Ancistrus dolichopterus “L183” “Starlight Bristlenose”

Location: Widely distributed within the upper and middle Amazon tributaries

Temperature: 75-83

Size: 4.5-5”

Status: Spawning inconsistently


One of the more popular Wild type Ancistrus species the L183 is shy and secretive, its bleach white seam and spotting can easily be spotted while in hiding and is very rewarding when this fish ventures out in search of food. Easily confused as juveniles several other species are very similar in appearance. The L183 can be identified with ease by counting the rays in the dorsal fin, it’s the only known Ancistrus with 9 soft rays in addition to the main dorsal spine. Feed a vegetable based diet with small additions of meaty foods when attempting to spawn.  

If you are considering the L183 I strongly suggest tank raised fish over wild caught specimens. The L183 is collected in highly oxygenated warm streams with a very low PH. This Blackwater environment makes wild L183’s, especially adults, extremely susceptible to parameter shock. That shock along with the added stress of transport weakens the fishes immune system, making the fish vulnerable to an array of problems. Parasites; ich; fungus; intestinal issues; and bacterial infections are most common. Many of these are present in aquaria in minimal quantities and are normally harmless but attack and thrive on the weakened fish, which could then pass the problem on to other tank mates. I’ve had several customers come to me for advice and F1 fish after losing recently purchased wild specimens to one or more of these issues. Though this is a risk with all wild caught fish, I’ve found the Ancistrus dolichopterus to be abnormally sensitive.

More info: