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Bristlenose Plec Colour Change

Author Topic: Bristlenose Plec colour change  (Read 940 times)

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Offline Helen

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Bristlenose Plec colour change
« on: September 25, 2017, 10:21:51 AM »
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Does anyone know anything about why BN Plecs change colour?

The last couple of days I've been watching the fish and Bertie (the BN) in particular, feeding. I've noticed that he changes colour when he comes out of his hiding place, from dark brown to distinctly spotty. I can't decide if it's camouflage and because he's moving from the dark bogwood to the gravel, or because he's coming to get food.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Bristlenose Plec colour change
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2017, 01:14:20 PM »
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One of mine is called Bertie too.  :)

Bertie (male) is yellow with dark eyes, and Harri (female) is standard colour. I've not really noticed any major colour changes with mine, but I have noticed it with things like my panda garra and gobies, usually when having a tussle over dominance, or chasing the ladies.
I've had a quick look on some other sites, and they seem to imply that it is common for a BN to change colour, and is usually either a camouflage thing or a stress response. They have mentioned that sometimes BNs can change with things like substrate colour, or a change of foods, and sometimes it can be water quality or stress (other fish, etc.)
How long have you had Bertie and how does he interact with the other fish?
 

Offline Helen

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Re: Bristlenose Plec colour change
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2017, 05:57:22 PM »
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Hi @Littlefish. I think I've had Bertie about 3-4 years. (My ability to keep track of time has completely disappeared since I had kids).

I don't think it is a (negative) stress response. Bertie is excellent at hiding - I never see him at water change, which I imagine is stressful for him. And he seems pretty happy at feeding time; comes out, potters around, doesn't dash off and hide. He is the biggest fish in my tank and seems to know it. He seems completely unphased by the kuhli loaches, the only other bottom feeders in my tank - if they're eating the wafer he wants, he just heads over, at his usual pace and they make way for him.

So from what you've said you read, I'd guess it is more likely to be a camouflage thing. It is quite a sudden change in colour.  He comes out of his hiding place in the bogwood dark brown, I blink and he's suddenly spotty all over. I have seen him with different markings as well, a bit like a saddle of spottiness. It is one of the things that makes him interesting to watch.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Bristlenose Plec colour change
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2017, 07:54:37 PM »
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It sounds as if Bertie is quite happy with his environment, so I wouldn't have thought it was a negative stress response. For camouflage it would make sense for him to change his colour/markings when coming out from the bogwood, and moving from a darker environment into the open. Or perhaps he's excited at the prospect of food.  ;D

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