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

2017-07-27

WHIPTAIL CATFISH -Hemiloricaria parva

Whiptail Catfish -Hemiloricaria parva



2017-07-26

Tips on Caring For Your PLECOSTOMUS Algae Eater

Plecostomus or Hypostomus plecostomus belong to the family Loricariidae. Loricariidae means armored catfish named so because of the armor-like longitudinal rows of scutes that covers the upper parts of their bodies. They are endemic to both Central and South America. They are more commonly known as algae eaters or sucker mouth because of their suction cup like mouth.

Hypostomus Plecostomus
Hypostomus Plecostomus - Photo by Kasia/flickr 

Their dietary habits make the Plecostomus extremely popular among freshwater aquarists. In addition to the benefit of reducing algae growth, they are a solitary and peaceful creature making them a great addition to any community tank. They will actively seek out and eat algae at the microscopic level before it has a chance to develop into a cleaning and maintenance problem.

Before you buy one, you should be aware that these are not small fish. The ones you see in fish stores are young. In their natural habitat they can reach up to 24 inches. In captivity they will often grow to a foot long.

If you have a smaller tank you can still enjoy the benefits of an algae eater. The variety commonly marketed as the clown plecostomus only grow to 3-4 inches. The king tiger plecostomus will top out at about 6 inches. There is a rather unusual trait found among plecos species. Their foreheads enlarge as they mature. It is not uncommon for a plecostomus to live in excess of 10 years. Plecos are primarily herbivores. But they also eat the food scraps on the substrate missed by the other fish. These bottom dwellers will use their suction cup like mouths to attach themselves to the sides of aquariums where algae is beginning to develop.

Unlike many fish that have become a nuisance after aquarium trade related releases have introduced them to previously uninhabited ecosystems, the plecostomus has proved to be beneficial. They have been introduced to the freshwater ecosystems of Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.

Plecos are nocturnal creatures. It is a good idea to have hollow aquarium d├ęcor in your tank to give them a place to hide during the day should thy wish to do so. Plecos thrive in neutral water with a temperature range between 70-79°F.



Plecostomus Breeding
Plecos are not known to spawn in captivity. In the wild they dig pits in river beds to deposit their eggs into. Both parents guard the eggs until they hatch. Young fry feed off mucus on their parents' bodies until the have matured enough to fend for themselves.

Most of the fish that do not spawn in captivity are caught to support the thriving aquarium industry. This is very often not the case when it comes to the plecos. There are natives of South and Central America that have turned the harvesting of plecos eggs into an industry all its own. Eggs are collected from riverbeds are are then transported to fish farms where they are hatched and raised for eventual resale. Most of the commercially available plecos for sale fish stores in were harvested just this way.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Freshwater fish are the most popular aquarium fish worldwide because of their inexpensive price and ease of care. Many aquarium owners don't realize that there is a rather exotic alternative to freshwater fish in the realms of affordability and upkeep. Jellyfish aquariums are the hottest new trend in the aquarium industry. Jellyfish do require a special Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank in order to survive but they are far easier to keep alive and healthy than saltwater fish. If you find the idea of raising pet jellyfish intriguing, find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2017-07-01

ZEBRA PLECO - Hypancistrus zebra

Zebra Pleco - Hypancistrus zebra



2017-06-30

Breeding CATFISH - The Bristlenose

Many aquarists tend to think of catfish simply as the "cleanup crew" and have them solely to keep the tank free of algae and to consume the bits of food that slip past the fish that feed higher in the tank. However this species is fascinating in its own right and breeding catfish is relatively easy in the home aquaria.

English: a Bristlenose Catfish (ancistrus doli...
A Bristlenose Catfish (ancistrus dolichopterus) (male) is sitting on a coconut shell
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

The bristlenose catfish are popular because of their novel looks and their hard work! Within days of adding a bristlenose to a tank, every trace of algae will be gone. They are easy to breed in a community tank. The mature male has much longer bristles than the female and tends to be larger. They are not overly critical about water conditions but do prefer slightly acidic water, with a pH between 6.5 and 7 and a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees F.

As the bristelnose is a cave spawner you need to make sure that there are plenty of suitable hiding places in the tank. PVC pipe, flowerpots tipped on their sides, coconut shells and bogwood which the bristelnose likes not only for hiding under but for eating as well, are all good choices. They will also welcome thick plants around the perimeter of the tank Keep the water well oxygenated with good filtration, an airstone and pump.

To condition your bristelnose for breeding feed them with shrimp pellets, and some semi- boiled vegetables such as zucchini and cucumber. Quite often a large water change or slight increase in temperature can trigger spawning. Courting behavior varies, some pairs will spend days in preparation while others get straight "down to business". The male chooses a nest site in the PCV pipe or flowerpot and the female will then join him to lay a clutch of around fifty adhesive orange colored eggs. The male then fertilizes them and begins fanning them with his fins to aerate them.

The male is on duty guarding the eggs until they hatch in about three to five days. In another week they will become free swimming and will then need to be fed. Suitable foods are finely crushed vegetables like blanched lettuce, peas, zucchini as well as baby brine shrimp and minced bloodworms. Remember that bristelnose are bottom feeders and make sure that the foods make it to the bottom for them and are not snatched up by the other fish. Another source of food can be created by putting some rocks in jars of tankwater and leaving them on a sunny windowsill where they will grow a good coating of algae. Then place the rocks in the tank for the fry to feed on. Regular water changes together with a varied diet will ensure the healthy growth of the fry.




2017-06-02

Vegetable List For Feeding PLECOS

This is a list of a lot of Vegetables and some fruit that can be fed to your plecs. Also included are some suggestions for weighing the veg down in the tank.

IMPORTANT
1. Make sure you have an ID of your plec to ensure the correct dietary needs are met.
2. A varied diet of veg+fruit is needed so that nutritional needs are fulfilled.
3. Don't forget to include algae wafers, meat, and wood depending on species of plec.
4. If you put in anything that contains the skin or rind be sure to scrub it first to get rid of any pesticides.

English: A Baby Plecostomus
A Baby Plecostomus
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

STARTER LIST
This is a list of vegetables and fruit that are popular with most plecs. Zucchini/Courgette Cucumber Peas (deshelled) Sweet Potato Green Beans Melon/Melon rind

OTHER VEGETABLES AND FRUIT
Apple (doesn't seem to be too popular) Asparagus Aubergine/Egg plant Avocado Broccoli/Stalk Butternut Squash+ other squash Capsicum/Bell pepper (not the hot ones) Cauliflower/Stalk Carrot Coconut Grapes Kale/Collard Greens Kiwi Fruit Lettuce Lima Beans Mango Mushroom (common plecs and goldspots love mushroom) let it float,they will reach it. Good exercise. Papaya Potato Pumpkin Spinach Sprouts Swede Tomato Yam

Most veg can be given raw but if you find no-one is interested then try blanching. Don't leave veggies and esp fruit in for too long otherwise you can end up with water quality problems. The easiest approach is to add them in the evening and remove in the morning.
SUGGESTIONS FOR WEIGHING DOWN VEG


Stainless Steel spoon (push the spoon through the veg) Stainless Steel fork (there have been suggestions that plecs have hurt themselves on the prongs of forks, use at your own risk) A rubber band/rock Suction capped Veggie clip (fish shops usually sell these) Screwcumber.




2017-05-09

ELECTRIC CATFISH - Malapterurus electricus

Electric Catfish - Malapterurus electricus




2017-04-13

Tips on Raising Healthy GLASS CATFISH

The glass catfish or Kryptopterus bicirrhis and its smaller relative the ghost catfish are native to Indonesia. They inhabit the large rivers and turbid waters of Borneo, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and the Chao Phrayaa and Mekongg drainage basins. They live near the shorelines in water with strong currents. They are diurnal predators (active in daylight) whose diet consists mainly of true water bugs in the wild.

Glass catfish
Photo by Matt Ryall 


Glass catfish are some of the most unusual fish you can buy for a freshwater aquarium. Their bodies are totally devoid of scales and their skin and meaty tissue is completely transparent. You can see right trough to its bones and internal organs and out the other side of their bodies.

As with all Catfish, they have barbells on either side of their mouths.

Glass catfish have a docile temperament. They make good community fish as long as they are in the company of similarly mild mannered fish. Glass catfish are a medium sized fish. They grow to about four inches in length. They are mid-tank swimmers.

The shoaling instinct runs extremely strong in these creatures. A glass catfish will not survive without another member of its own species in the tank. If you have two and one dies, the other will die shortly thereafter if you do not add another glass catfish to your tank. It is, therefore, advisable to keep at least four of them at a time.

Glass catfish are every bit as fragile as their name. They have been known not to survive the trip home from the fish store. Once home, their chances of survival are significantly increased in a heavily planted aquarium. They are a shy species and will fare much better given plenty of places to hide.

Glass catfish prefer neutral to slightly acidic water (pH 6.8-7.0). They are better suite for a water temperature a little cooler than some other tropical fish. The ideal temperature range is 70-79 degrees Fahrenheit. They function best in subdued lighting. And you want to have a filtering system that provides plenty of water flow to simulate the currents they are accustomed to living in. Under premium condition they have a life expectancy of 6 to 8 years.

Glass catfish are egg layers. Attempts to spawn them in captivity have thus far failed. So the ones you see at the fish store have been recently removed from their native environment. They may very well suffer from escalated stress levels until they adapt to their new surroundings.



Remember, these are not commercially raise fish. In the wild their diet consists primarily of true water bugs. They are carnivores that are accustomed to eating live food. In order to make help them adapt to their new environment you should start out by feeding them brine shrimp. Small insect larvae are preferable if you can find them. They will eventually learn to eat freeze-dried, frozen food and possibly even tropical fish flakes. But you still want to supplement their diet with live protein to insure their continued hardiness. These are, after all, rather delicate creatures.

    By Stephen J Broy
    The mere mention of the word "saltwater" sends shivers up many freshwater aquarium owners' spines. In the past decade a new segment of the aquarium industry has been created for home aquarium owners; the Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank. Jellyfish aquariums are much easier to maintain than traditional saltwater tanks. Pet Moon Jellyfish look absolutely incredible under a fading LED lighting system.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2017-03-15

PLECOS and Plants - Which Catfish to Keep With Plants

They're both popular in aquariums and they can often live together in harmony. Plecos are a kind of catfish which belong to the Loricariidae family, but many will inflict serious damage on a planted aquarium, become extremely demanding or require high levels of algae to consume.

Plecostomus on the Glass
Photo by Michael Bentley
There are several different groups of catfish and it is recommendable for beginners and those keeping a fragile planted aquarium to stick with Hypoptopomatinaes. This group contains members of Otocinclus, Parotocinclus, Hypoptopoma and Microlepidogaster and the advantage of these species is that all of these fish stay small, normally within two or three inches. Although they love to eat algae, the bane of many an aquarium, they will largely leave your plants alone. However, this is not the case with all Plecos and additionally, some species will not only cause havoc in the aquarium but have extremely demanding needs to be kept successfully.


Worker catfish in the Ancistrinae, members of the genus Ancistrus are possible the best worker catfish you could keep, more commonly known as bushynose plecos. However, it is important to know that some species of Ancistrus will do a lot of damage to plants and this Plecos will require a lot of your time to keep successfully. This is due to the fact they generally need a strong current, very specific water temperatures and a high level of oxygen from the main body of the aquarium water. If you are planning a Dutch aquascape, it is advisable to keep to any of the species above.

Unless you are an advanced hobbyist, it is a good idea to attempt to stay clear of Farlowella, which are extremely efficient algae eaters. This may seem ideal to begin with, but they are so efficient at consuming algae it is possible for them to clean an aquarium in a few days and subsequently starve to death afterwards. In addition to these nearly all Hypostomus and Glytopterichthys, more commonly known as sailfin Plecos, will grow to extremely large sizes and love to eat plants.

Some Plecos are much easier on plants and are, by comparison, relatively simple to keep successfully. Research into the individual species should give a firm idea of what can be successfully kept with plants and what may need more attention from you to keep life in the aquarium harmonious. When choosing algae eaters, it is a good idea to wait for some algae to be present in the tank first, to ensure that they will always have enough to eat and do not become ill as the aquarium becomes clear.

With live aquarium plants you can overcome all the problems of a non-planted aquarium. You can improve the quality of your aeration, filtration, food and algae control. You can improve the lives of your fish. Find out how live aquarium plants can help you, help them.

    By Sean Norman
    Sean Norman is an environmental science student and freelance writer with a deep love of ecology.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2017-02-23

BUSHYNOSE PLECOS Are Easy To Keep And Breed

Breeding Bushynose Plecos can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. This is a great beginners catfish and there are also a lot of different strains, colors and fin varieties to choose from.

There are a couple of things you need to do to set yourself up for successfully breeding Bushynose Plecos.

P7231495
Photo by Alex Sorokine

1) Set-up a bare bottom tank for your colony of fish. A 40 gallon tank works well with this. Use only bubble filters, or any other filter that cannot suck up the young fry.

2) You can either purchase adult fish or juveniles to start your colony. If you purchase adults, then a ratio of 1 male to 4-5 females is ideal. If you purchase juveniles, the purchase 6-8 fish and let them grow up into adults. Pick the best adults from the group for your breeding colony. Sexing Bushynose is easy and can be done when the fish are around 3" or larger. Adult males have an intensely bushy nose, while females do not. Females also have a wider body than males when viewed from above.

3) Males will need a cave of some sort to entice a female to join him in. When the female is ready to breed she will join the male in the cave, lay her eggs and then leave. The male will take care of the eggs and young fry from there. He is a good parent.

4) Providing the proper food for both the adults and the fry is very important. Bushynose have large appetites and require a diverse diet. Make sure to stay away from proteins. In large quantity protein can bind up and kill your fish. Foods like zucchini, romaine lettuce, spirulina flakes, and algae wafers are perfect foods for both adult and fry.

5) Water changes are essential. Since you will be feeding your growing fish a lot of food, daily water changes of 25-50% are recommended. Water changes are one of the most important parts of keeping tropical fish so do not skip this part. Monitor your water quality for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
You can raise Bushynose fry in the same tank as the adults, but you may want to separate them to prevent over stocking of the tank. Bushynose fry grow quickly and you should have fish that you can sell or trade within 3 months.

    At Tropical Fish Resource we have over 20 years of experience keeping and studying tropical fish. We travel all over the world researching and documenting different species in the wild. Our goal is to educate people about the sustainability of the tropical fish hobby and how keeping tropical fish can impact the environment. [http://www.tropicalfishresource.com/index.html]
    Article Source: EzineArticles 


2017-02-07

ALBINO CORYDORA Catfish

Belonging to the Catfish family, Albino Corydoras grow to about 2- inches in length, the female being a bit larger than the male. They are white to pink in color with pink eyes that appear to be looking directly at you. Surrounding their mouths are barbels with which they hunt for food. It is vital to have nothing in the aquarium with jagged edges as the barbels are quite delicate and even rough gravel can damage them. Check everything for roughness before putting it in the aquarium.

Albino Cory Spawning.JPG
"Albino Cory Spawning" by Docmarius - via Wikimedia Commons.

These fish are non-aggressive in nature, yet are able to hold their own against a more aggressive fish due to their spined fins. Because they are schooling fish, Corydoras are happiest in a group of five or more of their own species. They are playful and love to chase each other, taking occasional breaks to swim to the surface for a gulp of air, sometimes making a good splash before swimming back to the bottom.

he Albino Corydoras are a fish that can thrive in the smaller aquarium. It is acceptable to house a group of 6 -- 8 in a 10- gallon tank. They are hardy enough to withstand most water conditions, with the exception of salted water. Keep the temperature ot the water between 72 -- 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Have for them plenty of plant life as they will rest under the plants to take refuge of the lights from time to time. These fish will eat flaked foods, but being bottom feeders they will wait until the flakes have made the journey to the floor of the aquarium. If you have other species in the aquarium who feed from the surface, consider giving sinking pellets to the Corydoras. They will welcome treats such as live worms and frozen brine shrimp too.

Breeding is no problem for the Albino Corydoras. After spawning, the mother carries the eggs with her ventral fins to deposit them onto plant life and aquarium decorations. If you wish to raise the fry, carefully remove a plant that she placed the eggs onto and put it into a separate tank. But you will have to act soon, as the adult fish will waste no time devouring the eggs. In the end, the mother will have scattered up to 200 eggs. After about one week the fry will hatch.

Be sure to lower the setting of the air filter afore-hand because a powerful stream will injure the tiny fry. Feed microworms to them for the first week, after which you may slowly introduce them to flakes and pellets. When they reach about 3/4- inches in length they will be safe in the community tank. It's quite amusing to see the adult Albino Corydoras and the babies together, as the babies look like exact replicas of their parents, barbels and all. And with a little tender loving care, you can expect these babies to live approximately five years.



2017-01-21

Fact Sheet: PEPPERED CATFISH - Corydoras paleatus

(Original Title: Peppered Catfish Fact Sheet)

peppered corydoras
Photo by h080
The Peppered Catfish, Corydoras paleatus is also called Peppered Cory, Peppered Corydoras, and Peppered Cory Cat. This peaceful fish is a harmless scavenger. The only fish it eats are ones already dead. It is an omnivore and will eat most types of food. By nature it is a bottom feeding fish but it will eat at the surface at times. This fish comes from the warmer parts of South America.

In an aquarium this fish will rarely get longer than two and a half inches (six centimetres) although in larger water bodies it has been known to get close to four inches (ten centimetres.)

The Peppered Catfish is a tropical fish although its low temperature tolerance is much better than most tropicals. It does not seem to be able to take high temperatures well, and could be in trouble if the water temperature gets over thirty degrees C (eighty five degrees F.). In a normal house it can be kept without a heater, but I would not recommend it as a pond fish except in areas which never get cold weather. Certainly not anywhere in South Australia

Water
The Peppered Catfish is not very fussy about its water chemistry. I would suggest a Ph of 7 (Neutral), definitely avoiding extremes of acidity or alkalinity. The hardness of the water does not seem to matter to this versatile fish. A clean tank is definitely better than a dirty one. Make sure the water you use for your fish has had the Chlorine or Chloramine removed before it is added to the aquarium with your fish.

Breathing
Like many Corydoras Catfish, the Peppered Catfish can swallow air and extract the oxygen with its intestines. It is normal to occasionally see a Corydoras Catfish suddenly shoot to the surface where it presumably takes a quick gulp of air, and returning to the bottom. If it does this a lot, it can be an indication of something wrong, such as the aquarium being short of Oxygen.

Companions
The Peppered Catfish can be kept without others of its kind, but does interact if given a chance. Some people recommend six in a tank together, but this would only be practical in a larger tank. There are many other fish which are suitable companions for this catfish. I would avoid extremely aggressive fish and very large ones, but most common aquarium fish should be all right. This includes all the Tetras, nearly all the Barbs, Danios, White Clouds, peaceful dwarf cichlids, Angel Fish, Discus, Fighting Fish, Australian Rainbow Fish, other Corydoras Catfish, most loaches and Goldfish.



Uses
Apart from its interest and beauty in its own right the Peppered Catfish is often kept as a scavenger. It is one of the fish that can be used as a scavenger in either tropical or coldwater aquariums (As long as they are not too cold!) They will eat uneaten food on the bottom, but not fish waste. Also, it is always important not to overfeed your fish, even with an efficient scavenger in the tank. They are not specialized for eating algae and do not do the job of an algae eating fish like a Bristle nose catfish.

Breeding
Peppered Catfish are sometimes stimulated to spawn by a drop in temperature. It has been reported that a simultaneous drop in barometric pressure helps. It is a good idea to condition the potential breeders with meaty foods including things like Earthworms, Tubifex Worms or Daphnia. One male and one female is the minimum requirement for breeding. They are not communal breeders requiring a school to breed, but some people prefer two or three males for one female.

The female will clean surfaces such as a section of the aquarium glass or a leaf of a plant. The male may rub against the female's head. She will lay her eggs into a basket made with her fins, and the male will fertilize them. The female will attach the eggs to places she has cleaned. After a while the process is repeated and continues until the female has laid all her eggs. This can be over two hundred.

The eggs should hatch in about six days. Well fed Peppered Catfish do not usually eat their babies. At first the babies will eat mainly the protozoan organisms in the tank, but will soon be able to eat fry foods.




2017-01-04

Fact Sheet: PHANTOM GLASS CATFISH - Kryptopterus bicirrhis

Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus bicirrhis)
Photo by JCVD100 (CC)
The Phantom Glass Catfish is often identified as Kryptopterus bicirrhis, but the ones offered for sale are more likely to be Kryptopterus minor, a similar but rather smaller species. Kryptopterus bicirrhis will grow to about 10 inches (25cm) long while Kryptopterus minor only grows to about 3 inches (8cm).

The Phantom Glass Catfish is sometimes called the Glass Catfish, Ghost Catfish, or the Asian Catfish. There is a further possible confusion with the African Glass Catfish, Parailia pellucida, sometimes being sold as the Glass Catfish.

The Phantom Glass Catfish comes from South East Asia including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It comes from streams with sluggish currents, often with areas of still water.

Water Conditions
In the wild the water this fish often lives in is cloudy with suspended sediments. In these conditions this transparent fish is very difficult to see; fish's transparency acts as an excellent camouflage. This is not a condition normally aimed for in a home aquarium.

In an aquarium they will take neutral water (7). A temperature of 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) is suitable. We have no trouble with the moderate hardness of our Adelaide Hills water with this fish.
The tank should be heavily planted.

Food
This fish is a predator. It will eat other fish up to the size of a newly born Guppy. More normal foods for it include mosquito larvae and Daphnia. I find that they will eat a normal, good quality fish flake without any trouble but I have seen reports of them being difficult to feed.

Companions
The Phantom Glass Catfish is much more comfortable in a school of at least 5.

Although the Phantom Glass Catfish is a predator, it is peaceful to other fish as long as is cannot swallow them with its quite small mouth. They will certainly eat baby fish, but all reasonable sized adult fish, even small Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras and Green Neon Tetras are safe.

Other suitable companions include Diamond Tetras, Splashing Tetras, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Cherry Barbs, Penguin Tetras, Pristella Tetras, Glowlight Tetras, Red EyeTetras, Silvertip Tetras, Gold Barbs, Rummy Nose Tetras, Scissortail Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Swordtails, Platies, Mollies, Zebra Danios, Black Widow Tetras, Rosy Barbs, Tiger Barbs, Paraguay Tetras, Buenos Aires Tetras and Colombian Tetras. They are also OK with Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies and Endlers Guppies.

Breeding
It is claimed that in Asia techniques have been worked out for breeding the Phantom Glass Catfish. If this is so, I have been unable to find out the method. Possibly the commercial people who do this prefer not to tell possible competitors about their methods.

There have been rare reports of the breeding of this fish and these suggestions are based on these reports.

Feed well before hand with live food such as mosquito larvae. Simulate the start of the rainy season by daily partial water changes using soft water. Lower the water level and lower the temperature by about 2 degrees C (3 degrees F).

The eggs, in the unlikely event that you succeed in getting any, are laid on plants, perhaps a couple of hundred from each female.

The parents should be removed and the fry fed on small live food.



Fish Sauce
The Phantom Glass Catfish is a major ingredient of some of the salty fish sauces used in Asian cooking.

Wild Caught
Unlike the great majority of the fish we sell, at least some of our Phantom Glass Catfish are caught in the wild. This fish is very common in some places and is not threatened.

Pest Fish
Do not release any pet fish into the wild, or keep them where they can escape.




2016-12-05

Tips on Raising and Spawning CORYDORAS Catfish

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.

Three catfish of the Corydoras genus.
Three catfish of the Corydoras genus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 insure your Corydoras get their required food allotment. Unlike most bottom dwellers, Corydoras have been know 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.

    By Stephen J Broy
    Keeping pet jellyfish is the latest trend in the world of aquariums. Pet jellyfish are a happy medium between the ease of freshwater fish and the demands and expense of keeping saltwater specimens alive and healthy. Jellyfish have much slower metabolisms than saltwater fish. Jellyfish Fish Tank Aquariums are less expensive to set up and maintain than saltwater tanks. If you find the idea of raising pet jellyfish intriguing, find out more about Moon Jellyfish and other Pet Jellies.

    Article Source: EzineArticles