Showing posts with label Catfish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catfish. Show all posts


Tips on Raising and Spawning CORYDORAS Catfish

Corydoras Panda - (CC) Wikimedia

The Corydoras catfish is a member of the family Callichthyidae. They are from the genus Corydoras. There are several different species of Corydoras. They all share similar traits such as body size, shape and behavioral habits. The distinguishing feature between the various species is their color palette, some of which are quite striking.

Catfish are bottom-dwelling scavengers. Scavenger fish generally have two traits in common. Their mouths are usually pointed downward. And the mouth has barbels on either side. A barbell is a tentacle-like organ that contains taste buds. They are used to find food and to feel their way around on riverbed floors in the wild. The Corydoras catfish has two barbells, one on either side of its mouth.
Corydoras catfish are often referred to as armored catfish. This is because they have two rows of bony plates on each side of their body.

Unlike most scavenger fish, the Corydoras catfish is not strictly a bottom dweller. The Corydoras is part of the Anabantoidei suborder. This means that although they do have gills, they require both atmospheric and dissolved oxygen in order to survive. Anabantoids or labyrinth fishes have a lung-like organ that allows them to consume airborne oxygen. The Corydoras catfish will frequently rise to the surface of the water to gulp in needed air.

The Corydoras catfish is a relatively small freshwater fish. When fully grown, they only reach a size of between two to three inches. The dwarf corydoras or Corydoras pygmaeus is even smaller, reaching only about one inch in length.

Corydoras catfish make great additions to community fish tanks. They have a docile temperament. And they do a great job of cleaning up food particles from aquarium substrate to help in the prevention of harmful bacteriological build-up.

Although Corydoras are primarily bottom dwellers, they are shoaling fish. They tend to congregate together in aquariums. They even search for food and rest together. It is not at all uncommon to see one catfish resting his head on the body of another catfish. The catfish do not necessarily even have to be the same species as long as they are of the genus Corydoras. Because of their social nature, you should add at least two or three to your tank. Corydoras are not meant to live a solitary existence.

Corydoras are omnivores. They will eat just about anything they come across on the aquarium floor. Sinking foods work best to ensure your Corydoras get their required food allotment. Unlike most bottom dwellers, Corydoras have been known to rise to the surface to eat foods such as freeze-dried worms. This may be because they need to periodically rise to the surface to take in atmospheric oxygen.

Corydoras are native to the rivers and streams of South America. They thrive in neutral water (pH of 7.0) in temperatures between 70-79 degrees Fahrenheit.

You want to use sand or rounded gravel as a substrate when keeping Corydoras to help prevent them from damaging their barbels.

It is not easy to distinguish between males and females. Generally, the females' bodies are a little wider than that of the males.

Breeding Corydoras Catfish
The Corydoras have some of the most peculiar mating habits found among freshwater fish. They spawn in groups of three (1 female to 2 males), usually assuming a T position. The female places her mouth against the male's genital opening and swallows some sperm. The sperm passes through her body rapidly and out onto the eggs she has just released. The female then carries the eggs with her ventral fin to a flat surface in the breeding tank and sticks them there until they hatch.

After spawning has occurred, the adult should be removed from the breeding tank. The fry will hatch in a few days.

Fry can be fed liquid fish fry food. When they get a little older their diet can be changed to newly hatched brine shrimp and then finely crushed fish flakes.

Aquarium keeping is a fun and rewarding hobby. Freshwater aquarium fish care is the easiest and most economical way to enter the field of aquarium ownership. Less than a decade ago freshwater or saltwater fish were the only options available. But that has all changed.


BRONZE CORY Fish Are Wonderful Addition to the Aquarium

Corydoras aeneus
Photo  by MunstiSue 
Bronze Cory fish is oldest in the catfish family. If you go to any pet store, you will certainly find some variety of this fish there. Experienced fish-keepers love to have at least a couple of them in the community tank. They are industrious, they are small in size and they are good friends of fish-keepers.

Bronze Cory fish were imported from the Caribbean islands at the beginning of the last century. They soon became very popular in the United States because of their variety of colors. They are available in various shades of bronze - natural bronze, with some pinkish or golden shade and sometimes with a blue face. Experienced breeders have developed many different varieties from their original shape and size. They are now available in colors like black, green, orange and even in red. However, there is no change in their care and maintenance.

Bronze Cory fish live for a long time. Usually, they live up to 15 years. Occasionally, they will leave up to 25 years. Surprisingly even at their old age, they are eager to grab food and spend most of their time searching and eating food.

