12 Bottom Feeder Fishes Detailed Guide | InlandAquatics

Fishes are classified based on the layer of water they pertain themselves to as top-feeders or surface feeders, middle water dwellers, bottom feeders and not to mention some fishes are compatible in any level of water.

This article deals with the habitat, habits and many other informative facts about bottom feeder fishes.

The best advantage of nurturing a bottom feeder in your domestic aquarium or pond is that they clean up excess algae and leftovers of other fish that seep to the bottom keeping your tank spic and span. Having bottom feeder fishes and surface water fishes in the same tank is more compatible than having fishes that are of the same kind as it is easier to avoid territorial disputes and hegemony.

The bottom of the tank can be made colourful and exciting not only by plants, pebbles and crustaceans; it is essential to add fishes as bottom feeder fishes are the ones that can add delightful movements to the lower level of the tank. Bottom feeders can be voracious herbivores, carnivores, scavengers or omnivores. The study must be made on every fish before you get them to mingle with your aquarium fishes.

Listed below are the twelve  bottom feeder fishes that will be dealt with in detail

  1. Peppered Cory Catfish
  2. Suckermouth Catfish
  3. Zebra Loach
  4. Twig catfish
  5. Kuhli Loach
  6. Bumblebee Goby
  7. Yoyo Loach
  8. BrittlenosePleco
  9. Siamese Algae Eater
  10. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
  11. Dwarf Gourami
  12. Otocinclus Catfish

1.Peppered Cory Catfish

The scientific binomial of Peppered Cory Catfish is Corydoraspaleatus. The other most common names of this species are blue leopard corydoras, salt and pepper coryand mottled corydoras. They originally hail from South America and Brazil. These fishes are speckled with grey and brown shades. They have barbs to protect themselves from predators. Please don’t get in contact with barbs as they contain poisonous glands for defense.

Feeding:

This fish is a compatible bottom feeder omnivore that feasts on both plant and animal matter. Feeding Peppered Cory Catfishes is not a big challenge as they accept nearly whatever you afford to feed them. Here are roughly a few foods that you can try feeding your Peppered Cory Catfish:

  • Pellets
  • Flakes
  • Frozen brine shrimp
  • Worms
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Romaine
  • Cucumber
  • Squashed pumpkin
  • Small Fishes

If you want to supply them with pellets, purchase sinking pellets as they are bottom feeders. Occasionally you can feed your Peppered Cory Catfish with live food. This will help to retain their instinctive hunting habits and sprinkle enthusiasm in your tank.

The feeding frequency is two to three times per day. It would be best if you did not overfeed or underfeed them. Allow them to eat for 5 minutes and remove off the excess food.

Care:

An aquarium or tank with a minimum capacity of 70 litres is ideal for Peppered Cory Catfish. Please keep them in groups to maintain their energy level. Their schooling will splash your heart with joy. The bottom of the tank must be full enough for them to school without any restrictions.

They seldom get aggressive. Seeing them peaceful even when they mate will amaze you. Avoiding sharp objects at the bottom of the tank will sustain them from injuries. Mild lightning and soft aquatic plant decoration make them feel safe and sound.

The ambient tank temperature is 22.2 degree Celsius to 26.1 degree Celsius. The pH level of the tank must be set to 6.0-8.0. The alkalinity level will be appropriate if set between 3 and 10-degree day.

 Experts suggest the probability of breeding can be increased by keeping the male-female ratio as 2:1 in the breeding tank.  Feed them adequately during the breeding season. It is advisable to eliminate the male and female fishes after the creative process gets over since they can devour eggs and fries.You can feed the chips with microworms, brine shrimp, infusoria etc.

Aquarium mates:

If you are confused on deciding tank-mates for your Peppered Cory Catfish, take a look at our suggestion list given below

  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Bamboo Shrimp
  • Amano Shrimp
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Vampire shrimp
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Ivory snails
  • Trapdoor snails
  • Red cherry shrimp
  • Mystery snails
  • Pond snails
  • Crayfish

2.Suckermouth Catfish

Widely known as the Common Pleco or the popular suckerfish. They are one of the fishes that don’t demand much care. Scientifically they are labelled as Hypostomusplecostomus. ‘hypo’ means under, ‘stoma’ stands for the mouth and ’pleco’ signifies pleated. The Common Plecos can surprisingly grow upto 24 inches in size.

