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Loricarides: general concepts and requirements for maintenance in an aquarium

Loricarids in nature and in the aquarium perform several useful functions: they remove dead fish and animals, eat filamentous algae, and prevent the water body from swamping. And all this is happening quietly and without unnecessary noise, unlike corridors that rummage in the ground like pigs and raise the dregs from the bottom of the reservoir.

Loricaria are widely popular among overseas aquarists because of their livability. Of course, it is not recommended to contain loricaride with dangerous neighbors.

According to the experience of keeping these fish, it is not recommended to keep them with small crustaceans, as they easily cause injury to these slow-moving inhabitants of the bottom layers. But with other large fish that have a peace-loving character, Loricarids get along without any problems, since they occupy the bottom layers and do not interfere with anybody to calmly swim.

I would like to note that loricarids can easily stand up for themselves. For example, when they leave the bottom layer and climb onto a leaf of a plant, a stone, or a snag, some of the most curious fish have an excessive interest in their neighbor.

To get rid of annoying neighbors, the fish uses its tail, which it hits the troublemaker like a whip.

Among other advantages, loricarids are an object for study. These fish are typical algophagi, and all algophagi jealously protect their territory from annoying competitors.

Such behavior is characteristic of two-color labo, otozinclus, gyrinoheylus and ancistrus. This is due not to the excessive aggressiveness of the fish, but to the rate of distribution of the algae – it should be the same with which the algae are eaten.

There are cases when skirmishes at the labeos, antsistrusov and girinohaylusov reach deaths. If the aquarist does not remove a competitor from the fish territory in time, they are doomed to starvation.

In loricarids, everything is much simpler: competitors can kick each other’s tail. What is most interesting is that direct contact is not necessary, sometimes there is enough wave, which creates a tail fin, which strongly strikes a competitor.

Whoever wave is stronger, the steeper in sparring. Such tournaments take place on any ground, but it’s best to see fish when they are attached to the glass with a suction cup.

Fish hang on the glass and whip each other with tails until someone is defeated and retires.

Loricaria are clean fishes, and this despite the fact that under natural conditions they can rummage in the mud. In an aquarium, they often find a place near the filter where they hang for a while so that the water and mud can be washed away. Do not immediately panic and think that the fish do not have enough oxygen in the aquarium.

Despite the fact that these fish prefer fast rivers, they cannot be called rheophilic.

Loricarids are perfectly adapted to life in fast streams and stagnant reservoirs with silt soil. In reservoirs with stagnant water, very often there is a lack of oxygen with increasing water temperature. In these cases, a special organ of the loricaride may be involved in the work, which begins to consume oxygen from atmospheric air, which is absorbed in the intestine.

In the water that is poor in oxygen, catfish can jump out sharply to the surface and turn upside down, capturing a bubble of air, and then go to the bottom.

The onset of the prespawning state in loricarids is not due to habitat purity. Water in fast streams always has more suitable hydrochemical parameters than standing water. However, with the arrival of rainy seasons, the hydrochemical composition of water changes dramatically.

Just because of this, the fish receive additional stimulation for reproduction and the prespawning state comes. If they say that it is because of clean water, do not believe that the main reason is a sharp change in water parameters.

Accordingly, you can pour clean water in liters with an aquarium with loricarids, and they have not spawned, and they will not do that. However, it is worth pouring into the aquarium the meltwater that naturally flows into the rivers in the month of April, as the conditions in the aquarium change drastically.

The hydrochemical composition of water varies greatly, the temperature decreases by 2–3 degrees.

In females that are ready for breeding, the body is broader than the males. A male ready for spawning has vertical brownish bristles on top of pectoral fins.

The male chooses a fissure between the stones, a ceramic or plastic tube with a length of up to 15 centimeters and a diameter of 3 – 4 centimeters. The shelter should be in the most secluded place in the aquarium, where do not pass the stream of water from the filter.

The tube is positioned so that you can calmly look into it if necessary.

When the male decides on a shelter, he immediately proceeds with his cleaning in order to invite the female there. After the appearance of eggs in the clutch, it is necessary for the male to be given the opportunity to get used to the role of the nurse.

Hurry in this case is not necessary, as hatching of the fry at a water temperature of 23 – 25 degrees will occur in a week.

After you make sure that the male with the help of his fins ventilates the clutch with fresh water, the tube with caviar must be transferred to a special aquarium up to 5 liters, in which the water level should not exceed 12 centimeters. This is done as follows: we lower both hands into the aquarium, cover the entrances to the tube on both sides, take it out of the water and transfer it to a new container.

A week later, when the yolk sac completely dissolves in the fry, the young blotted around the aquarium. The fry perfectly feed on our usual starter feed. Do not exclude from their diet dry food, having in its composition of vegetable components.

But let the fish feed the salad is not desirable, since such feeding produces a large amount of dirt. It is better to give nettle powder, which can be bought at any pharmacy.

From the second month, finely chopped tubule can be added to the diet.

It is necessary to strictly observe the cleanliness of the otsadnik, because all uneaten food will certainly decompose and spoil the water. In large aquariums, where there are no neighbors in the house, who prefer to have a meal of young loricarid, with good filtration of water, tina and mud will serve the young growth as an additional feeding.

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