit of room. That being said I wouldn't keep one in less than a 20 gallon long but not in a 20 gallon standard. The footprint is important.

11-24-2011, 06:43 PM
I personally wouldn't put it in 10 gallon. I have mine in 46 gallon. I think you could have them in a 20 gallon minimum.

They do poop a lot so the larger the tank the smaller effect the poop will have on the water parameters.

11-24-2011, 08:23 PM
Agreed with the above. Everything I've read lately (I'm getting a pair soon) says 20g minimum.

11-25-2011, 01:04 AM
I have one in my ten gallon.

I'm on the maintenance, its planted, there's a few peices of wood for him to hide under and chew on, algae and algae wafers to eat. Hidey holes and occasional treats. I see him regularly so he's not hiding all the time (and this is a busy office tank). He's grown since I got him, and is fat and energetic.

I can't say if he's "happy" or not, but he's certainly doing fine.

11-25-2011, 04:02 AM
I would not keep one in less than a 20 long either. Just seems like they need a bit of room.

12-14-2011, 09:13 PM
I've got 2 in a 20 gallon with no problems. They are active and absolutely gorgeous. I don't think I'd do anything less than 20 though because, yea, they poop a ton! My wife and I definetily had a 'holy crap' moment when we first let them out of the bag into the tank and they both just unloaded... it was explosive, yea...kinda gross

12-14-2011, 09:34 PM
I would consider a 20 gallon long to be the bare minimum for bristlenoses. Personally, I would not keep one in anything less than a 29g, but I like to provide my fish with more than just the minimum.

There would be NO WAY I would ever consider keeping one in a 10g longterm.

Goes to 11!
12-14-2011, 10:42 PM
+ 1 Fisher.

Mine are in a 29, 90 and a 100, [I prefer them to have fellow bn to pal around with even though they each have their own territories.]

12-14-2011, 11:34 PM
Water quality is very important with any fish, and almost always overlooked when stocking, but there is a limit to it as pointed out.

I think if you start with a small one and provide high quality water a ten is fine for a while, but not permanently. This would be like starting oscar out in a 30 or 55, perfectly acceptable for a while, but you have to know that you will need to upgrade and be able to do so when needed.

I personally have not seen any tank grown bristlenose hit what the wild caught large ones come in at.

12-14-2011, 11:48 PM
I wouldnt keep an adult in a 10gal.

I have a male peppermint BN here currently that is over 15cm in length, he would not be at all comfy in a 10gal

12-15-2011, 12:06 AM
when mine gets that size fer sure he will be moved to one of my bigger tanks.

How long have you had him?

12-15-2011, 12:22 AM
I had one in a 10 gallon once.. He was in with a betta and a mystery snail, and was only a baby (about an inch and a half long).
The tank was very well planted and filtered. He was in the 10 gallon for about 3 months, and did not really grow in that time in any noticeable way. Someone gave me an angelfish at that point, so I upgraded everyone to a 26 gallon (biggest I could have in the place I was staying at), and the bristlenose pretty much doubled in size within 4 weeks of being in the new tank. It was a really striking difference, even though the 10 gallon had had "perfect" water conditions (ammonia/trites/trates at 0/0/5).
I would not put one in a tank that small again.. I currenlty have 2 in a 45 and they are doing quite well.

12-15-2011, 12:54 AM
I've had my big pep for about 3yrs now, He was a good size when i bought him, he has pretty much maxed out in size now i think, though i havent caught and measured him in a while