They come mostly in dull shades like black and brown. Bodies of Common Pleco have a protective shell covering which act more or less like an armour.  Their very name Suckermouth fishes define the characteristic of their unique mouths explicitly designed to suck all algae. Plecos have a special membrane in their eyes for protecting their delicate eyes against the rays of the sun.

This species won’t disappoint in any way! They grow big without the need of being supervised too much, making your aquarium lively. Another incredible fact is that they have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years, which is fantastic! Your investment will surely be worth it, my friend.

Feeding:

Feed your Common Plecos with a well-balanced diet. As far as possible, nourish them with ample sources of protein. Though they are known widely for their ability to eat more of algae, you cannot leave them to feed on algae and plant matter alone. Common Plecos are omnivorous fishes that feed equally on plant and animal matter.

If you mistake them to be herbivores and provide them only with plant food, they will end up getting malnourished. As they are originally omnivorous, you should try to mimic their natural diet to make them feel at home. Giving them a healthy meal will elongate the life span of your dear Plecos.

Fibre also plays a vital role in boosting up Plecos. Be sure to serve them vegetables and fruits rich in fibre.

Another important thing is that you certainly must provide them with driftwood in the tank or aquarium you have them so that they can munch driftwood now and then to digest the complex food matter they consume. Lack of driftwood in the tank can turn out to be a serious issue as your Plecos can develop digestive problems and fall sick. Don’t take a chance, dude, give them their snack, it is their birth-right.

Some of the food you can feed your Common Plecos is listed below

  • Algae Wafers
  • Flake food
  • Frozen bloodworms
  • Insects
  • Crustaceans
  • Zucchini
  • Shelled peas
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Squashed pumpkin
  • Cherries
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Strawberry (any berries)

Feeding them fruits with acidic nature is not appreciable and must be highly prohibited. E.g., lemon, orange, tomato, sweet-lemon, grapes etc.

Common plecos are nocturnal organisms; they forage for food more during the dark hours. 

Care:

Common Plecos demand a large tank or aquarium with a minimum capacity of 100 to 200 gallons to reside comfortably. Construct their tanks or aquariums in such a way that they are ideal for them to play, hide and seek. Their natural habitat comprises of caves in which they hide, as said earlier keep in mind to represent the situations of their natural habitat as far as possible.

The male woos and fertilises the female, which then lays eggs in a safe hiding place. The eggs are left to the care of the responsible males until the young ones are break-out. The little ones can be fed with soft food like infusoria, brine shrimp and spirulina powder.

Breeding Common Plecos in artificially stimulated conditions is a tough deal. If you want, you can surely give it a try. Breeding process of Common Plecos requires huge tanks or ponds.

Never try to captivate them into small living places, they might get more aggressive than you expect which can go upto the extent of devouring the other mates and little ones of the tank.

A pH range in range 7.0 and 8.0 is genuinely suitable for them to thrive. The alkalinity of the tank or aquarium water must be between 3 and 10-degree day. The optimum temperature required for a Common Pleco tank is 74 degrees F to 80 degrees F.

It is much appreciable if you can make use of aquarium water changer, vacuum gravel cleaner, aquarium water conditioner and biological filtration system to maintain hygienic water supply in the tank.

Aquarium mates:

Many fishes can be introduced inside the tank of Common Plecos as tank mates, some of them are listed below for you to get a glimpse.

  • Snowball pleco
  • Clown pleco
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Bristlenoseplecostomus
  • Tiger Barbs
  • Zebra pleco
  • Cories
  • KuhliLoach
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Yoyo Loach
  • Ryunkin

3.Zebra Loach

The Zebra Loaches are peaceful and serene freshwater fishes with a stunning mild yellowish green body and dark blue-green strips running all over their body. The scientific binomial of Zebra Loaches is Botiastriata.Hobbyists prefer to keep zebra loaches for their beautiful appearance.

The IUCN has reported the Zebra Loach to be an endangered species. So if you are going to be a pet-parent of Zebra Loaches, then you are helping mother earth to sustain a precious aquatic species. They are ravishing bottom-dwelling fishes and are found to be active both day and night.

Zebra Loaches are commonly known by several names such as Zebra Botia, Stripped Loach, Lined Loach, Tiger Loach etc. They have a lifetime of 10 years and can grow upto 9 to 10 cm in size

Feeding:

The Zebra Loaches are omnivores, and they feed on several varieties of plant and animal foods. Flakes, pellets and tablets are also accepted by them but make sure they sink to the bottom of the tank. Feeding them both live foods and sinking pellets and flakes keeps them healthy and balanced. The problem with live foods is that they tend to contaminate the tank to some extent and do not contain dense and essential nutrients, unlike pellets and tablets (high quality). The most exciting fact is that they feed on small snails helping in snail control.

Listed below are some of the food suggestions for Zebra Loaches:

  • Small worms
  • Frozen blood worms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Tubifex
  • Daphnia
  • Flakes
  • Pellets
  • Tablets
  • Squashed vegetables
  • Live food

Caring:

The Zebra Loaches require a broader tank with more space to be nurtured as they swim mostly on the bottom and the middle of the container. Provide your fishes with clean, oxygenated and pristine water to help them lead a healthy and long life. The Zebra Loaches prefer to be in a company of atleast five fishes or more and my opinion;it is best to raise them in that manner as they tend to stress out when they are left alone.

Consequently, you will require 20 to 30 gallons of pristine water for them.  Also, it is best to have a tank that imitates their natural habitat such as plenty of plants, rocks, small caves, wide area, crevices, driftwood and a soft substrate (sand or gravel). Ensure that all decors are smooth and sharp free. The Zebra Loaches are very shy, and so they require places like rocks and caves to hide.

The pH of the tank water should be kept between 6.5 and7.5, and the temperature should be set between 72 and 79 degrees F. An under gravel filter is a suitable option for the Zebra Loaches as they produce more oxygen. Additionally, change the tank water often(weekly) to keep them in the pink of their health.

The major problem faced in nurturing Zebra Loaches is that they tend to get stressed quite often, which makes them more prone to diseases and aggressive.

Tankmates:

The temperament of Zebra Loaches is generally peaceful but don’t keep them along with fishes that have long beautiful fins as these fishes might rip them off. Now are some of the fishes that you can team up with Zebra Loaches:

  • Panda Garra
  • Clown Pleco
  • Yoyo Loaches
  • Kubotais
  • Histronicas
  • KuhliLoach
  • Giant barbs

Twig catfish

Just as the name suggests, the Twig Catfish has got atwig-like an appearance. Try hiding it in between a bunch of twigs; you’ll brain will get confused for sure. They are also known as Whiptail catfishes in many countries. The scientific binomial of this particular fish isFarlowellaacus.

The natural habitat of these fishes is mostly flooded forest areas with muddy swamps. Maybe they have got their twig-like appearance to help them disguise themselves from the bloody eyes of their enemies. Their shape, colour and even their movement matches to that of a twig let in water.

Hobbyists say it is not so easy to look after like it appears to be. Many catfish species are said to have a twig like a resemblance, but none has got so much close like this one.  The twig catfish sadly falls under the list of endangered species. Though challenging to look after, we must nurture this kind of species and sustain them on earth as fish lovers.

These twig catfishes grow up to 15 centimetres and can live up to five to ten years. They remain smaller and lean throughout their life.

Feeding:

The diet of the Twig Catfish is chiefly vegetarian.  Try feeding a combination of pellets, wafers and vegetable meal from time to time. These fishes are quite lazy in nature. They don’t forage too much and keep on slacking off in the bottoms of the tank or aquarium they belong to. Take up the responsibility to feed them adequately. Leaving food necessities under their foraging activities will make them lose their appetite.

It is seamlessly all right to give them delicate meat once in a while. I repeat, once in a while. I have jotted down the foods you can alternate between for your Twig Catfishes below, take a look.

  • Pellets
  • Flakes
  • Algae Wafers
  • Shelled peas
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Smashed potatoes

Caring:

A twenty-gallon tank is more than enough to rear Twig Catfishes. Taking care of them is not an easy task,as I’ve said earlier. These fishes are sensitive. They will get caught up with diseases if you don’t pay proper attention.

The pH of the water must rise from soft to hard, so set the pH between 6.0 to7.0. The tank temperature will be suitable if set between75 degree F and 79 degrees F.

Twig Catfishes are generally lazy and show very slow and less movement in the tank. They remain in a single place for a long time with their mouth attached sucking on algae.

Maintain proper water condition in the tank of Twig Catfishes as they are highly prone to allergies. Use a hang-on-back filter to get rid of the rubbish in your twig fish tank. Employ pristine water inside the container.

Breeding these Twig Catfishes domestically is not so difficult as much as taking care of them. They can be easily made to mate. If you ask me how to differentiate the males from the females, I would ask you to take a look at their snouts, if the nose appears to be a little bigger then that one must be male and the ones with smaller noses must be females.

Usually, these fishes don’t demand a separate breeding tank to start their creative process. Just feed them well and keep them healthy; everything will happen on its own. If you want mating to happen soon, switch to always pristine water mode.

These fishes spawn during the dark hours. The females deposit the eggs on flat surfaces like aquarium walls and flat rocks. The males guard the eggs. It might take maximum a week time for the eggs to hatch.

It would help if you were very careful while nurturing tiny Twig Catfishes as their infant death rate is high. The little ones are more sensitive to poor water conditions than adults. Feeding them requires time and patience.

The substrate must be a dark substrate to enhance the well-being of the fish. Make use of driftwood and bogwood inside the tank to createhiding places. Plants and decorations can be fitted into the tank, and the water must be maintained clean always.

Aquarium mates:

The Twig Catfish have a calm temperament, probably very friendly to the extent of becoming victims to aggression most of the time. In my opinion, it is good to leave them alone in a tank as they do incredibly well as loners in a small container. Moreover, also you definitely cannot keep many fishes in a small aquarium or container as it will trigger competition for food. The results will be bad like one species getting fed more and one species malnourished at the same time.

Some of the peaceful tankmates that I would suggest are:

  • Gouramis
  • Danios
  • Loaches
  • Cories
  • Tetras
  • Barbs

Kuhli Loach

If you are a person who favours peaceful, calm and low maintenance fishes, then you must check out these Kuhli Loaches. The Kuhli Loach (Pangiokuhlii) is a bottom-dwelling fish that originates from the freshwater’s of Indonesia and in south-west Asia. This eel-like figured fish has vertical brown stripes running all over their vibrant pink, yellow body and have barbels around their mouth that aids in finding food. They can grow about 8 to 12 cm in length and have a lifespan of about ten years or more. They are found to be completely active in the evening and at night as they are nocturnal species. They are also called as the Coolie Loach.

Feeding:

The Kuhli Loaches are omnivorous fishes, which makes their feeding task quite easy. Though their personal preference is to feed on live foods, they also feed on

  • Pellets
  • Flakes
  • Granules
  • Bloodworms
  • Tubifex
  • Artemia
  • Squashed cucumber
  • Shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Shelled peas
  • Fruits

To feed them a balanced diet, use different foods and change them often. The first thing about feeding the Kuhli Loaches is that the food should sink to the bottom of the tank. So make sure that you feed them with grains (such as flakes and pellets) that are designed to fall.

They are moreover like a scavenger that feeds on anything that reaches the bottom of the tank. The Kuhli Loaches mostly feed at night time as they are nocturnal species and avoid eating at day time. In general, don’t compromise for low-quality foods as they are prone to infections and illness.

Caring:

Kuhli Loaches are hands down to be taken care of. Since they are small and thin, they don’t require a large aquarium, but it would be better to have a broader rectangular aquarium as they dwell in the bottom most of the times. With a soft substrate such as sand and gravel, these Kuhli Loaches can burrow, dig and entertain themselves. Rocks, plants, driftwood can be used for decoration to imitate their natural habitat. They prefer to hide and play in the plants during day time. Kuhli Loaches tend to hide and remain shy when kept single. However, they are more delighted and playful when they are kept in the company of 4 to 6 fishes or even more. These Kuhli Loaches are mostly compatible and peaceful with fishes that are of its size. Sadly, the fact that these Kuhli Loaches don’t have scales makes them prone to several diseases and are super sensitive to chemicals such as ammonia, nitrates and medications. Make sure that you keep the tank as well as the water clean and tidy. Renew the water often. Also, cover your container tightly to avoid them from jumping out of the container. Out of curiosity, these fishes tend to swim into the filter and get trapped and unfortunately die. To prevent this from happening cover the inlet tube in the screen.

Aquarium mates:

Here are some fishes that the Kuhli Loaches are compatible within the same tank:

  • Rasboras
  • Corydoras
  • Oto catfishes
  • Tetras
  • Goramis
  • Danios
  • Minnows

They are not compatible with the following fishes

  • Tiger barbs
  • Cichlids
  • Chinese algae eaters

Considering the good of your Kuhli loaches don’t put them along with huge fishes that may get aggressive and wage wars.

