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How to make Bristlenose Catfish Caves Answered


I want to breed some Bristlenose Catfish. I need caves for the fish to breed in. I looked on eBay and they cost an arm & a leg + postage. There must be people that have made some that work perfectly and are cheap to make.

I would appreciate some help please.



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1 year ago

Hi Perry,
Not sure if you can use a small hollow wooden log, blocking off one end. They might not like timber. Other than that, you may just have to bite the bullet and buy a clay one like i did. They work a treat.
Good luck, Cheers...

Perry The pom
Perry The pom

Reply 1 year ago

G'day AussieAlf, Thank you for the reply. Yes I agree I might have to order a couple of caves.
Cheers Perry

Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

1 year ago

I have never tried this, but there exists anecdotal evidence, and pictures,


of people building these things, caves for aquarium catfish, out of plastic pipe or pipe fittings (usually PVC), also ceramic flower pots, and other things.

I am kind of guessing you will want to avoid any kind of metal pipe, because a lot of the metals used for making metal alloy plumbing, are toxic to fish, when in the form of metal ions dissolved in the water. I recall the Wikipedia article for copper sulfate, mentioned copper(ii) ions being toxic to fish, but I could not find the authoritative source for that. So I found theaquariumwiki-dot-com, and I am guessing they know what they're writing about.


That wiki also has an article for, "Bristlenose catfish",


and part of the text for that article mentioned breeding caves.

Provide horizontal caves somewhat longer than the male's body, and big
enough for him to fit inside with his fins extended. The best caves are
drilled into bogwood or driftwood, or carved out of the underside of a
branch. Some breeders have used PVC pipe of suitable size.


1 year ago

Until my heater decided to cook my tank while I was away I had no problem with about 250 of these weird fish...
Caves are totally overrated if you ask me, no just for the price.
I use coffe mugs, a model of the Tardis or just some flat rocks arranged to provide some cover.
Plecos mate for life, so once they found a "cave" to breed they will stick to it.
It is a nice way of birth control as only those couples with their own cave will produce eggs.
Once you fail to find you males for days you know what is going on ;)
Pieces of PVC pipe are nice for them as well
My biggest pair grew to over 16cm in length, so you might want to consider something that lasts a couple for a few years as they might not be keen on relocating.