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Fish Aquarium Cleaners

maintenance, care, compatibility

Cleaners and orderlies of the aquarium – wholesome fish, shrimps, snails relieving algae

Every aquarist, sooner or later, but such a question arises.
First, we acquire unpretentious fish, simple in content. Gradually interested in more complex fish, more interesting and rare.

Often, choose the fish for the beauty of color, shape, behavior.
But the moment comes when we are looking for useful fish, albeit not so bright and interesting in behavior, but which make it easier for us to take care of our aquarium world, who clean the aquarium, are its nurses and bring unconditional benefits!

I, too, came this moment. And I am interested not only in healthy fish, but also in healthy shrimps and clams.

I have different kinds of algae living in aquariums different in parameters and population. That is, the fight against algae, without the use of aquarium chemistry, prompted me to these searches.

I propose not to assess the degree of usefulness of certain inhabitants, but simply to create a list of aquatic organisms, bringing clear benefits in a freshwater aquarium.
I think this list can be replenished with your help.

So, let’s begin. Immediately come to mind such useful fish as:

Siamese Algae Eaters (SAE) and their relatives

Ototsinklyus

Ancistrus
Much has been written about these fish, practically, each aquarist has representatives of these species. Their use has long been tested and proven!

These wonderful creatures have recently become increasingly popular with aquarists. Our members of the forum, also appreciated the contribution of shrimp to the fight for the purity of the aquarium.

In confirmation of this, a number of articles on shrimp appeared on our website.
The best fighter with nitchatka – Amano’s shrimp
Cleaners of our aquariums, which are all, without exception, shrimp, eating up food particles, microscopic organisms, rotten leaves of aquarium plants.

Shrimp Red Crystal

Shrimp Cherry

Black Tiger Shrimp

Aquarium cleaners: what kind of fish and what is needed

Few would argue with the statement that the aquarium is one of the most vivid and memorable decorations in any room. Therefore, it is not surprising that more and more people are beginning to get involved in aquatic life and place beautifully decorated artificial reservoirs in their homes.

But thinking about the placement of such beauty, almost no one thinks about the difficulties associated with maintaining both the cleanliness in the aquarium and its beautiful appearance.

This truth is confirmed by the familiar proverb, which says that without even a small effort, it becomes impossible to achieve any result. The same applies to the aquarium, which requires constant maintenance, water replacement, monitoring its quality and, of course, cleaning.

Anyone who practices aquarism is familiar with such a problem as the appearance of algae inside an artificial reservoir, which not only limits the access of the sun’s rays, but can also cause many diseases that cause irreparable harm to all living inhabitants in the aquarium. As a rule, many methods have been developed for controlling undesirable vegetation, including the use of chemicals, changing water parameters and water ozonization.

But the most effective and safe is considered a biological method, in which the so-called fish cleaners are used, eating algae and thereby saving the artificial reservoir from their presence. Let us consider in more detail which fish can be considered a kind of orderlies in an aquarium.

It is probably difficult to find at least one artificial reservoir where a catfish of this species from the chain mail family would not be located. These fish have deservedly received such high popularity due to their “sanitary” activity, unpretentiousness in content and, of course, their unique mouth structure, resembling a sucker.

By the way, it is because of such a distinctive feature that stands out from the entire family of catfish, this fish is sometimes called the catfish sucker.

In addition, if we talk about the appearance, the catfish Antsistrus, probably, is one of the strangest aquarium fish. The original oral apparatus, growths on the face with something resembling warts and dark color along with a hidden lifestyle really create some kind of aura of mystery to the antsistrus.

The most comfortable this catfish feels when the temperature values ​​of water from 20 to 28 degrees.

Also, as mentioned above, having a peaceful nature, they get along perfectly with almost any kind of fish. The only danger to them, especially during spawning, is represented by large territorial cahlids.

An interesting fact is that with the creation of optimal conditions this catfish can live for more than 7 years.

Quite beautiful and in high demand among many aquarists – this fish was first discovered back in 1854 in the shallows of the Amazon River in South America. It has a rather impressive dorsal fin, brown body color and prominent nostrils. The maximum size of an adult individual is 550 mm.

