Catfish aquarium fish: species, with photo and name
One of the most important stages in the decision to acquire a home aquarium is the choice of its future inhabitants. Recently, it’s difficult to find an aquarium that, in addition to other fish and reptiles, would be inhabited by aquarium catfish. Why are these aquarium fish so loved and gained such high popularity among breeders? The answer is very simple. Somics are inherently fish-orderlies, that is, they feed on the waste products of the flora and fauna of the aquarium, which greatly simplifies the labor of aquarists in cleaning and caring for the aquarium. In this article, we will tell you in detail about the features of the structure and vital functions, content, nutrition, and behavior of aquarium catfish.
So, let's start with the origin, features and anatomical structure. Catfish, perhaps, belong to one of the largest families of fish, which includes about 2,000 species of catfish: catfish-adherent, Changeling, glass, shark catfish, agamix, American and Canadian catfish and so on. Catfish live from the equator to temperate climatic latitudes on all continents, mainly in fresh water bodies, but they can also be found in the seas and oceans. Aquarium catfish, unlike their giant counterparts living in the natural environment, reach a length of 3 to 15 centimeters.
A distinctive feature of catfish is the presence of antennae, which in some species are transformed into suckers. Antennae are a special sensory organ that helps the catfish navigate in search of food at the bottom.
In terms of compatibility and communication with other aquarium inhabitants, catfish are very peaceful and friendly. Get along well with any breed of fish.
It is not recommended to keep catfish in the same aquarium with fry, as catfish (especially large ones) can inadvertently swallow them.
For catfish, the presence of their own corner and shelter is important, therefore, we advise you to equip the aquarium with decorative, large ornate shells, locks, carvings or stones, a large number of algae in a designated place where the mustachioed could build their "nest".
But it should be borne in mind that if the catfish is herbivorous, then the shelter from algae can suffer greatly because of this. You should choose tall algae with wide leaves and a good root system.
Special conditions for water in the aquarium are not required, the main thing is without salt, because catfish are freshwater fish. The temperature of the content is 20-28, the hardness is from 6 to 12, the acidity is average, without sharp deviations.
Bright lighting is not required. If a bright light is required in the aquarium and there is no way to muffle it, then more snags should be placed at the bottom for shelter.
Unfortunately, for the most part, aquarium fish catfish lead a nocturnal lifestyle, and it is extremely rare to see them, therefore, if you want to watch your pets all day, we advise you to get a speckled catfish, which is inactive at night and works hard during the day »Sorting out the soil at the bottom of the aquarium.
The widespread belief that catfish are aquarium techs really has a reason. But this does not mean at all that if catfish live in your aquarium, then there is no need for cleaning. This opinion is erroneous! It may not be necessary for the aquarium to have an extremely powerful cleaning system, but regular water changes (at least once every two weeks) are necessary to avoid the growth of pathogenic bacteria that lead to blooming water and diseases of aquarium fish and other inhabitants.
Features of feeding are associated with behavioral traits and the nature of life of catfish. They lead a benthic lifestyle, feed on waste and rarely rise to the surface (with the exception of sucker catfish, which move on glass).
But this does not mean at all that catfishes do not need a feed! Therefore, it is recommended to use heavy feed, which immediately goes to the bottom. Live food is best suited: pipe maker, bloodworm, frozen shrimp, plankton and so on.
Compatible with other fish
Somics are quite peaceful fish and rarely quarrel with other inhabitants of the aquarium. However, they may conflict with each other. Sometimes a stronger catfish achieves a weak relative or a smaller one, but this is rare. At the same time, catfish do not mind eating small fish such as guppies and neons. Such a neighborhood is best avoided. For large catfish and predatory species, larger fish should be selected for neighbors than catfish.
In this publication, we will only talk about some types of catfish, more species with descriptions you can find on our website.
