maintenance, care, compatibility

Representatives of the family of somobods inhabit fresh water all over the planet, and are quite rare in the seas. A distinctive feature of the catfish is the lack of scales, although nature has taken care of some species, having presented them with armor or bony plates.

In total, there are about 30 families of catfish and about 2,000 species, 800 of them are lovers of domestic fish who successfully maintain and breed in an aquarium. In most catfish in aquariums, they prefer the lower and bottom layers of water, and also lead an active lifestyle in the twilight and dark time of the day.

Adult dwarf catfish reach 2 cm, and catfish giants – 5 m. Among the somobods there are aggressive and peaceful species, herbivores, predators and omnivores, poisonous, crawling over land, with electric organs, as well as possessing various other features of the whole bony group. .

Over the past 20 years, mail soms have acquired the greatest popularity in aquarism, and it is supported by new imported species of previously unexplored species. To eliminate confusion and convenience, the differences in their species began to be numbered in the order of appearance with the index L (from lat.

Loricariidae – chain catfish).

Previously, the universal favorites were small, armored (from the Latin. Callichthyidae) soma, distinguished by their peaceful nature and diverse colors.

This squad of soobraznyh must be kept in groups.

Many types of shellfish (catfish, catfish, shellfish), are amenable to simple in comparison with the chain mail breeding in the aquarium. Crabfish often lay their eggs on plants and other structures, after which they stop caring for them. The female mail catfish lays eggs in the grottoes, snags, pipes, burrows, hollows, where the clutch protects the male.

In some species of mail catfish, until the appearance of fry, males wear spawn behind an enlarged lower lip.

Life expectancy in aquarium catfish of some species reaches 15 years. Depending on the conditions of maintenance and care, catfish in an aquarium live on average from 5 to 10 years.

For novice aquarists, the main thing to remember is that catfish are not eaters of garbage and waste, they are not scavengers. They, like other aquarium dwellers, need care.

Special food, soft soil in the aquarium, places where you can hide from the bright light, the necessary water parameters will provide aquarium catfish comfortable living and breeding conditions.

Plants are mainly artificial. A good root system will ensure survival of living plants in a catfish aquarium.

Suitable vegetation such as cryptocaryn or ehindorus.

Somiki prefer a secluded lifestyle, with a muffled light. In order for them to feel comfortable, they need shelters, roots of grapes, stones, where they could lead a solitary life, have a rest or sleep, and also snags, which are a source of edible cellulose.

If there is a bright light, catfish can not be seen at all, they will constantly hide in the thickets of plants or snags.

If you make an aquarium without shelters, then the catfish will be uncomfortable and their life expectancy will decrease dramatically.

Somoobraznye mostly peaceful, with neighbors do not conflict, but can sort out the relationship between themselves. In this case, it is extremely rare for a stronger and more powerful catfish to kill his relative. Choosing catfish for an aquarium, you must take into account the mores of other inhabitants.

If the rest of the fish are not large, then herbivorous catfish species are best suited. If the neighbors are aggressive and large, the new inhabitants of the aquarium should be powerful so that they can stand up for themselves.

Somiks can be kept in the same aquarium with shrimps, except for obvious aggressive and predatory species, and the neighborhood of crayfish and crabs is best avoided.

Somiks are omnivores, and their main diet consists of bloodworms, corets, tubers, black bread, lean meat, cyclops, daphnia, and they also use dry food. To ensure good nutrition, you need to feed catfish Spirulina tablets for herbivorous fish.

Many representatives are happy to eat feed of plant origin. Only pronounced predators require special feeding.

Somics eat rotten places on the snags, polishing them to shine. When choosing a hollow shell, you need to consider the growth of fish.

It is necessary to provide them with space for a turn or the impossibility of being stuck in the hollow.

The presence of two or four pairs of whiskers, located near the mouth of the mouth, are a distinctive feature of all species of the catfish. Antennae are sensitive organs of taste that are used when searching for food.

The presence of large whiskers and a wide mouth apparatus suggests the possibility of hunting the catfish for smaller fish.

For breeding catfish suitable aquarium from 30 to 70 liters – spawning. If a specific aquarium, then catfish can be bred right in it. Spawning equipped snags and plants.

Lighting should be muted, twilight. Enhanced aquarium aeration is also provided.

Spawning can be generally without soil and plants, with natural light.

It is necessary to maintain the water temperature from 17 to 25 ° C, and it should be not acidic and clean. Two to three males are recommended per female, with several females in the tank for spawning, males should be 1.3–1.8 times larger.