The average life expectancy of 15-20 years.

Due to their peaceful nature, these aquarium cleaners get along well with almost any kind of fish. But it is worth noting that they can eat scales in slow-moving fish.

For example, the angelfish.

As for the content, this catfish feels great in a spacious artificial reservoir with a volume of not less than 400 liters. Also at the bottom of the vessel is recommended to place 2 snags. This is necessary in order for these fish to have the opportunity to scrape off various fouling from them, which is one of the main sources of their food.

Important! It is necessary to feed the brocade catfish at night or a few minutes before turning off the lighting.

Homeland of otsinklyusov South-Eastern Brazil. It is a rather small fish, not more than 5 cm long. Ototsinklyus live in flocks and fairly undemanding to the conditions of detention.

There are about 20 species of these fish. Especially popular with aquarists enjoy: Arnoldi, Affinis, macrospilus, negros, which.

Somiki have an elongated body, the color of the back is dark, the abdomen is light. The color of the fins is transparent.

Like any other catfish, ozincluses have a mustache.
Look at the ozozinclus at work.

These creatures are very peaceful. So it’s easy to get along with any non-aggressive neighbors.

For ottsinklyus fish clean water is very important. Strongly overgrown aquarium – their element.

Eating a variety of fouling, they greatly contribute to cleaning the aquarium. For many fans, aquarium ototsinklyus is the best and most safe way for other fish to fight unwanted algae.

Despite the fact that the main feed of otzinclus is water fouling, it is sometimes necessary to feed and pamper the most common vegetables. For example, zucchini and cucumber is quite suitable for this purpose delicacy.

Ancistrus: content, compatibility, breeding, photo-video review of catfish suckers, adhesives

Antsistrusy – this is the most popular catfish of the aquarium world! They are known and contain everything, both beginners and pros.

The ancistrus deserved such attention due to its qualities: they are referred to as “aquarium attendants”, they are unpretentious in content, are uncommon in behavior, and, of course, the structure of the mouth-sucker markedly distinguishes them among many other som-like fish.

At the same time, these fish can hardly be called handsome! A strange mouth, some warty growths on the face, dark coloring, and, as a rule, they often hide in snags and grottoes … like twilight!

What is so attracted to aquariums around the world to these fish? I think the answer will give a full story about them! So, the Latin name: Ancistrus dolichopterus (Ancistrus ordinary); Russian name: Ancistrus, catfish stuck, catfish sucker, catfish cleaner, antsitrus;
Order, suborder, family: capes, cat-shaped, chain-mail or Loricariid catfish (Cypriniformes, Siluroidei, Loricariidae). Given the fact that many are confused in the classification of fish, and on the Internet you can often find unreliable information, it should be said that Loricaria and Mail – It is the same. The family of Mail Som in Latin will be Loricariidae – these are antsistrusy, pterigoplichty, loricaria, sturisomes, farlovellas, hypoptomes, ototsinklyusy and others.

It is often written that the ancistrus is an armored soma, but this is not true. Crabfish Callichthyidae are corridors, dinemas, brochises, thoracatums, etc.
Comfortable water temperature: 20-28 ° С (for manufacturers 20-26 ° С);
Ph acidity: 6-7,5 (for manufacturers up to 10 °, KN up to 2 °);
Stiffness dH: up to 20 ° (for manufacturers 6-7,3);
Aggressiveness: relatively non-aggressive (20%);
The complexity of the content of antsistrusov: easy;

Antsistrus compatibility: These catfish can be maintained with virtually all types of aquarium fish, in fact they are peaceful inhabitants of the aquarium bottom. However, to say that antsistrus absolutely harmless fish can not be!

Yes, everywhere – in the articles of the Runet they write that these somas behave like “God’s dandelions”, but on aqua. The forums can often find information that antsistrusy chase fish, stick to them and even spoil the skin … And it’s true! Therefore, it is undesirable to keep them with slow and cumbersome fish, for example, with the family of Goldfish. Also, from personal experience, I can say that it is impossible to keep them with scaleless fish, for example, with bag-tailed catfish, such fish, antsistrusy can inflict serious wounds with their “passionate kisses”.