Bumblebee Goby

This is the cutest Goby you will ever come across. It is brightly coloured and is striped with dark colours. The Bumblebee Goby hails from the freshwater ecosystems of south-eastern parts of the Asian continent. These carnivorous fishes always seem to be sweeping the bottoms of the tank they are let into.

Bumblebee Gobies grow up to a maximum length of 4.2 centimetres. They have a short lifespan of a maximum offour years. They are eagerly sought after for their ravishing appearance and colourful presence. Fish watching is fun if you have these new species in your tank. The Bumblebee loaches are highly conscious of their territories, and so they might pick up territorial fights often

The scientific name of Bumblebee Goby is Brachygobiusxanthozona. Sometimes fish sellers cheat the buyers by selling Brachygobiusnunus,which is not like the Bumblebee Goby; it requires a highly brackish water supply to thrive. Therefore beware while purchasing a Bumblebee Goby for your aquarium or tank.

If you are upto a Bumblebee Goby, then take time to read the feeding and caring instruction below.

Feeding:

Though these fishes are small, they are excellent predators. Their diet is omnivorous, of course. To be more clear, their menu is chiefly carnivorous in nature. It is not necessary that you should always feed them with live fish; you can also feed them with frozen foods.

Feed them in small amounts now and then. Preserved food has not been their favourite, so you have to take up the responsibility to feed them with home-made food. If you are a lazy pet master, this fish is not for you. It requires much patience to raise a carnivorous fish in artificial conditions.

  • Frozen blood worms
  • Live blood worms
  • Fluke worms
  • Insects
  • Brine shrimp
  • Live fish
  • Larvae

Caring:

The Bumblebee Gobies must be raised in a tank of minimum capacity 10 to 20 gallons. Although this size seems to be large for their physical profile, providing them space will help them stay at ease without too much territorial insecurity. Also, it is very hard to maintain hygiene in a small tank.

The pH level of the tank must be set between 6.5 and 7.5. The hardness of the water must be set between 143 and 357 ppm always. The suitable temperature of a Bumblebee Goby fish tank lies between 23 and 26 degree C.

The tank water must be a bit brackish, so make sure that it is above 15-degree do. The water flow must be slow. Always employ good biological filtration systems to maintain the quality of water. Bumblebee Gobies are highly allergic to dirty water and can contract diseases easily. Any kind of fungal, bacterial, protozoan or viral infection must be treated as soon as possible.

Breeding can be stimulated by decreasing the salinity level of the tank water at the right time. The males outdo the females in colouration. A single female Bumblebee Goby lays about 200 eggs at a time. The male takes care of the eggs until they hatch. The guarding period is four days, and the hatching temperature is 82 degrees F. 

The fries can be separated and grown in another tank. You should be very careful to feed them with good nutritious food.

Aquarium mates:

It is better to keep a group of Bumblebee Gobies in a single tank than to pair them up with other species as they do not dwell in peace as communities. They have a predatory temperament which might turn out to be dangerous for other tank-mates. You must also be careful not to put them along with bigger fishes that might swallow your Bumblebee Gobies. Sounds terrible, I know. So better leave them alone dude.

Yoyo Loach

The Yoyo Loach (BotiaAlmorhae) is a vibrant freshwater fish native to India (Ganges river) and Pakistan. They belong to the family of Botiidae.

The name of this fish has an interesting back story. It is said that the photographer Ken child named it as yoyo since they resembled the yoyo toy when they moved up and down. Provided, they have a Y O Y O like dark and pale patterns on their vibrant body. It is commonly called as Pakistani loach, Almorah Loach, Y Loach etc.

 Unlike other species of the Loaches family, the Yoyo Loach is not nocturnal. They are claimed to be extremely active and playful. The Yoyo Loaches can grow upto 7 to 13 cm in length.

Feeding:

These fantastic Yoyo Loaches spends the majority of their time exploring for food. They are omnivorous species and eat a wide variety of foods. Their diet includes both vegetation and meaty foods. Well, they are easy to feed them. The first thing is that the food you give them should sink to the bottom as they are bottom dwellers. They will probably eat anything you feed them. To keep them healthy and robust,supply them with the following:

  • Bloodworms
  • Shrimp
  • Frozen food
  • Algae Wafers
  • Flakes
  • Pellets
  • Squashed fruits
  • Mashed vegetables

Just make sure you incorporate all the essential nutrients needed for their healthy life. They are also found to eat larvae, crustaceans and even snails by sucking them out of their shells. Don’t overfeed them as they tend to keep on eating more and more, which could do more harm to them than good. They are moreover like scavengers.  

