General Aquaria Discussion • Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

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Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby bristlenose72 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:30 pm

Does anyone know the difference in keeping a bristle nose pleco and a rubber lip or bulldog pleco?

I'm keen to add one or two to my tank and just want to hear some peoples experiences with these two guys and their opinions. :D

Many thanks,

Dom
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby DJRansome » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:21 pm

Bristlenose are smaller (create less waste) and stand up better to cichlids like those from the African Rift Lakes.

What other fish will be in the tank?
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby bristlenose72 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:30 pm

This will be a tank with a pair of buffalo heads and a pair of Analomochromis Thomasei.
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby DJRansome » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:39 pm

PlanetCatfish recommends a species tank for Chaetostoma with soft water and they come from an environment with a lot of current. Your Thomasei likes the soft water and your buffalo head likes the current. Might be hard to get wild caught fish eating in the aquarium.
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby bristlenose72 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:50 pm

Guess I'll go with the bristle nose. There are also more variants to choose from.
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby DJRansome » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:08 pm

IDK how available the Chaetostoma are. The article said they do not spawn in aquariums generally so I assume they are all wild caught. Just passing along some random facts in case they help.

I always thought they were common. I learned something.
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby BC in SK » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:54 pm

DJRansome wrote:Bristlenose are smaller (create less waste) and stand up better to cichlids like those from the African Rift Lakes.

Bristlenose are definitely larger then Rubber lip pleco. I don't believe I have ever seen a Rubber Lip much larger then 4 1/2" TL and Bristle Nose commonly get around 6" TL for males and 5" TL or more for females. Planet catfish lists Rubberlip at 4.1" SL https://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=318 and 4.9" SL (would equate to a little more then 6" TL) for Bristle Nose https://www.planetcatfish.com/common/species.php?species_id=318 .
Now, which will do better with aggressive cichlids, I couldn't tell you, as i've never had adult rubber lips to compare but have often seen them in other peoples Malawi tanks.
My current female BNs:
5 1/2" and 48 grams
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5" and 39 grams
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I doubt you will grow a rubber lip to the size of a female BN, let a lone a much larger male BN.
DJRansome wrote: The article said they do not spawn in aquariums generally so I assume they are all wild caught.

There definitely commercially produced in large numbers. They are commonly available at the box stores 365 days a year (for at least the last 5 years now) and are priced similar to BNs. Lot's of fish that are not commonly bred in aquaria are still produced in large ponds (either in the far east or Florida, or both).
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby BC in SK » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:01 pm

bristlenose72 wrote:This will be a tank with a pair of buffalo heads and a pair of Analomochromis Thomasei.

If you intend to breed these fish, I couldn't say for certain, but it is not inconceivable that either of these cichlids will have problems defending eggs/wriggles from larger BNs or Ruber Lips.
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby Mr Chromedome » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:23 pm

As far as Bulldog/Rubberlip Plecos are concerned, they're all still collected from the wild. When you see a fresh shipment, it will often have 3-4 species in it, a clear indication of wild collecting. At least two species commonly collected in Colombia can grow over 6.5 inches. (The largest species of Chaetostoma can exceed 11 inches, but is rare.) These frequently seen species are spotted, rather than having the scutes edged in black. I have seen them many times in big box stores such as Pestmart.

They do not lend themselves to commercial breeding because they require a strong current over a stony stream bed; they cannot breed in ponds. The conditions have been met to breed the relatively small C. formosus, the one with black edging on the scutes, but only in aquaria. Reports are rare. They can be fairly aggressive toward their own kind, but I had one that also chased other types of fish.

Bristlenose are going to be far cheaper, and easier to keep than Chaetostoma.

To my knowledge, the only form of Anomalochromis thomasi in the hobby right now is the less colorful Guinea form, which is actually quite aggressive, and an open substrate spawner. Buffalo Heads need caves, but most of the aquarium stock you will find these days adapt to much less current than wild fish require. I've also found them to be less aggressive than their appearance would suggest. It would take at least a 4 foot tank for these two species to cohabitate, and even then I'd say watch them closely.
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Re: Bristlenose v Rubberlip pleco

Postby BC in SK » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:20 pm

Mr Chromedome wrote:They do not lend themselves to commercial breeding because they require a strong current over a stony stream bed; they cannot breed in ponds.

I did not know that. I assumed they would be commercially bred because of the large numbers that are sold and their very common availability.
Mr Chromedome wrote:Bristlenose are going to be far cheaper[/i].

Here they are priced very much the same. Around $ 10- $12 for either at the box stores.https://www.petsmart.ca/fish/live-fish/goldfish-betta-and-more/rubber-lip-plecostomus-4034742.html i don't have a link for BN's put have purchased many over the last few years for $11.99 (many of which did not survive). Similar prices right across western Canada as the chain stores tend to have fairly standardized prices. Odd that wild caught fish would have the same price as a common domestic, but maybe the high demand for BNs has increased its price (?).
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