Not compatible with: large, aggressive and territorial cichlids, especially during the spawning period. Read more about fish compatibility. HERE!
How many live: with proper maintenance can live more than 7 years. Find out how much other fish live HERE!

The minimum volume of aquarium for antsistrusov: 80l is considered a normal aquarium for a pair of antsistrus, but many keep them in 50, and 30, and even 20l. aquariums. It is not correct, alas, in such conditions the fish will not live for a long time, will “drain” and die.

About how much you can keep fish in the X aquarium, see HERE (at the bottom of the article there are links to aquariums of all volumes). Requirements for care and maintenance: Antsistrusy unpretentious fish.

Elementary adherence to the recommended parameters of water – the key to success in their content and even dilution. These catfish suckers do not need personal and excessive attention, the only desirable element in the aquarium should be shelters: grottoes, caves, and especially snags or hemp. Aeration, filtration, weekly water change for fresh – are required.

In addition, in the aquarium it is desirable to set up correctly and sufficiently active flow of water, which will mimic the natural habitat of catfish.
Feeding and diet: Antsistrtsov, however, as well as other representatives of Loricaria are referred to phytophages, that is, to fish that feed on plant food. It is this feature of the catfish sucker that makes it an indispensable aquarium actor in the fight against algal fouling of the walls of the aquarium and decor. Due to its unique structure of the mouth, ancistrus scrape / scrape off any small plant formations.

Thus, we can say that antsistrusy are unpretentious in the diet and can get food on their own. However, this does not mean that an aquarist should not feed them.

The diet of antsistrus should be 70-80% vegetable feed and 20-30% protein foods. For complete feeding of catfish cleaners, you can buy special branded feed for loricarine catfish, as a rule, these are green tablets falling to the bottom. Also, many weekly feed their suckers with scalded fresh cucumber, lettuce, spinach, green peas, pumpkin and cabbage leaves.

Some aquarists, especially for Ancistrus, richly decorate the aquarium with snags and stumps, the Ancistrus gladly “gnaw” the slugs and constantly hang on them. And in the stumps, with good conditions of detention, they can even spontaneously and independently multiply.
Photo feeding antsistrusov

Feeding any aquarium fish should be correct: balanced, varied. This fundamental rule is the key to successful keeping of any fish, be it guppies or astronotuses.

Article “How and how much to feed aquarium fish” talks in detail about this, it outlines the basic principles of the diet and feeding regime of fish.

In this article, we note the most important thing – feeding fish should not be monotonous; both dry and live food should be included in the diet. In addition, you need to take into account the gastronomic preferences of a particular fish and, depending on this, include in its diet ration either with the highest protein content or vice versa with vegetable ingredients.

Popular and popular feed for fish, of course, are dry food. For example, hourly and everywhere can be found on the aquarium shelves of food company “Tetra” – the leader of the Russian market, in fact, the range of feeds of this company is striking.

In the “gastronomic arsenal” of Tetra are included as individual feeds for a certain type of fish: for goldfish, for cichlids, for loricarids, guppies, labyrinths, arovan, discus, etc. Also, Tetra has developed specialized foods, for example, for enhancing color, fortified or for feeding fry.

Detailed information on all Tetra feeds, you can find on the official website of the company – here.

It should be noted that when buying any dry food, you should pay attention to the date of its production and shelf life, try not to buy food by weight, and also keep the food in a closed state – this will help avoid the development of pathogenic flora in it.

In nature, live: Ancistrus habitat is the central and northern part of South America. Their biotope – rivers and streams with a fast current, lakes of tropical forests, swamps and ditches, some species inhabit mountain streams.
Description of Ancistrus:
Soma body elongated, head and front of the body flattened. From the dorsal fin the body is covered with bone plates, except the abdomen.
Ancistrus mouth – These are suckers with horny scrapers, with which they scrape food from the surface.
Dorsal large, flag-shaped, often pressed fish to the body. Thoracic, ventral and dorsal fin wide.