Caring:

The Yoyo Loach, known for its liveliness and energy easily adapts itself to new surrounding and adds more life to the tank. They prefer to be in collections of 3 to 5 fishes and might stress out when kept single. To keep them pleased and active, the water conditions must be kept stable and tidy. The pH level of the water should be 6.5 to 7.5, and the temperature should be between 22 and 27 degree Celsius.

 It is best recommended to raise them in slow – moving water. Large gravels and rocks can be used as a substrate, and plenty of plants, caves and crevices can be used to make them feel like home. Make sure to keep the water clean and oxygenated and install a proper filtering system.

An under gravel filter can aid you in keeping it clean and don’t forget to clean the substrates too. As they are exclusively active, please provide them with enough space and factors like plants and caves to swim through and hide.  They enjoy burrowing themselves in the substrates. .

Aquarium Mates:

The Yoyo Loaches are quite compatible with other tankmates and are semi-aggressive to their members at times but without any harm. The Yoyo Loaches can be quite shy in the beginning, but once they get accustomed to the surrounding, they will become more active. Given below are some of the fishes that Yoyo loaches are comfortable to live along with

  • Clown Loach
  • Gouramies
  • Swordtails
  • Mollies
  • Cichlids
  • Barbs
  • Kribensis
  • Danios
  • Other loaches

BrittlenosePleco

BristlenosePlecos are one of the tiniest aquarium species that exist. BrittlenosePlecos are widely sought after for their small size, compatibility and easy to care nature. Similar to the common Pleco, the BrittlenosePleco also keeps on sucking algae and other particles in the tank, thereby cleaning the tank. While the Common Pleco is called Suckermouth Pleco, this species is called brushmouth pleco.

The other common names of BrittlenosePleco are Bushynose Catfish, Common Brittlenose, and Brushmouthpleco. They come in dark, dull and pale colours like black, brown, grey, olive and albino. They are straightforward to be taken care of as they have a calm temperament.

They live upto five years and can grow upto 5 inches in size generally.

Brittlenoseplecos have bony plates covering their body and tentacles on their head. The male fish’s tentacles are longer when compared to the female. They always keep sucking and sweeping the bottoms of the tank.

Since they are easy to be taken care of, it is a perfect choice for beginners in fish keeping.

Feeding:

These fishes rely mostly on algae and plant matter. However, it is not advisable to let them feed on algae alone since their diet will be an imbalanced one. To give them protein nourishment, you can try feeding delicate meat occasionally. There is also bottled food available which could serve as the best supplements of protein.

Be sure to clean up the tank after they feed as contaminated water will have a direct effect on their mental and physical health. Here are a few foods you can try feeding your BrittlenosePlecos:

  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Algae pellets
  • Algae Wafers
  • Kale

Feed them with enough vegetables as they need much fibre to survive. It would be best if you also furnished bogwood and driftwood inside the tank for them to munch on. Remember they are voracious herbivores which are in the forever-hungry mode.

Caring:

BrittlenosePlecosrequire a freshwater tank with a minimum capacity of 25 gallons. The water flow in the tank must be set to moderate. The ideal temperature range for a BrittlenosePleco tank is between 60 and 80 degrees F. The suitable pH range is 6.5 to 7.5, and the hardness must lie in between 20 and 25 dGH.

The tank must be well-oxygenated and clean. An under-gravel water system can effectively help you out with this. Use a Canister filtration system to keep the water crystal clear always.

It is easy to breed BrittlenosePlecos. All you need is to provide them with the appropriate breeding conditions and stimulate them. Install caves made of driftwood and bogwood in breeding tanks to aid them while spawning. 

The breeding tank must comprise of more females than males. This will boost up the breeding process as well as prevent aggressiveness to a more significant extent.

If you are looking for good algae eating fish that can be quickly taken care of, here is the right one.

Aquarium mates:

BrittlenosePlecos are conscious of protecting their territories. This may sometimes lead to squabbles inside the tank. Don’t overcrowd the tank with other fishes. Please provide them with much space and put them along with fishes that swim in the top and middle layers of the tank.

