How to Tell if Albino Bristlenose Pleco Male or Female?

Want to add freshwater fish to your aquarium? Consider Albino Bristlenose plecos. They are excellent for both experienced and inexperienced aquarists.

They are tough fish and can adapt to various tank water conditions. They are also relatively peaceful and can get along well with many other species.

Are you curious about Albino Bristlenose plecos? Today, we will discuss how to determine their sex. How to tell if Albino Bristlenose pleco male or female?

How to Tell if Albino Bristlenose Pleco Male or Female?

orange bristlenose pleco


In most cases, male plecos are bigger than female ones (in terms of length) and tend to grow/develop faster.

This method only works when your fish have been raised together, are the same age, and are given the same conditions. Therefore, there are several exceptions.

Body Shape

Looking at your plecos from above, it is easy to spot a significant difference in their body shape. 

Female plecos feature a rounder abdomen, and the broadest part of their bodies is located behind the pectoral fins.

On the flip side, males are more streamlined, and the broadest part of their bodies is located around their pectoral fins.


It is optional to take out your plecos to observe their behavior. It is also an excellent way to identify the sex of younger fish that might not show sexual dimorphism signs yet.

Male plecos usually claim their cave fast. They won’t leave their cave frequently and consider it as their territory. Female plecos will roam around aquariums, switching hiding spots and hiding under many structures.

Fin Shape

Apart from male plecos having more extensive growth on their pectoral fins, they sometimes show differences in the shape of their pectoral fins. Female plecos have more rounded crescent pectoral fins.

Several aquarists are very good at determining sex based on that sign, but it may be rather hard for untrained eyes.

Pectoral Fin Spines

Males of some species, such as zebra plecos and Clown plecos, show spines on the pectoral fins. Those are similar to the Odontodes on the cheeks.

Odontodes on cheeks/snout

Odontodes are extensive tentacle-like parts on males’ faces. They are typically one of the most effortless ways to determine between male and female plecos, although female plecos can also show minor Odontodal growth.

Genital Papilla

This sign is apparent with many pleco species but is only sometimes clearly visible. Male plecos often show a more pointed, longer genital papilla, while females feature a more round, tubed genital papilla.

How to Breed Albino Bristlenose Plecos? 

hiding spaces where your plecos will breed.

It is pretty easy to breed these fish, even if they are lonely species. They typically breed during the winter season. So if you need to prepare your albinos for spawning, here are things you need to do:

  • Pair two female plecos for every male fish.
  • Set up some hiding spaces where these fish will breed. Generally, when setting up your tank, you should include these spaces to keep your albinos entertained.
  • We recommend placing your albinos in a 30-gallon aquarium or larger if you want to breed them. 
  • Regarding the water temperature, you should ensure it’s between 73 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the water pH should be about 7.
  • Feed these fish with live food when they breed.
  • Change half of the tank water in the tank for your albinos to breed.
  • The egg hatches within 10 days after being laid. Then the fry will come out. 
  • In this case, you need to remove the adult from your breeding tank since they can get aggressive with their offspring and sometimes eat them.


Which Is Better for My Tank: Male or Female Pleco?

If you want to ensure that the aquarium community goes smoothly, we recommend going with females because they tend to be more peaceful.

Is It Okay To Put Two Plecos in the Same Tank?

These fish often do quite well in community tanks with other freshwater species, usually regardless of size. 

But Plecos do not get along well with each other. These fish often become territorial, aggressive, and violent with their kind.

Avoid keeping two plecos together since chances are that it won’t work out at all.

Do Female Plecos Have Bristles?

Yes, female Bristlenose plecos still have bristles, which tend to be much smaller than males. They typically only grow out of or around their mouth.

Male Bbristlenose plecos have large bristles and typically grow around their nose, mouth, and other parts of their face.

How Big Will a Pleco Get?

In the wild, a pleco can reach about 24 inches.

In the wild, the maximum size which a pleco can reach is about 24 inches. Generally, in captivity, those fish will not grow any larger than 16 inches.

The more you create their natural conditions and take good care of them, the bigger your plecos can get.

How Many Should Albino Bristlenose Plecos Be Kept Together?

You should keep two to five Bristlenose plecos together. These fish are typically solitary, but they can tolerate other plecos if your tank is large enough.

Can I Keep A Pleco In A 20-Gallon Tank?

Yes, all kinds of small Plecos can live in a 20-gallon aquarium, but it should be larger. Although it is the minimum tank space, it is best to give them more space. 

The Bottom Line

In reality, if you do not intend to breed your Slbino Bristlenose pleco, knowing whether you have females or males is more or less relevant.

But if you need to know if your Plecos are males or females for whatever reason, the above information is the most reliable one to tell for yourself.

So, did the above article meet your requirements? Do you have any questions regarding this topic? Please let us know if you have any questions. We will try to respond to them as soon as possible. 

Thank you for your interest in this article!