You do not need to make any special efforts for taking their care. The normal conditions of water for other pet fish will be suitable for them. The pH level of water may be in the range of 6-8 while the temperature of the water may be kept around 75 F. They can even tolerate higher temperatures for a short period of time.

You can feet Bronze Cory with the normal food. They can take frozen as well as live and prepared food you buy for other varieties of pet fish. The only thing you should remember is - you should not neglect their needs of food by considering them as scavengers. They will certainly pick up the food particles accumulated at the bottom of the tank but that may not be sufficient for their nutrition.

While feeding them, there is a possibility that the other varieties of fish in the tank will grab the food first and they will not be able to get their share. There is one solution to this problem - you can use a small pipe to drop the pellets of food at the bottom of the tank so that Bronze Cories can pick up such food easily.

Sometimes you will find them winking at you! This is a peculiar behavior associated with the Bronze Cory. There is a reason behind this. When they jump at the surface of the water for grabbing some air, and they will go back again to the bottom and wink for some time which is helpful for gulping the air.

They prefer to live in groups and you should keep them with at least half a dozen other individuals. They may not be happy when they are kept singly or in pairs. It will create stress and shorten their life.

You can easily spawn Bronze Cory fish. If you find the females slightly bigger in size, and the males a bit slim with pointed fins, you can assume that they are ready for spawning. You can separate them for at least a week. During this time you should feed them with good food like blood-worms or brine shrimps. You can set up another small tank for shifting them. After a week, you can put them in this tank. You should add an air-stone so that you will have bubbles in the tank. You should also have a powerful filter for cleaning the water.

The female will use her fins to store the eggs. The eggs are fertilized there. Thereafter, the female goes away to lay its eggs at the bottom. She will also prefer big leaves of plants. She will lay at least 200 eggs. After some time you will find that the males are remaining at the bottom of the tank and they are breathing very heavily. This is an indication that the spawning is done. At this point, you should remove the males and females from the tank.

You should carefully observe the eggs and remove the fungus on them carefully. In about a week, the eggs will hatch. The small ones will be at the bottom of the eggs for some time, absorbing the liquid substance from the eggs. The young ones will also try to eat critters which live at the bottom of the tank.

The young ones will grow very quickly and they will be fully grown up in four weeks. Then you can shift them in the common tank and once they grow up to one inch in size, you can start finding another tank for them!

Many pet shops will be able to trade them for fish food or tank supplies. So you can also make some money to support your hobby.

    By Chintamani Abhyankar
    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Creating a Conducive Environment to Help CORYDORAS Catfish to Breed

Corydoras Habrosus
Corydoras Habrosus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A lot of fish-keepers love to keep Corydoras catfish in their tanks because of several reasons. They are friendly with other species of fish have, they are peace-loving, they are small in size and they are the best cleaners of the aquarium.

Once you start keeping them, you are obviously interested in breeding them. Sometimes, without any effort on your part, you will find their eggs at the bottom of the tank. This may be due to the fact that they are happy with the conditions of the tank and they are confident that their young ones will also be happy in the same environment.

Well, in such a situation, you obviously do not take any special efforts. However, if such a situation does not occur, you may be interested in breeding them. Here is some advice for you to do it successfully.

The first step in breeding any fish is to create a separate tank. That is very convenient and it increases your chances of success. The tank may not be big but it should be wide so that it will provide good space to Corydoras catfish for swimming at the bottom. It will also provide an opportunity for the new ones to get more oxygen. As these fish do not normally use the upper portion of the tank, you can arrange for a tank of about 10 gallons of capacity available at a reasonable price in the market. 

You should provide sand or small gravel at the bottom of the tank. You should also provide some hiding place for the fish to make them happy. You can also add some plants having big leaves because the females may like to lay eggs on such leaves. You can provide a small filter for cleaning the water. Do not go for a big filter because there is a risk of small fry being sucked into it.
You have to keep Corydoras catfish in groups for successful breeding. They should be kept in the proportion of two females for one male.

You should remember an important thing while breeding Corydoras catfish - they will not breed if they are not happy about the environment. So to make them confident about their surroundings, you should provide a few hiding places, keep the water clean and free of toxic contents, keep the levels of nitrites and ammonia within the limits and if the tank is too small, you should change the water frequently.