This type of aquarium catfish is one of the most popular. Antcistrus hails from the rivers of South America, and is also found in the Amazon River. They have an elongated body shape, about 10 cm long. Suction cups are located on large wide lips, with the help of which they easily stick to glass, snags, large and flat stones. Body color ranges from light gray to black with light specks.
They feed on plant foods, collect green algae from the walls and other decorative elements of the aquarium. It is necessary to feed with special feeds in the form of tablets or granules, which sink to the bottom.
Breeding ancistrus is easy enough. If there are only fish of this species in the aquarium, then you do not need to plant them. If the habitat occurs with other species of fish, then it is necessary to put the male and female in a separate aquarium of 30-50 liters in size. Such a jig must necessarily be equipped with a large number of snags and soft algae, so that the female can attach eggs to the surface.
Spawning usually occurs at night or closer to morning. In order to spawn faster, the water that has settled in the aquarium must be diluted with colder water to 17. The female lays up to 200 eggs. After this, the care of the offspring passes to the male. During the week, while the eggs develop, the male carefully guards them. After the appearance of the fry, the males are also precipitated, and the fry begin an independent life. You can feed them with ordinary dry food for adult fish, only grated in dust, and chopped bloodworms. Frequent water change of at least 20% is required.
These are small fish with a dense body. Females are slightly larger than males. Females also have a more rounded fin, and males have a sharp, triangular dorsal fin. Around the mouth have a pair of hard antennae. To keep such catfish at the bottom, it is better to use coarse sand or fine soil, because their antennae are very sensitive and large fish stones can easily damage them.
Speckled catfish are non-aggressive, get along well with other medium-sized fish. Live in flocks. It is better to start at least 6 pcs. They are not whimsical in food and any dry and lively food is suitable for them.
They also reproduce quite easily. When the female is ready to spawn, she is pressed against the male’s belly and swallows the milk. Then she lays eggs and inseminates her. Caviar is laid in small portions in several places in the aquarium. The female can lay up to 400 eggs. After 5-6 days, larvae appear, from which fry later grow.
The taracatum has a long body with a wide, flat head down and a high fin in the shape of a crest. The fish is about 18 cm long. They feed on any kind of food, but prefer live. The aquarium for such catfish should be spacious, at least 100 liters. It is a flock of fish, where the male should be only one. Quite easily get along with other types of fish. Additional aeration of the aquarium does not need, because it has a special intestinal structure, thanks to which it breathes ordinary air, periodically rising to the surface of the water.
For breeding, the male and the female are planted in a separate aquarium for spawning, in which there must be floating plants or something artificial with a wide surface. Under them, the male builds a nest, into which the female then lays eggs. After spawning, the male protects the eggs until larvae appear. Fry can be fed any kind of dry food, finely ground to a state of dust.
Synodontis (catfish changeling)
Due to the peculiar structure of the jaw (the mouth is below), the synodontis is forced to collect food from the surface of the reservoir, turning over with his stomach to the surface of the water. Therefore, he got his name Changeling. Has a dense body, somewhat resembling a triangular. The lower part is slightly darker than the upper, which differs from other species. Above the mouth are 3 pairs of antennae, which are the tactile organ of the catfish. The main color is a grayish-beige hue with dark spots. The female differs from the male in larger sizes.
Choosing an aquarium is large, given that it is a school of fish. It is imperative to understand that this is a predatory fish and carefully approach the choice of the neighborhood. Better if it is cichlids. Synodontis also needs good filtration and aeration of water. In feeding, it is preferable to choose live food, i.e. in the natural environment it eats small midges from the surface of the reservoir, but any other type of food is also suitable. The most important thing is to monitor the amount of food otherwise the catfish can overeat and get unwanted body fat. Be sure to do unloading for them once a week. Breeding of such catfish is quite complicated and is only possible for experienced aquarists with a high level of knowledge in this area.
Catfish aquarium fish are peaceful, funny and unpretentious pets that diversify and perfectly complement the fauna of your aquarium. Catfish do not require you to be an experienced aquarist, so they are perfect for those who decide to get an aquarium for the first time.