Every aquarium needs constant cleaning. But when buying some types of fish, they are able to independently maintain cleanliness in their home.
One of such species is somiki tarakatumy. Somikov also called aquarium attendants. They are able to clean the walls and bottom of the aquarium from algae, waste, food debris, which cause many diseases.
Habitat, maintenance and care of tarakatum is not different from other types of catfish.
Somov can not be called beautiful fish with the original color. But soma tarakatuma differ more unusual and attractive appearance.
Aquarium fish tarakatum light brown color with large dark spots scattered on the fins and body. Dark spots appear on adolescents and remain as they grow up. The only difference between young people and adults is that over time the light brown color becomes darker.
During spawning, the abdomen of males of Taracatum acquires a bluish tint, and in usual time it is creamy white. In females, belly color is white all the time.
They live long enough, life expectancy of 5 years or more.
In the wild, huge populations of taracatum can be found in northern South America. The bulk of these fish lives in the Amazon Basin, but they are also found on the island of Trinidad and in Florida, where they were brought artificially.
In reservoirs, somas try to keep near the bottom in thickets of aquatic plants, where they constantly search for food. Tarakatums also live in running water, in reservoirs with a slow current, or without it at all.
Endurance and high adaptive abilities of this fish can only be envied.
It is possible to distinguish the female from the male with the naked eye thanks to the pectoral fins: in females they are round, smooth, in the male – larger and triangular in shape, while the first ray of the fin resembles a needle and turns orange during spawning.
More experienced aquarists can distinguish females and males by plates that cover the chest of the fish. In males the plates are covered with specks and arranged in the shape of the letter “V”, while in females this form is more diffuse, not so clear.
The male of the Tarakatum (on the right), unlike the female (on the left), possesses more powerful fins, equipped with spikes to protect its territory from strangers
Given the natural habitat of the catfish, it is obvious that the fish loves heat. The temperature of the water in the aquarium should vary in the range of 23-27 degrees.
Water hardness is adjusted from pH 5.5 to pH 7.5.
Aquarium tarakatum need a considerable amount of water. These are schooling fish, therefore it is better to keep at least a couple, and ideally 5-6 pieces. The volume of the aquarium choose at least 100 liters.
Moreover, it is desirable to focus not on the height of the glass house for fish, but on the area of the bottom.
Recommended schooling of these fish
Catfish are considered voracious fish, respectively, and there will be a lot of waste. Therefore, you need to clean the aquarium regularly. Constant enrichment of water with oxygen is necessary.
Water replacement is not made in full. Water change to 1/3 every week.
If the water is obviously dirty, then it’s worth changing half the water or even more.
Som tarakatumy can use intestinal respiration (using the anus).
Catfish are afraid of bright daylight. Therefore, to create favorable conditions, the aquarium should not be placed near the window.
It is recommended to place live or artificial floating plants on the surface of the water. At the bottom to place the grottoes, models of sunken ships, where the fish will hide.
As an improvised tool for this purpose, an ordinary split flower pot will do.
Catfish are able to jump, so the lid of the aquarium is better to keep it closed, otherwise the fish will fall out.
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Soma coexist with almost all species because of its calm and peaceful nature. If the fish do not bother him too much, the catfish will not pay any attention to the other inhabitants.
But active and aggressive fish will cause a catfish stress.
Excellent neighbors will be:
- The iris
Tips on choosing neighbors for catfish:
- Fish with a body length of more than 6-7 cm. Otherwise, the catfish begins to chase them and later eat.
- Fish must inhabit medium depth or near the surface.
- Do not hook the bottom fish. The abundance of fish living at the bottom will cause stress and a lack of territory in the catfish.
- Do not keep together with territorial fish, for example, cichlids, battles.
Som tarakatum has a very unusual way of reproduction compared to other catfish. The male builds a nest of foam on the surface of the water. He will spend days without a building a nest, collecting pieces of plants in order to seal it.
It turns out to be really big and can cover a third of the water surface and reach a height of up to 3 cm. In nature, the catfish use a large sheet during spawning, and in the aquarium you can put a foam under which it will build a nest. The male of Tarakatum releases bubbles that are covered with sticky mucus that helps the bubbles not to burst for several days.
When the nest is ready, the male begins to stalk the female. The finished female follows the male to the nest and begins spawning.
The female lays about ten sticky eggs in the “owl” that she forms with her ventral fins. Then he takes them to the nest and swims away. The male of the Tarakatum immediately swims up to the nest with the stomach, seeds the eggs with milt and releases bubbles from the gills in order for the roe to stick in the nest.
The breeding process is repeated until all the caviar is picked. Different females can have from 500 to 1000 eggs.
After that, the female can be deposited. If there are still ready-made females in the breeding ground, the breeding may be repeated with them. Although with equal probability the male will pursue them.
The male will violently defend the nest and attack any objects, including nets and hands.
During the protection of the nest, the male of Tarakatum does not eat, so there is no need to feed it. He will constantly fix the nest, adding foam and returning the caviar fallen out of the nest.
If, however, some kind of egg falls to the bottom, it will hatch there and there is no reason for concern.
At a temperature of 27 ° C, after about four days, the roe will turn. At this moment, it is better to sow the male, a caring father can starve and eat with hunger.
The larva may swim in the nest for two to three days, but usually swims within a day and goes to the bottom. After hatching, it feeds on the contents of the yolk sac during the day and at this time it can be not fed.
If there is soil at the bottom, then they will find starter feed there. After a day or two after spawning, the fry can be started to be fed with a microworm, nautilia of Artemia and well-ground catfish feed.
The fry grows very quickly, and in eight weeks can reach a size of 3-4 cm. From this point on, you can transfer them to adult nutrition, which means enhanced filtration and frequent water changes. Raising 300 or more fry is not a problem and therefore you need to have several aquariums to sort the fry by size.
From this point on it is better to think about where to put teenagers. Fortunately, catfish tarakatum is always in demand.
If you come to this problem – congratulations, you managed to breed another unusual and interesting fish!
Catfish are distinguished by strong immunity, but some diseases are also found in them.
- Mycobacteriosis This disease manifests itself in refusal to eat, turbidity of the iris, detachment of scales. A sick individual is treated with Kanamycin. Soil and scenery are disinfected from germs.
- Furunculosis. With furunculosis, the fin turns black, dies, unhealthy spots and sores appear on the scales, and the belly reddens. It is cured by Furasolidone.
- Infection of the gills. Symptoms – bloom, red streaks, gray spots appear on the gills; the pet is passive, it has no appetite. Helps drug Aktime.
Just a catfish can fall off a mustache. This happens when the wrong choice of soil. The animal is wounded about the sharp corners of the stones and infection gets into the wounds.
Because of this, the tissues in the whiskers die off, and they fall away.
Aquarists who have in their aquarium tarakatumov, speak positively about them. They note the calm and lack of aggression towards other members of the aquarium.
The first fish should be catfish, because they are resilient and unpretentious. Themselves clean the tank from waste and debris.
But some are upset that they rarely see them during the day. Most often, these creatures hide in poorly lit places, shelters, and plants.