To help Corydoras catfish breeding, you should also provide them with plenty of food. They usually like bloodworms, so you should treat them with such food. Remember, the rainy season is considered ideal for the breeding of Corydoras catfish.

After all these preparations, you will find them getting ready for breeding. The female will get fatter, which shows that she is full of eggs and the males will be around her most of the time. At this time, you may change the water to make them comfortable.

The females will store eggs under their fins. They will try to go near the genitals of the mail and will start sucking the sperm. It will pass through her body and will be then sprayed on the eggs.

Once this is done, the females will approach plants or other hiding places where they will lay eggs. At this time, you should remove either the eggs or the parents from the tank because the parents do not take care of the eggs or the fry. The eggs are sticky and you can transfer them without much effort. However, it is better to avoid exposing eggs to open air. The eggs should be kept in a slow flow of water to avoid fungal growth on them. A simple way to do it is to put an air stone at the bottom of the tank.

The color of eggs will be beige and you may also find a spot on them as they approach the time of hatching. The eggs which are not fertile will look white in color. Soon, the new ones will come out.
They will require special food which should preferably be in liquid form. It is available in pet shops. 

After a couple of days, you can provide them with small brine shrimp for proper nutrition. With their growth, you can increase the quantity of food gradually. It is extremely important to look after the conditions of water at this time because the small ones will be very delicate and will not be able to tolerate abnormal conditions.

After about two weeks, you may transfer them to a bigger tank or to the main tank in which you are keeping other species of fish.


Experienced Fish-Keepers Always Insist on Keeping CORYDORAS Catfish

corydoras julii
Photo  by Genista 
Corydoras catfish are very famous in the American continent. There are about 150 known species which are spread all around.

Corydoras catfish are very good for keeping with the other species of fish in the same aquarium. They live peacefully and will never trouble any other fish in the aquarium. As they keep on searching for food at the bottom of the aquarium, they help in cleaning the dirt and excessive food which is accumulated at the bottom.

They cannot grow beyond 2 to 3 inches. In nature, they are happy in a place where the water is still. They usually eat the insects which are lying at the bottom of the water. They also eat the flesh of a dead fish, so they are called cleaners.

They are considered 'social' in the aquarium as they would form a group along with other Corydoras. This group will swim together, search for food together and even take rest together! Usually, you will find one catfish resting on the other. Even if there is no catfish around, they will become friends with other species of fish and live happily. So you must keep them in a group or at least with some other species in the aquarium. If you keep them alone, they may not live long.

You need not spend much on their food. You will find their mouths facing downwards so they will always be searching at the bottom of the aquarium. You can offer them the same food which you offer to the other species of fish. Usually, they will prefer sinking food, but occasionally they will come to the surface of the water to eat food like bloodworms.

If you provide them with normal conditions of water, they are happy. If the ph level of the water is 7.0 and the temperature is of about 80° F, they will have no problems. The only precaution you should take is not adding salt to the water. They may not survive in such water.

You can provide sand or rocks at the bottom of the aquarium but care should be taken to avoid rocks with sharp edges. As Corydoras catfish would like to hang around at the bottom, such things may damage their body.

Breeding of Corydoras catfish is not normal. They should be kept in the proportion of two males to one female. The female will put their mouth at genitals of the males for swallowing the sperm. It will pass through the digestive system and it will then pass on to the eggs released by her. Initially, she will hold these eggs in her fins. Once they are fertilized, she will carry them to a safe surface in the tank, maybe on a plant or on the glass.

The eggs will hatch in a few days. However, there is a risk of other fish eating them before they are hatched. For this reason, the breeding should preferably take place in a separate tank.

Corydoras catfish do not take care of their little ones so you can remove them from the tank after spawning.

The small ones will start swimming around and eating food available at the bottom of the tank. They will be happy with the small brine shrimp.

Corydoras catfish can adjust themselves to any setup. They are not colorful, but they perform a great job of maintaining the cleanliness of the aquarium. That is why they have recently become popular among the fish keepers.

    By Chintamani Abhyankar
    Chintamani Abhyankar is a goldfish enthusiast and has been raising and breeding goldfish for many years. He is an expert on their care and an advocate for raising healthy goldfish the natural way.
    Article Source: EzineArticles



Corydoras Panda - Photo: Wikipedia
Catfish are common fish found in freshwater aquariums. Catfish are very unique and differ from other fish in regards to their health and care. The most distinguishing feature of a catfish is the prominent "barbells", which look like whiskers on a cat, hence giving this one of a kind fish their name. The other thing that set catfish apart from any other fish is the fact that they have no scales. They also possess a strong, hollow ray on their fins that a stinging protein can be emitted from if the fish is irritated or in danger.