Listed below are some fishes with which BrittlenosePlecos do very well

  • Bettas
  • Mollys
  • Platys
  • Guppies
  • Corys
  • Tetras
  • Barbs
  • Torpedos

Siamese Algae Eater

The Siamese algae eaters are silver or gold in colour with a black horizontal stripe bisecting its body. Their sleek body makes them appear attractive. As the name hints, these fishes are award winners in the field of algae eating. If you are going to purchase them and put them in your tank, then you need not worry about cleaning the annoying algae mess anymore.

People often pathetically confuse the Siamese flying fox with the Siamese Algae Eater. The scientific binomial of the Siamese Algae eater is Crossochelius oblongus. These are very peaceful fishes which thrive well both individually and in groups.

These fishes are also very easy to be taken care of as they demand very less attention. They live maximum upto ten years and grow upto a maximum length of 6 inches.

Feeding:

Siamese Algae Eaters don’t eat algae alone; they are omnivorous organisms.  Algae form the major part of the diet. They don’t eat much of live food to get protein; instead, they mostly feed on dead animals, insects and worms.  Here are some food that we suggest for your Siamese Algae eaters.

  • Flakes
  • Pellets
  • Algae
  • Live food

Their feeding time is only a couple of minutes. Let them eat all they could within that time. This will prevent them from getting overfed.

Caring:

The Siamese algae eaters formerly come from habitats that have dense vegetation. Therefore it is good to mimic the natural habitat by accommodating more of plants inside the aquarium you have for the algae eaters. They are always found foraging for algae.

Decorating the tank with fast growing plants and rock shelters covered with algae will make them feel at home and stress-free. However, be careful not to incorporate anything sharp or harmful. Regarding the substrate, the sand substrate will be ideal for Siamese algae eaters.

Sometimes these fishes become hyperactive and try to jump out of the tank, so a closed tank is best.

The minimum tank size in which you can rear these fishes is 20 gallons. The temperature of the tank must be set between 75 and 79 degree F. The hardness range of water is 5 to 20 dGH. The pH range lies between 6.5 and 7.0.

Aquarium mates:

Since these are a peaceful species, you can combine them with many fishes. Don’t add huge aggressive fishes that may eat up your Siamese Algae Eaters. Also, be sure not to crowd your aquarium. Given below is a list of fishes that are perfectly fine with Siamese Algae eaters:

  • Tetras
  • Danios
  • Guppies
  • Amano shrimp
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Snails

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

The scientific binomial of Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is Pseudoplatystomafasciatum. The common name of this fish is Barred Sorubium. The fish is adapted to domestic purposes from the wild waters of the Amazon basin. The meat of the fish is edible and tasty as well.

These are vast species of fishes, so be prepared to buy a large tank. They will grow to become more than 60 pounds in weight. They are straightforward to be taken care of. The only important thing is that you must provide them withmuch space. Don’t even try to imagine having them in small tanks.

They reach upto 4 feet in length and can live more than 20 years in ideal conditions. They would surely prove to be an excellent investment.

Feeding:

Tiger Shovelnose Catfishes are carnivorous fishes. They can be fed with the following foods

  • Feeder fishes
  • Beef
  • Guppies
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • Shrimp
  • Krill

Caring:

As long as you allow them to swim freely in a full tank or pond, there will be no problem. The growth rate of Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is directly proportional to the food you feed them. A single-year-old Tiger Shovelnose Catfish can be more than 12 inches long.

The ideal temperature of the tank is 72 to 82 degree F. The pH level of the water must be set between 6.5 and 7.8.  The container or pond will be perfect if it has a capacity of 2,400 gallons.

These fishes are stunningly firm when adults get frightened; they even breakdown the aquarium glass in some cases. Therefore it is always good to provide them with more space, more preferably keep them in an outdoor pond or a tank.

This species is very resistant towards all types of diseases. They do not easily contract infections. In case of any sickness, they can be treated and brought back to good health sooner. They can even be let to starve for four to five days but remain in good health. So, if you see for a hardy fish which will endure for a more extended period without much attention, here is the one. 

Aquarium mates:

Your common sense definitely won’t allow you to add small fishes in the same tank where your Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is residing as they will be eaten up as snacks. A list of fishes that are highly compatible as tank-mates of Tiger Shovelnose Catfish is given below:

  • Arowana
  • Common pleco
  • Synodontis erupts
  • Redtail catfish
  • Dorado

 Dwarf Gouramies

The Dwarf Gouramies are simple pieces of joy when added to your tank.  You will know how special they are when you watch them closely. The care level of these Dwarf Gouramies is easy. I could see you, smiling dude. They come in various shades of colour.

