Over the past couple of decades, among the European aquarists, fish from the family of loricariid (chain mail) catfish have become widely popular. Unfortunately, only a few representatives of this family live in the aquariums of local amateurs.
In Europe, this issue is solved much easier: the customer picks up a catalog or advertising booklet, and selects the type of fish he is interested in, after which he delivers the order to the nearest pet store in a short time. As a result, the aquarist gets a fish that is caught in its natural habitat, healthy and active.
Today, there are a huge number of firms that specialize in catching fish in nature. Unfortunately, we do not have this opportunity.
However, such specific trade has led to the fact that the fish have ceased to breed and are increasingly buying. Our aquarists do the opposite.
Although a fairly large number of aquarists know about Loricariid catfish only in passing, some aquarists still have some experience in breeding these fish in home aquariums.
In order to properly deal with this issue, it is necessary to divide all loricarides into two groups. The first group includes the most popular representatives of Ancistrus, Dasyloricaria filamentosa and Loricaria parva.
All these three types of fish are very easy to maintain and breed in the conditions of the aquarium.
Representatives of the second conditional group are less accessible to our aquarists in terms of maintenance, development and reproduction, as they require an extremely high level of skill as an aquarist. We are now talking about such fish as Panak, Farlovella, Pterygoplicht.
We consider the Lorikarievs on the example of the Sturis clan.
When keeping and breeding representatives of the loricarid family, there are two key principles – the abundance of high-calorie feed and large volumes of pure water. Unfortunately, it is rather difficult to combine the two principles mentioned above, because the first principle creates some difficulties for observing the second.
In nature, these somas live in flowing and clean water bodies. To bring the conditions close to natural conditions, a minimum of 200-liter aquarium with a strong current is required.
Optimum flow can be obtained by installing a powerful external filter. Ideally, you should have several filters: external and biofilter for better cleaning.
If you comply with all the necessary conditions, the female after three weeks can produce from 70 to 120 eggs, of which small larvae will be born in a week. Spawning occurs on snags, glass aquarium, inside and outside of ceramic pipes. That is, in almost any place you like.
Care for the laying of caviar exercise males.
First, the eggs are painted green. After spawning is completed, the male becomes to guard the nest, waving his fins to create a flow of water.
Light green small eggs will darken with time and will become almost black by the time the larvae appear. If the clutch is located in a darkened place, then the hatching of the larvae is accelerated, if in the light – on the contrary.
After the birth of larvae, the males completely lose interest in their offspring. Neither the parents nor other relatives in the aquarium do not pay any attention to the hatched larvae.
As a precautionary measure, it is better to catch the larvae with a glass tube and place the same chemical parameters and level of purification in a separate container with water.
To grow fry from the larvae will need to overcome a lot of difficulties and be patient. Green algae, which a priori have no place to take in a clean aquarium with powerful biological filtration, are the starting food for fry loricarides. Accordingly, it is necessary to bring in plant feed in large quantities.
And how to do it and not spoil the water in the aquarium? The water gets a little dirty, and all the young ones will lie to the bottom.
The ratio of plant and animal feed should be in proportion 7: 3. As vegetable feed, scalded crushed nettle leaves, dandelion, cabbage, and semolina can be given to fish.
Animal food should consist of the following feed: meat, shellfish, plankton. All feed must be fed in ground form.
This can be done with a mixer, blender or meat grinder.
Recently, experienced aquarists began to show increasing interest in complex loricarids. Caviar was even obtained from these fish.
The real problems began with the cultivation of fry ….