To stimulate spawning produce:

  • changing the temperature regime in the aquarium, increasing or decreasing the temperature by 2-3 ° С per day, in the range from 17 to 25 ° С;
  • water change up to 50% of the total spawning volume within 2-3 days (once a day);
  • increase the aeration and perform air purging with air.

The composition of water in spawning is not much different from the main composition for permanent residence. The main thing is that the acidity is neutral.

The most favorable for reproduction is water with a temperature of 18 to 20 ° C. For new spawning, the female becomes suitable in 7-10 days.

After spawning, somiki parents are deposited in a common aquarium, and the water temperature in the breeding ground is maintained at 19-21 ° C, while leaving natural light or slightly shading the spawning ground. 8-12 days after laying, the larvae emerge from the eggs and then eat the residual yolk sac of their former place of residence.

It is recommended to feed fry with infusoria or dry food for fry (specialized or regular, ground into dust). After 7-10 days, the diet can be expanded with artemia, nematode, or crushed other live food (bloodworms, pipemaker).

The adult coloring of the fry is formed after eight weeks and finishes its formation on the tenth, then it changes slightly in the process of life.

Catfish reach sexual maturity at the age of 8-12 months.

Due to the large number of species of catfish, many lovers assume that the conditions of detention for all catfish are the same, and the fish becomes the victim of improper care. Before acquiring somics it is extremely important to study the reference literature on the acquired species.

Each of them needs individual care and maintenance, although in comparison with other representatives of the aquarium, they are unpretentious and undemanding.

Video: catfish share territory.

Somiki are a very large group of aquarium fish. They are quite popular with aquarists and can be easily purchased at any pet store and markets. Somics have a special structure.

Their bodies are bare, without scales or covered with bony plates. Several pairs of whiskers are the hallmark of this group of fish.

Many species have a fatty fin.

Despite such features, catfish are very diverse. They are huge and tiny, peaceful and predatory, able to live in different conditions, parasitize, shock and even crawl over land.

Often catfish in the aquarium play the role of “orderlies” who pick up various residues from the bottom. However, do not expect that they will do all the dirty work for the aquarist. Picking up the remains of food from the bottom of the aquarium catfish raise a terrible slime.

Therefore, a powerful filter is required in the aquarium.

Buying catfish should be aware that you will not constantly admire his cute attractive face. Many of them are nocturnal and during the day hiding behind snags and in other shelters.

The only exception is speckled catfish.

Also catfish mostly have a protective coloration and completely merge with the surrounding ground.

Many fish of this group grow to very large sizes and are predators. Therefore, aquarists sometimes miss the small inhabitants of the aquarium: guppies or neons.

Somiks are molar and multiply quite simply.

In nature, these fish mostly live in fast flowing rivers. Therefore, catfish in an aquarium need a flow of water through aeration and filtration.

They are also demanding for water quality, but do not tolerate the replacement of its large volume.

They require a large number of shelters, otherwise they will fight.

It is easy to feed catfish, they eat any food, including ice cream, flakes and pills. As food can perceive fry and small fish.

Choosing catfish, you need to pay attention to their appearance. If the color of the fish is juicy, and the skin and fins are not damaged, then this is a young and healthy specimen. Young fish should be no more than 5 cm in length.

And at the aquarium you need to buy at least six catfish.

Before launching to all the fish, catfish should be quarantined for five days.

The acidity of water for them does not play a special role, if only it was not salty. Reinforced aeration is not necessary for them either.

Enough general conditions of the fish.

Somiki love algae, but they should not be too much, enough 5-6 branches per 50 liters of water.

This representative of the aquarium world, perhaps the most common of somobraznyh. It has a high fin on its back, a pinkish-golden abdomen and a pale brown head, a back and fins with dark spots. Although there are albinos.

This is a shellfish aquarium catfish with plates on the body.

Somik speckled (or corridor) in length grows no more than 7 cm. It is a peaceful fish, active even during the day and preferring to live in a flock.

Therefore it is better to start at least six individuals.

They can be safely kept together with non-aggressive fish – discus, barbs, molly, tetras, danios, guppies, swordtails, dwarf cichlids, scalars, plecostomus, rasborami.

The conditions of keeping catfish speckled are not demanding. They can live in water from 2 to 35 degrees, but a comfortable temperature is 20-25 degrees.

But they are sensitive to the salinity of the water, because they can not be treated with salt.

This is a real survivor among aquarium fish and with proper care it can live up to 15 years.

These fish are capable of intestinal respiration and they need to periodically float to the surface for atmospheric air.

As a soil, speckled prefers coarse sand or fine run-in pebbles. Along the side and rear walls need to plant broadleaf plants.

Not interfere with floating vegetation, snags and various shelters. At the same time there should be enough space for swimming.

This catfish feeds on plants, alive (bloodworm, corelet, tubule) and combined food. Can eat up the remnants of feed after other fish.

Motley catfish love to dig in the ground in search of food, making the water in the aquarium muddy.

For spawning of corridor producers, they are deposited in a separate aquarium up to 50 liters. Can be without soil, but with a plant that is pressed a pebble.

The water temperature should be about 18-22 degrees – it is its lowering that stimulates reproduction in this species of catfish. They will also like the addition of 50% of the volume of fresh water and the first morning rays of the sun.

In the spawning fish placed in the evening. On one female there should be 2-3 males.

They are often fed live food.

The males first actively chase the female, then from one of the males, she picks up milt in a well-lit place on the milt glue the eggs. This process is repeated several times.

So that breeding is more successful, spawning is repeated in 7-10 days.

Manufacturers are deposited immediately after spawning. After 5-6 days, fry appear, which are fed live dust, rotifers, small zooplankton.

By the age of one month, the fry already reach 1 cm or more.

Aquarium catfish maintenance care compatibility feeding description of the photo video.

Preparing for the purchase of aquarium catfish

When deciding whether to purchase a pet, you should conduct the necessary training. Qualitatively examining the peculiarities of a pet’s lifestyle and hobbies, one can guarantee the acquisition of necessary things.

Additionally, catfish are called “household orderlies” for their love of eating soil. Fishes destroy scales and food waste from the bottom of the aquarium, thus maintaining the purity of the reservoir.

High-quality cleaning of the aquarium is carried out by catfish, which is why the owner of the reservoir can forget about cleaning the aquarium. However, it does not hurt to get a quality filter, because the fish get their food in an original way.

They raise the settled debris from the bottom surface, moving the body, after the food begins to emerge, catfish eat it.

When organizing the settling in an aquarium, it is important to pay attention to the inhabitants of the reservoir that have already taken root. Not all fish get along with new neighbors and can eat them.

Guppies and neons are a favorite delicacy of catfish, therefore, to avoid deaths, the fish should be divided.

To create optimal conditions for catfish, it is necessary to fill the aquarium with stones or thick vegetation. These fish prefer to be in the shelter before the onset of the night time. In the daytime, they love to clean the bottom of the aquarium.

However, somics are not easy to see, because they have a special protective coloration and almost merge with the stones.





There are a great variety of aquarium catfish varieties – you can choose from more than eight hundred options. Among them are species suitable for both beginners and experienced aquarium owners.

For example, bag-haired catfish (Heteropneustes fossilis) is poisonous, therefore it is not recommended for beginners.

At the moment, there are ten families of catfish that are suitable for aquarium content:

  • fringed;
  • armored;
  • mail;
  • bag-sack;
  • armored;
  • pimelody;
  • hack;
  • shilbovye;
  • wide-headed;
  • electric.

All of them are united by a naked, without scales body, covered with skin or bony plates, and antennae. We will tell about the three most popular catfish types among beginning aquarists:

  1. Agamixis white-spotted (Agamyxis albomaculatus) – the most common inhabitant of aquariums. It grows up to 10 cm. It needs an aquarium from 100 liters. The optimum temperature will be 25-30 ° C, the soil chosen is coarse-grained. Agamixis is fed with chopped pipemaker and other live, frozen and vegetable foods. Gets well with other types of fish.
  2. Brocade Plytigoplicht (Glyptoperichthys gibbiceps) – catfish with beautiful leopard coloring. In length reaches up to 30 cm and lives up to 12 years. For its maintenance will require an aquarium with a capacity of 100 liters. Temperature range 24-30 ° C. Fodder mainly vegetable, with the addition of shredded tubule; can be fed and industrial feed for bottom fish. Brocade pterigoplicht can be aggressive towards large fish and males of its own species, however, it treats the inhabitants of the middle and upper layers of the aquarium calmly.
  3. Catfish Changeling (Synodontis nigriventris) – An interesting view, a feature of which is swimming up the belly (except when it plows the bottom in search of food). Lives up to 10 years, grows up to 6 (male) – 10 (female), see. An aquarium from 50 liters, supported by 24-27 ° C, is optimal for a shifter. It feeds on both animal and vegetable feed. Catfish flip-flop – peace-loving schooling fish. It is best to pick up her active neighbors of similar sizes.

Most catfish live in tropical waters, but the conditions of keeping different species in the aquarium may vary. There are catfish, friendly to other fish, and quite aggressive predatory aquarium catfish.

Consider the following points for the care of catfish. Aquarium catfish are sweepers by nature, they pick up the remnants of food from the bottom. At the same time, they dig the soil and lift soil particles into the water – therefore, in order for the water to be not muddy, a powerful filter will be needed.

In addition, the catfish are rather secretive fish, they need grass, and various shelters in which they can feel safe. Most of them are nocturnal.

The exception is the speckled catfish (Corydoras paleatus) – you can watch it during the day.

For breeding aquarium catfish need spawning area – capacity up to 30 liters. Water hardness should be up to 15, acidity – 6-7 Ph, temperature – about 20 ° C.

In the capacity of the plant or put a piece of plexiglass, on which the female will lay eggs. With a female you need to run two or three males. When the female marks eggs, she and the males should be transplanted, and the water temperature should be increased by 7-8 ° C and add antibacterial drugs to avoid spoilage of the eggs by the fungus.

After three days, fry will appear. For them, the temperature is reduced to the initial value, and fed with live food 4 times a day, gradually adding chopped tubule and other feeds to the diet.

As for the life expectancy of aquarium catfish, in this matter it all depends on the type of catfish: ancytrus live to 5 years on average, pteragoplichts – to 15 years, agamiksis – to 17 years.

Basically, somas are peaceful, do not climb into a fight with other aquarium fish, sometimes there are conflicts among themselves.

It happens that even a stronger catfish starts to drive the weak, and, alas, kills him.

But this is extremely rare. Compatibility of catfish with other fish depends on the type of catfish.

By peace-loving, herbivorous need to pick up non-aggressive neighbors. And to predators – larger fish that can stand up for themselves.

The process of breeding in catfish is quite simple, and if you only live in the aquarium of the fish of this species, you can not even put them in a separate aquarium. Otherwise, for spawning somikov better to allocate a container of clean water with a capacity of 30 to 50 liters.

Usually 3-4 males are left for one female. It is very desirable that in the place where the spawning takes place, there is a lot of algae and soft soil.

If you want to push your pets to breeding, you need to change the water temperature within 17-25 ° C for several days and aerate the aquarium. Spawning usually occurs early in the morning.

When caviar is already set aside, you can leave the natural light or darken a little. One week after spawning, the female will be ready for a new spawning.

The fry develop quite quickly and almost immediately they can be fed with finely chopped bloodworms or “dust”.


Feeding catfish is very easy. They eat fish food, which lies at the bottom, thereby cleaning the bottom of the aquarium.

They eat almost everything: fish pieces, shrimp, pills, frozen food, flakes Well, since most catfishes are predators, they can eat small fish in the aquarium and take them as food.

Making a conclusion, we can say that catfish in an aquarium is a necessary fish. Unpretentious and does not require additional care, resistant to various diseases, and, well, very original and beautiful.

Having a catfish, your aquarium will always look unique, and you can always enjoy and enjoy the beauty of your pet.

In subsequent articles you can find the most necessary information about the maintenance of aquarium catfish, the types that interest you, a variety of aquarium catfish, feeding, care, as well as tables of compatibility of catfish with other inhabitants of the aquarium.

One can often hear from sellers of pet stores that small and large catfish purify the water in the aquarium and this is not necessary for the owner to do. Som-like, combing the soil at the bottom, really pick up all edible, partially cleaning the pollution.

By the way, this does not mean that the power of your pet should be allowed to drift.

It is also important to note that silted water is the habitat of these fish. But this also does not mean that it is possible not to clean the aquarium at all and only occasionally change the water.

Reinforced aeration of water is really not needed, and clean water and an aquarium are a guarantee of the health of your fish. If other fish also live in your house, they simply need cleanliness, and catfish will quickly get used to it and will not experience any inconvenience.

General information about catfish

All types of aquarium catfish, of which there are a huge number in nature, are surprisingly similar to each other in appearance. In aquariums alone, more than 1,200 thousand different waterfowl variations of this species live.

Otherwise, these fish are called sweepers, because they eat the remnants of half-eaten rotting food lying on the bottom.

And many amateurs acquire such “orderlies” precisely because of their accuracy. You can buy such curious items at any pet store.

These aquarium fish instead of scales have a plate cover consisting of bone tissue. This feature distinguishes them from other waterfowl.

Somics mostly live at the bottom of glass reservoirs and actively behave only at night. They feed on plant food, but sometimes they do not disdain to feast on the remnants “from the master’s bottom table.”

Catfish are very popular among aquarists, so the demand for them is very large. They buy shellflies for the reason that they: are peaceful enough; Feel great in water at a temperature of 18 ° + 25 ° C; adapted to hard water; feel confident with its average acidity with plus / minus deviations in different directions.

Nature has somik intestinal breathing. Looking out of the aquarium, they swallow air with their mouths, which are then processed into pure oxygen.

If the catfish often lingers at the surface of the water, then it is difficult for him to breathe. Medics of aquariums

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