There are many varieties of Dwarf Gouramies like the blue dwarf gourami, powder blue dwarf gourami, flame dwarf gourami, Neon blue dwarf gourami and honey dwarf gourami.

Dwarf Gouramies live upto five years and grow up to 5 inches in size. They are widely compatible with many varieties of fishes as they have a calm temperament. These fishes are also known to have unique lung-like organs which enable them to breathe oxygen from the air.

Dwarf Gouramies feel safe when they are nurtured in groups.

Feeding:

These fishes are predators naturally. Their hunting habits are fun to watch. They swim up to the surface to hunt insects that fly above the water. Usually, they hunt in groups. They eat voraciously whatever they could. Feed them with insects, larvae, worms, shrimp etc.

There are also artificial foods spread all over the market; you can try feeding them too. Also, take care not to overfeed or underfeed them. Their diet must be well-balanced with an ample amount of nutrients, minerals, fat, protein, fibre and carbohydrates.

While choosing artificial food to beware of foods that contain harmful chemical preservatives that might affect the health of the fish.

Caring:

Dwarf Gouramis will flourish well if you nurture them in a tank which is spick and span. The minimum capacity of a Dwarf Gourami tank is 10 gallons.

The perfect temperature lies somewhere around 77 to 78.5 degree F. It will be useful if you set the hardness range of the water between 10 and 20 dGH. The ideal pH range of a Dwarf Gourami tank is from 6 to 8.

Keep changing the water at regular intervals.  The water flow must be gentle. Employing filtration systems is a must. They have built your tank in such a way that the dwarf gouramies have enough places to hide. Also, have many plants in the tank, this will surely help in mimicking the natural habitats of the Dwarf Gouramies. These Gouramies also need plants to build nests to lay eggs during the spawning season.

The artificially stimulated breeding process of Dwarf Gouramies is also easy when compared to the other fishes. What more do you need? Their sturdiness, resilient nature and beauty are more than you can ask for.

Aquarium mates:

Dwarf Gouramies live peacefully with many fishes, some of them are listed below:

  • Plecos
  • Gouramies
  • Mollies
  • Loaches
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Amano Shrimp
  • Mystery snails
  • Barbs

Otocinclus Catfish

The Otocinclus catfish is a small fish nurtured in freshwater aquariums. They have a fantastic peaceful temperament and love to be in groups. They are so friendly to the extent that you can even let them be in a tank which has fries and young shrimp. No, they won’t eat them.

The other common names of Otocinclus Catfishes is Oto Catfish, otos, Oto Cats, dwarf otos, small suckermouths, algae eaters etc.

These fishes roam in the lower layers of water and feed on plants and algae. Your tank will surely keep glistening if you incorporate these fishes as their only hobby is to clean.

Taking care of these fishes is not easy as they might die soon if they are not given the adequate care they need. While buying Otocinclus Catfish look for the fattest one you can find. Skinny fishes will mostly be mal-nutrition and may die soon.

Feeding:

These fishes are purely herbivorous in nature. The tanks of Otocinclus Catfishes must be clean but not too neat as you should allow them to clean. The container must always have algae vegetation; this will make ottos thrive happily. Other foods that can be fed are

  • Zucchini
  • Pellets
  • Algae Wafers
  • Smashed fruits
  • Squashed vegetables
  • Powdered spinach
  • Boiled peas

Caring:

If your care and attention meet their requirements, they will grow upto two inches in size. The water flow must be maintained slow. The ideal tank temperature range is 72 to 79 degrees F. They don’t require too much lightening. The pH range is between 6.8 and 7.5 for Otocinclus Catfishes.

The water must be filtered and conditioned in theright way. The ammonia and nitrate concentration must be kept low. These fishes are too sensitive to sudden drastic changes; you should always have an eye on them.  Carelessness will ultimately cause death in no time.

Aquarium mates:

I can guarantee you that Oto will not harm any of the fishes. It is up to you to take up the responsibility to protect Oto from being damaged by other fishes. Big omnivorous or carnivorous fishes must be avoided at any cause inside the Oto tank. Here are some of the tank-mates of Oto

  • Cory catfish
  • Mystery snails
  • Malaysian trumpet snails
  • Cory catfish
  • Nerite snails
  • Bamboo shrimp
  • Vampire shrimp
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Red cherry shrimp
  • Crayfish
  • Rabbit snails
  • Oscars
  • Jack Dempsey
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