In nature, there are about 2000 species of catfish. Most of them are freshwater fish (only one percent lives in sea water). Types of aquarium catfish, of which there are about 800, can have a wide variety of sizes, as well as color and requirements for keeping conditions. Their common distinguishing feature is the lack of scales and bottom lifestyle.
Many varieties are covered with horny plates and spines. Another external feature that characterizes these fish is the presence of antennae and sometimes special suction cups, with the help of which they are held on stones during strong currents. Catfish can be both calm and get along well with other fish, and aggressive.
At the moment, the most commonly bred aquarium catfish species such as brocade pterygoplicht, white-spotted agamixis and shifter catfish are most often bred by amateurs. Next, consider their habits in detail.
This catfish can be quite large (30 cm). Therefore for himcontent, you will need to purchase a sufficiently voluminous aquarium - at least 100 liters. This catfish feeds mainly on plant foods, but sometimes you should give him a tubifex or bloodworm. From time to time he may show some aggression towards members of his own species or other large fish, but not towards those that live in the middle and upper layers of the aquarium.
This is perhaps the most interesting aquarium fish. Catfish whose species swim belly up are called shifters (or synodontis). This species moves along the bottom in the usual way. Such fish live up to 10 years and can grow up to 10 cm. Such a catfish can be planted in an aquarium with a volume of 50 liters or more.
This catfish is perhaps more common than any other species in amateur aquariums. Although these fish grow up to only 10 cm, it is best to keep them in a container with a volume of at least one hundred liters. You can feed these fish with both plant foods and animals.
Features of maintenance and reproduction
All types of aquarium catfish are cleaners by nature, as they collect food leftovers from the bottom that have not been eaten by other fish. When they are kept, it is imperative to use equipment such as filters and aerators. In search of food, these fish dig the ground, and therefore raise a huge number of soil particles. As a result, the water becomes completely cloudy. The most suitable type of aquarium for catfish is with a wide bottom and wellestablished vegetation. Be sure to equip a variety of shelters - bury ceramic pipes in the ground and make caves from stones.
Usually, containers with a volume of about 30 liters are used as spawning grounds. In the aquarium, you should put plexiglass or a bunch of grass (on which eggs will be laid) and start a female and three males. All types of aquarium catfish require the creation of special conditions when breeding. It is best if the water temperature is maintained at a level of the order of +280 C. For a successful result, it is also necessary to maintain neutral acidity (6-7 pH). The incubation period can last from 1 to 10 days. However, in most of the most common varieties, fry usually hatch on the 3rd day after the female lays eggs. Above, on this page - aquarium catfish. The species whose photographs you can see are called as follows: brocade pterygoplicht, changeling catfish, white-spotted agamixis (from top to bottom).