Probably many aquarists with years of experience remember the times when African cichlids were at sea. At one time, there was only talk of new types of Tanganyik and Malawian cichlids that were on sale.
But, over time, these wonderful fish began to fade into the background and gave primacy to other more interesting species.
In today’s article, I would like to talk in more detail with you about one of the most popular aquarium sweepers – antsistrus ordinary. This wonderful fish comes from the Amazon River basin. Hydrobiont belongs to the order of Loricariid catfish, which in the great river are at least a dime a dozen.
Representatives of the loricarium family prefer water of low hardness (from 4 to 5 degrees), pH 6-6.5, water enriched with oxygen and fast flowing.
When the content of common Ancistrus is very important to ensure that the fish correct and balanced light mode. It is very important to provide several equal time phases (dark and light), between which there will be a period with twilight coverage for half an hour.
At this time, lorykarivye catfish are most active.
Antsistrus feed mainly on fouling on the walls and decorations of an aquarium, but this is not enough for them; in addition, the ration should be supplemented with vegetable food, larvae of worms and insects. Adaptation to the new conditions of detention proceeds fairly quickly.
The common Ancistrus, like its immediate family members, has a torpedo-shaped body with a pair of pectoral fins and a large vertical dorsal fin. Body color in adult fish is dark brown with a scattering of bright spots.
Fins with bluish tint, in rare cases, black.
At the age of one and a half years, the ancistrus can already be distinguished by sex characteristics: in males, the body is longer and slender, the fins are sharper and longer, unlike females. In addition, on the head of the males one and a half centimeter mustache, which are arranged in pairs, will flaunt.
I would like to note the gluttony of antsistrusov. In view of the lower location of the mouth, the structure of the oral apparatus allows the fish to easily compete with other aquarium inhabitants. Even a fast current is not an obstacle for this fish.
In nature, antsistrusy try to move against the flow, and in aquariums, this often leads to the fact that fish get into the holes of air-lift filters and pumps.
Young individuals are best adapted to new conditions up to six months. If you are buying fry in a pet store or on a bird, first ask what conditions the fish were kept and what they were fed with. In the first week of life at the new feeding place it is better to leave the same and hydrochemical composition similar to the previous conditions of detention.
If you keep a scavenger in a species aquarium, then from 3 months of age you can increase the salinity of the water and the total hardness to 10 degrees. This makes it possible to successfully contain antsistrus with other aquarium fish and members of the tsikhlovy family.
Fry that are not yet 6 months old need the constant presence of food in the aquarium. From six months and until maturity, the fish must be fed at intervals of not more than 3 hours.
Adult fish need two meals. More than half of the daily diet should fall on feed of plant origin. Alternatively, you can use the following feeding scheme.
Starting feeds can be Nauplii Artemia (up to 50% of the total diet), scalded and chopped green peas, and chopped cauliflower cauliflower.
Under favorable conditions, the larvae of antsistrus at the age of 4 weeks reach a length of 20 millimeters. A sign of fish health is a quick weight gain and a good appetite. The abdomen of a fish should always have a rounded shape, and the color is dark.
A dramatic change in color and strange behavior that is not characteristic of this species, as well as an impairment of appetite, indicates an impaired metabolism due to improper feeding. When using swellable vegetable feed, fish may cause intestinal distention, which can ultimately result in fish death.
As a prophylactic agent, a change in half of the water for a cooler fresh one, which needs to be vigorously flushed with air, has recommended itself.
A week later, the young must be transferred to a special diet of the growing season: decapsulated eggs or fresh Nauplii Artemia. As a percentage, vegetable feed should be up to 40%, a month later you can add scalded “oatmeal” flakes or white bread to the diet.
At the age of 10 weeks, young animals will have a length of up to 30 millimeters. The growth rate of ancistrus fry directly depends on the density of fish landing in the aquarium, water temperature and reservoir volume. Experienced aquarists recommend setting the following temperature regimes:
- Since the transfer of fish to active feeding 27 – 28 degrees;
- Up to 6 months of age 25 – 26 degrees;
- From six months 22 – 24 degrees.
To date, there are several proven ways to reproduce antsistrusov. But we will talk only about the two most effective ones.
The first way – with the help of harem breeding in the general aquarium. During the preparation for spawning every day, it is necessary to substitute up to 50% of water, remove 1/3 of the soil from the aquarium and lower the water temperature to 20 degrees. A good incentive to spawn is to install the existing ceramic tubes in a vertical position and lower the salinity of the water to zero.
In this case, carbonate hardness should be no more than 1 degree with a total hardness of no more than 5. The active reaction of the medium should be within 6.0 – 6.5 pH, the addition of peat extract to water is welcomed.
After a brief mating, the spawning proceeds from one of the selected females. Ancistrus spawn is deposited, as a rule, on the inside of a vertical pot or ceramic tube.
A good female for one spawning can bring up to one and a half hundreds of orange eggs. The male protects the clutch, which drives away from the future offspring of both other fish and the female.
The second method involves pair reproduction in a separate spawning site, in which the aquarist himself forms pairs. About a week before spawning, the male must be transplanted to the spawning ground, and fish should be prepared for spawning in the same way as I described above.
In any case, the males must be left with the roe until the larvae switch to independent active feeding at a water temperature of 28 to 30 degrees.
Incubate eggs can also be on the substrate in a separate aquarium with a volume of 10 liters. In this case, it is necessary every day to substitute boiled water in an amount up to 50%. After hatching, dead larvae should be immediately removed from the aquarium and a weakly blue solution of methylene blue or some other antifungal drug should be added to the water.
Feed the larvae to feed after the yolk sac has resolved.