Orange Bristlenose Pleco: An Overview & Care Guides

The best fish for freshwater aquariums are Bristlenose plecos. They are among the most well-known catfish and are peaceful and vibrant.

This species comes in various colors. Among the most stunning varieties is Orange Bristlenose Pleco, which many aquarists love.

This post will guide you through all you should know about them if you consider introducing them to your tank.

Orange Bristlenose Pleco Overview

Below is some of the essential information about this catfish variety.


What are Orange Plecos called? These creatures also have another name, which is Rio Ucayali Bristlenose Plecos.

They belong to the Siluriformes genus of the Loricariidae family.

They first appeared in the Amazon River’s tributaries and river basins in South America in 1836 and in other regions like Panama.

This species has gained enormous global popularity since being classified in 1836.

Being bottom-dwellers, they feature mouths that are rounded and tipped downward to help them maintain their adhesion to solid objects in the swift stream.

Water temperatures between 73 – 80°F, comfortable and moderate, are suitable for Bristlenose Pleco survival.

Although they can withstand the cold, staying in water under 60 ° F will expose them to several infections.


What colors do Bristlenose Plecos come in? Apart from orange, this species may feature various colors like black, gray, or brown.

These creatures are tiny, hardy fish from tropical regions. How big do Orange Plecos get? They may expand up to a maximum of 5 inches.

They are among the tiniest catfish in the world, and their size makes them outstanding from the many other catfish species.

They have skulls that are broader and slightly shorter. They have bony plates covering their bodies and soft tentacles that extend from their heads.

Most Bristlenose Plecos have bristles, but the males seem to have more of them.

If the current in the water is too rapid, their bottom-positioned mouths with their long, pointed lips assist them in clinging to solid objects.


These creatures are calm, passive fish who get along with other peaceful species in a communal tank. They are bottom-dwellers, so they won’t disturb other fish.

The fish remain inactive throughout the day, and because of their pigmentation, they virtually disappear and fit into their surroundings.

This species starts to move around and dig in the tank bottom at night.

Common Types

There are five main Bristlenose Pleco types, including:

  • Albino
  • Super Red
  • Longfin
  • Starlight
  • Calico


The Bristlenose Plecos can live for five to twelve years, depending on how well they are cared for.

They may easily survive up to twelve years since they thrive in water that is kept at a temperature from 70 to 80°F.

Some varieties might live for up to 15 years in specific circumstances.

Orange Bristlenose Pleco

Orange Bristlenose Pleco Care Guides

If it’s your first time keeping these fish, the following guides will be helpful for you. Let’s take a look!

Habitat Requirements

Their native habitat is in the Amazon Basin’s swift-moving rivers, which have sand, and soil bottom with a lot of vegetation, boulders, and algae.

If you want to keep your fish content comfortable in the aquarium, try to imitate this habitat as precisely as you can in captivity.

The optimal substrate should be three inches deep or more because the fish prefer to explore it.

Ensure that the tank ornaments are fixed in situ and cannot slither into the substrate-created holes caused by a digging fish.

Hardy, quick-growing plants such as wisteria, Java fern, Amazon sword, and Java moss make excellent accessories.

The natural habitat of this species includes huge boulders and driftwood so you can add these items to their tank.

Habitat requirements for orange bristlenose pleco

Tank Conditions

Tank Size:

A medium aquarium of 30 to 40 gallons is necessary, with an additional ten gallons for every extra catfish.

Although these freshwater fish like to live alone, they may tolerate other catfish in a large enough tank.

Water Parameters:

These animals get innately accustomed to swiftly moving, soft, warm waters.

The optimal water temperature for this species is between 73°F and 80°F. It should have an acidity of between 5.7 and 7.5 pH.

Additionally, ensure that the water hardness is higher than 2 KH and lower than 20 KH.


Artificial illumination is not necessary for aquariums. They are active at night and dwell at the tank substrate during the day.

LED lights are an affordable and practical option if you still desire to illuminate your aquarium.


These animals eat a lot. Thus they inevitably produce large amounts of waste. It’s best to invest in canister filters with 300 GPH to keep your tank clean.

Besides, you can use an air pump-powered bubbler to increase the oxygen level in the aquarium.

Health Concerns

Although these creatures are hardy species, they still encounter some common diseases, as shown below:

  • Ich: an infection caused by a parasite called Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.
  • Dropsy: a bacterial infection causing coloration loss and bloating.
  • Head and lateral line erosion: no apparent cause, but you can see receding skin or small indentations on the head of their fish.


Orange Bristlenose Plecos primarily consume algae in nature. It’s best to provide them with various food types daily to keep their coloration healthy in captivity.

This species can eat fish flakes, algae wafers, blanched spinach, and bloodworms.

Ensure the snacks sink to your tank substrate so these creatures can get the food.

Ensure you give the catfish enough snacks to consume in two minutes each time you feed them.

Besides, to maintain tank cleanliness and avoid overfeeding, it’s advisable to take out any uneaten food.

Diet for Orange Bristlenose Plecos

Tank Mates

If you want to add other species, here are some of the ideal tank mates for your Plecos:

  • Guppies
  • Gouramis
  • Neon tetras
  • Platy fish
  • Corydoras
  • Mollies


If you want to know about breeding in this species, you can click on this video:

Final Thoughts

This article eventually provided all the essential information about the Orange Bristlenose Pleco.

Besides, it also recommends care guides to maintain these aquatic creatures. Hopefully, your pets will be healthy and happy with our advice.

If you have further questions, leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!