The most common catfish found in aquariums are the armored catfish. This group is smaller in size than other types of catfish and make a great addition to an aquarium. When you are setting up your tank initially, it is best to decide then whether you are going to house catfish. Your decision will impact the type of gravel or sand you will use as well as the pH of the water within the tank. Armored catfish prefer soft bottom material because they forage for food within the substrate. Catfish feel more secure when they are hidden from the light, so be sure to have caves and hiding places for this type of fish.

Overall, the care of catfish does not vary from caring for your other fish. You should try to include a food that will settle on the bottom of the tank as these fish are bottom feeders. The water should have a temperature in the middle the to upper seventies and the pH should be neutral. This is usually the same setup and water balance you will use to house other fish as well, so it should not be a major concern when you add your catfish.

Catfish are known to be somewhat goofy and comical, but this may depend on the species of catfish you have. Their behavior will vary, but as a whole, the catfish is an entertaining addition to an aquarium. There are a group and schooling catfish that get along well with each other. There are also loners who always stay away from their neighbors. Catfishes are the ideal candidates for community tanks because they inhabit niches and shelters on the bottom not occupied by other aquarium inhabitants. They generally get along well with all types of fish. Only in combination with some larger Cichlids can there be a problem as the Cichlids tend to extend their territorial claim to the entire tank.

The one thing to consider before adding a catfish to your existing aquarium set-up is the size of the other fish. While catfish generally get along with most fish, they are a predator and will attack and feed on smaller fish. Catfish are also nocturnal and should be fed later in the day or at night. You may have to adjust the feeding times depending on what your schedule is now and what other types of fish inhabit the tank. With the number of species of Armored catfish, you will be sure to have a colorful and amusing aquarium with the addition of these comical fish. As with all fish, be sure to keep the aquarium clean and healthy so as to ensure the health of the fish as well as your enjoyment for years to come.


What is a PLECO?

Plecostomus - Photo: Flickr
The suckermouth catfish was named Acipenser plecostomus in 1758.
A pleco fish is a bottom-feeding/algae-eating fish typically acquired for freshwater aquariums originally from South America.

They are those "sucker fish".
Plecos prefer warmer water and are pretty self-sufficient.
They eat the green algae in the tank and excess food off the bottom that the other fish can't or don't.
They clean when you don't want to.

One of the girls at the pet store loved them, one hated them.

Well, the girl that loved them loved them for all the reasons I mentioned above plus they are laid back fish...They'll find a small crevice or spot to hide during daylight and chill out. Then, they'll come out at night and clean/eat but keep to themselves.

The girl that hated them found that they grow very quickly and "when they poop, the pieces are long and stringy that float around the tank".

The first girl never felt she had this problem with her plecos at home.
Personally, I went home to ponder these dilemmas, as I was preparing for a trip away from home for 1.5 weeks.

What Did I Do?
I got 1 very small pleco, the smallest one I could find, to assist with the cleaning of the tank while I was away.

Apparently, my mother says the tank looks immaculate...although I only have 1 goldfish in the 10-gallon tank with it.

* By The Way: The pleco did a wonderful algae in site 1.5 weeks later! We named him Mr Klean - Yes, another "K" name...LOL!

Loaches, also bottom feeders, are an option but seem to bother the other fish in the tank, from my observations...They never stop moving around. They are "Old World" freshwater fish coming from riverine environments throughout Morocco and Eurasia.


Understanding The Secrets Behind CATFISH

Catfish - Photo: Pixabay
There is actually a reason behind catfish being one of the best game fish for many experienced as well as beginner fishermen. One part of the story is that this fish is really smart and fast unlike many people think. Catching this type of fish requires you to know some catfish facts first. Understanding its biology as well as behavior is the key to becoming a better catfisher. If you know how this fish moves, feeds and breeds, then you got a good chance of catching it easily. Following some useful catfishing tips would also increase your chances of catching the big cats that you've always dreamed about.

Catfish got their name obviously from the barbells around their mouths, which look like cat whiskers. These barbells are there for a really good reason. Because of their high sensitivity, the catfish are able to taste the surrounding water for possible food as well as for potential danger. This morphology makes it a highly adaptive fish even in the worst water conditions.