Cultivation and reproduction of acystrus

Antsitrus, male and female in the photo and their laying in coconut shell It is not any difficulty. Often it, under optimal conditions, can occur independently in the general aquarium.
For purposeful breeding of steam, the producers will be deposited in a shallow spawning aquarium – 40 l., Or if the spawning is a large 100-150 l. You can plant one male and two females. The spawning incentive is frequent water changes, abundant feeding, an increase in the amount of protein, live food, and an increase in water temperature.
To distinguish a male from a female is easy! Males on the head and along the edges have branched, developed leathery processes – tentacles, in the people they are called “antennae”.

In females, the antennae are located only at the edges of the head, poorly developed or not at all.

Producers must be the same size or the female must be larger than the male. Cases of killing of smaller females by male are noted.
The aquarium is equipped with pipes or long stumps, only in them the female will lay eggs. However, there have been cases when caviar is deposited in pots and just on a snag.

Nevertheless, plastic pipes are considered to be the best spawning substrate.
Spawning aquarium is filtered and aerated.
After the female has laid a laying of 30-100 eggs in the tube, the male takes all the care of the offspring. He expels the female and during the entire incubation period of ripening caviar fanning her with fins, creating a stream of water and oxygen access to the clutch, besides the male removes dead eggs.

It is not worth disturbing the male during this period, otherwise he may eat caviar in a “panic”. photo laying antsistrusov caviar

After about five days, little larvae emerge, which the caring male protects for a couple of days.


The hatched larvae hang and the actual does not move. They feed independently during this period – with the reserves of the yolk bladder, due to the exhaustion of which the larvae become fry and from this period they must be fed. The aquarists feed the fry differently, who gives spirulina, who pushes the branded loricarium tablets, who immediately begins to give crushed cucumbers.

The main thing in this matter is the small fraction of feed (dust) and the access of fry to it. see also Antsistrus breeding – Forum aquarists.
Interesting about antsistrusah:
– it is completely unknown why male suckers need “whiskers” on the face. Ichthyologists suggested that the mustache is an imitation of larvae and juveniles.

Thus, the male shows the female, they say, see what kind of “I’m a good dad.” It is noticed that females prefer males with large whiskers)))
– when launching antsistrus into a good herbalist, you should always remember that when there is a lack of vegetable food, catfish can begin to feed on the leaves of plants and damage them. For prof.travnika better to use otsinklyusov and Siamese algae.
– There are an insane number of species of ancistrus, their classification is rather confused and complicated by the presence of breeding breeding forms. The most popular types of antsistrus are considered to be: gold, voilean (voilean leopard and other subspecies), red, dark, brown, pink, star-shaped, albino.

But what only cost numbered L-catfish, their number is simply amazing.

There are a lot of varieties of antsistrusov! Below is a description of the most popular species of this loricaric catfish.

Aquarium fish somiki: antsitrusy, brohisy, armor

Somiki are interesting, beautiful and useful inhabitants of a home aquarium. Kallichtovye species impose order: dig the ground, move buildings, helping the owner to create a unique design. Kolchuzhnye – remove young algae from the walls of the aquarium, plants, snags and buildings.

The variety of color and dissimilarity with other inhabitants made them the favorites of aquarists.

The most popular are catfish with suckers of two types – antsitrus ordinary and antsitrus blue. These species belong to the chain catfish, widespread in the Rio Negru river system and creeks of Brazil. The main difference is the absence of the swim bladder, the presence of the oral apparatus in the form of a sucker, and the greater number of rays of the dorsal fin (8-10 instead of 7-8 in most other species).

Antsitrus ordinary reaches a length of up to 25 cm, and blue up to 15 cm. It is better to contain both species in pairs, that is, one male and one female. The recommended volume of a specific aquarium (for one pair of fish) for:

  • antsitrus ordinary – 80 l;
  • blue citrus – 60 l.

If an aquarium is common for antsitrus and fish of other species, then the volume should be increased by 20 liters for each species of catfish.

Temperature range of content for:

  • common ancytrus – from 24 to 29 ° C;
  • blue anticyrus – from 22 to 27 ° C.

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