Aquarium catfish live well and breed in captivity. They differ from other fish in the absence of scales, but some species, such as the family of chain catfish, have grown together plates resembling shell. Representatives of this family inhabit freshwater reservoirs, therefore they are great for an aquarium. In nature, there are more than 2 thousand catfish of various sizes and colors.
Aquarium fish somiki are attendants. They like to swim closer to the bottom of glass ponds, where it is darker than on the surface, and pick up leftover food from stones and clean off microorganisms and silt from them.
In one aquarium both small and large representatives of the family somobrion get on together. The size of giant catfish, suitable for home breeding, reaches 35 cm. It is this length that brocade pterigoplicht has in adulthood.
Most catfish are unpretentious in food, but there are also predators, because of which fish often disappear. A very interesting representative of catfish is the sack-sack. It is distinguished from other individuals by the presence of poisonous thorns, the injection of which is painful, although not fatal.
Popular types of aquarium catfish
Only a few species of aquarium catfish are found in domestic ponds. A family of chain catfish is popular among beginners and professionals.
They are distinguished by the presence of bone plates that cover the elongated body. Males are usually longer and brighter than females. In adults, tentakules grow on the head. numerous outgrowths. In food kolchuzhnye catfish unpretentious. Their diet consists of plants, but they are also happy to eat bloodworms or sea fish fillets.
Common types of aquarium catfish:
Antennous or Pimeloid catfish. In nature, they live in rivers, therefore only captive, filtered, oxygenated water is required in captivity. They do not have suckers, unlike most species of catfish, so they lead a mobile lifestyle. Antennous are quite small in size. up to 5 centimeters, but there are also real giants that grow up to 60 cm in length.
Catfish do not eat garbage and food waste, so you should not get them only for these purposes. They also need care, special living conditions and high-quality food.
Choice and arrangement of an aquarium
Somik aquarium. fish unpretentious. For maintenance at home you will need a spacious aquarium with a wide bottom. The only important condition is that water should be replaced in time in a tank and a good filtering system must be present.
Home water should be chosen depending on the size of the aquarium fish that will inhabit it. If for small species of catfish there is enough capacity of 50–200 liters, for larger representatives the minimum reservoir volume is 300 liters.
In the aquarium should be present houses for fish, because without shelter they will be uncomfortable. Usually, for this purpose, there should be enough snags and stones in the aquarium so that catfish can hide under them during the day, and how should they rest until dusk. Since most soms lead solitary lives, they can suffer a lot without good shelter.
Aquarium catfish should be kept in clean, filtered, unsalted water, as they prefer fresh water in nature. Fluid temperature should be 22–28 ° C. Thanks to skin breathing and the ability to breathe regular air, catfish rise to the surface, filling their lungs. This quality makes the fish unpretentious to the oxygen regime.
Most catfish living at home choose the dark time of the day for waking. Therefore, in addition to supply the aquarium lighting fixtures do not need. They are comfortable with the muted light, and if there is an opportunity to organize their constant penumbra, then the fish will be able to swim in the daytime.
Vegetation is recommended to choose depending on the type of catfish that will live in the aquarium. For fish-vegetarians who eat exclusively vegetable food, it is better to organize plantings from artificial algae. Natural will be very quickly eaten. Of live plants, only representatives with a good root system, such as cryptocorins and echinodoruses, are suitable.
Aquarium catfish are not whimsical and in the choice of soil. Some species that love to “scour” the bottom of the tank, raise the clouds of turbidity, if covered with sand. For them, it is better to choose a coarse grain. The only exception is gravel that can damage the abdomen and antennae of the fish.
Caring for catfish in an aquarium will not cause much trouble to the owner. An important condition for the residence of these fish is timely feeding. If shelters are equipped in the pond, algae grow, comfortable temperature and water hardness are ensured, then it is a pleasure to care for them.
What to feed catfish
How long do catfish live
The largest representatives living in nature can live up to 100 years, but domestic fish are not so long-lived. Depending on the species of catfish and the conditions of its maintenance, the average lifespan of catfish is 8 years, provided that aquarium catfish live in suitable conditions.
Compatible with other fish
When buying fish, you need to know exactly who catfish live in an aquarium, because each species has its own preferences.
In life, these somas are very peace-loving, they do not fight with other inhabitants of the reservoir, but they may conflict with each other. The only threat for them comes from large fish, for example, large astronotus, who are able to completely swallow their prey.
Some speckled catfish will not get along with fish biting tails.
Somi are not compatible with small fish, such as guppies or neons. they can be food for predators. To similar neighbors it is better to move the herbivorous species of catfish.
Stimulation of catfish breeding can be stimulated by lowering the temperature of the water in the aquarium. The spawning period lasts up to 5 days, and at this time the female and several males must be transplanted into the spawning area. a special capacity, ranging in volume from 30 to 70 liters. It is also possible to breed fish in a plastic basin, if there is no other free container. It is advisable to additionally equip with snags and plants so that the fish feel comfortable. A suitable water temperature for catfish breeding is 18–20 ° C.
The main thing is to correctly determine the sex of the fish. It is usually easy to distinguish a female from a male, the male has a brighter color and a slender body. The change in water temperature accelerates the onset of spawning. Courtship lasts about 1 week, while the male tries to show himself in all its glory. He whirls around the ladies, trying to arouse her interest. When the female pays attention to him, the male touches her with his antennae, showing readiness to breed.
It is interesting to observe aquarium catfish — they crawl on the glass, clean them from sludge, then “comb” the bottom in search of food debris, then hide in shelters. It is their active life that makes catfish so attractive, among other types of fish. It is noteworthy that even a novice in aquaristics will be able to find a suitable pet for himself, due to the large number and diversity of species of the family somobraznyh.