Unlike many people think, a lot of catfish species have various venoms to defend themselves against other predators. While the existence of venomous species that can cause harm to men hasn't been reported in North America, many proofs show that there are highly poisonous catfishes in some parts of the world. When this fish feels threatened, it extends its spines or (barbs) and strikes with them when attacked (even by a human). The good thing is that most of the catfish venoms aren't strong enough and can only cause you some pain that could last an hour or so. The best practice that you could do is to always wear safety gloves when unhooking them.

Another catfish fact that you should be aware of, is that these fish don't actually have scales, yes they don't have any! It's true that armored catfishes have bonny plates covering some parts of their bodies, but they don't really have scales. Someone would wonder how this fish is able to survive harsh conditions even without having solid scales that back them up. Well, the secret as many experienced catfishers say is in their tough skins. So if you think that their lack of scale is making them weak, you need to think again.

Catfish doesn't actually ask for the luxury many other species do. They eat whatever food they find in their face. They can eat everything from meat, plants, bugs, fish eggs and even dead species. The best time for catching a catfish is probably when they are out for food. While these game fishes can eat anything, they definitely don't eat men as many myths and false stories try to tell you!


TIGER SHOVELNOSE CATFISH - Pseudoplatystoma Fasciatum

TIGER SHOVELNOSE CATFISH - Pseudoplatystoma Fasciatum



Ancistrus sp.
Photo  by mrpotet 
The Bristlenose Pleco is one of the most popular aquarium fish around the world today but there is some confusion about certain aspects of its naming and exactly what is being referred to when certain names are used. Therefore if you feel you'd like to get to the bottom of how it all fits together and how best to look after these extraordinary fish them please read on.

Bristlenose Pleco is the common name given to the genus Ancistrus which is made up of over 140 species of catfish which come from rivers and streams in South America. Interestingly the name Bristlenose Pleco is not the only common name that they are known as. In Australia, they are predominantly known as Bristlenose Catfish but in other parts of the world including Canada, the USA, and the UK they are known as Bristlenose Plecos or simply Plecos or Plecs.

Therefore if you are new to the world of Bristlenose then be careful as the name Pleco can also be applied to many other genera of Catfish outside the genus Ancistrus, as well. So what you may find in some instances is, when Pleco is used, it may not necessarily be in reference to Bristlenose.
The next important point to understand is that the most common species within the genus is A. cirrhosis or simply the Common Bristlenose. The Common Bristlenose is normally identified by it's a brown color with lighter colored spots but it's also important to know that there is also an albino color variation as well. Both of these color variations also come in what is known as shortfin and longfin varieties, so all up there are 4 different variations of the Common Bristlenose.

A. cirrhosus was also once known as A. dolichopterus. As a consequence when you see the name A dolichopterus it may be incorrectly referring to A. cirrhosus or it could be referring to the real A. dolichopterus which is also known as the Starlight Bristlenose or simply L183. Therefore look for clarification when you do see this name.

This then leads into what is known as the L Number System. Many members of the Catfish family, Loricariidae of which Ancistrus species are a member are allocated what is called an L Number. This is applied to species that have not yet been scientifically classified as a means of identifying them. You may also find that some species have more than one L Number due to being named in different locations which can also lead to some confusion.

Therefore you will find that most Bristlenose Plecos are referred to by their species name or their common name or an L Number or even a combination of any of these.

So as you can see the naming of the Bristlenose Pleco can be a little confusing but luckily for the enthusiast their ease of care is much simpler. Simply ensure the water is heated to between 20 to 27 deg C, it is fairly well oxygenated, there is some sort of current and the pH is slightly acidic. These conditions replicate those of much other fish as well and as such the Bristlenose is well suited to be kept with many different types of freshwater fish.

This is of course just one of the reasons why they are so often called upon as the number one choice for an algae eater in so many community tanks. Therefore you would think that feeding would be pretty straightforward as well and in many respects it is.

Firstly, don't assume that they will survive on just foraging for algae. They do like some added vegetables as well. Blanched zucchini, carrots, and broccoli are all favorites. Also, add the occasional algae wafer and meat-based food and they will be extremely happy. The most important factor though is that plant-based foods should make up the majority of their diet as too much protein can lead to constipation and bloat, which can be fatal.

So now hopefully you'll understand what is being referred to when the many different terminologies are used to describe the Bristle-nose Pleco. They are fairly easy to care for as well but just make sure you get the essentials right and your Bristlenose Pleco will live a long, happy and healthy life.

    The Bristlenose Pleco is just such a useful and likable freshwater aquarium fish. They are easy to look after and breed but just like the most thing it does pay to do some quality research if want to keep and breed the Bristlenose Pleco successfully. Find out more at my Bristlenose Pleco blog.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Callichthyidae Fish Care and Aquariums - ARMORED CATFISH - Corydoras

Photo  by Furryscaly 
Catfish Armored with Barbels

Coming from Trinidad and South America are the Mail and Armored Catfish. These catfish are well respected even by larger fish. The catfish have partly covered bony plates, which double and its back and head has a covering. The mail and armor catfish have fatty moveable fins, which the adipose surround a hefty backbone. The dorsal fins are near the backbone. These catfish have two sets of barbel at the base of its mouth.

Another group of catfish includes the Genus Corydoras. 

This group of fish is relatives to the Callichthyidae. If you are searching for tank catfish, hit the shop and buy a couple of these good buddies. The hardy fish have a curious nature, as well as amusing features. These catfish are ideal as well since they will clean up the neighborhood without a problem, thus eliminating pollutant build up.

If you are purchasing the mail or armored catfish for breeding, you will need a tank solely for housing these fish.

How to dress the tank
Armor and mail catfish tend to enjoy housing in murky colored waters where fine gravel rests at the bottom of the aquarium. Cryptocoryne is ideal to provide a hiding place for these fish, yet you should keep plant volume to a minimal. Stones are nice hiding spots for the mail and armored catfish, yet you must arrange them as arches, or related formations.

How do I decide on water temperature?
Catfish are not friendly to overheated waters. Therefore, the water temperature should be around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also avoid over illuminating the tank. The water should have moderate alkalinity, hardness, or neutral conditions. As the fish mature, you will need another aquarium to manage conditions and segregated arrangements. During spawning, you should fill another tank up to fifteen gallons of water. You will know when spawning time has arrived at the shifting colors. Look for light rosy tints.

How do they mate?
The fish will naturally mate in pairs. Sometimes however when the fish are placed in separate tanks, spawning will not occur. If this happens, you want to reduce the water temperature to around 62 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, you will need to add clean water to the tank. The fish will lay eggs the size of 2 mm and up to 400 eggs. After the eggs are hatched, you want to add methylene blue to the tank, so that the fry can prepare peacefully for deliverance. Fry fish from mail or armored fish tend to rot, so the water should be tainted a bluish shade, which is the purpose of methylene. Once the fry comes to the world, you want to feed them Micro worms, and later feed the fish saltwater shrimp.

Bronze Corydoras, otherwise known as Corydoras Aeneus come from Venezuela and Trinidad waters. The fish grow 2 ½ inches in size. This particular breed is not a favorite fish added to the tank water. The greenish sides of the fish offset a pink colored frame. While the fish is one of the harder fish to adapt to the tank water, it does make a good communal tank fish. Bronze Cory will not assault, mistreat, or interfere with the life of other fish.

Favorite dishes:
The Bronze enjoys Tubifex and white worms, yet he will eat dried dishes as well.

Water conditions
Alkalinity water is fine as long as the water condition is neutral. Hard water will suffice as long as you keep the volume in moderation. NaC1 or saltwater is not the Bronze Cory's preferred choice and these fish will let you know quick, therefore stay clear of this water condition.

    Sven Hylten-Cavallius - Article Source: GoArticles


4 Popular CATFISH - Great Tips On Catfish Care

Corydoras paleatus
Corydoras paleatus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Catfish are popular animals for keeping and eating. But, if you are looking for tips on great recipes, you're looking in the wrong place. This is where you are going to learn how to keep and maintain catfish as pets. One of the reasons people enjoy catfish is because they are very self-sufficient. Catfish clean up algae and other organisms from tanks making cleaning easier for the fish owner. Catfish get their name from the cat-like whiskers on their face.

There are so many different types of catfish and they range in sizes and shapes. There are the Mekong giant catfish that grows to six feet long. This is obviously a fish you aren't going to own. There are catfish that are easier to keep than others. The catfish in this article include the Black Spotted Corydoras, Peppered Corydoras, Leopard Corydoras and Loricariidae.

1. Black Spotted Corydoras: This catfish comes from Venezuela and Guiana and can grow to a little over two inches in length. The reason for the name is pretty obvious when you see it. It's silver with black spots. Black Spotted catfish make good pets. They aren't aggressive and are peaceful animals. They prefer to eat white worms or tubifex but will eat fish flakes.

2. Peppered Corydoras: The brown colored fish hails from Brazil. It also has spots on it but not as prominent as other catfish. Like other catfish, it handles communal tanks and cleans the tank well. It feeds on white worms, Tubifex, and flakes. The Peppered catfish enjoys the slightly acidic water, so check the pH level. It enjoys swimming in hard water.

3. Leopard Corydoras: The Leopard catfish is from the lower Amazon. The reason for the name is the dark spots over the silvery body that tends to form lines near the tail. The Leopard catfish is an easy fish to own. It's calm with other fish and doesn't act aggressively. It enjoys similar water conditions to the Peppered catfish and eats the same items. These fish usually swim around the bottom of the tank looking for food that the others have missed.

4. Loricariidae: These fish are covered in bony plates and are a hit with fish lovers. They have a suckermouth and clean up tanks as good as a vacuum. They love eating the algae and other tiny organisms, which makes cleaning the tank easier. These fish shouldn't be used as a substitute for cleaning. Cleaning must still be maintained. Most species of this catfish are nocturnal so you might not see them out during the day. They prefer slightly acidic water (6.0 - 7.5 pH) and a temperature between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. They are good in tanks with other fish but might fight with fish of their own species. These fish enjoy worms, insect larvae, and algae. They should be fed in the evening. Many of these fish are sold just for their algae eating purposes. Some of them can grow to be large fish, but many stay relatively small, sucking up the algae at night. There are some of these that are bred in captivity because they are such a popular fish.

Catfish are a great fish to have in your aquarium. Besides eating the algae and making your cleaning duties easier, they get along well with other fish. This is important because, with territorial fish, you can spend time trying to find the right combination of fish to put in your tank without them killing each other. Catfish come in many colors and varieties. Find the one you like best and enjoy the peaceful nature and low maintenance it brings to the tank.


CATFISH in a 10 Gallon Aquarium

Photo  by jorge.correa 
When you are dealing with a smaller tank, the choice of a bottom fish depends, to a great extent, on the tank's present and planned inhabitants.  Not necessarily in fish alone, but in live plants as well. 
When there are no plants in the planned aquascape, there is little chance you may be bringing in pests such as snails, so that problem is not a factor for consideration. For my most recent aquarium set-up, the Fluval Edge, which holds only 6 U.S. gallons when filled right to the top, I added a juvenile Botia lohachata as the scavenger.

The tank is well planted and bringing snails into the ecosystem with the live plants, even well rinsed posed a distinct possibility.  As a matter of fact, I found an empty snail shell floating under the top glass very soon after I added the fish!

Although there is a wide selection of bottom fish available for the small community aquarium, I tend to use either Botia striatus or Botia lohachata nowadays. They do just fine in my high pH water and are not that common looking. The Botia striatus I have kept for the longest, and they have always been extremely shy. It may be the tank they are in, which is the largest of my small community aquariums. Or, the fact that they found a great hiding place right from the start and rarely exit it to scavenge for their meals.  They have always preferred to leave it only when they are hungry.

I have added the Botia lohachata in two different tanks. One is in the Fluval Edge mentioned above where there is a single individual.  The other a classic ten gallon planted system with two individuals as well as a pair of South Amercian Appistogramma aggasiz Dwarf Cichlids. This is a heavily planted aquarium. In each instance, the Botia lohachata are much more active than the B. striatus. In the ten gallon tank, the two there even feed on the top!

Whenever the pH is high, I also tend to include a Plecostomus.  But be careful of the water conditions when adding these fish, they do not do well in acid water. When kept in high pH, one will help control algae formation in almost any tank, no matter what its inhabitants may be. Right now one is doing quite well in my Tropiquarium 88 where it was placed after the biological filter matured. The tank has quite a number of African Cichlids and it is doing quite well in spite of these aggressive tank mates.  Plecostomus can grow over time, but still seem quite content to clean their areas well.  
Aggressivity is not a common trait with these fish, they are not particularly appetizing, so they are suitable for both passive and moderately aggressive communities.

If the tank is new, and everything was recently purchased, chances are you don't actually need to put in a catfish just yet. I prefer to let the tank begin to add some organic wastes as the tank matures for the first six to eight weeks. Only after the Nitrogen Cycle has been started and matured would I normally consider adding bottom fish of any kind. The tank doesn't need the added fish load, and the filter is so clean it should be able to handle the wastes while everything settles and gets into balance.  Since I do not feed bottom fish separately, I feel it is best to let the system get a little bit of waste in the bottom for a scavenger to find before they are considered as new arrivals.

For most common community aquariums, I use one of the various Corydoras sp. armored catfish as the bottom feeder of choice. There is a huge variety of choices in these dwarf catfish that will make one of them the perfect complement to a smaller aquarium community. You can pick between solids, stripes, blotches, albino and a lot of other possibilities.

These are scaleless catfish. If you should have a problem with Ich or other diseases and need to treat, read the directions on any medication very carefully. Remember that they are quite vulnerable to many of the medications typically used to kill many parasites. Generally, half doses are the maximum with these fish in a tank - but always follow the written directions to be safe.

One of the main problems new aquarists face is the presence of algae. I have kept fish for forty years or so, and I have grown quite used to seeing it in the tank and accept it as natural. Many people don't. They try to use a bottom fish to eliminate it. As mentioned, the various Plecostomus types are the very best of these. They are so ugly; they are interesting. Personally, I enjoy them immensely. The problem is that many aquascapes are maintained in an acid range, and this is deadly to alkaline loving Plecostomus. When placed in acid water they often turn white and die, so be careful and only use them when the pH is 7.2 or above.

One of the natural ways to remove algae is to ask a bottom fish, like the Plecostomus to eat it as part of his diet. This by no means a thorough way to eliminate the growths, but it can help keep the growths in check. Chinese Algae Eaters (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri), the Siamese Flying Fox (Crossochelius siamensis) and the more common Flying Fox (Epalseorhynchos kallopterus) are also used to help try to control the algae. I prefer either of the flying foxes which seem to prefer to eat algae most of the time.

The Siamese Flying fox is known to be a better algae eater - especially when this fish is kept in small schools. The Chinese Algae Eater will eat some algae when it is quite young but often turns aggressive towards other swimming inhabitants.  If possible they often try to suck the protective slime coating off other fish as a free meal.  As they age they prefer to be lazy rather than work on algae as a meal.


Breeding the Bronze Catfish, CORYDORAS Aeneus

corydoras aeneus - bronze catfish side on
Photo  by h080 
The female is a little bigger than the male, but the shape is a better way of telling the sexes apart. The female gets a bigger belly, and if looked at from above the female is clearly wider than the male.
The male has a longer and more pointed dorsal fin.

The bronze Catfish is probably the easiest fish of its genus to breed. The parents to be should be well fed for a while before breeding. It is common to use two males and one female for breeding. In the wild, this species will breed at the start of the breeding season. A drop in water temperature will often stimulate the breeding. This drop can be as much as 4 degrees C. Some people go further and lower the temperature by sprinkling cooler water over the surface of the water to simulate heavy rain. This fish is an egg placer. The female carefully cleans a number of places for the eggs. These places may be on the sides of the aquarium, or on the leaves of plants.

When they are ready the breeders assume the "T" position with the female's mouth adjacent to the male's vent. The female takes the male's sperm into her mouth ready for fertilization. She lays her eggs into a little basket formed by her pectoral fins and carefully places the fertilized eggs onto the prepared places.

The number of eggs laid each time varies between 1 and 10. The breeders repeat this until the female has laid all her eggs. This may be up to 300 eggs and the spawning will sometimes take several days.
When they are first laid the eggs are nearly clear, but they darken to a golden brown. If they turn white they are infertile. Infertile eggs get fungus which can spread to healthy eggs. Generally, the eggs are separated from the parents because some people have observed Bronze Catfish eating their own eggs and young. The eggs hatch in about 5 days.

The method of fertilization used by many corydoras catfish is in dispute. The old idea was that the sperm goes very quickly through the female's digestive tract and comes out of her vent in exactly the right position to fertilize the eggs. It has always been recognized that there were problems with this theory. The sperm would have to pass through much faster than food normally does, and avoid being digested. Various ways were postulated to explain how this is done.

Another idea is that the sperm comes out of the gill covers of the female and are directed backward in the right general direction to fertilize the eggs. Reading forums, you can see that there are people who adamantly insist that one or other of the theories are correct. The supporters of both sides are experienced breeders who have carefully observed the spawning of Bronze Catfish. Personally, I think the second theory is more likely to be correct.

Raising the Fry
After hatching the babies will live on their yolk sac for 2 or 3 days. They will then eat infusoria and fine fry food including Microworms and other very small live food.