View Full Version : Is this normal? - Bristlenose Pleco

05-31-2012, 10:05 AM
I have an albino Bristlenose Pleco that has had red fins (coloration not disease or injury) since I got him at literally 1cm long maximum and he's now about 10cm and maturing. His pectoral fins are the boldest but all fins have the red coloration though some fins like the dorsal fin you have to look very closely at to see. The red marks are on both sides of each fin so it's very unlikely it's damage through rubbing or swimming. I have sand substrate too, no sharp ornaments, my tank is heavily planted and I have bogwood with an Anubias on and that's pretty much it for decor - nothing to do any damage.

I got him bought for me through a shop but was concerned after a while when the redness hadn't gone away (I'd treated for disease after waiting for it to "heal" without any luck) as some people would be, so I spoke to the shop owner who still had his brothers and sisters and had bred them personally from 2 non-red finned albino parents (the male was actually in the display tank) and he said that none of the others had red fins and he was as confused as I am. He also knew the parents of his Bristlenoses and they did not have red fins and as far as he was aware neither did any of their young either. He just said it could be birthmarks because he had never seen the red markings on any Bristlenose he had personally bred before - and he bred them pretty much as professionally as you can get.
Before that visit I hadn't seen the brothers and sisters, I didn't see him in the tank they bought him from because I wasn't the one who bought them (mom knew I'd been after some for a while) but he must have had red fins then because my mom commented and said she picked him specially because of his fins.

My fish is completely healthy and maturing very well, he would've been dead by now or I would've noticed some complications if something was wrong so I'm not particularly concerned that it may be a health problem and it's definitely not an injury because it would have healed by now and there is nothing that could've caused it but I'm just a bit surprised that an albino fish has red markings? I've never seen albino Bristlenoses have red fins. Nothing attacks this fish, there's nothing he could damage himself on (I have another albino which I'm having trouble sexing without the red fins), water is fine and always has been for them, he has a very varied and just generally very good diet and I'm just a bit stumped really.
Beautiful fish either way. The redness has gotten bolder with age, not inflamed or anything like that; it's only the same as if a fish naturally had red marks on it.

So, the question is: Is it normal(ish) for an Albino Bristlenose Pleco to have red fins?

Lady Hobbs
05-31-2012, 11:48 AM
Since he's an albino, could it just be the blood you can see in his veins? I know that sounds stupid but I also have albino's and they can appear blotty-pinkish at times, too.

06-01-2012, 07:03 AM
Potentially... I never thought of it like that. Doesn't sound stupid at all - I didn't think of it because the others didn't have it and the whole fish isn't red (which sounds even more stupid haha) but it does sound more likely because I assumed Albinos didn't have pigment in their "skin" like other animals which was why I was confused because surely red fins = pigments?

Blood does sound very likely, I think I'd like to attempt breeding him and see if it may be a genetic trait. My only definite female is a common though so if it was a pigment/coloration rather than blood it'd show on commons AND albinos but if it's blood it will only show on albinos, but that could take a few generations. All theory and obviously that is very simplified and ignoring a lot of factors but I think that could be a way of determining. Needs a while to mature yet though.

Thanks! thumbs2: