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Conditions of keeping catfish mystus striatum

Striped Mistus is a non-aggressive and active fish. She has another name – Indian Killer Whale.

In nature, this playful representative of the underwater world lives in the fresh waters of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and other South Asian countries, but it may be suitable for keeping it in an aquarium with other fish. If you organize the right care, a pet for 5-6 years will delight those around him with its cheerful disposition and activity.

Striped Mistus – not an aggressive catfish living in warm waters

The correct Latin name of the species is Mistus Tengara. It was studied and described at the beginning of the XIX century. Representatives of the species grow to 45 cm in natural conditions and up to 16-25 cm in captivity.

In addition to the transparent dorsal fin they have another one – adipose. On the chest and abdomen fins are small, and the tail is long.

On a big head with large bulging eyes there are three pairs of mustaches. One pair grows on the upper lip, and the other two, shorter, move away from the bottom.

Thanks to these organs of touch, the fish feels great in the dark or in the thickets.

The spindle-shaped torso of an adult representative is slightly flattened on the sides, it has a pinkish-yellow color with overflows of blue-violet hue. On the body there are dark stripes, merging with the main color during stress in the fish, and there are black spots on the gill covers.

In fry, such coloring does not appear immediately, at first they are uniformly silvery, which is why they are easily confused with other species of the genus Mystus. But even representatives recently emerging from caviar have an interesting distinguishing feature – they can squeak, creating sound with pectoral fins.

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The nature of the catfish is changeable. During the day, he is calm, he is engaged in hiding in the grottoes and eating up young leaves of aquatic plants, and can swim upside down on the surface.

For this it is also called catfish-shifter. At night it becomes cocky, arranges games with other inhabitants of the aquarium, which sometimes can turn into a fight. So that the fish do not cripple each other, the neighbors of the mistus must be carefully selected, preferring the calm representatives of the underwater world.

But small fish are not suitable, as the catfish will hunt them.

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His health, longevity and behavior depend on how comfortable his captive will be in a pet. In a suitable environment, Indian catfish feels great and shows the best traits of its character, in adverse conditions it suffers and becomes withdrawn and aggressive.

In order for Mistus to be healthy and active, you need to equip the aquarium with decorations for games (for example, grottoes for stashes) and instruments that support the conditions necessary for life, properly feed the pet and keep it together with other inhabitants of the underwater world.

An adult formed mistus needs space for active swimming, so it will need a wide low aquarium with a volume of 120-150 liters or even more. The tank must be equipped with a lid, otherwise its inhabitants will jump out. To make the fish comfortable in the new place of residence, you need to put stones and driftwood at the bottom, plant the plants in the ground.

So that a resident does not completely destroy the green leaves, gnawing them, sometimes it is necessary to feed him with vegetable food.

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Although in nature mistus sometimes swims into the bays and feels great in a brackish environment, the water in the aquarium should be fresh and defended, and also comply with the following requirements:

  • temperature – from 22 ° C to 28 ° C;
  • pH – from 6.0 to 7.4;
  • hardness – from 5 to 25 dH.

Change the water should be weekly pouring a quarter of the volume and compensating it with fresh liquid. You can also completely drain and rinse the tank once every two weeks. This is a very important requirement for the care of a mistus, as he loves to be at the bottom of his home, where nitrogenous pollution just accumulates.

If the fish’s habitat is not changed in time, it may cause health problems.

Changing water regularly is very important when keeping catfish.

Mistus is not very difficult to maintain at home, however, some additional equipment they need. The first will have to purchase the following designs:

  • compressor installation providing aeration;
  • a filter that besides water purification will create a current;
  • water heater maintaining optimum temperature;
  • lamps that give muffled light.

Installation for aeration of water must necessarily be in the catfish aquarium

The oxygen compressor is absolutely necessary, as the fish are quite large and without a special installation they will lack oxygen dissolved in water. Since the aquarium for the mystus needs a volume, and the device must have a power of 60-75 W, it can be placed inside the tank and decorate with plants. But you should remember 2 rules:

  • the device should be located so as not to create cramped conditions for the fish;
  • it cannot be turned off at night, since it is at this time of the day that the lack of oxygen is felt most acutely.

The filter system needs to choose an external one. First, it will not take place in the aquarium, since such structures are located outside the tank.

And secondly, it will create a flow of water, similar to the natural flow of the river.

If the quality of the filtered water does not suit completely, you can install an additional indoor unit. The main thing is that replacement filters are attached to the equipment, since passing water through contaminated and outdated fillers is dangerous for the health of the fish.

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The water heater must maintain the heat necessary for the comfortable life of the fish. This is especially important if the owner wants to start breeding aquarium dwellers, for which it is necessary to maintain the temperature in a strict framework with an accuracy of a degree.

The device is equipped with a thermostat that turns on the heating when the water is not warm enough and turns it off when the set value is reached.

Nevertheless, the work of even the highest quality and expensive heater needs to be checked from time to time with a thermometer purchased separately. If the water turns out to be too hot or cold when the device fails, it can cost your pets not only health, but also life.

Lighting will be needed not only by the Mistus, but also by aquarium plants. When choosing lamps, one should give preference to such light fixtures that give a color temperature in the range from 5.5 to 6.5 thousand Kelvin.

A full and varied diet – a pledge of health of living beings. If they do not get enough nutrients, their immunity will decrease, and the body will begin to deplete. In nature, mistus hunts all the living creatures that can be swallowed.

In aquarium conditions, the pet needs to be given live, frozen or dry food, nutritional tablets for bottom fish, herbal ingredients and healthy supplements.

When choosing food you need to pay attention to its shelf life and storage conditions. Food kept in a closed container in a darkened place.

It is better not to take the product by weight, since no one can guarantee that it has not expired and was stored correctly.

It also does not hurt to purchase vitamin preparations at the pet store. The most beneficial substances for fish are the following:

  • vitamin A for cell growth and stress reduction in life in captivity;
  • group B to support the metabolism;
  • C and D for the formation and development of the skeletal system;
  • E for the normalization of reproductive function;
  • H for cell development;
  • K to support the circulatory system;
  • M to improve the color.

In addition, minerals such as magnesium and iodine may also be present.

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Vitamins in liquid form are added to water or feed at the rate of 6 drops per individual. It is especially important to use drugs during the illness of pets and immediately after their recovery, during transportation and relocation, during fish breeding and fry growth, when changing seasons of the year.

From time to time, fish should be pampered with lettuce, oatmeal and worms. But all portions should be small, as catfish tend to eat every last crumb and pick up leftover food for other aquarium inhabitants.

Overeating can lead to bloating and constipation, so you need to remember the rule of the ideal portion: it should be fully eaten by fish in 3-5 minutes.

Feeding should be once a day. During the week you need to alternate between dry and live food, as the last suitable Artemia, bloodworm, daphnia, koretra, tubule, rotifers or gammarus.

It is important not to add pathogenic bacteria or viruses together with living organisms. To do this, food for fish should be thoroughly washed or soaked in methylene blue.

You do not need to pour somics too much feed, as they are prone to gluttony

Indian catfish can not feel calm alone. He becomes either shy or aggressive. But settling different types of fish in one capacity, you need to take into account their compatibility.

Striped Mistus feels best in the company of 3-5 relatives, as this species belongs to the school. If you plan to keep other fish in one aquarium, it is worth remembering that the catfish quite aggressively protect its territory, therefore its neighbors must be proportionate or larger so that it does not cripple them.

Cichlids, astronotus and macrognates are suitable for him.

Such popular aquarium dwellers, such as rasbora, guppies, danios or neons, do not get along with the big-eared catfish, which swallows them quickly. Ornamental fish with veil fins and tails will also not be able to exist in the same place as the mystus, as he will pursue them, plucking the flowing organs of swimming.

As neighbors in the aquarium for catfish fit cichlids

Growing in half, the catfish is already becoming sexually mature. But the breeding of mystuses in aquarium conditions is not an easy task, since in captivity the male and the female are practically not interested in each other.

Stimulate reproduction is possible only with the help of pituitary injections.

In addition, you need to equip a special spawning column with a substrate in the form of a washcloth or moss. Water parameters should be different from those maintained in standard conditions. Requirements for them are:

  • temperature strictly 26 ° C;
  • pH 6.0;
  • hardness 4 dH.

You can populate the tank with one female and several males or only a couple of fish. They need to provide enhanced and varied nutrition, active aeration in the aquarium. If everything is done correctly, the female will pick up the eggs, after which all producers need to make an injection of a mixture of chorionic gonadotropin and bream.

At best, the female will be able to throw up to 500 eggs, of which in 30 hours fry will develop, feeding not only on microplankton, but also on each other. To avoid this, the catfish of the striped mistus should be sorted by size and fed with nauplii of Artemia.

By themselves, the mystuses hardly reproduce in captivity.

This procedure can only be carried out by professionals in specialized nurseries, from where the bred fish go for sale. The difficulty is that in addition to the specific conditions that need to be created for breeding, very complex manipulations may be necessary in case of difficulties, for example, decanting the calf from the female or bringing water to a normal state when it becomes cloudy with milt.

The catfish mistus is striped – unusual in appearance, interesting in behavior and contact with other fish inhabitants of the aquarium. He adapts well to the conditions of life in captivity, actively responds to environmental changes, has the beginnings of intelligence and can recognize the owner.

At night, he swims up to the surface with his belly, allowing himself to be stroked, and when he turns on the light, he quickly hides in shelters at the bottom.

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